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6The Daily Tar Hee! Thursday, November 14. 1985
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By ALEXANDRA MANM
Gene Hackman got lucky. After
a break from any screen activity at
all, he finally got a role that has just
about everything in a movie with just
In Target, Hackman plays Walter
Lloyd, a husband, a father, an ex
C.I.A. agent and, as the title indi
cates, a target.
He and his son Chris (Matt
Dillon) go to Europe, where most
of the story takes place. They are
in search of Walter's wife Donna
(Gayle Hunnicutt), who was appar
ently kidnapped a couple of days
after arriving in Germany for her
vacation. Walter, having left his spy
days behind him, is not thrilled with
the prospect of going anywhere near
the European continent. But the
people who kidnapped his wife know
they can get him there by taking what
is most valuable to him.
Thus, the relatively normal life of
this family from Dallas, Texas, is
rudely interrupted by the crisis.
Hackman fits every part of this
multi-faceted role perfectly. He is the
husband in love with his wife, the
father who wants to take his son
fishing to get to know him better and,
as we discover, an expert in his
Dillon plays Walter's son in his
all-too familiar way, but he has
grown up considerably, and, in this
particular film, it works. He is
independent, tough and cocky, as he
has been in all his films, but that
attitude is necessary for this role. He
is a college dropout with only vague
plans for going back; he repairs stock
cars for a living; and it takes
something as serious as his mother's
disappearance to bring him closer to
While the acting is superb, it is
the basic story by Leonard Stern that
is truly flawless. It is fast-paced, yet
not confusing, with just the right
number of characters to keep things
interesting. The focus is always
where it should be on Lloyd and
his son. The only fault that can be
found in Target is its predictable and
slightly corny ending.
Most of the cinematography was
done where it should have been
in Europe. The film does not fudge
on this issue. When the characters
are in Dallas, the audience sees
Dallas, and the same is true for
France and Germany. Just watching
Dillon doing stunts in a small red
Peugeot in France is entertaining in
Arthur Penn's direction also
leaves little to be desired. Of course,
he already has good people and a
good screenplay to work with. There
are scenes in the film, especially
between Hackman and Dillon,
which make moviegoing a worth
while venture. Perm takes what is a
pretty shallow father-son relation
ship at the outset of the film and
turns it into an undeniably close one
by the end.
In almost all respects, Target can
receive few complaints, except for
quibbles from those filmgoers who
seek romance and sex on screen,
because there is little of that. But
what the film offers to make up for
that loss makes it an Irresistible way
to spend two hours.
By DEANNA RUDDOCK
Staff Writer , .
Ingmar Bergman's Nora is a play with
real drive that rockets to the end,
director Kenneth Russell said of this
weekend's UNC Lab Theatre produc
tion. If the excitement in his voice is
any indication of what is to come, the
play's opening Sunday is sure to be
Bergman's Nora, an adaptation of
Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, tells the
story of a woman who forges her
father's signature in order to get money
to save her sick husband and the
problems she encounters as a result of
this act. The play deals with the issues
of marriage, morality, and one's per
sonal duty to discover who heshe really
Russell, a senior from Albemarle who
is graduating in December, said he had
wanted to do A Doll's House for a long
time and was amazed at the similarities
between this adaptation and the
Bergman changed the three-act play
into 15 short scenes and cut out all of
the extra characters, he said. "Ibsen felt
like he has to justify every time someone
was off stage," said Russell. "Bergman
stripped away all the fat, and all of these
justifications and transitions are gone."
Mike Wilson, who plays Dr. Rank
in the play, said that these changes made
the play more contemporary and
pushed the emotional impact of the
play. "The play is made more clear and
lucid, and it strikes out more, effec
tively," he said.
In this adaptation, Nora is on stage
throughout the entire play. People
appear, and things happen, Russell said.
"The play is about people reacting to
each other. All of the characters need
something from each other."
Jennifer Deer Johnson, a senior from
Atlanta, Ga., who plays Nora, said that
being on stage during the entire play
was draining, but that she did not get
tired while performing. "The end comes
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constantly builds, and the stakes get
Russell also said the play was very
intense. "It is about grand passion that
takes place in a small area," he said.
"It feels as if it is going to explode."
Johnson, who will also graduate in
December, said that playing Nora was
her biggest challenge as an actress. "At
first I was scared of Nora," she said.
"I did not know how to play a character
that was light and frivolous, a real man's
She said that her perceptions of the
character changed somewhat, however,
after reading the adaptation. She sees
Nora as a stronger character and will
portray her as such, Johnson said. "It
would be false to play out only my
preconceptions when this is what the
script says to me," she said.
Some have said that A Doll's House
was outdated because the issues facing
women in the play were no longer
relevant, Russell said. "This play is not
about women's rights," he said. "It is
about human rights. It's about selfhood,
and that doesnA date." ...
According to Russell, he and the
actors have not changed the expecta
tions of the play or tried to twist or
distort the text to portray something
new. "We are not shattering sterotypes
for the sake of it," he said. "This is what
the script says to us."
Patrick Padgett, a senior from Arden,
N.C., who plays Nora's husband Tor
vald Helmer, said that his character has
changed less than others in this adap
tation. "Torvald is the best represen
tation of a man in Victorian times," he
said. "Today he may seem like a coward
and a tyrant, but then he would have
been considered the perfect husband."
Nora will be the last Lab production
for both Russell and Johnson, who have
worked together in two other plays, The
Stronger and My Sister in This House.
Both said that they saw this play as a
type of test of all the things they have
learned. "We have worked in the Lab
more than anywhere else, and this, as
our last production, is important and
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Backler and Johnson rehersing the Lab Theatre's production of 'Nora'
means a lot," Johnson said. uWe have
learned from each other, and wee
watched each other grow. This is what
Nora will be performed by UNC Lab
Theatre Sunday and Monday at 4 and
8 p.m. in 06 Graham Memorial Hall.
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