Monday, July 25, 2016

KUBRICK NOTES IN BRIEF ~ JULY 25, 2016


Let's run through a few of the most recent Kubrick-related news items to hit the wire over the last week or so, shall we?

First, and most amusingly, it seems that Stanley has joined Twitter. Check him out, if you're into this sort of stunt.

Next up, it was kind of great to see Vivian Kubrick come out of semi-hiding to diss all those goofy moon-hoax idiots. Not quite so amusing was main Kubrick Moon Theory Nutter Jay Weidner's vile, butt-hurt, low-blow of a "rebuttal", titled How Vivian Kubrick Broke Stanley's Heart.

Two interesting think pieces on Kubrick have popped up on the web recently.

The best is Alexander Patrick Langer's 2014 essay Dr No and Dr Strangelove - Anxiety in the Cold War Film. It's a touch dry and academic, but if you like that sort of thing, it's pure manna from heaven. Personally, as a Kubrick nut and a lifelong Bond fan, of course I dug it. And it doesn't hurt that Langer throws in a bit on Frankenheimer's Manchurian Candidate into the mix.

Not quite as good but still interesting is Sean Hutchinson's think-piece How Dr Strangelove Predicted the Emptiness of Twitter and Facebook, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Getting down to the dregs (comparatively speaking of course), we have "a non-Kubrick fan" explaining what it is that she finds compelling about The Shining. It's eloquent and insightful, if short and to the point.

And, finally, we have an extended whine from Simon Booker writing in The Guardian, who claims that "Stanley Kubrick Ruined My Childhood". Turns out that title is almost pure clickbait, however, as Kubrick is mentioned exactly three times, including the title. Turns out his mum worked as a film publicist on 2001: A Space Odyssey during that film's 3-year shoot. the Marianne Faithful stories are a titch juicier, of course.

Tune in next time for more Kubrick Notes In Brief!

VIDEO ESSAY CONTRASTING KUBRICK WITH TARKOVSKY

Monday, July 11, 2016

BARRY LYNDON GETS A SEXY NEW TRAILER FOR ITS THEATRICAL RE-RELEASE


KUBRICK NOTES IN BRIEF ~ JULY 11, 2016


I have never in my life so badly wanted to be able to visit England as I was when I started reading about the Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick exhibit, at Somerset House, featuring works, both old and new, by a great many fantastic artistic talents, all either inspired by or directly referencing Stanley the man and/or his works. If you're able to attend, and don't, you're mad.

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Well, THIS sucks.

"A YouTube user who creates video essays has been hit with a punishing lawsuit after selecting Stanley Kubrick as a subject matter and uploading his work to YouTube. UK-based Lewis Bond from Channel Criswell is being targeted by the music publishers behind the 1971 classic A Clockwork Orange who want huge damages for willful infringement."

Here's some more information on the sad hypocrisy of this bullshit lawsuit. Check out Bond's Twitter to keep track of this ongoing travesty.

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It's really cool to see special effects guru Douglas Trumball still out there mixing it up with his inimitably gorgeous (and soon to be lost to history) practical methods of bringing screen magic to life before our very eyes. And it's doubly cool to see him doing so for a bunch of young'uns on a low budget indie film like Approaching the Unknown. Check out the mini-doc by The Creators Project at the bottom of the linked page to find out more (I originally had it embedded here, but it started up automatically, really loud, whether you wanted it to or not, so I removed it).

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Adam K. Johnson's new book, 2001: The Lost Science, is about all the work that scientific consultant Frederick Ordway did on Stanley Kubrick's film. It's actually the second in a series of limited run, prestige format books, with the subtitle: "The Scientists, Influences, and Designs from the Frederick I. Ordway Estate". For a heavily illustrated book of this quality, the price is actually quite reasonable. And if you purchase it via the link above, you will be tossing a couple shekels into yours truly's rusty old beggin' cup.


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I dunno about you guys, but the images in this computer-created "Kubrick goes Picasso" video don't look very much like the work of Picasso to me. You be the judge, I suppose...


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The San Francisco Chronicle invites you to read all about five times that Stanley Kubrick courted controversy. Think you can guess them all ahead of time? Go ahead and test your Kubrick IQ!

A 3-D EXPLORATION OF THE OVERLOOK HOTEL

Well, this one is kind of odd. "YouTube user Claire Sophie brings us a bizarre 360-degree look at The Shining that pans through a distorted vision of the Overlook hotel and its grounds, including the famous maze." 


According to this CNet article, the effect was achieved thusly: "Using photogrammetry, 3D elements are extracted and extruded from the original film stills, and the subsequent fragments are stitched together and viewed along the original camera path."

Personally, I find the effect kind of off-putting. Your mileage may vary. Don't forget to drag the scenes around for maximum effect!

2001: CLUBBING THE LOWER ANIMAL


If you're up for some heavy-duty hypothesizing regarding Kubrick's most alchemical/head-trippy/psychedelic/archetype-riddle film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, then you could do a lot worse than Mike Daringer's extended essay, 2001: Clubbing the Lower Animal. It begins:

Stanley Kubrick’s classic sci-fi epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is a fictional transcendence of classic Greek mythos through the ubiquity of the motion picture camera. As the film’s title suggests, this is Greek philosopher Homer’s The Odyssey told on the grandest of scales and sparing no expense that 20th Century cinema had to offer. According to philosopher Carl Jung, myths are the “culturally elaborated representations of the contents of the deepest recess of the human psyche: the world of the archetypes.” 
As such, 2001 makes tremendous leaps forward in longstanding narrative traditions that have been passed down from the epitome of Western culture. This was Kubrick, after all, and he wasn’t going to give the viewer an easy time or spoon feed answers to the cryptic symbolism. The film is ostensibly draped in ambiguity, and it leads down a path that rejects materialism in favor of spiritual enlightenment. The final act is overly concerned with the impact that light has on the body; how illumination can take a lifetime to understand and transform decaying flesh into the √úbermensch.

Having heard people say that there isn’t much going on in 2001 or simply not “getting it,” what follows is a small breakdown of the big thematic material that makes up the masterpiece.
This essay is well worth your time. And you just might learn a few things along the way!