Changing the programme: Harvey Keitel and Kate Winslet play mind games

.lasmuheen disclaims any accountability l’or the three deaths. surely she realises there are many impressionable people who will turn to almost any lad il' it claims to reduce the need l‘or loud.

In this regard .lasmuheen appears to place her hunger for publicity over responsibility. More unexpected and ironic is the uniyersity”s apparent lack ol‘ objection to allowing the ('haplaincy ('entre. a hottse ol‘ (iod. alter all. to he used as a Venue lot' \‘iews with potentially dangerous consequences. Reyerend White. the [’niyersity (‘haplain explains the uniyersity’s tolerant stance regarding such contentious heliels. ‘l’eople adyocate all kinds of philosophies that the uniyersity may not agree with. but that doesn‘t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to express them.‘ he says. 'l'm ol' the opinion that very l‘ew people will take .lasmuheen seriously and most ol‘ us would probably say her views are a lot ol' nonsense.‘

('ult trouble-shooter Rick Ross is less diplomatic. lle dismisses her

claims out ol‘ hand. ‘ll' she has the energy to tour the world then she must eat and drink like everyone else.‘ he says. ‘\\'hat is so sad is that a woman is dead. She really believed and (ireye does not. This is typical of so many cult leaders. preaching one thing and practising another.~

Dangerous l'raud or misunderstood guru'.’ One thing is clear. By according her column inches. the indignant press are playing entirely into her sell-promoting hands.

Jasmuheen is speaking at the Chaplaincy Centre, Edinburgh University, 7pm, Wed 5 Apr.


In Holy Smoke, KATE WINSLET heads to the Australian outback to out-cult the cult- busters. ".'.'::'<:s': Stephen Applebaum

Hollywood was Kate Winslet’s for the taking after Titanic. But instead of boarding the next blockbuster, she surprised everyone by starring in the small indie feature, Hideous Kinky. She met her husband, Jim Threapleton, while making the film, and is currently expecting their first child. Yet as her offscreen life becomes increasingly settled, onscreen the 24- year-old’s roles are getting more risque and confrontational. And no more so than in Holy Smoke, the new film from Piano director Jane Campion.

Here the exoticism of Hideous Kinky mingles with a febrile psycho-sexual power struggle, as Winslet’s religious cult member, Ruth, goes head-to-head with Harvey Keitel’s cult de-programmer in the Australian outback.

The part was demanding to play and Winslet goes to the edge with her performance, stripping off both physically and emotionally. While there is a neat irony in seeing an actress who has become the object of cult-like worship on the internet in such a role, it was a brave choice for someone with such a high profile.

But, then, Winslet thrives on challenges. In fact, when she read Jane and Anna Campion's Holy Smoke screenplay for the first time, she loved it for the very things that might have scared off a less adventurous actress. ’It was mad, very intense, quite confronting, really risky and very bold,’ she says with enthusiasm. ’But also full of what I thought was tremendous honesty and love. It was a combination of those things that made me really want to be involved.’

The clincher, though, was the chance to work with Campion and Keitel. Winslet says she liked Jane Campion a lot, again for reasons that might make others think twice. Apparently the director is, by her own admission, completely mad. 'But wonderfully so,’ says Winslet cheerfully, describing the ‘bizarre world of heightened emotion and reality' that Jane and Anna live in. ‘They're really wild and I love them both,’ she says.

Unsurprisingly, she found Keitel to be very driven. 'l was always so grateful that I had him,’ she says, 'because it's easy for actors to finish work, go home, have a couple of glasses of wine, have dinner, fall asleep, wake up and go to work the next day. Harvey, though, would go home and he would exercise; he wouldn’t eat, he'd work instead. And he was always ready to go.’

She says he also has a great sense of humour, which was just as well seeing as he has to wear a dress and make-up in

Winslet: the object of cult-like worship

the film’s absurd, table-turning climax. Winslet had her own share of humiliations and challenges, too, including apparently urinating on camera while standing naked before Keitel.

She says taking her clothes off on camera has not got any easier, in fact it’s harder now she’s married, but that’s not to say we’ve seen the last of kit-off Kate her next film, Quills, is about the Marquis De Sade. ’lt’s about the man himself and not his writings,’ she insists. ’They, of course, were completely despicable.’

Holy Smoke goes on general release 7 April, see review, page 26.

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