forest for twelve years. plus a thirteenth year in an unknown place. before returning to their kingdom.
ll: EXILE IN THE FOREST The Padavas are in exile. In the forest Bhima and Draupadi reproach Yudishsthira for not getting up and fighting, and urge him to do so. He refuses however. and obeys his ‘Dharma‘. his internal moral law that insists that he does not fight. and that must be obeyed if the cosmic order is to be maintained. Arjuna. meanwhile. decides to go and look for weapons. He meets the god Shiva in the guise ofa hunter. Shiva. who is the god of destruction. gives Arjuna the ultimate deadly weapon. Pasupata. Duryodhana. the oldest Kaurava brother. secs all this by magic. and also sees how Arjuna ignores the romantic approaches of a heavenly creature who therefore curses him. swearing that one day he will lose his virility and become weak.
Karna. who has befriended Duryodhana and promised him victory. decides he must also acquire the absolute weapon. and does so from a hermit.
The time has now come for the Panavas to spend their year in disguise. They find refuge at the court of King Virata. But Duryodhana launches an attack on Virata‘s kingdom and Arjuna cannot avoid fighting. He wins and the Padavas reveal their identity before they should. Duryodhana refuses to give his cousins their kingdom because they revealed their identity too soon. Both Arjuna and Duryodhana go to see Krishna to ask for support. Arjuna enlists Krishna alone. Duryodhana takes all Krishna‘s armies. Krishna tries to persuade everybody out of warmongering — but in vain.
III: THE WAR
War looms. But as the armies prepare. Arjuna suddenly loses his nerve. remembering all the family that may be slain in the bloodshed. Krishna. in his capacity as Vishnu. advises him. teaching him how he must act. and how to reach his deepest strength and intelligence — this wisdom is the famous ‘Baghavad-Gita‘. Battle ensues and gradually all the heroes are killed. leaving Yudishsthira as conquerer. but over a barren and bloodstained land. The story does not end with this devastation. however. but with Yudishsthira‘s arrival in Paradise. with a beautiful vision of harmony and peace. The story is over and the lesson has been learned.
MAYFEST SEE TICKET pAGE
Moonstruck has just won Cher an Oscar as Best _ Actress. Allan Hunter met director Norman Jewison
Director Norman Jewison is one of mainstream cinema‘s most prolific and reliable professionals. 'I‘hat tnay not sound like the most flattering of epithets but his signature on a film has come to signify guaranteed unﬂagging craftsmanship and care. He has been involved with 23 films over the past quarter of a century. productions that have amassed a total of4-1 ()scar nominations. Not every one is a classic. but now and then. sure as sunrise. something special comes along and the result is a film with the tension of In the Heat ofthc .N'i'ght. the opulence of The Thomas ( ‘rown Affair. the star charisma of The (‘irzcmnati Kid. the social concern of A Soldier's Story or the amorous glow of his latest success Moonstruck which he describes as ‘a kind ofoperatic fairytale‘.
The film offers a midwinter‘s dream of romance as a special tnoon casts a magical spell over the amorous fortunes ofone Italian-American family. Loretta Castorini ((‘her). a dowdy widow. is prOposed to by Johnny (‘ammareri (Danny Aiello). She does not love him but agrees to be his bride. Flying offto comfort his dying mother. he entrusts her with a mission of family reconciliation; she is to clear the bad blood with his baker brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage). When they meet. it is love at first sight and Loretta undergoes a Cinderella-like transformation as she uncharacteristically allows her heart to rule her head. Attempting to resolve her divided affections. she discovers that her closest relatives have problems of their own as mother Rose (Olympia Dukakis) uncovers father‘s infidelity and a
further couple enjoy the bliss of being lovestruck representatives of an older generation.
The $11 million production has a rich and rare charm. a fine script and some great performances; traditional ingredients upon which Jewison has always placed a premium and which he feels will never go out of fashion. ‘I think it‘s a good sign that maybe the pendulum is beginning to swing back from those reels ofendless. mindless action films and a lot ofviolence for the entertainment of the masses. which I find rather obscene. I like the idea that films are starting to work where people actually talk to each other and relate to each other. Broadcast .N‘ews is also a dialogue film and it‘s doing very well. When I finished the film it looked like I was doing a homage to (‘apra or Lubitsch or to Preston Sturges or something. It does seem to feel a little old-fashioned. but maybe that‘s because I‘m old—fashioned. I‘m a Canadian farmer and I‘m over (it) years old now and so therefore I guess my films always have a beginning. a middle and an end. I‘m just a storyteller.‘
Providing the means for Jewison‘s storytelling on this occasion is playwright John Patrick Shanley. Moonstruck is only his second screenplay after the decidedly eccentric Fire ( ‘omers. seen at last year‘s Edinburgh Film Festival. Jewison considers him to be a major talent. ‘We call him the Bard ofthc Bronx. He‘s written a number of off- B roadway plays and they‘re usually about the Irish or the Italians or the Puerto Ricans — as long as they‘re Catholic. He writes ensemble pieces in which every actor
or part isimportant. ratherthana I vehicular situation. As Bertolt Brecht once said “All theatre is actors singing their arias“. I think in this film I wanted to have a feel of an Italian street opera because Puccini and La Boheme are important and it‘s woven through the film and I think music is very important. not only to Italian culture but to my films.‘
lnfusing his work with a strong sense of comtnunity and neighbourhood. Shanley economically and deftly populates his dramatic universe with rounded characters. (‘onsequently Jewison has been allowed to cast his film with a wonderful troupe of actors who are each given their moment to glow. He had no hesitation when it came to casting the pivotal role of Loretta. ‘(‘her was my first choice. I really think she‘s a wonderfully instinctive actress and there‘s a street quality about her. a blue collar kind of quality. Maybe it‘s her lack of pretension because she is very unpretentious and very direct. She‘s very honest as a person and that‘s what she brings to her acting. Not being a trained actress there‘s nothing false about her. she‘s not using technique * it's just her. I never had any problems with her at all. She said to me once l‘efore we started the picture. “You know i can be pretty tough“. which I thought was rather unusual. I said. "Well. how tough can you be'.’ Are you tougher than .Ittdy ( ( iarland )'.’ Are you tougher than Rex I Iarrison'.’ Are you tougher than Rod Steiger‘.’ What are you talking about?” And she just kind of smiled. She calls me an old curmudgeon. I guess it‘s because she thinks I‘m kind ofgrumpy bttt. I got on very well with her and I like her and I think she likes this film.‘
Having worked w ith some of the most tormented talents in the business. .lewison can probably handle anything that comes his way. I Ie is currently producing Shanley ‘s latest script ‘l‘hthltutttarv .Iltm. about a serial killer in New York. and is soon lo LIIIL‘L‘I Izmin ( II'is/t You Il't’rt’ Herc) I.loyd in In ( ‘otottry. ‘I left America in W7“ totally disillusioned and catne to live in Britain for eight years. Part of my disillusionment was. ofcourse. with the political atmosphere and I‘d made a number of films about problems there. I promised myself I‘d never make a film about Vietnam. (‘oppola‘s done it. Kubrick‘s done it. ()Iiv er Stone‘s done it. .lohn Irvin‘s done it. and twenty other filmmakers have done it. I thought what I would like to make was a film about the effects of Vietnam. So the screenwriter I’rank Pierson has written about a family today in the South and a young girl discovering the father that she never knew. It‘ll be done through letters or diaries and deals with it on an
emotional level. Just as long as I don‘t have to re—ereate the holocaust over there. So. I‘m going to do that in the summer.‘ l l
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