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Epic films are a thing of the past, says Charlton Heston, star of the classic "Ben Hur." Even small-scale movies like "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" cost more to make today than "Lawrence of Arabia" did in the 1960s, Heston said.

"They will never make `The Bridge on the River Kwai' again, which is too bad. People make fewer films now. They cost a lot more money to make, they cost a lot more money to advertise and, unhappily, they cost a lot more money to go to."- Soviet screenwriters visiting Hollywood are lamenting the crackdown in the Baltics. "We're deeply depressed," said Alexander Chervinsky, one of 10 Soviets attending a weekend scripting festival.

"Because of . . . Lithuania, some of us didn't want to come. It seemed a strange time for a festival. But then we decided we could be useful by speaking out," Chervinsky said. He and his colleagues said they feel "betrayed" by Mikhail Gorbachev.

- In Japan, the press referred to Michael Jackson, who visited during the stormy weather season, as "Typhoon Jackson." In Australia, it was "Crocodile Jackson." But these days in Africa, it's probably "Disappearing Jackson," for the Gloved One canceled a 10-day tour because of the gulf war. Jackson was supposed to visit Gabon, Tanzania, Kenya and the Ivory Coast.

- Paul Newman has donated $8 million in 1990 profits from his Newman's Own food company to various charities, bringing the total given away in eight years to $36 million. Funds went to programs ranging from a one-room schoolhouse for children of migrant workers to earthquake and hurricane relief efforts.

- Lynn Redgrave disavows the anti-war statements of her sister Vanessa, who told an early January rally in Barcelona that "we have to unconditionally defend Iraq against American, British and Israeli aggression."

Lynn told a reporter, "I want to distance myself from Vanessa's statements in their entirety. . . . I'm afraid you'd have to say that Vanessa and I are feuding over this one."

- John Goodman, co-star of TV's "Roseanne," has a new three-picture movie deal. Goodman, who'll soon get a suite of offices on the Universal Studios lot, is about to appear as a Las Vegas lounge singer in Universal's "King Ralph" and also will develop and produce TV shows for the studio.

- A tribute dinner for Quincy Jones raised $1.2 million to fund 500 scholarships at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. Among those saluting composer-conductor Jones: Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Sidney Poitier, Ray Charles, Will Smith, Pia Zadora and Abba Eban.