Fage 6--Friday, December 7, 1979-The Michigan Daily
THE MOM IN THE MOON:
'Luna's' psychoanalysis thuds
By ALISON DONAHUE
means in the November Rolling Stone
magazine, and his comments about one
scene exemplify his attitude toward
characterization: Mother and son are
driving down a rural Italian road when
suddenly she realizes that they have
reached the spot where she first kissed
the boy's father. Upon this realization,
she reaches over to the boy and gives
him a passionate kiss.
The director explains that this scene
conveys the mother's fantasy of wan-
ting to substitute her son for her
husband. He says, "There is no eviden-
ce that Joe needed a kiss." Bertolucci
saw an opportune moment to convey
an important fantasy, so he just
plugged it into the dramatic situation.
The scene feels contrived, and seems to
need some further "meaning." Other
scenes, then, are tainted by this general
approach. For the educated viewer
Luna becomes no more than a series of
psychoanalytical epiphanies that clear
up confusion with unsatisfactory over-
simplification. The viewer who never
had the benefit of Psych. 171 may
remain confused throughout the film.
AS THE SELF-CENTERED
Caterina, Jill Clayburgh seems
miscast. She has a talent for portraying
sensitive, intelligent, and appealing
vulnerable characters as seen in An
Unmarried Woman, and most recently,
Starting Over. In view of these roles,
the idea of Clayburgh playing a prima
donna seems rather ludicrous. It's not
the absence of a singer's build or voice
(it's dubbed) which hurts her perfor-
mance, but the fact that she hasn't a
stage personality's presence. Caterina
is a woman who commands the atten-
tion of a theatre audience and then ex-
pects a continuation of that adoration in
real life. -
Clayburgh tries hard to seem strong
willed, but she's simply too vulnerable
to pull off this ego-centric role. Her
character also lacks the selfish single
mindedness of one so ruled by passion
that she allows it to consume herself
and her son. A stronger personality,
such as an Anne Bancroft or Irene
Papas seems more suited to this
If incest is a touchy subject in your family, you'll find "Luna," Bernardo
Bertolucci's latest opus, an unpleasant reminder. Pictured here are the
miscast Jill Clayburgh, and bright spot Matthew Barry. They fall victim to
folly and indiscretion in this winter-season offering from 20th Century Fox.
Matthew Barry's Joe is the film's
most sympathetic character. Joe
responds to his mother's advances, and
even initiates his own, because he needs
her love and she exploits that need.
Barry portrays the troubled adolescent
quite naturally, and he projects a level
of inner intensity that Clayburgh's
character never reaches.
PART OF THE REASON for Barry's
success is that Bertolucci lets Joe be
more of a person than Caterina. Instead
of continually hanging signs on him that
broadcast "meaning" in neon
lights-as he does so often with
Caterina-Bertolucci simply lets the
boy work on his own. In a lonely Italian
cafe, Joe does an imitation of John
Travolta's solo dance in Saturday Night
See LOVE, Page 7
Trek' film Dremiers
From The Associated Press
Star Trek - The Motion Picture, blasts off in 900 U.S.
and Canada theaters today (at the Movies at Briarwood in
Ann Arbor), culminating the biggest gamble in Hollywood
Consider the hazards:
" Production costs set an all-time record, reportedly at
" The movie is based on a television series that failed in
its first run, though its reruns attracted a legion of
* The stars are not exactly box-office names: Leonard
Nimoy, William Shatner and DeForest Kelly from the
series, plus India-born Persis Khambatta as the bald Ilia
from Planet Delta Four.
" Popularity of the space spectacular may have peaked
with Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
DESPITE THESE drawbacks, Paramount Pictures
executives say they are jubilant over the finished film and
confident that the gamble will produce heavy rewards.
The man most responsible for sending Star Trek aloft is
white-haired director Robert Wise. The producer was
Gene Roddenberry, creator of the TV series. At the end of
22 months of intensive work, Wise,West Side Story, The
Sound of Music seemed both relieved and exhilarated.
"I'm generally pleased with how the picture turned
out," he remarked in his modest office at the western end
of the Paramount lot once RKO, where he started as a cut-
ter in 1933.
"Considering the goals and aim that we started out to
accomplish, I think we succeeded. The look and feel of the
picture is good, the characters are well developed, and the
story held up well. At least I think so. We won't really
know until the picture opens Friday. We had no sneak
previews. This is my 38th film and never before have I
released one without a sneak."
There was no time. Last Saturday, Wise was dubbing
the sound track at 2:30 a.m., and looking at composite
reels at 3 a.m. He returned at noon to correct a miscut in
the sound negative, then reviewed the backup sound at 6
p.m. That was his last official act.
William Shatner, old Kirk on "Star Trek" is seen here
done up real pretty and having himself a time at last
night's premier of the movie version of the erstwhile TV
series. The film opens today at movie houses across the
land, including the Movies at Briarwood.
"They have been printing reels as soon as I finished
them," he said. "This week I looked in on Stage 12 at
MGM and saw hundreds of shipping cases. Some 360 were
shipped Monday, 300 Tuesday and the rest Wednesday."
Wise worried that he would have to hand carry a print to
the premiere in Washington, D.C. last night.
Wise said he didn't know the final costs. The $42 million
figure seemed "about right," but a reported $15 million
overage because of speedup of special effects "seem,
high," he said.
"Paramount said, 'We must meet that date,' " the
director said, referring to the Dec. 7 target. "That meant
lots of overtime and working on Saturdays and Sundays,
and that gets expensive.
"But there was no panic over the cost, at least none was
expressed to me. I suppose in the back rooms the
executives were concerned. They'd be idiots if they