This is pretty much the Holy Grail of Kubrick interviews. Definitely the latest in-depth audio interview we have from Stanley. The interview was run in the print version of Rolling Stone Magazine in the run-up to the release of Full Metal Jacket. THANKS, to TheKubrickSeries.com!
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Friday, May 11, 2018
Loudwire has put together a list of 12 killer tunes that were inspired by the Stanley Kubrick classic film of the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange. So if you've got Spotify, you can use this playlist right here...
Be it the novel or the cine, countless musicians have been inspired by A Clockwork Orange. From lyrics to costumes to artwork, these artists have found a way to take a timeless masterpiece and turn it into their own work of art. Below, you can find ten rock songs that have been influenced by A Clockwork Orange, as well as tons of spoilers for those who have not yet viddied or read it, so proceed with caution!Here's my favorite of the bunch (and it's a late addition, making the playlist but not the article):
Music and art act Tom and Hebron have put together a tribute song/video to celebrate the half century anniversary of the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's gorgeous. Enjoy!
Horror News Network reprinted excerpts from a discussion in which David Fincher talks about the notion of a cinematic auteur. One stand out bit:
Steven Spielberg once told an incredible anecdote about visiting Stanley Kubrick in post production. They way Spielberg told it, he once asked Kubrick why he was looking at the same shot on eight different monitors. Kubrick explained that they were actually eight very slightly different takes and proceeded to explain the minor differences between each take. As a viewer, Spielberg- a clear master of profession as well- simply wasn’t looking for the same thing out of the image as Kubrick, who was attempting to perfect his vision, so the subtleties were lost on Spielberg as a viewer because all of the shots were likely near-perfect.
***Click HERE if you'd like to know what Christopher Nolan would ask Stanley Kubrick if he had the chance to ask him only one question. Actually... never mind, I'll just tell you. Actually... never mind. I'll just let HIM tell you. Check out the video beneath to find out.
***Should I even bother mentioning that a director has been chosen for the "sequel" to The Shining, called Doctor Sleep? I mean, it's going to be a sequel to the novel (and, one assumes, the absolutely dire Stephen King TV miniseries), and NOT to Kubrick's masterpiece distillation/re-imagining of King's novel. So this will probably be the last time I mention it, unless director Mike Flanagan (who admittedly did a very good job with King's Gerald's Game for Netflix last year) says something stupid about Kubrick's film.
***People are calling this ad for a doubled-up Christmas sweater "Kubrick-esque". Aside from the Shining Twins (and Kubrick's obsession with doubling in general), and the slow zoom and the perfect symmetry of the shots and the willful breaking of the 180% rule... can't say's I see it!
Noel Vera has cooked up one of the more intriguing critical appraisals of Kubrick (and Nabokov)'s Lolita that I've ever read. It's well worth your time. And then, when you're done reading that, why not move on to this Conversation article by Margaret Leclere, in which she argues that it's time for Nabokov's legendarily huge and "unfilmable" screenplay got its due. Personally, I'd love to see it come out in book version, at least, and have always said so. Filming it, I imagine, would be an incredibly difficult proposition. But it sure would be interesting!
***J.M. Tyree's appreciation of one of Kubrick's finest transition moments - maybe even his second best after the bone-into-satellite transition from 2001 - is a fun and insightful read that has enhanced my own appreciation for said moment. Can you guess which transition it might be? Click through for a pleasant surprise, and a damn fine piece of writing!
Say hello to the newly-discovered Dendropsophus kubricki, aka Kubrick's Tree Frog! Why Kubrick, you ask? Well, it's probably got something to do with the distinct coloration of the markings on its body, and also with Anthony Burgess once explaining the title of his novel A Clockwork Orange by saying: "I've implied the junction of the organic, the lively, the sweet - in other words, life, the orange - and the mechanical, the cold, the disciplined." You can find out more, HERE.
***As a former member of my own alma mater's college paper, it's always a nice for me to run across some quality, punchy writing in a current student newspaper. And this delight is only compounded when that writing is about a subject so dear to my own heart as the works of Stanley Kubrick. So check out Ryan Suppe's funny love letter to his cinematic crush (weren't we all there at some point), titled Kubrick: Criticizing the Greedy, Rich and Powerful Through Art.
***The great Jordan Peele explains how he snuck a Kubrick reference into his excellent, Oscar-nominated film, Get Out.
Well, this is an interesting project. The Bartlett School of Architecture's Interactive Architecture lab has put together a multifaceted project called Neural Kubrick, which kind of like... well... here, I'll let them explain it:
Stanley Kubrick in 1968 speculated on the arrival of human-level Artificial Intelligence in “2001 A Space Odyssey”. Some 16 years past his prediction, our project “Neural Kubrick” examines the state of the art in Machine Learning, using the latest in “Deep Neural Network” techniques to reinterpret and redirect Kubrick’s own films. Three machine learning algorithms take respective roles in our AI film crew; Art Director, Film Editor and Director of Photography.
The outlook of the project is an artist-machine collaboration. The limitations of the machine are achieved by the artist and the limitations of the artist are achieved by the algorithm. In the context of the project, what the machine interprets is limited to either numbers, classification of features or generation of abstract images. This output is curated by us into a coherent narrative, translated back into human perception.
The project is based on Stanley Kubrick’s movies as input for three machine learning models, namely The Shining, A Clockwork Orange and 2001 A Space Odyssey. The generated videos display a machinic interpretation of the three movies, through a collaborative effort between the artist and the algorithm.Simple enough, right? No? Okay, maybe this "introduction video" will clear things up.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
After walking the Earth like a Jolly Green Giant for 74 years, Marine turned actor R. Lee Ermey has passed away. And on April 15, my birthday, no less.
Why not take a moment out of your day to enjoy this incredible, star-making six-minute tour de force performance that opened Full Metal Jacket in the most unforgettable way imaginable?
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Things are looking bleak on the Webby Award front for our man Stanley! He is currently in FIFTH PLACE (out of five) in the running for the category having to do with social media presence. So get in there and VOTE! It's free, and you can piggyback of Twitter or Facebook, so there's no need to create a new ID for it. The time is now, folks! Let's boost him right over the top, so he can have a Webby spring to go alongside his Oscar and his Golden Lion!
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
From the ridiculous to the sublime: Matthew Woodson's new painted poster for 2001: A Space Odyssey is a real beauty.
Jamie Stangroom interviews Louise and Lisa Burns, better known as The Shining Twins, and they're just as charming today as they were creepy 40 years ago!
***Anybody know where we can find a copy of the new documentary short that accompanied the UK theatrical re-release of The Shining late last year? I've looked around but so far have had no luck. If any of you run across it, please send it my way!
Check out this whining, repetitive idiocy about how that mean old baddy Stanley Kubrick tortured Shelly Duvall on the set of The Shining and how nobody would stand for that sort of treatment nowadays. Yes, well, considering the state of film today...
***So Tony Zierra, the director of Filmworker, the documentary about Leon Vitali, has decided that his next documentary is going to be about Eyes Wide Shut. Titled “SK13,” it will offer an inside look at the making of the film. Zierra says the appeal is that it is the one film of Kubrick’s that people are still divided on: “The one movie that I feel is the wrinkle in Kubrick’s filmography is Eyes Wide Shut. The people that love him always say, ‘He’s a genius, but I’m not sure what the hell that movie was about.'” No release date for the documentary has been announced as yet.
***If you're a fan of Mr. Robot, you're probably already aware that this is a show where the Kubrick references fly fast and thick. This Hollywood Reporter article does a great job of breaking down all the many, many homages and references to Kubrick films found in the third episode of the third season of the show.
Any fellow font fanatics out there? I've always loved fonts and typefaces, and Kubrick's films have always been a source of beautiful treatments of text, so I love this short history of Futura, the first font to land on the Moon! It also, not so coincidentally, was a font featured prominently in the early promotional materials for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The Guardian catches up with Danny Lloyd and helps him dispel a few rumors that have sprung up due to his absence from the movie biz after what should have been a star-making role in The Shining. This is a really comprehensive interview and is well worth the time and attention of any and all fans of The Shining or Kubrick in general. Lots of great tidbits to be had here. Too bad they weren't able to get into the recently developed theory that Danny is actually the villain in both the film and the novel! To learn more about this surprisingly convincing theory (or, if you're so inclined, to poke holes in it), then check out this essay.
Now here's an interesting project! The Shining 237 is Susan Kruglinska's podcast wherein she and a number of guests dissect The Shining in discrete two minute, thirty-seven second chunks. And guess what? Turns out there's a shocking amount of material to explore, including a bunch of stuff that was new to me, despite watching this movie well over a hundred times over the years. A wealth of material for Kubrick scholars. Definitely this is one to bookmark and return to with regularity.
In a KNIB full of Shining related links, this last one, from The Stranger, may be the most interesting: experimental musician Corey Brewer discusses creating a soundtrack to go along with everybody's favorite weirdo pomo film experiment, The Shining Forward and Backward, Simultaneously, Superimposed (about which more here). You can actually listen to this score at Brewer's bandcamp page, sans imagery of course. It's actually pretty impressive and makes for great nightmare fuel, if you're into that sort of thing.
And speaking of university courses, how about this Rollins College class, as described in their independent school paper, The Sandspur?
For those with darker tastes, 'The Madness of Stanley Kubrick' may satisfy. The Psychology Department’s Dr. Paul Harris has been fascinated with the films of Stanley Kubrick ever since watching the original release of 2001: A Space Odyssey as a boy.
“Every Kubrick film is unpredictable,” said Harris. “[A]nd every Kubrick film contains some element of madness as well.” This intersession will explore five Kubrick films, looking at “mentally ill characters in a mentally ill society—where’s the madness? Is it in the characters, or the context the society is in?”
Harris, however, makes clear the distinction between madness and real mental illness. “Madness is fictitious,” he noted. “[The class] will be looking at Kubrick and how he uses madness as a dramatic tool.” In drawing the line between true mental illness and literary madness, this class serves well the purposes of those interested in psychology, film, sociology, and so on.Definitely a course I would have loved to take, if I was still a student! Although I figure if I took it now, I'd probably ace it, considering I've spent most of my adult life steeping in Kubrick's films, as well as scholarship about his films.
John Mollo, who won an Oscar for his costuming work on Star Wars (the man created Darth Vader's iconic "look") and was one of the men whom Kubrick relied on to make sure the costumes in Barry Lyndon were perfectly appropriate to the era, down to every last ribbon of lace or ivory button, passed away near the end of last year. May he rest in peace.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Those venerable cinema hipsters at Film Threat are reporting on actor/director Marshall Allman's decision to re-cut Kubrick's final (and, imo, uncompleted) film, Eyes Wide Shut. It begins, in part:
When did we stop thinking deeply about movies? We consume films so quickly that we barely take time to breath before the next event film hits the stadium-seated multiplex. Many of the themes in movies made today are not far below the surface–themes are piled right on the top, they’re easy to spot and often spoken aloud in case audiences missed it. I miss films that provoke thought and conversation, weeks, months, years, even decades after its release. It’s rare to see a cinematic experience that creeps into your subconscious, marinating with ideas, then spewing forth some kind of understanding.
Stanley Kubrick made those kinds of films every single time. Sure, some landed more successfully than others, however, I’m still watching 2001 hoping to grasp more about that trip to space.
Unfortunately, upon its initial release in 1999, Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut was considered something of a disappointment. And the fact that US distributor Warner Brothers sought to “soften” a crucial sex scene did not help, The film was released on the heels of the master filmmaker’s untimely death and some felt Kubrick’s latest was weak when compared to previous works. Others speculated Eyes Wide Shut was really an unfinished film, as Kubrick often made dramatic changes, even after a film was put into commercial release.
Well, recently Marshall Allman got to thinking about Kubrick’s last film. Marshall is an actor best known for roles on Prison Break, True Blood and Humans. The actor/filmmaker had a few thoughts about how Eyes Wide Shut might have turned out if Kubrick only had the time to consider a few changes. As if swept up in some fever dream, Marshall re-edited the two hour and 40 minute movie within a 72-hour period. The surprising result is a new version he calls Eyes Wide Cut. And like all of Kubrick’s work, this version must be revisited, rewatched, redigested and rethought. He posted his new 120-minute version onto his recently launched Eyes Wide Cut website and is inviting you, me, all of us, to carry on a discussion of all-things Kubrick and what it all means.The above is followed by a very interesting interview, which I suggest you peruse over at Film Threat, seeing as I've stolen enough of their work for one blog post.
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Sometimes you'll find tidbits of Kubrick-related ephemera in the strangest places. For instance, in Daniel Raim's documentary Harold and Lillian, A Hollywood Love Story! This doc "tells the story of husband-and-wife team Harold and Lillian Michelson, who brought their talents as storyboard artist and film researcher, respectively, to numerous Hollywood classics including The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, and The Graduate, and working with such master filmmakers as Hitchcock, Spielberg, and Kubrick." How does Kubrick fit into this one? Well, a quick look at the poster, above, provides a pretty good clue!
***I full realize that "unboxing" videos are, in many ways, symptomatic of what's gone wrong with the Internet, social media, and late-Capitalist decline in recent years, but just try and keep from drooling when the lucky so-and-so's in the video below "unbox" Taschen's limited edition (and sold-out) 'Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon: The Greatest Film Never Made'...
Den of Geek has an extended examination of the great Clockwork Orange Ban myth... the real facts of the case, how the myth surrounding it began, and how that myth evolved into a big part of what solidified Clockwork Orange's 'street cred' as a legendary "dangerous movie".
Criterion's latest version of The Killing gets top marks in this Christopher Aguiar review. I particularly liked this insight into the film:
The Killing often operates as a film about making movies. Johnny Clay is Kubrick in this reading. Both assemble teams, both decide on an end-goal and both craft a plan to get from point A to point B. Much like filmmaking, Clay needs his counterparts to pull their own weight. His wrestler friend has to instigate the bar brawl, Cook Jr. has to ensure that every door remains open. Without their collaboration, Clay cannot carry out his heist. Without the collaboration of his actors and writers, Kubrick cannot assemble his story. As aforementioned, it is the small unconsidered details that can derail a heist. The same can be said about filmmaking. You consider all the variables, but then it may rain on set – at that point, your period of filmmaking for the day is, effectively, over.
***Someone over at the Ultimate Guitar website's forum decided to do the sort of thing I've been doing at Kubrick U for a while now, and assembled a collection of music videos that reference the films of Stanley Kubrick. Their list features such diverse artists as Kanye West and Lady Gaga to Blur and Guns and Roses. One that was new to me was this one for "Time is Running Out" by neo-prog band Muse. Enjoy!
In this article for the Daily Trojan, British directorial phenomenon Edgar Wright cites "his parents’ favorite filmmakers as vital to his creative upbringing, specifically choreographer Busby Berkeley and directors Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick." It's enough to make this would-be filmmaker feel really, really old and past my due date.
In a recent article for The Drive, entitled 'Autonomous Cars and the Great Failure to Communicate', Eric Adams explores how "Aviation can help carmakers learn to talk to drivers, but they'd be better off asking Stanley Kubrick." After going over some of the mistakes that current industry leaders are making in this area, Adams explains how his own...
...gold-standard reference has actually become—in all seriousness—Stanley Kubrick. Go watch 2001: A Space Odyssey from 1968 and look at the control panels of the separate spacecraft used to reach orbit, fly to the Moon, translate across the lunar surface, and, later in the film, operate the extravehicular activity pods. Those aren’t the whimsical riffs of a 60s set designer; they’re thought-out projections of what human-machine interfaces would be like in a more advanced technological society, envisioned by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, who co-wrote the screenplay. Some are more complicated than others, but the gist is the same: The system does the thinking and tells the operator what he or she needs to know. Take that left-hand screen (below) with the automatic landing guides and replace it with a big green arrow, and it could be the next semi-autonomous Cadillac.
It's a thought provoking article that should appeal to techies of every stripe, Kubrick fan or no.I’m guessing, by the way, that it’s likely that when Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos unveil the control panels for their own spacecraft at SpaceX and Blue Origin, respectively, they’ll look more like a Kubrick creation than, say, the overwhelmingly complex Space Shuttle of yore—simple, clean, with necessary data, sure, but not incomprehensible boatloads of it.
As part of his brisk review of the 1972 giallo Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, critic Matthew Lickona goes off on an extended Kubrick-related tangent:
A bit of serendipity: last week, I happened upon Jon Ronson’s short documentary Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes, about the years he spent sifting through the director’s dizzying, even terrifying collection of research material, fan letters, memos, etc. Kubrick was famous for being incredibly exacting, for maintaining a level of precision and care that made every frame matter. But it cost him: Waterloo came out and flopped while he was still in pre-production on his Napoleon epic, and the spooked studios killed the project. (The reams of research material for that one were eventually transformed into a book, subtitled The Greatest Movie Never Made*.) The same thing happened with his planned Holocaust movie — Spielberg made Schindler’s List in the time it took Kubrick to do his research. And Full Metal Jacket famously got beaten to the punch by Platoon. There’s much to admire in The Shining. But there’s also much to enjoy in this brisk, brusque, bloody, bawdy Italian cheapie.*See above for the unboxing of the book in question.
Witness 23 minutes of gameplay demo from Lust for Darkness, a videogame that's being called "Eyes Wide Shut meets HP Lovecraft" by some reviewers.
***In the context of an interview about his most recent turn as the Devil in American Satan, Malcolm McDowell continues to use his public appearances as a chance to explore his evolving feelings re: his relationship with Kubrick, particularly about how things went down after they finished working on Clockwork Orange together:
McDowell is aware he still gets recognized for his most iconic character, that of Alex, a sadistic gang leader in 1971’s “A Clockwork Orange”. Still, nearly 50 years later, McDowell is grateful for the chance to take on one of Hollywood’s most recognizable bad boys.
“… I have to say I’m more than thrilled that I did it all those years ago with a great director who was an amazing co-conspirator if you like,” he explained. “It was great fun working with [director] Stanley [Kubrick], and I really loved him. We produced an incredible piece of work that’s there for all time… It defines my career... which is fine! And listen, I’m very happy to have an iconic movie. It’s a great piece of work. And I’m very proud of it. And it opened many doors for me.”
While McDowell considered Kubrick to be a wonderful collaborator, their friendship would ultimately dissolve. McDowell wouldn't give specific details on what caused the relationship to crumble, but he admitted they never stayed in touch after an incident tore them apart. Kubrick died in 1999 at age 70.
“We fell out and I think this is something I regret,” admitted McDowell. “My pride prevented me from picking up the phone and just saying, ‘Hi Stan, how are you doing?’ It was silly, really… I was really pissed with him, I thought what he did to me was really an injustice… I felt very injured by him and I was really annoyed for many, many years. But you know what? I made a mistake… And I had my wife begging me to call him, but I went, ‘Nope, he can call me! Why can’t he call? Why should it always be me?’ But you know, that’s so stupid. That kind of pig-headed… I admit it. I was wrong.”
When Kubrick died in his home in England, McDowell didn’t know how to cope with the news.
“The family then reached out,” he said. “And I was very glad to go see them.
“Christiane, his widow, took me to where he’s buried in the back garden basically. And I burst into tears. And I realized, it all came out. The thing that I buried and stuffed inside me. And I realized what an idiot I’ve been… Unfortunately, I can’t change it now, but at least I realized how stupid I was.”
AV Club discusses Ridley Scott discussing Bladerunner's debt(s) to Stanley Kubrick, in specific re: the "eye shine" exhibited by Replicants, and in a major casting decision... but it's all in the WiReD video, above, so you don't really need to click through to learn more.
The winner of the 2017 Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award was... Matt Damon. Now, I've got nothing against Matt Damon. I think he's a pretty good actor and I'm sure he's nice, as far as big time Hollywood actors go. But, well, the award is supposed to be given to individuals “upon whose work is stamped the indelible mark of authorship and commitment, and who has lifted the craft to new heights.” Is Matt Damon really the individual who best represents these qualities in 2017? Oh well... considering the fact that past recipients include Robert Downey Jr., George Clooney, Warren Beatty, Tom Cruise, and Tom Hanks... maybe being a nice, handsome guy with the right political opinions and whose filmic output is occasionally slightly thought-provoking and rarely if ever prurient garbage is all it takes.
This, however, brings up a potential avenue for speculation. If YOU had to nominate someone for a Kubrick-related award, who would it be, and why? Answers in the comments section, please!
Thanks to 'The Stanley Kubrick Appreciation Society', we all now get to see the video of a talk given in 2001 at the University of Oklahoma Department of Film and Video Studies by Joseph Turkel, one of the few actors to have scored a Stanley Kubrick Hat Trick, having appeared in a bit part in The Killing, a co-starring role in Paths of Glory, and a pivotal part in The Shining.
On Youtube, it's been chopped into five pieces, but some kind soul has combined all the parts into a single video and made it available as a single video on the superior platform, Vimeo. Watch it there, or see it here, embedded, below...
An October New Statesman article about FilmWorker, the documentary exploring the intriguing life and times of former actor-turned-Stanley Kubrick's long-time right-hand man, Leon Vitali, begins:
In the early 1970s, Leon Vitali’s face, cherubic but with a hint of insolence, was forever popping up on British TV series like The Fenn Street Gang and Crown Court. Then he fell into Stanley Kubrick’s orbit and everything changed. Not his prospects or his level of celebrity or his skillset (though they changed too) but his entire existence — his purpose in life.
Kubrick cast Vitali in his 1975 masterpiece Barry Lyndon as Lord Bullingdon, the justifiably enraged stepson of the 18th century cad and chancer played by Ryan O’Neal. Though Vitali was 26 when he played the role, he looks in many scenes like an overgrown child: plump-lipped and babyish. His performance is explosive and thrilling. Once shooting was finished, the actor told Kubrick he wanted to get more involved behind the scenes. Be careful what you wish for and all that.I have yet to see the documentary myself, but I have long been intrigued by the idea that Kubrick had people in his life that, in a very real and important sense, helped him to be the best, most complete and uncompromising artist that he could be. As the New Statesman review makes clear in this review, Vitali was clearly one of those people, and his contribution to Kubrick's oeuvre--casting Danny both and the Grady twins in The Shining, for example--is vast and, quite possibly, unquantifiable.
More reviews can be found at The Film Stage website, The Daily Beast, and Variety. There doesn't appear to be a trailer yet, but here's a video of Leon and the film's director, Tony Zierra, on the red carpet at the AFI Film Festival:
A bunch of websites, including Fan Sided, Vulture, and Slant Magazine, have drawn some parallels between David Lynch's magnificent, triumphant return to the universe of Twin Peaks, and some of the themes and tactics employed by our man Stanley in service to his oeuvre. Most of these comparisons, of course, are due to (and stem from) the incredible, rule-breaking 8th episode, otherwise known as "Trinity" or "the Bomb episode".
In Vulture, they Matt Zoller Seitz points out the use of Penderecki’s “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima,”...
...an “unorthodox, largely symbol-based score” that “sometimes directs the musicians to play at various unspecific points in their range or to concentrate on certain textural effects.” (Rather like Twin Peaks itself.) Bits of Penderecki’s piece have been used in other genre works with a strong horror component, notably Children of Men, The People Under the Stairs, and The Shining.
That last film is notable because of the Stanley Kubrick connection. The section following the bomb blast is structured as an homage to the “Stargate” sequence that ends Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. That work and this one are both so clearly concerned with ideas of evolution (and the role of weapons in furthering evolution) that it’s safe to say that Lynch is leaning into the comparison. Confidently, too.
It is the highest praise to say that, of all the filmmakers who’ve referenced the final section of 2001, Lynch seems to me the only one to have created something that equals it even as it humbly bows to its example. The post-bomb sequence takes us through what appears to be a series of tunnels, some comprised of nuclear hellfire but others of a more tantalizingly organic texture (as if to literalize the idea, expressed in Kubrick’s tunnels of light, that humanity was “reborn” after 1945). The use of the bomb claimed hundreds of thousands of Japanese lives, and was justified retroactively as necessary to make Japan surrender, but even in the immediate aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, historians, tacticians, philosophers, and pundits questioned whether any strategic objective could justify unleashing a genocidal monstrosity of science, the likes of which not even the prophet Mary Shelley could have imagined.
Very well put, indeed. The other articles are worth checking out, too.
In this wide-ranging interview with the website Little White Lies, eclectic director John Boorman briefly touches on his friendship with Stanley Kubrick:
Didn’t Kubrick want to use Bill McKinney [who plays the rapist in Boorman's Deliverance] for a film at one point, but was too afraid to meet him?
Stanley called me to ask what he was like. I told him he was a marvellous guy, a tree surgeon when he’s not acting and a wonderful man, really into his meditation. Kubrick said it was the most terrifying scene ever put on film, and that surely he’s got to have that part in him somewhere to be able to play that character. I said of course not, he’s just a marvellous actor. So Stanley cast him in Full Metal Jacket. When Bill was at Los Angeles airport he was called over the tannoy. Kubrick didn’t want him to come, he’d recast the part because he couldn’t face him.
Were you and Kubrick close?
Yeah, we spoke on the phone for years. We were both working at Warners. His method of communication was flat-out interrogation, he would just ask a series of questions, constantly on the look-out for information. He never wanted to go anywhere. I remember coming back from doing The Heretic and we went out for dinner. I’d told him that I’d meet him at the restaurant so asked him where he wanted to go. ‘I’ll let you know’ he said, ‘I’ll pick you up’. He was worried I might tell someone else which restaurant we were going to. It was all pretty paranoid. So he picks me up in his new Mercedes but before we go anywhere he says, ‘Watch this,’ and he activates the central locking. It was something every car had fitted as standard by that point but he was very impressed with it. For someone who gathers all this information, there’d be little things like that of which he had no idea. He didn’t know about ordinary life really. He was so cut off.Read the rest of the interview at Little White Lies. Having personally watched Exorcist 2: The Heretic for the first time recently, I had a real need to try and understand what the fuck is going on in this guy's brain. That movie is balls-out insane.