Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Courtesy DigitalFaun's blog...
Alfred Hitchcock's profile, Charlie Chaplin's moustache, Audrey Hepburn's little black dress; these are all things that are immediately identifiable as signatures of their respective personas, often emphasised or singled out in attempts at imitation. With Kubrick? Well the majority of people wouldn't be able to pick him out of a line-up despite being able to tell you he was a very famous director. ...
From various behind the scenes photos, I worked out that Kubrick wore the same jacket over a minimum 28 year span while shooting on the set of at least five different movies; A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987)and Eyes Wide Shut (1999). it has been present at iconic moments in film. It’s a relic in and of itself. This jacket is a piece of clothing that has lived through cinematic history, and yet, it’s never discussed. Not once in all the documentaries, the soft-profiles, the critical essays, they never mention the jacket. The LACMA exhibition that opened last year had every major piece of Kubrick memorabilia, right down to his glasses, but still had no jacket.

More pictures at the link. I really enjoyed this post, by the way. :-)


Read the rest of this comic here...


I was amused to read this story today at entertainment industry website The Wrap:
Good news: Lisa and Louise Burns grew up to be normal adults, not super creepy dead children! The twin sisters that helped drive Jack Nicholson insane in “The Shining” didn't do much more acting after that classic film hit theaters, but they did pop up to visit the Stanley Kubrick traveling exhibit's Krakow stop over the weekend. Now 46 years old, the twins had a merry old time, posing for photos in corridors and taking snaps of their old costumes, among other things.

Monday, July 28, 2014


I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with Stanley Kubrick.

I suppose it’s obvious. Most people don’t go around starting up blogs without damn good reason. My damn good reason for starting up a Stanley Kubrick blog is the fact that I’m obsessed with the man and his movies. Obsessed. Full stop.

There are many different varieties of Kubrick fan. Some have one favorite film that they obsess over, and they can take or leave the rest. Others are fans of that three-film span, from Strangelove to Clockwork, during which time Kubrick clearly both a) was at the peak of his powers and b) had his thumb on the pulse-point of the global zeitgeist, making him the most important director of that cinematic time period.

And then there are the obsessives, the fanatics, those of us for whom Kubrick's singular vision, uncompromising will, and peculiar philosophical bent combine to form a potent mix that can fairly be called a cult of personality. It is with some small regret that your humble blogger counts himself part of the latter, but hey... if I denied it, I'd be lying.

This doesn't mean that I think Kubrick or his films are perfect. Far from it. But it does mean is that, for me, even the flaws are fascinating.

I've had this obsession – to a greater or lesser degree – ever since I first sat frozen in terror on the living room floor while a commercial for The Shining seared itself onto my brain, way back in 1979. I was nine years old at the time, a Famous Monsters, Mad Magazine and Marvel Comics reader on the verge of making the quantum leap to Fangoria, National Lampoon and Stephen King novels. I had no idea who Stanley Kubrick was, nor what The Shining was supposed to be about. But that commercial… Holy crap.

Of course, it would be years before I’d get to see The Shining during its network television premiere on ABC in late 1983. By that time, I’d read the Stephen King novel on which it was based, and was well aware that King, and almost every voice in organized horror fandom, didn’t much care for Kubrick’s version.

And yet, despite the fact that King was an early hero whose opinion carried significant weight with me, as I sat in the dark watching The Shining through splayed fingers, I understood instinctively what I hadn't yet developed the tools to grasp intellectually: this was a film like no other; a masterpiece of Modern horror.

To backtrack just a bit, probably the first Kubrick film that I ever watched was Spartacus, which was a staple of Easter weekend programming back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. It was one of my father’s favorite movies (along with Shane), and I remember thinking it was terribly thrilling and tragic, almost as good as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)… but not quite. And of course, never mind Stanley Kubrick; I probably didn't even know what a director was.

My next Kubrick film was most likely 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was broadcast on PBS one afternoon in 1982. I’d like to say that I sat, rapt and awestruck by its cinematic majesty, but, as I recall, it bored me nearly to tears. I remember that, even at the age of 12, I was aware of its reputation as a great science fiction film – if not the greatest. So I stuck with it. But it just seemed so incredibly, damnably slow. My opinion of that film, it should probably go without saying, has matured over the years.

It was around this time that our family got a VCR, and I’m not too proud to admit that, for a few years, my film diet mostly consisted of franchise horror movies, titty-filled teen comedies, ninja revenge epics and the occasional porno. The Thing, Dawn of the Dead, Up In Smoke, and Pink Floyd The Wall were particularly popular repeat rentals at our house.

I was also, by this time, a movie “cheap night” regular, going to the local Cinema du Centre – or the Fox Theater across the river, in Madawaska, Maine – every Tuesday, rain or shine, whether the movie was great or garbage. Probably the best “serious” film I’d seen up to that point was Jean-Jacques Annaud’s version of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. But there was one film genre above all others that united us lads in the giddy exaltation of a higher patriotic calling, and that was… the Vietnam movie.

Oh, how my friends and I loved those Vietnam movies, then best exemplified by the likes of First Blood, Missing in Action, Hamburger Hill, and so on. Sure, there was the odd serious entry in the genre, like Platoon. But even that one, though critically lauded, was chock full of the brutal violence and epic heroism that made the genre so damned appealing to our testosterone-ravaged, teenaged brains.

And so, when we showed up en masse at the theater one Tuesday and saw that distinctive camouflaged helmet poster, most of us thought we knew what we were in for.

We had no idea what we were in for.

Much like one of Sgt Hartmann’s colorful threats, Full Metal Jacket unscrewed the tops off our skulls and rearranged our brains, forcing us to confront the very real, very messy, rigorously field-tested and ruthlessly implemented assembly-line process of dehumanization that was (and is) absolutely essential to effect the transformation of ordinary, everyday guys into relentless, amoral killing machines.

Furthermore, it made no obvious value judgments about this process, which made the whole exercise all the more terrifying… and effective. Full Metal Jacket impacted my 17-year-old mind with the force of a philosophical revelation.

I needed to find out more about this Stanley Kubrick guy. So I hit the local library where, in old hardback editions of The Film Yearbook, I learned that he’d directed Spartacus (a pleasant surprise), as well as a few that I’d never heard of – Killer’s Kiss (1955), The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory (1958), Lolita (1961), and Barry Lyndon (1975) – and two that I had heard of, but never seen: Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), and A Clockwork Orange (1971).

Of this lot, the only one I managed to hunt down in the year between the blooming of my Kubrick obsession and going away to college was Dr. Strangelove, which I borrowed from the lending library at the University of Maine in Fort Kent. 

Once again, I was completely blown away by a Kubrick film.

These days, it’s difficult to convey exactly how oppressive the late Cold War period was, living under the constant threat of total nuclear annihilation. The drumbeat of Evil Empire rhetoric from the ascendant Reagan/Thatcher conservative movement had many of us more sensitive types going numb with existential dread. What Kubrick “got” was how living under such conditions could sometimes feel like being caught in the middle of some vast, evil joke, waiting on a mushroom cloud-shaped punch-line. While Dr. Strangelove didn't solve anything, it certainly did hip us to certain previously unspoken realities about our predicament, and let us feel like we, too, were “in” on the joke. The fact that this movie came out so close to the Bay of Pigs disaster, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the assassination of JFK only makes it all the more incredible.

After multiple viewings of Dr. Strangelove, I became convinced that it was more than simply an inspired work of genius. True, it was undeniably that, but it was also something more. In my opinion, Kubrick’s Strangelove exhibits greatness on the same level as Dante’s Divine Comedy, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It is, quite simply, a World Historic work of art.

(End of Part One)

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Calling it "the 'trueish' tale of a con artist who masqueraded as a great artist", reviewer David Ehrlich nonetheless finds a great deal to praise in Kubrick protege Brian Cook's sole directorial effort so far. Read on at the link.


Recluse's ongoing and previously highlighted Dr. Strangelove series over at the VISUP blog has just been updated with a fourth installment. It begins...

Welcome to the fourth installment in my ongoing examination of the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove: Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. With the first installment I briefly considered some of the popular conspiracy theories concerning Kubrick as well as addressing an incident which occurred during the Cuban missile crisis that may have partly inspired the film. In part two I broke down the characters, considering their symbolism and their real life inspirations.
Beginning in the third and most recent installment I began to examine Strangelove's plot line in earnest, leaving off with President Muffley (Peter Sellers)'s decision to bring the Soviet ambassador (Peter Bull) into the War Room. As was noted in the prior installment, this series from here on out will be spoiler heavily and written with the assumption that the reader is both familiar with the film as well as the prior installments in this series. If the reader is not familiar with either, it is strongly advised that they redress this before preceding so as to fully appreciate this article. And with those disclaimers out of the way, let us move along.
It's a lot to take in, but it's well worth the effort. I'll continue to keep you posted on updates as they emerge.


The first film that Stanley Kubrick produced was 1951's Day of the Fight, a documentary short subject about boxer Walter Cartier, whom Kubrick had previously profiled for LOOK Magazine, where he was still employed as a photographer at the time.

It may surprise some to know that there are two versions of this film. First, there's the version that Kubrick - with a little help from high school buddy Alexander Singer - wrote, shot, edited and then sold to the legendary newsreel distribution house RKO/Pathé. This version features an impressive, modernist score by another one of Kubrick's high school pals, Gerald Fried, who would go on to an illustrious career that would include scoring four more Kubrick films (Fear and DesireKiller's Kiss, The Killing, Paths of Glory), not to mention lending his prodigious talents to such important cultural touchstones as Star Trek, The Simpsons and Futurama

Alternately, there's the version that theatergoers of 1951 would have seen up on the silver screen prior to the evening's cartoon, comedy short, and feature presentation. This second, mangled version - complete with 4 extra minutes of knockout highlight footage, bombastic needle-drop soundtrack additions, and a cheesy added preamble about "brutal men" who "hammer each other unconscious with upholstered fists" - is the only version that anybody would ever have seen if Kubrick hadn't gone on to become the object of cult veneration. 

Let's start by watching that one...

Now, as a study in contrast, let's take a gander at a restored version of Day of the Fight, all cleaned up with fresh, clean title cards, the way it was meant to be seen, as it was when Kubrick delivered it to RKO/Pathé, way back in 1951...

After watching Day of the Fight for the first time in a long time, I was struck by a number of elements therein that would go on to become hallmarks of Kubrick's cinematic style.

For instance, there's the use of narration, which is delivered here in that trademark clipped, authoritative style that would be featured in The Killing.

Twins! I, for one, find it nothing short of amazing that, in the first few frames of film ever put together by Stanley Kubrick, we are shown identical twins (shades of The Shining, not to mention numerous other examples of "twinning" and "doubling" to be found throughout Kubrick's films over the years) waking up in bed together, on the eponymous day of the fight.

And isn't there something just a little bit familiar about the composition of the above shot, featuring prize fighter Walter Cartier and his identical twin brother, Vincent, waking up in bed together? Could it be...

And then there's this bit of religious iconography...

...which reminded me of the "Dancing Jesus Quartet" scene from Clockwork Orange.

I was also struck by Kubrick's use of ironic counterpoint. For instance, as the narrator is describing Walter's devastating ring skills - about how he's won most of his professional fights by decisive KOs - the fighter is seen gently playing with his beloved pet Cocker Spaniel. Kubrick's use of ironic counterpoint would probably be best exemplified in his war films, Paths of Glory and Full Metal Jacket, with far too many instances to list in this space, but a single line from Dr. Strangelove should serve to illustrate the point: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

And then we come to the fight, which is shot pretty generically, if competently, as far as prize fight cinematography goes, until we reach this uniquely composed shot...

...which was obviously performed by both fighters after the actual fight had taken place, and which is reminiscent of this infamous shot from The Shining...

Well, that's about all I've got for now. Join us again soon for another edition of Early Kubrick, in which we'll attempt an expanded exegesis of Kubrick's second documentary subject, The Flying Padre.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Stanley Kubrick would be 84 years old if he were still alive today. Just thought I should mention that - with less than 2 hours to spare - what with this being a Kubrick blog and all.
Stanley with his Dad... He's recognizable even as a baby!


A bunch of "quotes about movie-making" by Stanley Kubrick, spread over 8 freaking pages? Did you say Kubrickean clickbait? Oh well... at least the quotes are worth reading, even if even the average Kubrick fan will have seen them all before.


You don't need us to tell you Stanley Kubrick was great at making films. But there's something special about his work with Peter Sellers...
Continued at Den of Geek...


I must confess that, after decades of repeated viewings and years of obsessive analysis, I thought I was done coming across anything new and surprising in The Shining. Boy, was I wrong. For today, I have come across an almost personal connection to The Shining in the form of an artist whose work Kubrick managed to surreptitiously sneak throughout the Overlook hotel and elsewhere in the Shining universe.

The artist in question is Alex Colville, a Canadian artist who was educated at a small but prestigious Maritime undergraduate university called Mount Allison… the very school from which your humble blogger graduated with a B.A. in English and Philosophy in 1993… the very year that Colville’s early works and war art were exhibited at the university's own Owens Art Gallery before being sent out on a nationwide art tour! Indeed, Colville was present, acknowledged and honored during that year’s convocation ceremonies, and I got to shake the great man's hand. I even spent four out of my five years at "Mount A" living in an all-male dorm (Trueman House) that had a meeting hall featuring a huge mural painted by Colville.

See the essential Overlook Hotel blog for more information about where and how 4 of Colville’s paintings can be found hidden throughout The Shining. As for why Kubrick chose to highlight this artist’s work in his film… your guess is as good as mine.


For certain fans of Cormac McCarthy’s Satanic western "Blood Meridian" - a cohort among which your humble blogger enthusiastically counts himself - it has frequently been remarked that the only man for the job of translating that evil epic for the big screen would have been Stanley Fucking Kubrick. Hell, the novel even has its own Strangelove-style either/or secondary title: "The Evening Redness in the West". And so it was with great trepidation that most of us approached this Borgesian bit of blarney about Kubrick's (obviously fictional) 1998 film version of the novel, penned for the website TropMag by actor-slash-director-slash-"renaissance bro" James Franco, who called his imagined version "the perfect western for these times". Trepidation, obviously, because of what this presumptuous bit of fannish fluffery potentially foretold...

And lo, it has come to pass. With such talents as Ridley Scott and (actual Kubrick protege) Todd Field hopping on and off the Blood Meridian train over the past few years, Franco has taken it upon himself to film an extended test reel of HIS version of Blood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West. The fact that he's released it publicly through VICE kind of tells you something right off the bat. So does the poster he created for his little thought experiment (see below).

Anyway, I don't want to spend too much time on this. And I've enjoyed Franco's work as an actor, so I don't want to be too cruel. I did, however, feel that it at least merited a mention here at Kubrick U, where we hope to cover any and all ephemera that pops up in the Kubrick Universe from hereon out.

Friday, July 25, 2014


A Facebook character going by the name of Lady Grey held a photo-captioning contest featuring Texas governor Rick Perry patrolling the border in a helicopter, heavy guns at the ready. No word on how many confirmed kills the over-compensating conservative movement poster-boy managed to bag that day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I totally don't blame Jim Thompson, or his publishers, from showcasing his writing partner's kind words on the covers of pretty much every single edition of his masterful neo-noir novel of police brutality that's ever been published. If I didn't agree with Stan about the quality of said work, I'd almost be tempted to think he was going overboard in his praise to make up for some former, professional slight (as in, cheating Thompson out of his proper writing credit on The Killing and Paths of Glory).


This one is called Eyes Wide Open, and it's all about Kubrick's early still photography. And it's only 10 minutes long! Enjoy!


The "mercurial" music video and (occasional) film director Mark Romanek has allegedly been picked to direct a Glenn Mazzara-penned prequel to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, based on a recently unearthed prologue to the Stephen King novel that was scrapped, with King's blessing, back in 1977. This project will not be based on 2013's Shining print sequel, Doctor Sleep, which caught up with an all-grown-up Danny Torrance. Instead, it will examine the dark origins and troubled construction of the Overlook hotel... which explains the working title: Overlook Hotel. You can read more about this monumentally uninspiring project here... but why on Earth would you want to?


Currently being touted on a number of entertainment and cinema blogs is a 20 minute Vimeo documentary about all of Stanley Kubrick's "unmade" films, called Lost Kubrick. The only problem is... they're all dead-linked! They lead to pages that say "video not found" and other such frustrating missives. So, after a little digging around, I managed to find the damn thing on Open Culture (a great site any day of the week, to be sure).

Oh, and it also happened to be on Youtube. So you can watch it here. Enjoy!

PS - The doc is actually kind of slight and fluffy, and certainly not comprehensive in any way. The ultimate online resource for Kubrick's unmade work remains this incredibly thorough, six-page article at IndyWire's superlative blog, The Playlist. Truly a smorgasbord of links and information for the Kubrick fanatic in you!


In the coming weeks and months, I'll probably have more to say about the surprise hit documentary film Room 237 - things about it that I like and agree with, and things about it that I most definitely do NOT like or agree with. Having said that, I'm always up for "deep readings" of my favorite artworks, even if and when said deep readings veer off into goofier territory. Roughly half of Room 237 is spent in that goofy zone. Those of you who've seen it will know what I mean. 

Now we have a new interpretation of The Shining, by Darren Foley of Must See Films Vimeo channel. The whole thing lasts less than 10 minutes, but it has more interesting things to say than the entirety of Room 237's 90-plus minute run time. I am particularly intrigued by the point he raises about connecting the ghostly twin girls with the bathroom crone... or is that crones? Watch the video and decide for yourself!

Monday, July 21, 2014


On July 18, 2014, the Huffington Post published a top-linked article by Mathew Jacobs in their Entertainment section, called 13 Facts You May Not Know About Eyes Wide Shut. Meanwhile, one whole day later over at FlavorWire, someone named Alison Nastasi published an article called Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut: 25 Things You Didn't Know. Needless to say, there's quite a bit of overlap between the two articles, and not much there will be new to most of my fellow Kubrick obsessives. I did, however, learn a few new things from both.

For instance, from the Jacobs piece, there's this intriguing revelation from director Paul Thomas Anderson, who is himself frequently cited as a potential Kubrick heir apparent...
Kubrick allowed only a skeleton crew to remain on the set throughout filming... Cruise was in talks for the lead role in Anderson's "Magnolia" and had to sneak him past security. ''I asked [Kubrick], 'Do you always work with so few people?' Anderson recalled. "He gave me this look and said, 'Why? How many people do you need?' I felt like such a Hollywood asshole.''
And from the Nastasi piece, there are these tidbits...
The Star of Venus can be seen throughout the film. It’s sometimes known as the [8-pointed] Star of Ishtar — the Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. 
And, perhaps most intriguingly, there is this...
Filmmaker Filippo Biagianti created a documentary about the Venetian Carnival masks used in the film, which features an interview with the artist, Franco Cecamore.
 I had no idea of this documentary's existence, and was chuffed to learn that it could be seen, online, for free, at Vimeo. Or, you could watch it here, below, if you are so inclined. Enjoy. I know I did!


VISUP is a website that appears to be single-handedly put together by a semi-anonymous savant going by the name of Recluse. His site is dedicated "to exploring the vast Fortean realms of mind control, deep politics, sacred geometry, onomatology and synchronicity; occult film and music; the supernatural, the extraterrestrial and the multi-dimensional; high weirdness in all its many forms", and it's currently home to an absolutely fascinating series of profound, densely-packed articles about one of Stanley Kubrick's best known movies, Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

In the first installment of his series - Dr. Strangelove: A Strange and Terrible Glimpse Into the Deep State - Recluse begins with an extended prolegomena, then explains his goals thusly: 
Hundreds, and likely thousands, of articles and blogs have been written on the esoteric significance of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut. A fair amount are also available on A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. For this present series I would like to address one of Kubrick's most well known films, yet one that is rarely if ever examined in depth by conventional conspiracy theorists: the 1964 "nightmare comedy" Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. That this film, despite being rich in a host of symbolism and allegories, has been widely ignored by mainline conspiracy theorists is hardly surprising for reasons that shall be addressed throughout this series.
Recluse then goes on to tie together everything from "deep history" scholar Caroll Quigley's theories about the Anglo-American Establishment, the "Four Establishment Model of Western Politics", obscure Cold War scrapes and near-misses culled from the deep biographies of Robert MacNamara, McGeorge Bundy, Curtis LeMay and other such super-powered, death-loving lunatics of the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex, with detours taken to California's "muy mysterioso" Laurel Canyon (with hyper-hipster Terry Southern) and Jolly Old England (with the spawn of super-insider John Buchan's loins, Alastair, among other Round Table cohorts), before signing off until the second installment...

Dr. Strangelove: A Strange and Terrible Glimpse Into the Deep State, Part II is, if anything, even deeper and more mind-bending than the first installment in this incredible series. Here, I won't even try to parse out the connections and flow from topic to character to event. Rather, I'll just present them as a dada jumble of alphabet soup for you to digest if and as you will: The Egyptian God Set. Cowboy mythology. Manifest Destiny. The Marquis de Sade. Oedipus. Hecate. The Doomsday Machine. General Curtis LeMay again (perhaps one of the most terrifying figures in Cold War history). General Lyman Lemnitzer of Operation Northwoods infamy (ditto). Nazi rocket-man Werner von Braun (double-ditto). JFK's assassination. The OSS. The CIA. Wild Bill Donovan. The Order of Malta. Herman Kahn. Bay of Pigs. Operation Gladio. Adlai Stevenson. The Council on Foreign Relations. The RAND Corporation. Henry Kissinger. Edward "Father of the Bomb" Teller. Project Paperclip. Google any of the above people, places, groups or events and you'll uncover a multiverse of mid-20th century shenanigans that, when taken together, begin to form a fractal, holographic image of a particular, peculiar moment in historical time. But whatever you do, by all means, read the post!

Which brings us to Dr. Strangelove: A Strange and Terrible Glimpse Into the Deep State, Part III, which, for now, is the latest installment in Recluse's must-read series. After getting a lot of the groundwork laid in the first two installments, here is where we finally get to the meat of the film's main events and plot points. It's here that Recluse examines a number of issues, including Kubrick's repeated use of sexual imagery and metaphors, the functions, history and deep psychology of propaganda, more on mind control, sex magic (bodily fluids, anyone?), the Pentagon/Pentagram symbolism, the All Seeing Eye of Providence, the caste of warrior monks and philosopher kings, and of course, the secret meanings behind all those "kooky" character names (Buck Turgidson, Merkin Muffley, etc).

And so that's where the series currently stands. Personally, I can't wait for Parts IV, V, VI and however many more Recluse has got planned for us in the coming weeks and months.

Now, I'm not saying I agree with every single point that Recluse has made so far. Because Godzilla only knows, he's made one hell of a lot of them. But what I will say is this: If, during the course of Kubrick U's existence, I somehow manage to publish anything that comes close to being as substantial, rigorous and encyclopedic as Recluse's incredible exegesis of Dr Strangelove is, I will be able to wrap things up tight and be satisfied that this blog had somehow served its purpose.

So go read Recluse's posts. Go. Now. Do it.


We here at Kubrick U tend to prefer our Kubrick references on the subtler side. That's why we were absolutely delighted by this pitch-perfect, slow burn tribute from the funniest comedy team currently working on American television today, Comedy Central's Key and Peele...


In my inaugural post for Kubrick U, I snidely made tart reference to the "soft-headed Moon Hoaxers and would-be Illuminati exposers" who have posthumously attempted to hijack Kubrick's legacy in an attempt to impart some sense of borrowed gravitas to their half-baked pet theories about this, that, and the other. I hope readers don't assume this means that I'm against esoteric readings of Stanley Kubrick's films in toto.

On the contrary. Placing Kubrick as I do squarely in the tradition of World Historic Artists such as Mozart, Da Vinci, Beethoven, Shakespeare and James Joyce, I think that deep, paracultural readings are essential to a greater understanding of both his oeuvre and the world in which we live. And although it's true that many of the conspiracy-weavers out there are clearly spinning their wheels, it's also true that Kubrick's films are brimming with mystery.

Which brings us to the above video, created by French vlogger GasFace, which uneasily straddles the line between "conspiritainment" and serious paracultural analysis. I'm going to leave it up to you to decide which parts of his video are worth paying attention to, and which parts aren't. Suffice it to say that the terms "Rothschilds" and "Monarch" throw up red flags for a reason.

On the other hand, Kubrick did shoot the ritual and "orgy" scenes from Eyes Wide Shut at Mentmore Towers, a 19th century Rothschild family redoubt. And on yet another hand, it's also served as "stately Wayne Manor" in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, and as a French psychiatric hospital in the highly fictionalized Marquis de Sade biopic, Quills. So make of that what you will.


What better way to kick off a website devoted to one of the most fascinating and influential figures in the history of world cinema than by turning our attention to Weird Al Yankovic's half-baked parody of Lorde's mediocre pop hit "Royals" - oh so cleverly entitled "Foil" - in which the indefatigable pseudo-satirist waxes conspiratorial about the psychotronics-blocking properties of everyone's favorite sandwich wrapping medium? If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch it here and now...

Although I confess to being somewhat perturbed at the evolution of Kubrick's posthumous legacy - from representing a high-water mark for artistic integrity and technical perfectionism to becoming fodder for soft-headed Moon Hoaxers and would-be Illuminati "exposers" - I can't say I didn't get a kick out of this video. There's something about Weird Al's best work that balances equal measures of goof and snark in a way that reminds one of Mad Magazine in its prime. And, of course, it's hardly Weird Al's fault that a few creeps in the "conspiritainment" industry have latched onto Kubrick's name and films in the hopes that some of their mojo might rub off onto them.

By the way, just to be clear, the Kubrick reference in this case isn't in the actual song lyrics; it's in the video. It can be seen during the "faked moon landing" footage, where "KUBRICK" is clearly printed on the clapboard being wielded by a chunky bearded fellow who I'm assuming is also meant to be some kind of Kubrick stand-in. Here, take a look for yourselves...

Well, there you have it. My inaugural post at the KubrickU Blog! I've been meaning to start up a website where I can let my Kubrick obsession run riot for quite a long time, and hopefully I'll have some more substantive content for you all in the very near future. In the meantime, if you spot a Kubrick reference that you feel is worth a STANSPOTTING post, then, by all means, please pass it along to me and I'll see that it gets posted!