Sunday, December 27, 2015

MUST WATCH! KUBRICK'S SECRET MOVIE REVEALED!


From the video description:
Here is some undeniable proof that Stanley Kubrick ghost-directed the 1979 feature film "Being There" using his power among the Hollywood elite. 5 months of investigation were necessary to unveil this mystery and its darker meaning. PLEASE SHARE THIS VIDEO, HELP ME EXPOSE THE TRUTH!
This particular creation surpasses the so-called "Kubrick Confession video" examined in an earlier post on this very page by leaps and freaking bounds. One really needs to watch this video in its entirety -- to its final, compelling seconds -- to be able to grasp the full meaning of the information and hard-won wisdom its creator now so selflessly seeks to share with the world.

KUBRICK MOVIE BOX OFFICE RANKINGS (ADJUSTED)


Movie (Year)Adjusted Domestic Box Office (Millions)Box Office Rank By YearOscar Nom / Win
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)$348.303rd of 196804 / 01
A Clockwork Orange (1971)$184.307th of 197204 / 00
Spartacus (1960)$287.403rd of 196006 / 04
Barry Lyndon (1975)$80.4018th of 197507 / 04
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)$95.0014th of 196404 / 00
The Shining (1980)$137.2010th of 198000 / 00
Lolita (1962)$107.2016th of 196201 / 00
Full Metal Jacket (1987)$96.6023rd of 198701 / 00
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)$89.3026th of 199900 / 00
Paths of Glory (1957)$38.2068th in 195800 / 00
The Killings (1956)$10.60Not in Top 10900 / 00
Killer's Kiss (1955)$.80Not in Top10000 / 00
Fear and Desire (1953)$.80Not in Top 15000 / 00

Saturday, December 26, 2015

OBNOXIOUS KUBRICK INTERVIEW VIDEO HOAX


Considering the subject matter that I enjoy writing about in my blogs, the Daily Dirt Diaspora and the Useless Eater -- and taking into account the occasionally outré nature of some of my own speculations regarding elements of Stanley Kubrick's oeuvre -- I suppose it would be hypocritical of me to simply ignore the recent release of a video allegedly shot by "filmmaker T. Patrick Murray" in 1999 and kept hidden from the public until 15 years after Kubrick's death, which purports to contain the legendary auteur's confession to having faked the moon landing(s) at the behest of the United States government.

I do, however, refuse to waste too much of my dwindling time on this most lazy, easily refutable, and contemptible of hoax videos. For, despite the fact that it represents both a symptom and an end result of a certain virulent strain of the affliction known as Kubrick Obsession, and therefore falls under the purview of this blog's rubric, it is a weak effort, lacking in subtlety, and insufficiently innovative, subversive, or formally intriguing to merit much scrutiny.

Beyond the central performer's physical resemblance to Kubrick, this video is, in fact, offensively amateurish, particularly in its first incarnation, with its incredibly annoying habit of constantly cutting away from the interview to present us with random clips from Kubrick films. No wonder its creators have subsequently released numerous "new and improved" edits, in an effort to make their product more palatable to its intended audience: the easily distracted, the lowest common denominators, the vigilant citizens and Alex Jones fanboys of the "conspiritard" crowd. 

And so, if you are more intrigued than I, and as such wish to delve more deeply into this video's creation, its release, the public reaction to it and any other such topics, I suggest you make use of Google and search elsewhere for insights. If you find anything particularly interesting that I might have overlooked, kindly point it out in the comments section of this post.

In the meantime, here is a Youtube version of the interview minus all those annoying clips and interruptions. It gets particularly amusing towards the end, when "T. Patrick Murray" gets so annoyed at his "Stanley" for failing to recall why Apollo 12 was a worse failure than Apollo 13 (because nobody watched it!) that he starts yelling in frustration, at which point a clearly flustered Kubrick grovels a shame-faced apology. And if you need any further evidence than this that the video in question is a hoax... well then you don't know much about Stanley Kubrick.


STANLEY AND THE BROTHERS SCOTT

[EDITED TO REMOVE THE
INCREDIBLY ANNOYING SELF-LAUNCHING VIDEO, 
WHICH YOU CAN STILL FIND AT 
THE LINKED-TO ARTICLE BELOW, REGARDLESS]

During the course of a Hollywood Reporter Director's Roundtable consisting of David O. Russell, Tom Hooper, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle, Alejandro G. Inarritu and Ridley Scott, the ALIEN director offered a small degree of elaboration on a film industry legend of long standing involving Blade Runner, The Shining, and Stanley Kubrick's uncredited addition to what would go on to become arguably the second most influential science fiction film in cinematic history after his own 2001: A Space Odyssey.  In the article accompanying the above video, Scott explains:
I had finished Blade Runner, and it was a disaster. My investors were giving me a really hard time, saying "You can't end the film with picking up a piece of origami, looking at the girl, walk in the elevator, nod, and bingo that's it." I said, "It's called a film noir." And they said, "What's a film noir?" That was a big problem. And he said, "We have to test this with an uplifting ending, where they will go off into the wilderness together." I said, "Well if they go off into a beautiful wilderness, why do they live in this dystopian environment?"
By then I had talked to Stanley a few times. I said, "I know you shot the hell out of The Shining, can I have some of the stuff?" So at the end of the film in Blade Runner, that's Stanley Kubrick's footage.
The full Director Roundtable will air on "Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter" on Sunday, Jan 3, at 11 a.m. ET on Sundance TV, and it's allegedly "rich with discussions about the work of Stanley Kubrick", so be sure to check it out when it airs, or later on, via various online video platforms where it will surely be widely available, considering the caliber of the assembled talent.

***

Ridley isn't the only Scott brother to be tight with Stanley Kubrick. Current KubrickU favorite Guillermo del Toro recently tweeted that he'd "heard that 1 shot in Barry Lyndon was done (following very specific instructions) by none other than a very young Tony Scott!" To which Cinephilia & Beyond helpfully replied with an excerpt from an October, 2012 conversation between Tom Cruise and Terry Semel in Interview Magazine:
CRUISE: He did not want to be a celebrity. You know, [the late director] Tony Scott worked on Barry Lyndon. He was in art school at the time. Tony told me that he wrote down the exact longitude and latitude of where Stanley wanted the camera, the exact height of the camera, and the time, to get the shot that Stanley wanted. Tony said he sat there for a couple of weeks trying to get the right light. Stanley really loved the Scott brothers. I've had long conversations about this with both Tony and Ridley. Stanley was a director who did not let people borrow or rent his lens. He never gave his Apollo lens to anyone. But when Ridley was having a really difficult time with the end of Blade Runner [1982], Stanley gave Ridley footage that he had shot but didn't use for the opening of The Shining. He was offering to let him use it for Blade Runner. That's how highly Stanley thought of them.
The rest of that short interview is very much worth reading, by the way. And, finally, here, dear reader, is a shot of the shot that Tony Scott worked so hard to help shoot:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BEN WHEATLEY'S HIGH-RISE IS COMING... AND IT FEELS LIKE KUBRICK

At least a little bit, don't you think? Here, watch and decide for yourself. I get a distinct Clockwork Orange meets Eyes Wide Shut vibe.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

THAT ONE TIME GEORGE "MAD MAX" MILLER ALMOST MET KUBRICK

The HitFix interview series Motion [Captured] features a couple of interview video segments with George Miller talking about everything from Fury Road to Babe the Pig, and at one time, the talk turns Kubrickean. Here is that part of the exchange...


The rest of the page is also worth checking out for Kubrick fans, as author Drew McWeeny describes some off-the-record chatting the two did about their favorite Kubrick films (Clockwork, Barry Lyndon) and why James Cameron now actually LIKES Eyes Wide Shut (the answer isn't too terribly shocking). 

MILLION DOLLAR EXTREME RIFFS ON 2001

I may be working with the Million Dollar Extreme guys (a terrifyingly subversive comedy collective from Providence, I think) as an illustrator in the near future, so I've been checking out all their videos on Youtube (as should you be, too). I'd been skipping this one for some reason, but today, I went back and checked it out... and LOOK what I found.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

SHINING REFERENCE IN RICK AND MORTY


ANOTHER KUBRICK FIRST

According to this Jamaica Observer article, "it has now been documented that the world's earliest public example of an inter-racial kiss was in a Granada Television Play of the Week broadcast in June 1962, titled You in Your Small Corner. The kiss was between Jamaican actor Lloyd Reckord and Elizabeth MacLennan. The film was based on the play written by the Cambridge educated Jamaican Barry Reckord, brother of the lead actor."

However... "In 1955, the Stanley Kubrick film Killer's Kiss featured a kiss between a white woman, Irene Kane and Jamaican-born Frank Silvera who had very light skin and was not actually playing a black character in the film. It is doubtful much of the audience at the time would have been aware he was of African descent."

Interesting, no?


Saturday, November 21, 2015

STREEP ACCEPTS KUBRICK HONOUR AT BRITANNIA AWARDS

One of this generation's finest actors, Meryl Streep, was chosen to receive this year's Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film at the Britannia Awards ceremony.
The actress in turn praised the “irascibly brilliant Stephen Frears” and said he follows the tradition of people like Kubrick, who was a transformative artist. She said the previous Kubrick recipients were notable and she was “honored to join this distinguished group of men and … (pause) men.”
Heheh... cheeky.

MATT BERRY DOES KUBRICK IN TOAST OF LONDON'S LATEST EPISODE

Stanley Kubrick is all over the latest episode of Matt Berry's hilarious low-budget "theatre folk" comedy Toast of London. Check out the entire episode, below.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

KUBRICK AT THE BACK - PETER WEBBER BUYS STANLEY'S BELOVED MERCEDES


CinephiliaBeyond.org brings us this interview with director Peter Webber in which he discusses his past work, including Girl With Pearl Earring, his upcoming work, including the documentary 10 Billion, and his habit of collecting cinematic memorabilia, including his recent purchase of Stanley Kubrick's 1984 Mercedes 500 SEL. The story of how this legendary vehicle came into Webber's possession may sound eerily familiar to readers of the KubrickU blog...
So, you bought Stanley Kubrick’s Mercedes. As far as film memorabilia is concerned, that’s more or less the Holy Grail. How did you get your hands on it? Who’s been its owner since Kubrick died?
WEBBER: It’s actually a kind of a Twitter story. You know how you can have various searches saved on Twitter? Well, one of the searches I saved was Kubrick. Every now and again when I’m bored I go up to see what Kubrick tweets have come up. I’m a big fan and I did this one day, and a tweet came up saying Stanley Kubrick’s car was for sale. I looked into it and, sure enough, it was someone who claimed to be selling Kubrick’s last car, this Mercedes, and I thought this must have been over since the ad had been up for a while. Especially when I looked at the price, which, for a second hand car in London, wasn’t expensive. So I got in touch with the guy because it looked as if it was still available, and he said someone else was interested in it. But because I lived in London, I was able to get up there straight away. It was as simple as that—the Internet led me to the car. I met the guy, who used to be an agent himself, and was a friend of the person who had bought it from Kubrick, he showed me all this documentation, and I scanned some of this stuff—especially the letter from the dealership to Stanley Kubrick. I made an offer then and there, which he accepted, I gave him a deposit, I had to go off to France that weekend, I came back from France, paid the rest and drove the car away. There we go. Very simple story.
Hey! That's exactly how I write this blog! Only I use Google News alerts instead of Twitter ones.

Friday, September 11, 2015

EYES WIDE SOCK

Please enjoy this hand puppets only parody short film of Eyes Wide Shut for a 30 second bumper contest for the upcoming Fantastic Fest! Check it out and if you dig it, give it a LIKE above the video in the following link!

Writer/Director - Christopher Baker Director of Photography - John J. Miller IV Edited by - Christopher Baker John J. Miller IV Gaffer - Jim Cote Set Design/Construction - Jeff Hamrick and Jordan Kent of Big Bad Props Puppets by - Christopher Baker Puppet performers - Juli Emmons Patrick Keenan Eric Ho Morgan Walston Chad Schwartzkopf Doug Fisher A Baker's Dozen Films Production

Saturday, September 5, 2015

MOON LANDING CONSPIRITARDS TAKEN TO THE TOOL SHED

During the course of this epic take-down of the (literally) lunatic fringe conspiritard proponents who claim that the moon landing was hoaxed, Youtuber Steve Shives asserts the following gem:
"The theory asserts that NASA hired Kubrick to direct the (fake moon landing) project in 1968, when he was still in post-production on 2001. And if you believe that he would have allowed NASA to distract him from finishing his movie... then you don't know dick about Stanley Kubrick."
The ensuing footage of Buzz Aldrin punching a conspiritard moonie in the face is just icing on the cake, if you ask me. Enjoy!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

ONE HELL OF AN ANIMATED GIF!


KUBRICK, THE BEATLES, AND THE ROLLING STONES

The Beatles almost starred in Lord of The Rings and the Rolling Stones almost made A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick was tapped by both.

Interesting new article covering Stanley Kubrick's almost-but-not-quite partnership(s) with rock's two biggest acts, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (with a brief mention of his almost-but-not-quite partnership with, arguably, rock's third biggest act, Pink Floyd). The circuitous tale of juggled movie rights to two hot literary properties - The Lord of the Rings and A Clockwork Orange - really helps illustrate the huge role that chance plays in cinematic history. It reads, in part:
Like their albums, The Beatles wanted each of their films to be different from the one before. A Hard Day's Night was a mock-documentary. Help! was a James Bond spoof written by Marc Behm and Charles Wood. The Beatles again played versions of The Beatles. Their films’ producer Walter Shenson said the band wanted to play something other than themselves. Before J. R. R. Tolkien sold the film rights for The Lord of the Rings to United Artists, who produced A Hard Day’s Night, in 1969, The Beatles thought it might fulfill their contract nicely. Lennon, one of the best songwriters in music contacted Stanley Kubrick, one of the best directors in the movies, to make it. Lennon reportedly wanted to play Gollum. He cast Paul as Frodo, Ringo as Sam, and George as Gandalf.
J.R.R. Tolkien, who was an English professor at Oxford at the time, was initially in favor of the idea. ... Stanley Kubrick had not yet screwed Pink Floyd out of doing the music for his masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ever the perfectionist filmmaker, Kubrick told Lennon that he suspected the novel Lord of The Rings was too big to be filmed.




And then, coming in second as always, came The Rolling Stones, and their - or more specifically Mick Jagger's - attempts to bring Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange to the silver screen. The article continues:
(Stones associate Andrew) Oldham discovered the novel while he lived with Jagger and Richards in London in 1964. He wanted to make the anti-A Hard Day’s Night
“I couldn’t get the rights to make A Clockwork Orange because Anthony Burgess thought that he had cancer and just wrote furiously and took money in from others,” Oldham told contactmusic.com in 2007. 
In 1967, while the Rolling Stones were making Their Satanic Majesties Request, they reportedly started a collaboration with photographer Michael Cooper to produce a film adaptation A Clockwork Orange with Terry Southern. Southern wrote the novel Candy, which would be made into a soft porn movie with Ringo Starr. The Stones wanted Richard Lester to direct and wanted David Hemmings, the star of Blow Up and Barbarella, to play Alex. 
Terry Southern was the man who introduced Stanley Kubrick to A Clockwork Orange. He’d given a copy to the director when Kubrick was adapting his Dr. Strangelove.
More at the link. Not much... but more.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

SOLARIS AS RESPONSE TO 2001

COLEEN GRAY (1922-2015)


The beautiful and lovable Coleen Gray, the actress who played Johnny's "good girl" gal pal Fay in Kubrick's nouveau noir classic The Killing, has passed away at the age of 92. Here at Chateau LeBoeuf, I'll be watching The Killing in her honor this week.

Friday, July 31, 2015

SCHOLARLY ANALYSIS OF BARRY LYNDON

Having recently seen Barry Lyndon with a jam-packed audience in the plush opulence of the premiere screening room at Toronto's glorious TIFF/Bell Lightbox theater, I can definitely say that its reputation is on the rise. This analysis touches on a few of the reasons why that is.

Monday, July 27, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STANLEY KUBRICK!

Yes, I know, I'm a day late... but why not join me in celebrating the 87th anniversry of Stanley Kubrick's birth by spending some time oggling this amazing collection of Kubrick-related artwork being showcased at the Birth/Movies/Death website, regardless?

Here's one of my favorites, but rest assured, there are literally dozens more images at the link, so I'm not really stealing their thunder too badly.

And another! Can you figure out what the image represents? It took me a couple seconds before I "got" it...


Hopefully, in the very near future, I'll have some Kubrick-related artwork of my own to post in this space. Until then... 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

THE SHINING AS AN ATARI 2600 VIDEO GAME

Just learned about this amazing web-based game from The Onion's AV Club. And this is definitely Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining, not the Stephen King version (either novel or miniseries). Just click on the image below and play the game with your space bar and arrow keys.


Monday, April 20, 2015

FOOTAGE KUBRICK SHOT FOR MR. LINCOLN

For fans and enthusiasts of the works of film director Stanley Kubrick, this short piece of film is probably the last piece of film shot by him that we will ever see.

The only exception may be additional footage from his 13 feature films, which may be found some day.

Between his first two features; Fear and Desire and Killer's Kiss, he was hired to shoot some second unit footage for a television docu-drama series Omnibus, called Mr. Lincoln & the Civil War.

The video below includes an excerpt from the Vincent Lobruto biography that provides information to support what footage was chosen for this video.


ADDENDUM (NOV 28, 2015):

As I've noted in the comments section, Youtube has been forced to take down this rarest of Kubrick ephemera. Fortunately, the footage can still be seen on the videos available via Amazon.com. Look for "Omnibus: Mr. Lincoln, Parts One and Two".

In the meantime, here's an interview with Norman Lloyd, the episode's director. He has some interesting things to say about Kubrick's time as second unit director. I think every Kubrick fanatic will find it amusing.

MORLOCK 2001, OR: HOW I LEARNED THAT SPOTTING RIP-OFFS CAN BE A PRETTY FUN PURSUIT IN AND OF ITSELF!

GROOVY SEXED UP EUROTRASH OMNIBUS COLLECTION COVER!
In my never-ending quest to find grist for my Kubrickologist’s mill, I recently stumbled across MORLOCK 2001, an incredibly bizarre mid-1970’s comic book published by Atlas Seaboard, a short-lived imprint that specialized in pumping out thinly disguised hit-and-run rip-offs of popular TV shows and films… often poaching ideas from two or three different properties in a single book. For instance, their TARGITT comic featured plots borrowed from the Steve McQueen hit film Bullitt, as well as The French Connection and Dirty Harry. In terms of pure, unadulterated plagiarism, however, MORLOCK 2001 stands head and shoulders above the competition. 

This was originally going to be a short and simple blog post pointing out a couple of age-inappropriate references to the films of Stanley Kubrick in a bizarro 70’s kid’s comic book, but the sheer volume, breadth, and shamelessness of the appropriations screamed out for a more complete accounting. So join me now as I comb through all three issues of this short-lived title in order to count down and catalog each and every stolen story element, copied concept, and misappropriated motif in MORLOCK 2001!

MORLOCK 2001 - THRILLING FIRST ISSUE!
First of all, of course, we have the title. MORLOCK 2001 is a mash-up of concepts from H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick.

In Wells’ 1895 science fiction classic, The Time Machine, the Morlocks are a thuggish species of cannibalistic underground mutants living in the eight-hundredth century, AD. They are one of two species descended from mankind. The other species—the gentle, surface-dwelling Eloi—are used by the Morlocks both as slave labor and as a primary food source. Yummy! The only connection to the comic book is that the main character is named "Morlock", for some reason.

2001: A Space Odyssey, obviously, is the title of Stanley Kubrick’s most popular film, and the subsequent Arthur C. Clarke novel. In MORLOCK 2001, however, the titular year only refers to the fact that the events portrayed take place in... the year 2001.

Something else that is immediately apparent is that Morlock's look borrows heavily from two Marvel Comics characters who were coming into their own during roughly the same period: Morbius the Living Vampire, and Quicksilver.


The very first panel on the very first page describes the story's setting as "a rigid totalitarian regime" run on the basis of lies and propaganda. I don't know about you guys, but that kind of sounds like the setting for George Orwell's classic novel of political dystopia, Nineteen-Eighty-Four to me! Keep reading to find out whether or not this intuition eventually pays off (hint: it does).


At this point, I would like to thank comics blogger The Groovy Agent for making every page of all three issues of MORLOCK 2001—as well as invaluable insights into all the rip-offs involved—available via his website, Diversions of the Groovy Kind.

In his discussion of the first issue (where you can also find the issue's scanned pages), he explains that due to the popularity of comic book characters Swamp Thing, at DC, and Man-Thing, at Marvel, writer Michael Fleisher was tasked to come up with a plant-based superhero that Atlas Seaboard could call their own...


...which I guess explains why the first character we encounter in the book is some dude whispering sweet nothings to a bunch of long-stem roses.


Unfortunately, Flower Man's reverie is cut short by the arrival of a gang of fascistic government thugs who spew venom about the presence of books in the scientist's home before spewing napalm all over his private library and greenhouse, setting the whole place alight in a not-so-subtle tip of the hat to the "Firemen" concept from Ray Bradbury's dystopian future classic, Fahrenheit 451!

Tangentially, the second goon from the right in the panel above has a bit of dialogue that reminds me of something Alex says about being "as clear as an unmuddied lake" in A Clockwork Orange... but in all likelihood that's a stretch too far.


Further cementing the Nineteen Eighty-Four reference is the above panel's Thought Police van, complete with Big Brother-esque all-seeing-eye logo. So we have Ray Bradbury's Firemen riding around in George Orwell's Thought Police van. This is, quite frankly, rip-off approaching the level of an artform! Which brings us to our hero's "big reveal", in which we discover...

GEORGIA O'KEEFFE, EAT YOUR UM... "HEART" OUT!
...that he is grown from a POD! Which makes Morlock a Pod Person, just like in Jack Finney's thrice-filmed (as Invasion of the Body Snatchers) 1954 science-fiction novel, The Body Snatchers! Of course, being a Pod Person means that poor Morlock is tabula rasa—a blank slate—which makes him an ideal candidate for a bit of psychedelic/psychotronic brainwashing/indoctrination… just like in the Anthony Burgess novel (and subsequent Stanley Kubrick film) A Clockwork Orange. Some of the slogans being drilled into Morlock's head, you will note, come straight out of Orwell's Newspeak glossary, too. And that buzz-cut-sporting finger-pointer succinctly describes the tactics of Nineteen Eighty-Four's Ministry of Truth when he says that "it's the duty of the government to change the truth from day to day to meet the changing situations". See? I told you that Orwell hunch would pay off!


After he's indoctrinated, Morlock becomes a government assassin with a unique way of killing. All he needs to do is brush up against a person, touching his bare skin to theirs, and that person rapidly devolves into a pile of green, leafy plant matter! It's a lonely life for Morlock, and the only solace he finds is feeding the pigeons in a park near the institute where he's warehoused between murder jobs. One day, Morlock is approached by a blonde-haired beauty who discovers that Morlock—like Frankenstein’s monster before him—doesn't know the meaning of the word "friend".


As you can well imagine, this sets the stage for Morlock's discovery of betrayal. The lovely blonde-haired girl was actually working for the Regime, having been given the task of reassuring Morlock that his murderous work was all for the Greater Good. Upon learning of this betrayal, Morlock's rage causes him to manifest a new power, which causes him to transform—not unlike the Incredible Hulk, but who also is the spitting image of the infamous Ocraman—into a rampaging tree monster that makes short shrift of that two-faced, mini-skirted Jezebel!
NICE ASS!
And so ends the first issue of MORLOCK 2001, with the first appearance of the "Swamp Creature" aspect of our titular hero.

REMIND YOU OF ANYONE?
The second issue, featuring a story titled "Morlock Must Be Destroyed"—itself a play on the 1969 film title Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed—begins with Morlock on the run. You can once again download scans of every page of this issue courtesy of our friends at the Diversions of the Groovy Kind blog.


It's in this issue that we have one of the most jarring, out of place, age-inappropriate rip-offs of this entire series. Near the beginning of the issue, Morlock is chased across town before jumping off an overpass and landing in a train. There, he is accosted by a group of rail-riding hobos who happen to look and sound a whole lot like a slightly more colorful version of Alex and his gang of Droogs from Stanley Kubrick's ultraviolent, X-rated version of Anthony Burgess' dystopian science-fiction novel A Clockwork Orange. I mean, just look at these guys! The Alex clone even says "Well, well, well"!


Unfortunately for these fashion-conscious yobbos, they take a fancy to Morlock's shiny silver gloves and try to nick them, which unleashes his "touch of death" murder-by-botany powers, not unlike Boris Karloff's cursed hands in The Invisible Ray. Soon, the Droog-a-likes are reduced to leafy green topiary.


Fast forward a few pages and Morlock is rescuing a little blind girl from the clutches of a couple of distinctly nonthreatening Heap-like monsters who look like a cross between the Yeti and last year's yard composting.


Having bested the beasts, Morlock meets their maker: a scientist who is engaged in research quite similar to the work of Morlock's own creator, the rose-sniffing fella who was gunned down by the "firemen" in the opening pages of the first issue of MORLOCK 2001!


Oh, I almost forgot to mention that beloved TV detective Kojak stops in for a brief cameo in this issue!


Grateful to Morlock for having rescued his blind daughter, the scientist repays him by... trapping him in a barn and calling the authorities on him in order to collect the substantial cash reward being offered to any citizen who assists the State in locating Morlock. The doctor's blind daughter, sensing some good in Morlock and herself grateful for being saved from the "heap" beasts sneaks out of her room at night, unlocks the barn door in an effort to free Morlock from his temporary prison. Unfortunately for her, Morlock's rage has caused him to revert into his mindless tree-beast form, and he promptly devours her.


Yup, that's right. Our hero kills and eats a helpless little blind girl in the midst of her trying to help him escape! But that's okay... Morlock has the good taste to feel some pretty heavy, Wolfman-style guilt about the whole thing...

As comic blogger Steve Does Comics notes: “I'm starting to spot a certain pattern to Morlock. He meets someone unpleasant and kills them by touching them. He then encounters a girl, befriends her then eats her. There's probably some sort of metaphor for life in there though I'm struggling to spot what it is.”

And so we reach the third and final issue of MORLOCK 2001, this time with a sub-title that is actually bigger than the main title: MORLOCK 2001 MIDNIGHT MEN! Things are distinctly different this time out, with legendary Spider-Man artist Steve Ditko providing pencils, inked by legendary Swamp Thing artist Bernie Wrightson (not that original series artist Al Milgrom did a bad job... in fact, I think I prefered his work overall). Talk about spoilers; they show the death of Morlock, which occurs at the end of the issue, on the cover! And it doesn't even look like him!


Uh oh! Time for a little more exposition and backstory about the Fahrenheit 451 brigades kicking in doors and starting fires in piles of books!


Of course, it just wouldn't be Ditko if we didn't get a psychedelic freak-out scene or two, and the man provides them in spades with this colorful recap of Morlock's origin tale (after all, it's been two issues since last we saw this information)!


Meanwhile, deep underground (literally), a revolutionary cell is rising up against the Bradbury/Orwell/Burgess dystopia. They are led by a mysterious burned man who feels no pain. This same revolutionary puts a bullet between Morlock's eyes the moment he has no further use for him. It's an odd, unexpected and inglorious denouement that leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth, especially when you realise that this is how the series ends... with yet another betrayal for Morlock (who seemed to possess more intelligence in his tree form in this issue than in the last two) ending in his death.


And it's a forever death, at that. There have been no subsequent attempts at resurrection or ret-conning. Kind of surprised nobody's thought of putting out a new Morlock book yet, to be honest. I think there's some promise there. But it will have to wait for another time. I need to go to BED for Pete's sake!


I hope you had as much fun reading this as I did finding all the references. I'm sure I missed a couple, but the only really "important" ones for this blog's purposes are the Kubrick references, of course, and I'm quite sure I spotted them all... unless Humbert Humbert is stalking around the background in some of the darker panels...

Cheers!
yer old pal Jerky

Friday, April 3, 2015

KUBRICK'S JAMES BOND MOMENT

In 1977, longtime Kubrick collaborator Ken Adam was working as a production designer on the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. One of the sets included the villain's secret lair, which was located inside a huge tanker ship. Adam was having trouble with the lighting, and he called in a favor from his old buddy, Stanley, as he explains in this amazing video. The footage Kubrick helped light is included, and it seems pretty obvious, in hindsight, that Kubrick had a hand in this gorgeously set up scene.


BBC RADIO 4'S HISTORY OF IDEAS USES A 'SHINING' MOTIF

As part of their wonderful series on The History of Ideas, BBC Radio 4 commissioned a series of animations to describe various key ideas in the development of human thought and philosophy. For the animation used to describe Immanuel Kant's diontological ethics approach, titled "Kant's Axe", some of our favorite figures and images show up to add some shivers to the affair. Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

MALCOLM McDOWELL AND ANTHONY BURGESS TALK CLOCKWORK ORANGE

Thanks to the folks at Dangerous Minds / The Playlist for bringing this televisual gem to our attention. While Kubrick refused to engage the sometimes rabid critics of his film, he did occasionally send out the film's star and the author of the novel upon which it was based to do this on his behalf. It makes for compelling viewing, that's for sure. Enjoy!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

MYTHBUSTER ADAM SAVAGE CREATES ACCURATE SHINING MAZE MODEL!

God bless this ginger goof for being such a dedicated mega-nerd! His model really is a much better representation of the model hedge maze seen in The Shining than the one that is currently on tour with the Kubrick Exhibit, and the fact that he... but no. Better to let you discover for yourself both the creation process AND the ultimate fate of this gorgeous artifact.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

THE TORONTO EDITION OF THE KUBRICK EXHIBIT IS OFFICIALLY OVER!

On a personal note, I just wanted to thank the fine folks at the TIFF/Bell Lightbox for all of the massive effort they expended in creating a truly worthy showcase for, and fitting tribute to, the greatest practitioner of cinematic magic that the world has ever known. I won't soon forget the experience of being able to get so up close and personal with documents, props, costumes and other objects from Kubrick's personal collection. I realize the traveling exhibit is only a small fraction of what is available to see at the Kubrick Archive in London. God willing, I will one day be able to make the trek overseas and spend some quality time there, like my old AMK compatriot Bilge Ebiri (of Vulture.com fame) got to do.

CLOCKWORK ORANGE MEETS GRAND THEFT AUTO

Not much to say about this one. A bunch of game testers at Rockstar Games decided to use their gaming platform to re-create some iconic scenes from Clockwork Orange. It's pretty self-explanatory - to watch it is to get it - although if you still want more backstory, this Indiewire/Playlist article should suffice. 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

STEVEN SODERBERGH'S 110 MINUTE CUT OF 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

I haven't seen it yet, but if you're interested, you can read Soderbergh's reasoning for this experiment and watch a high def version of his cut at his website.

I'm going to watch it now, and report back what I think of it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ALAN CUMMING IN TORONTO ON EYES WIDE SHUT

From the IndieWire blog, The Playlist:
“Eyes Wide Shut” was Stanley Kubrick’s last film. It’s surreal, polarizing, somewhat perplexing, and incredibly cerebral. It’s also a total mindbender. So what was it like to work on the film, with one of cinema’s legends? Alan Cumming spoke about his experiences for a dozen minutes at the TIFF Bell Lightbox recently, and the truths he revealed shed a lot of light on Kubrick’s process. ... 
So how, with such a prolonged, carrot-dangling audition process, was Cumming available when production finally began? “Basically, I was like hanging out and doing a lot of drugs, so I had time to do Stanley’s film. Or to wait around for Stanley’s film to happen.”

There's more at the link, above. Cumming is awesome, as always.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

BRET EASTON ELLIS INTERVIEWS MATTHEW MODINE ABOUT FULL METAL JACKET



Seminal 80's novelist Bret Easton Ellis presents us with a brilliant, incisive, absolutely necessary podcast interview with Matthew Modine, focusing exclusively on the time he spent in England with Stanley Kubrick shooting Full Metal Jacket.
The above is a model sculpt for a Full Metal Jacket project undertaken by model-fiend Peter the Painter.

JESSE WENTE ON COLVILLE AND KUBRICK

In July of last year, I wrote a post about Stanley Kubrick's strategic placement of artworks by legendary Canadian painter Alex Colville throughout The Shining. Now, Toronto's most prestigious art gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), is featuring a massive retrospective of Colville's art, and part of that exhibit is devoted to the artist's influence on - and appearances in - films by Stanley Kubrick and others, including the Coen Bros.

Here is a video of the exhibit's "house film critic", Jesse Wente, discussing what Colville and Kubrick have in common as artists:


Thanks to my lovely friend, photographer Kristan Klimczak, for hipping me to this video!

Finally, as I wrote back in July: "See the essential Overlook Hotel blog for more information about where and how four 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."

Saturday, January 3, 2015

EARLY KUBRICK ~ FLYING PADRE (1951)

This is the second in a series of meditations on Kubrick's earliest works, and the way image and moments from those works echo through his entire career. Click here for the first installment. - MT
Stanley Kubrick's second film was 1951's Flying Padre, a documentary short subject about Father Fred Stadtmueller, a Catholic priest from New Mexico who uses a Piper Cub airplane - the "Spirit of St. Joseph" - to reach all the various far-flung ranches and settlements that fall within the vast territory covered by his parish.

With a skimpy runtime of just over 8 minutes, Flying Padre is a rather slight contribution to Kubrick's oeuvre, and in many ways can be seen as a bit of a step backwards from the promising premiere that he'd made with Day of the Fight. Indeed, the only reason Kubrick made Flying Padre was because RKO-Pathé - who had admired and purchased Day of the Fight - paid him $1,500 up front to do so... with the understanding that all expenses, including travel, film and equipment rental, would be covered by that meagre fee. The legendary "Kubrick thrift" held him in good stead, as he managed to break even!

Kubrick biographer Vincent LoBrutto writes: “Unlike Day of the Fight, Flying Padre is a rather typical human-interest newsreel documentary. Kubrick’s filmmaking skills are assured but reveal less of the cinematic talent that lies within. The photography is evenly lit. Shots are composed in classic photojournalist style, pleasing and artful to the eye.”

Let's take a moment to watch Flying Padre together, shall we?


Considering the massive constrictions Kubrick had placed on him, both budgetary and otherwise, it's kind of amazing that he managed to pack so much information and story into such a tight little documentary package. Also, for all its flaws - the lame attempt at injecting an element of suspense with the "sick baby" bit at the end, for instance - one still can't help but spot images and moments that would continue to echo through Kubrick's oeuvre as his budgets, ambition and pretensions would skyrocket beyond anything his cinematic peers would even dare to dream of. And this, beyond the mere use of a narrator, which was a hallmark of Kubrick's early style. In fact, I found more to remind me of future Kubrick films in Flying Padre than I did in Day of the Fight!

Here are a few of the more defensible cases in point...

For instance, when I first saw the post-title shots - slow panning shots of the dry, arid wastes of the American Southwest - I couldn't help but be reminded of the opening shots of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which were pretty darn similar.




  


Pretty cool, no? And I love how Kubrick captured Father Stadtmueller looking back over his shoulder in this shot, as occurs a number of times with a variety of characters in Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Of course, the Leper Colony had a few more controls and dials...



Kubrick's love of aerial shots can be seen in Strangelove, of course, as well as in 2001, during the "Stargate" sequence, and of course, during the opening shots of The Shining.




This one's a bit of a long shot, but there's something about the priest leading the funeral party in Flying Padre that reminded me of the priest leading the funeral party in Barry Lyndon.




Another long shot, but I think there's something a little bit "Eyes Wide Shut" about the Church ceremony we're shown.



A bit less of a stretch is how much Father Stadtmueller resembles the Clockwork Orange padre in certain moments.





Here's one that didn't remind me of any future Kubrick framings, but I did think it might be sort of a sly little anti-clerical subliminal cue planted by Kubrick in his otherwise laudatory little spit-shine of a documentary. I mean, it's a priest, visually trapped in a theological or moral "cage", just like his canaries are trapped in a real-life one! And - unlike his canaries, which he breeds for profit - the priest can't even pro-create!


Although Father Stadtmueller is, without a doubt, nowhere near as threatening a personage as Timothy Carey from The Killing, nevertheless, I couldn't help but be reminded of him when I saw this shot.


Heck, there's even something to remind me of Full Metal Jacket in this movie!



And finally, I apologize for the morbidity of this last selection, but when I first saw the awkward stance that the mother took while comforting her "sick" baby, I couldn't help but think of this similarly staged scene from Eyes Wide Shut.



Okay! So with all of the above speculation out of the way, let's bid a fond adieu to a priest who seems like he was probably a pretty swell guy back in the day. So long, Father Stadtmuller! Until next time, when we tackle The Seafarers!