Stanley Kubrick: Classic or Dud?

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you mean the part when he realizes alex is alex? For some reason I remember him being at a writing desk or in a bathtub, not against a door.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

oh no the problem isn't that he's attractive, it's that no one else is.

this is Pauline Kael's complaint, btw.

Hey Look More Than Five Years Has Passed And You Have A C (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

Stanley Kubrick considered both Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of them. Kubrick didn't think De Niro would suit the part after watching his performance in Taxi Driver (1976), as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. He didn't think Williams would suit the part after watching his performance in "Mork & Mindy" (1978), as he deemed him too psychotic for the role. According to Stephen King, Kubrick also briefly considered Harrison Ford.

ℳℴℯ ❤\(◕‿◕✿ (Princess TamTam), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

you mean the part when he realizes alex is alex? For some reason I remember him being at a writing desk or in a bathtub, not against a door.

i remember him as like leaning against the door of the bathroom listening to alex hum singin in the rain in the tub, but like i said, been a while.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

harrison ford might have been really interesting in that. xp

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

you mean the part when he realizes alex is alex? For some reason I remember him being at a writing desk or in a bathtub, not against a door.

― Philip Nunez, Tuesday, April 5, 2011 8:47 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark

he starts out at the desk, hears alex humming/singing, wheels his ass over to the door to listen in and then when it clicks with him he starts making these crazy gnarled faces with the camera looking at him from below

ℳℴℯ ❤\(◕‿◕✿ (Princess TamTam), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

it's odd that he would have that problem with Williams, since the strangest thing about Nicholson's performance is that his Jack Torrance is unhinged from the start.

Matt Armstrong, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

Robin Williams/Shining thing doesn't pass the smell test: the movie was certainly shooting by the time "Mork & Mindy" premiered in fall '78, and RW was a nobody before then. A 26-year-old nobody unsuited to the role.

your generation appalls me (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

the strangest thing about Nicholson's performance is that his Jack Torrance is unhinged from the start

see, people always say this, and i get it--nicholson is JACK from the beginning in this movie--but i dunno, it's never seemed quite true to me. i mean i know there's that delivery of "see? it's ok. he saw it on the television." which is really like bitter and sarcastic for no reason that's even apparent and suggests serious marriage-related emotional issues. but he's clearly not driving them up there with intent to kill them or anything. he's just an ex-alcoholic and not all that successful of a writer and has resentments about his wife.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

i mean the implication in the kubrick version (never read the book) is not that he's an innocent man who has the bad luck to move into a haunted hotel, it's that the hotel sensed his preexisting darkness and drew him--he has always been there, etc..

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

My problem with The Shining -- which might be in King's novel; I haven't read it -- is the attempt to give Torrance "motivation." All those scenes of Nicholson talking to himself are so unconvincing, in part because Nicholson's gift as an actor is badinage with real live people. Talking to "himself" brings out an unattractive narcissism.

Hey Look More Than Five Years Has Passed And You Have A C (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

wait when are there scenes of nicholson talking to himself? he talks when he's alone but it's always to other people--continuing to yell through the storage room door even after duvall is no longer on the other side, or screaming for danny in the maze. there's always a character the lines are directed to.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

Talking to the "ghosts."

Hey Look More Than Five Years Has Passed And You Have A C (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

I like the part where he's walking through the hallways mad as shit though, punching at the air.

Matt Armstrong, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

after Wendy falsely accuses him.

Matt Armstrong, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

oh. well they're played by people! they're not even translucent or anything. the weird physical contact with grady in the red bathroom scene and nicholson's like hung-open mouth and little smirk when grady says the n-word. in the bartender scene, though, yeah, you're right, the camera keeps them totally apart.

xxp

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

anyway jack nicholson has some pretty decent badinage with the camera too.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

wish i did not have to go to dinner but i do!

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

i mean the implication in the kubrick version (never read the book) is not that he's an innocent man who has the bad luck to move into a haunted hotel, it's that the hotel sensed his preexisting darkness and drew him--he has always been there, etc..

ding ding ding ding ding

That's exactly why Kubrick's Shining is superior to King's, which deals in these themes lightly before it definitely moves away from them and becomes a story about a man possessed by something not inherently IN him.

scissorlocks and the three bears (Eric H.), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

if everyone in the world is a disgusting cartoon why not kill them.
^Love this.

Saw ACO recently at a theater and yeah, it was the funniest showing I've ever been to. Also, the record store dolly shot is my favorite thing in any movie ever.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

god sorry one more thing: admittedly GREAT opening titles.

― difficult listening hour, Tuesday, April 5, 2011 8:18 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

YES. Just a big blast of a blood blood red filling the screen, crazy 70s synth drones going off all around you. Instantly you are in another world.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 01:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

mmm, that's the trailer, not the opening. also I thought dlh was talking about A Clockwork Oranhe.

your generation appalls me (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 02:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

My bad, you're right.

Still, i love the minimalism of that opening segment.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 02:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

i meant clockwork, yeah--the primary-color fills and wendy carlos going HURMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. although kubrick's pretty good with openings in general.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 03:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

i guess BOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW would have been more accurate.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 03:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

i don't really think 'lolita' would've been improved by being more explicit. (it's not like 'lolita' the book is all that explicit!) i think most of its greatness, for me, lies in the performances and how well they bounce off each other. mason is hilarious, yes, but also very sad -- his last scene with lyon is so wrenching it's hard to watch. every time i see the film, i wind up getting caught up in it in a way i don't with any other kubrick film. 'strangelove' is equally good, of course, but i'm so overfamiliar with it it rarely makes me laugh anymore.

i guess ppl are pretty divided on sellers but i think he's great -- his performance is the most genuinely nabokovian thing in the whole movie. i can almost imagine a 'pale fire' movie where he plays kinbote.

given that 'lolita' itself is an unfilmable novel, i give kubrick a lot of credit for turning it into such a compelling, hilarious film (reminds me a bit of what mary harron did with 'american psycho,' except of course that ellis's novel is a piece of shit and nabokov's is a work of genius).

'clockwork orange' has a terrific opening (one of the best in any movie ever: those day-glo titles, then the slow pan back from malcolm's sneering mug -- all set to the wendy carlos soundtrack -- gives me chills every time), but it really gets clunky and plodding after the first half-hour. the violence doesn't offend me, and i certainly don't think it's an immoral film, but definitely one of his worst. really doesn't do justice to burgess's novel, which is totally fast-paced and engaging. and yeah, just so many TERRIBLE performances, apart from mcdowell (who's good, but doesn't suggest the richness of the character in the book, tho i blame that on kubrick more than him -- he's better in 'if!' and 'o lucky man'). it's almost infuriating to think of kubrick forcing perfectly good actors to act the way they do in this movie.

'the shining' has an equally chilling opening, and the score is a big part of why the film works for me (even tho it's slightly overdone in places).

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 03:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

i love the passage from berlioz in the shining score--the main theme, the first one you hear. i hum it when i'm feeling grim.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 04:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

um, other kubricks:

barry lyndon: left no impact the first time i saw it but really blew me away on a second viewing last year. it's a damn near perfect film. kubrick's icy view-of-god perspective on humanity never worked better. i find the ending oddly tragic, even though barry is pretty unsympathetic throughout.

paths of glory: my third favorite. a borderline-corny script redeemed by masterful execution (um, pun not intended). i kind of hate pauline kael a little bit for once writing that the ending "just makes you feel uncomfortable."

2001: haven't seen it in almost a decade, and have always felt that i can't quite fairly judge it until i see it on the big screen. so, we'll see.

you can find 'fear and desire' on youtube, incidentally. considering how much kubrick hated it, it's not that bad.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 04:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

barry lyndon: left no impact the first time i saw it but really blew me away on a second viewing last year. it's a damn near perfect film. kubrick's icy view-of-god perspective on humanity never worked better. i find the ending oddly tragic, even though barry is pretty unsympathetic throughout.

Yes, his redemption (in the duel) leaves him crippled and alone.

Matt Armstrong, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 04:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

Barry Lyndon is so good.

das reboot (latebloomer), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 04:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

Barry Lyndon really does grow on you. There's been a lot of talk about music the last few posts; I think the Chieftans stuff in Barry is as good as soundtrack music gets.

clemenza, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 04:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

the first theme in The Shining is the "Dies Irae," right? You can hear it at the better funerals.

your generation appalls me (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 07:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

The real question: has anyone seen 2010? The one with John Lithgow and a female computer named SAL? We rented it out of morbid curiosity and I loved the "making-of" feature - the director said something like "it was hard to get the sets together, because Kubrick wanted the original sets destroyed, since he didn't want any bad B-movies to be made with them", totally deadpan, no hint of irony

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 13:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

the first theme in The Shining is the "Dies Irae," right? You can hear it at the better funerals.

yeah, but i think it's specifically coming from berlioz's "parody" version here. maybe i'm making that up cuz it's Evil, i'm not sure.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 16:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

The real question: has anyone seen 2010?

I remember when I saw it thinking "this is way better than 2001". But I was young and might think differently now.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 16:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

'Alien' without the laughs

piscesx, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 16:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

barry lyndon: left no impact the first time i saw it but really blew me away on a second viewing last year. it's a damn near perfect film. kubrick's icy view-of-god perspective on humanity never worked better. i find the ending oddly tragic, even though barry is pretty unsympathetic throughout

otm

Hey Look More Than Five Years Has Passed And You Have A C (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 16:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

2010 wasn't terrible, but I'd rather Wes Anderson remake 2010 than 2001 (with Bill Murray in the Keir Dullea role)

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 17:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

2010 was pretty good, it only suffers in comparison to 2001 and the fact that stanley kubrick is one of the great directors and peter hyams one of the worst. basically it's saved by the cast, FX, and the story.

omar little, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 17:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

so actually it suffers from more than the comparison. but it's still better than you'd think!

omar little, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 17:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

it's better than a stick in the eye, or The Shining.

your generation appalls me (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 17:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

for years i had this memory of whatever actress played the russian commander making an "interesting" impression on me when i was 9 years old and recently i realized it was helen mirren.

omar little, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 17:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

2010 isn't bad if you accept that it's a sequel to clarke's 2001, not kubrick's.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 20:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah 2010 only suffered because the original was so great...I mean it's B-/C+ level besides that, but it was just weird seeing Dave and references to HAL since the way the movie was directed was so much different and more conventional

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 20:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

that said, it's definitely the type of movie that Kubrick destroyed the sets to avoid

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 20:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

for years i had this memory of whatever actress played the russian commander making an "interesting" impression on me when i was 9 years old and recently i realized it was helen mirren.

Yeah, first time I saw Mirren in anything as well, I would have been thirteen. Think I next her via Greenaway...

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 20:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Cook/Thief/etc was my very O_O intro to Mirren.

2010 isn't bad if you accept that it's a sequel to clarke's 2001, not kubrick's.

― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, April 6, 2011 3:42 PM (16 minutes ago)

V. good point

The Louvin Spoonful (WmC), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 21:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

yeah it's pretty nuts

Unity Tour 2011: 311 and Sublime with Rome (latebloomer), Thursday, 26 May 2011 20:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

it's been back-and-forth w/ J Wells and Kenny all week.

So has anyone seen this Kubrick exhibit in Paris? It's going to LA next year.

http://www.cinematheque.fr/fr/expositions-cinema/kubrick/

the gay bloggers are onto the faggot tweets (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 May 2011 20:06 (3 years ago) Permalink


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