Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CLOCKWORK ORANGE BUBBLEGUM CARDS!

Over at Dangerous Minds, they always manage to dig up the coolest stuff. And they're big Kubrick nuts, too, which is great for us! Because that means when they find mind-bending creations like this incredible collection of hauntologically perfect bubblegum trading cards for Clockwork Orange, they just can't help but share with the rest of us! Here's the story of the cards as told by Bubblegum Fink, the creator of the now defunct art blog from whence they first emerged...
A Clockwork Orange is another set of trading cards, like The Wicker Man, that never could have existed at the time the film was released. But now, I would rush out to buy a box. Wouldn’t you? I’m happy with the card design, but less so with the Clockwork Orange font which I wish had been a little sharper. To do it over again, I’d just get rid of it. Of course, the cards represent a sort of edited-for-television version of the film, and it’s also the shortest set I’ve done at only 33 cards.
Click through to the Dangerous Minds story, linked above, for more information, more cards, and for that Wicker Man set I'm sure you're all dying to check out!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

KUBRICK AND KIRBY ~ THE 2001 COMICS CONNECTION!


Thanks to the fine folks at Dangerous Minds for hipping me to this video that explores comics art titan Jack Kirby's decade-long obsession for his passion project, a comic book adaptation and elaboration upon Clarke/Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey

Sunday, March 19, 2017

COOL KUBRICK-RELATED VIDEO SHOWCASE!

Today, I'd like to present you with a bunch of interesting Kubrick-related videos, starting with this rare 1967 trailer for 2001: A Space Odyssey that incorporates some Douglas Trumbull test footage into the mix. Thanks to The Playlist for making me aware of this one!

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AV Club presents this intriguing mashup by Richard Vezina, which combines the work of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch. Called "Blue Shining", it contains some real nightmare fuel, superimposing a bunch of different Lynch movie and TV show scenes into a new context via The Shining.

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MovieMaker.com has a page featuring three Kubrick "Supercuts" covering three of the master's preferred techniques: The Kubrick Gaze, One-Point Perspective, and Red. They're all from Vimeo, and they're all pretty short, and they're all related, so I'll just leave this link here instead of embedding three more videos into this already crowded blog post.
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And finally for today, I bring you a psychedelic ride through some dude's crazy Hot Wheels track set-up, using a model-mounted GoPro camera. It's called Hot Wheels Nightmare, and it's guaranteed to remind you of the "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" sequence in 2001!

KUBRICK INSPIRED MUSIC AND VIDEOS

Shot in Christchurch's Commodore Hotel, the eerie video for Lawrence Arabia's "The Palest of Them All" harks back to Kubrick's landmark films The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey, in both aesthetic and tone. Arabia (aka James Milne) elaborated on the clip's conception in a statement, which may be read at Under The Radar's music blog. Here's the video:


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In some circles, the release of Pleasurekraft's new techno offering, Maskara, is apparently cause for some amount of rejoicing. Having absolutely no patience for this genre of music in general, I think I'll let Will McCarthy's commentary from the Dancing Astronaut website serve as an introduction of sorts:
Pleasurekraft’s darker inclinations are reiterated in their forthcoming Maskara EP, which is slated for a February 24 release on their own Kraftek label. Maskara consists of two tracks – the titular single and the Roberto Capuano-assisted “Penetrator.” Sharp-eared cinephiles may note Stanley Kubrick’s strong influence on the release. For “Maskara,” Pleasurekraft make use of Jocelyn Pook’s “Masked Ball,” which was crafted for a pivotal scene in Kubrick’s 1999 film, Eyes Wide Shut. Throughout the track, the duo transmogrify the composer’s Gregorian-inspired droning chants into a cerebral, club-germane format. Indeed, this deep, dark techno homage to “Masked Ball” would be a suitable soundtrack for an analogous iconic film today. Pleasurekraft’s use of the Kubrickian score comes just after their rebranding of the Kraftek logo to reflect imagery from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Sounds intriguing, yes? You can listen to the track right here on Kubrick U:


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To make the video for her latest song, "Thieves", Thayer Sarrano (the self-described New Queen of Shoegaze) collaborated with photographer/videographer Curtis Wayne Millard, who said of the project: “I would shoot these time-lapses and long-exposure images in nature. Take a sunset, rotate it and superimpose it on a long exposure of a star field to recreate the cosmos. Like most of my peers, I am highly inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Terrence Malick. To me, the song is very cinematic, so I knew right away that I wanted to make a tone poem of sorts in that same spirit.”

Find out more about both artists' work in this Huffington Post piece. And here's the video:


SUE LYON: THEN AND THEN AND NOW

I recently ran across this brief interview with the unforgettable Sue Lyon, titular star of Kubrick's version of Nabokov's novel Lolita, conducted in Europe during an international roadshow tour for the movie, which would go on to become a worldwide box office hit. Something I learned from this exchange is that Lyon at one time had a seven year contract with Harris-Kubrick Productions.


This video set me off in search of more recent interviews, and I came across this one, titled "In Search of Lolita", conducted with a French TV channel in 1987, by which time Lyon hadn't made a film since Lewis Teague's Alligator, seven years previous. Her memories of James Mason are particularly warm and lovely. Not so her experience with the reporter who once asked if her brother had committed suicide because she'd performed in such a controversial film.


And... that's it, unfortunately. The above video appears to be the most recent video of Sue Lyon available, and she's sworn off interviews entirely, whether on video or in print. The most recent photograph I could find of her is a paparazzi shot from 2010, dug up by Stumptown Blogger.


The story attached to this video is not a happy one, unfortunately. I certainly hope that she's found some measure of peace and contentment.

KICKSTARTER FOR KUBRICK-INSPIRED "BLACK HOLES"


There are EIGHT DAYS LEFT to help Noodles Studio achieve their dream of bringing to market their beautifully animated adult-oriented space comedy series BLACK HOLES, which is the story of a Mars-bound astronaut teamed up with a sentient melon who drives him to the brink of insanity.

With a goal of $100,000, they're close to getting there, with nearly $80,000 already pledged! And with Kubrick references aplenty, I figure there should be at least a few fans of Stanley's work who would be willing to pony up a couple bucks to see this thing come to fruition (no pun intended)... and to score the nifty rewards!

Here's a 12 minute Proof of Concept video to whet the appetite, where the animators show off their substantial chops:


Tell you what... if I hadn't already exhausted my monthly Kickstarter budget, I'd be all over this one like stink on dookie. Some of the rewards are downright fantastic. And I'm not being paid to write this, nor do I know the people involved. I'm just impressed and delighted by the results of their obviously deep obsession with artistic perfection.

So come on, my fellow Kubrick nuts! Click on over to Kickstarter and check out this delightful little confection that I'm pretty sure would have put a big ol' smile on Stanley's face. And while you're there, if the spirit (or the promise of a beautiful 3D-printed character sculpt) should move you... help them reach their goal!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

S IS FOR STANLEY

I still haven't seen it yet, but I figured I might as well post a little something about Italian director Alex Infascelli's recently released documentary S is For Stanley, which takes a look at our favorite iconic filmmaker through the eyes of the man who was his devoted driver and manservant for 30 long years, Emilio D'Alessandro.

So, to begin with, here's the English language trailer:


Pretty cool, right? Sure makes me want to see it!

Our first review comes from the Village Voice, and it's by their new lead cinema critic (and former alt.movies.kubrick netizen!) Bilge Ebiri. His review is essential reading for any Kubrick fan, particularly considering it was written by perhaps the premiere Kubrick admirer currently working in the mainstream entertainment media. It begins:
It isn't every day that you're asked to drive a giant dick across London. But for Emilio D'Alessandro, a young Italian √©migr√©, erstwhile race-car driver, and full-time cabbie, it was just another job: It was December of 1970, a blizzard was on, nobody else was around, and the object — a massive sculpture of a phallus — had to be delivered quickly to a company called Hawk Films on the other side of town. Speedy, careful, and prompt, D'Alessandro got it there safely and on time. The recipient, impressed, offered him a regular job. And that's how Emilio D'Alessandro became Stanley Kubrick's personal chauffeur. 
He was, in truth, more than that.
This is, of course, an understatement. A wonderful part of Ebiri's essay is his eye for how the smallest details from the documentary can be spun out into fairly grand ideas about what lay behind Kubrick's work. It's a positive review, but I would only have expected otherwise from Ebiri if the film had been a hatchet job, which it obviously isn't.

Daniel Eagan's review for Film Journal isn't quite so positive, nor is it half as interesting. Calling the film "a low-key effort geared towards cultists", his review concludes on the following note:
It will take a dedicated Kubrick completist to find inspiration in the director's fondness for pets, bad driving habits and poor typing. S Is for Stanley manages the difficult feat of circling around both of its subjects without saying much interesting about either of them.
Glenn Kenny's New York Times review sits happily between Ebiri's enthusiasm and Eagan's dismissive snark. He concludes his short review indicating that, "for Kubrick enthusiasts, this picture will provide a fun and sometimes moving fix."

It is also perhaps worth noting that all three reviews begin with the story of Emilio's delivery of the smooth white wobbling phallus sculpture/murder weapon from Clockwork Orange; obviously a memorable moment from the doc!

Finally, for our Italian speaking friends, here's an interview with the film's director, Alex Infascelli:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

KUBRICK REMEMBERED: A BEAUTIFUL NEW KUBRICK DOC

This lovely documentary focuses mostly on Stanley's family life, particularly on his life-long love affair with Christiane. It's quite wonderful, on many levels. A great glimpse into the man's soul.