Stanley Kubrick: Classic or Dud?

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The Kult of Kubrick is one of the scarier things I've come across on the Internet. The members of this sanctum sanctorum invoke the name Kubrick in hushed tones, beneath thick robes, waving incense while inside pentagrams drawn in blood. Such is the power of KUBRICK.

Meanwhile, from what I've seen (Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, 2001, Lolita, Eyes Wide Shut), this lofty reputation's not that deserved. A fine director, sure, with an excellent sense of pacing within a scene, and he has a a way with imagery, too. But, he's also a clod when it comes to dialogue, a bit thick with the archetypes & light on the characterization (especially in _Eyes Wide Shut_, which is more a parable than a story, and reminds me of later-day Robert Heinlein, where he's gone so far into his own head that the stories he tells have little or no interest to the viewers except as a peek into the anachronistic head of one tweaked individual).

David Raposa, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic, if only for his intense, chilly misanthropy - such a rarity in mainstream Hollywood cinema.

Andrew L, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I remember hearing about Kubrick films and, as an admirer, groaning: oh, he's making a Vietnam movie (in an era knee-deep in Vietnam movies)? Oh, he's making a movie with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman?? When The Shining came out I wasn't old enough to care, but I would most likely have walked into the theater already disappointed: in the heyday of horror flicks, he's making another one?

Kubrick's a fanboy's dream: obsessive, nerdy, reclusive, capable of constructing self-contained worlds from which neither light nor sound (nor occasionally any sense at all) can escape - but he puts you there, inside this impossible place.

Anyone who's not seen "Paths of Glory" do so. Post-WWII flick about WWI. Kirk Douglas gives an unbelievable slow-burn performance and there are glimpses of the stately composition / numbing fright of the later stuff.

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Kubrick sucks, basically, but I gotta chime in for The Shining, since everyone was ragging on it in the other thread. I couldn't give a shit about horror films, but vehicles for Jack Nicholson to look psychotic alongside Olive Oil can't be beat. Lolita's good too, Strangelove's okay, and Clockwork Orange has some decent imagery, at least.

Otis Wheeler, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Unfamiliar w/ major works (revered rep = dull to me, hence avoid; I'm prolly often v. wrongheaded on this), tho' can profess muchly enjoying swearathon that comprised first 1/3 of Full Metal Jacket. FuXin FuXOr indeed. Creative gratuitous swearing = laff-a-minute.

AP, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think what I most admire about Kubrick is his range...A Clockwork Orange to friggin' Barry Lyndon? Most directors aren't like that. And yes, the intelligent misanthropy is a much needed force to counter the brain-dead, levity of much Hollywood...

Joe, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm not sure I see the misanthropy everyone's talking about. Seems like most of his movies are about lack of human control over destiny due to some too-rational auto-override device (hal, doomsday device, vietnam war imperatives, brainwashing). Okay he mistrusts sexual desire, he's a freak about sex. Maybe something there after all...

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Plus he has zero sense of humour, so can't tell when eg Sellers/Nicholson have capered way past inspired to tiresome. He's GRATE with ambient sound (noises in the 2001 rocketship; noise of kiddiecar on and off carpet in Shining hotel). AB and I rewatch 2001 earlier this year at a cinema: at the bit where the space-hostess walks upside down in non-gravity, AB looks at her butt and whispers: "I see in the future they can fly to Jupiter but they still haven't cured VPL." We giggle so much we risk being a. chucked out of cinema b. being lynched by humourless kubricoids around us.

mark s, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic after classic.

chris, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

You are the opposite of me, Chris. You just like ALL films, don't you? ;-)

masonic boom, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Kubrick made a few clankers in his time, and the Chirch of Kubes is the dumbest thing ever. That said his visual accumen, his way with sound and mid-period ambition makes him an interesting study. His manageable canon (10 films) and diversity of genre therefore makes him study number one in film courses. Hence the lionising of him - since some people just don't get past the first, peasy stuff they are taught.

My Mum worked as a production accounts assistant on 2001 and actually walked around the spinny space hub thing. Very expensive to build - she says tutting. She also said that Kubrick was nowhere near as nuts as Patrick 'Mad As A Hatter' MacGooghan, if that is in any way salacious.

Pete, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

With ref to Mark's point abt self-indulgence: In 'Freddie' Raphael's unintentionally hilarious bk abt working with S.K., notorious control freak Kubrick admitted to being totally seduced by Leonard Rossiter's performance in 'Barry Lyndon' - so much so that he allowed the actor to carry on improvising/expanding his previously rather minor part. Unlike Hitchcock, say, I think Kubrick LIKED actors (or liked playing games with 'em - see the doc on the making of the 'The Shining' where he cruelly works Shelly Duvall into the perfect pitch of emotional exhaustion). Living, breathing human beings introduced just the right amount of unpredicatability into the carefully schemed schema - they gave S.K. 'more' than he asked for (and could, if necessary, be cut down to size again in the editing suite). This tension between the planned and the spontaneous animates many of Kubrick's best films (as AP mentioned, the drill instructor's scenes at the start of FMJ also burst out of the movie's anally symmetrical look/structure.) Films are always abt looking, and Kubrick knew we like to watch.

Andrew L, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Some good films, some bad films, like most directors, so I can't understand the Cult of Kubrick. However, this thread gives me the opportunity to say
2001 SUCKS!

DG, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I love Kubrick films. Well, most of them. "2001" is godlike, but you have to accept that it's not like other films. "The Shining", likewise, is a horror film in excelsis. And "Eyes Wide Shut", for all that no one liked it, is a wonderful vision of a universe next door, the kind of film David Lynch used to make.

I'm not convinced by "Clockwork Orange". Faux meaningful book, faux meaningful film. It's so long since I've seen "Doctor Strangelove" that I can't really say anything about it.

"Barry Lyndon" is the real forgotten Kubrick film... anyone got any thoughts on it?

The Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Eyes Wide Shut != anything like a David Lynch film.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

2001 isn't like other films? You're right, it's infinitely more boring. Don't try and pull that 'politely implying it's gone way over your head' shit on me.

DG, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The boringness is part of its charm.

Josh, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't think "2001" goes over the heads of people who don't like it. I used to be one of those people. But around the time he died it got shown on TV, I started watching it, and I got sucked in. It's not like other films in that it's really really really slow. Some people like that, other (inferior) people don't.

As for Eyes Wide Shut, it's like a David Lynch film in suggesting that behind the cosy everyday world there is a world of surrealism and menace. I'm obviously talking of Lynch films like "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" and "Lost Highway", not "The Straight Story".

The Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

2001 is an utterly vacuous film with clever trick photography. The whole damn thing could be over in half an hour without those endless bloody spaceflight/docking sequences. There's more intellect in a 60's Star Trek episode and better effects in practically every film with a significant budget since. Therefore:
2001 = pointless.

DG, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I agree with DG abt it being boring and vacuous. But "better effects in practically every film with a significant budget since": well, no, I'm not sure I do agree with that. In two ways:
A: 2001's FX haven't dated as much as (say) Star Trek's or even Jurassic Park's. They were way bigger-better in 1977 and 1994, but often look cheesy today (ST's big spaceships look like big airfix models; the dino CGI looks paperthin and clunky now). I don't think 2001 looks cheesy, in the sense of looks like a model, or unrealistic. I was really really struck by that, watching it again on a big screen: and (frankly) sitting there hoping to pick holes. I found myself (eg) thinking, Jesus, I can't believe being in space is this boring: not (eg) that's an obvious model, this is no way space, but a studio. Jeez, I can't believe Elstree is this boring.
Obviously some space photography had trickled out from NASA etc; but the moonshots were yet to come, the motherlode of info on visuals beyond the atmosphere. But SK's idea of what it LOOKS like in space is in no way tarnished by how very much more we do know now: he had the right kind of eye and imagination to extrapolate from a little, and get a lot right.
Given that I basically think he's an overrated dickweed who made no grate movies and one half-good one (The Shining: for Shelley Duval rowr esp.with snot on her face), I still find myself quite impressed by these specific things.
And some of the music — not the strausses so much — but ligeti and katchachurian: john williams can choke on [insert appropriate material here]...

mark s, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Eh? The main ship in 2001 almost *always* looks like a giant Airfix model. The matte effects are obvious and the bit in the stargate at the end becomes absolutely terrible towards the end. Come on, footage of sea through a purple filter? Pffffff.

DG, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Airfix model? No it doesn't. Or at least, much LESS than similar things in bigger budget movies subsequently. The matte shots are (I guess) discernible, but they're not lousy. And the inside design doesn't jar at all (that's one bit where boringness works * for* him — of course with boring story and dialogue and costume, you're not left with much to be unbored by).
The stargate/filter stuff I just snooze through: I wouldn't defend *that*. Though actually the sea through colour-filter — right in the middle — is an amazing queasy shot in itself, just because nothing that colour ever moved that way... but it obviously doesn't save the sequence, which is just entirely silly.

mark s, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Dirty Vicar wrote: "Barry Lyndon" is the real forgotten Kubrick film... anyone got any thoughts on it?

My favorite moment is the duel scene...completely breaks conventions with what you are expecting. The rest of the movie I thought kind of slow-running, but perhaps one of his most beautifully filmed.

Joe, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Trust me Mark. Elstree is that boring. Its so boring the only thing to talk about is how Elstree is in Borehamwood so they should be called Borehamwood studios and not named after the slightly posher town three miles away.

Only two films were ever credited to Borehamwood Studios. The Young Ones and Summer Holiday.

Pete, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Spartacus, anyone?

weatheringdaleson, Sunday, 8 December 2002 10:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh sure. Dead thread. Now I notice. Hmmph.

weatheringdaleson, Sunday, 8 December 2002 10:33 (seventeen years ago) link

stanley beefcake

sorry...barry lyndon is my favourite I spartacus the one with the celluloid closet scene where olivier offers tony curtis snails or oysters?

with most kubricks they're great but I don't really feel anything watching them, with the exceptions of barry lyndon which moved me almost to tears...the doom atmosphere of the second part of lyndon's downfall, his son dying (music!!!)

erik, Sunday, 8 December 2002 10:48 (seventeen years ago) link

the cult of Kubrick makes me queasy, the mastering of all possible interps & general anal-retentive control-freak tendencies seems to permeate 'the Shining' to the point that it's.. just not my cup of tea. Strangelove is good fun tho. Must watch 'Barry Lyndon,' I have a feeling anything Kubrick *with* a touch of spontenaeity might be fascinating. Film-major fanboys who think Kubrick is God = major, major dud.

daria g, Sunday, 8 December 2002 19:18 (seventeen years ago) link

i like that bit at the end of spartacus when they all stand up and say "i'm foxy cleopatra"

bob snoom, Sunday, 8 December 2002 21:59 (seventeen years ago) link

nihilist, misanthropic, clueless dud.

did let Peter Sellers do his thang though. Twice.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 9 December 2002 02:07 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't much like Kubrick; I find the majority of his work mindnumbingly dull. I was watching Full Metal Jacket the other night and Jesus Christ, I couldn't pay any attention to it. There wasn't one bit of it that interested me enough in what was going on in order to actually watch it, I ended up wandering around, wrapping Xmas gifts, etc. I've had the same response to most of his films. I fell asleep during EWS (took three tries to watch it). Lolita is kind of "ehhh, I guess I'll watch it, nowt else on". 2001 is like the King of Being Boring. etc etc. I don't know what it is about his style but I just cannot watch his films without wanting to cry for boredom. Even The Shining.

Stanley Kubrick = the epitome of love/hate???

Ally (mlescaut), Monday, 9 December 2002 02:16 (seventeen years ago) link

So what's wrong with nihilism? Kubrick's world view is bascially that of a humanity that's been taken over by its own creations/institutions and the total randomness of The Universe, whether it's the Doomsday device, HAL 9000, the Vietnamese sniper in FMJ, or the closing scene of The Killing.

Totally classic for Paths Of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, The Killing, and Barry Lyndon alone. Totally dud for Eyes Wide Shut, Clockwork Orange, and Lolita.

2001 was the very first movie I saw in a movie theater - as I recall I was five or six years old. Bash it if you must, but I still love it's timeless retrofuture look.

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Monday, 9 December 2002 07:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Daria: "Barry Lyndon" is almost the least spontaneous Kubrickfilm ever! His true masterpiece is "Lolita," just because it looks so bland and turns out to be a great sick comedy. I'm tempted to say I like it better than the book, just cause Nabokovphiles are such bores (not that Kubrickultists aren't too, I admit). Pauline Kael who HATED every film Kubrick made ever afterward (except The Shining, which she's very good on: why it doesn't quite gel but still sticks in your mind) had a great essay on it in her first book. Everyone is very good in it: I could rhapsodize about Sellers' performance(s) for hours (it's true: don't ever get me drunk and say "So Justyn, how about that LOLITA then?" or you'll have to run for cover), but Shelley Winters is amazing and tragic and hilarious and James Mason is about as good as he ever was. I even like Sue Lyon in it even though no one else ever does. Plus it features the best opening scene in any movie EVER. If you have problems with the whole Kubrick thing just pretend you're watching an early David Lynch film or something (was he even born yet?), it was very influential on him. It's really more like Sunset Boulevard or something than any other Kubrick film.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Monday, 9 December 2002 08:44 (seventeen years ago) link

Eyes Wide Shut has some very Lynchian moments. So now the master has become the apprentice...

I don't know what people mean by "spontanaeous", but if you any kind of liking for rollicking romping historical drama then you will wuv Barry Lyndon. It is a top film.

DV (dirtyvicar), Monday, 9 December 2002 10:46 (seventeen years ago) link

"spontaneous" = presumably something Kubrick didn't plan beforehand. actually, since (as he admitted) the reason he did dozens and dozens of takes is because he wasn't quite sure what he wanted, I think people miss the point when they talk about him being a control freak. he was a FLAWED control freak, which makes him interesting (to me, anyway). my #2 Kubrick film is probably The Shining, which is basically all about this (see the "making of" documentary made by his daughter, where SK flips out at Shelley Duvall for flubbing a line and seems disturbingly Nicholson/Torrance-like).

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Monday, 9 December 2002 11:42 (seventeen years ago) link

michel chion's little bfi book on eyes wide shut is good, and helped me like the film more: he begins by overrating it stratospherically (i think he calls it the greatest film ever made!!) but then he goes on to talk about and notices all kinds of interesting small sane stuff which wd be well talked abt in many other films also

i have still never watched clockwork orange, though i now have it on video

mark s (mark s), Monday, 9 December 2002 11:57 (seventeen years ago) link

I liked Eyes Wide Shut, Clockwork Orange and The Shining. I loved the first half of "Full Metal Jacket", but hated the second. Dr. Strangelove was good, but highly overrated.

Cecil Kittens (Cecil), Monday, 9 December 2002 12:02 (seventeen years ago) link

Lolita was nice, with great performances. But part of what made the book so great was the word choices in Humbert's first-person descriptions, not just the situations themselves. And the voiceover's by Mason in the film felt random and often unnecessary (oddly there were other scenes I thought would be improved by narration). I think its one his sloppiest works but it has a better sense of humanity than his later technocratic works.

I like the story that Terry Southern told him when Eyes Wide Shut was in the gestative state that it should be a comedy. I think he meant an intentional one.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 00:19 (seventeen years ago) link

So what's wrong with nihilism?

There's nothing wrong with it, I just don't think he expresses it very well.

I mean, yes, I can see where certain aspects of Kubrick have influenced Lynch but by and large I think Lynch is a better storyteller, whereas Kubrick throws too much emphasis on the stylistic interest of his films and doesn't pay as much attention to getting the story told in the most effective manner. I only really like Strangelove, I suppose, but it's not a film I'd actively go out of my way to watch anymore.

Like I said, he's someone that people either love or hate. No one is kind of "eh" about Kubrick.

Ally (mlescaut), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 01:30 (seventeen years ago) link

does "Mulholland Dr." fit into yer hypothesis, Ally?

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 01:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Or "Lost Highway"?

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 02:49 (seventeen years ago) link

Though I think both directors are (well, in Kubrick's case, was) two shades past overwacky, I prefer Lynch's tits'n'giggles over Kubrick's wrongheaded oppressiveness.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:08 (seventeen years ago) link

I didn't say everything Lynch did was good, and Lost Highway definitely falls into my definition of "bad Lynch". Me finding you less boring than Kubrick != me finding you perfect.

Ally (mlescaut), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:13 (seventeen years ago) link

I haven't actually seen Eyes Wide Shut. Is it all kinds of crazy kinky? Does Cruise actually indulge in fetishy shit (I hope he wears a zorro mask!) and humpity bump with his wife or does he just stand around looking mad? Is he believable as a human being? I'm curious if it qualifies as a "so bad it's good" rental or if it's just boring.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:30 (seventeen years ago) link

I thought it was just boring. Nothing too kinky at all, and Cruise just kind of stands around looking depressed through most of it.

Ally (mlescaut), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:40 (seventeen years ago) link

it is kind of funny in a v.lowkey (intentional) way

it is pervy not at all

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 09:25 (seventeen years ago) link

I think '2001' and 'Clockwork' work nice together. Basically he's saying that machines are better than ppl right? If you make computers human they start killing people and don't work so well as machines, if you try to make humans into machines then they stop killing ppl but don't 'work' at ALL as 'people'. (Re '2001' - Frank Black is a big sci-fi head, maybe that's where the 'Bone Machine' concept RILLY came from? 'Bone machines' v 'Meat Puppets'?)

dave q, Tuesday, 10 December 2002 09:30 (seventeen years ago) link

See also 'Full Metal Jacket', where humans are made into killing machines but then want to kill EVERYONE, not just 'the enemy'!

Andrew L (Andrew L), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 10:01 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
I have zero attention-span and have been known to check the clock even on movies I love (looked at my watch a couple of times during Blood Simple), but every Kubrick film I've seen compels me to keep watching. Maybe it's the icy nihilistic misanthropy or whatever, but I'm glued to the screen.

I chalk it up to Kubrick's confidence. There's an air to every film he did, something I can feel come through the screen. I think I've said elsewhere that my definition of a good film is one where the director accomplished what he set out to do. Kubrick's films always meet that criteria for me - he knew what he wanted, and he shot it.

I haven't seen Lolita or Barry Lyndon, but of the rest, the closest to a dud is A Clockwork Orange, even that's occasionally great.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 03:47 (sixteen years ago) link

i think the knock on 2001 being "vacuous" is probably overstating the case (it's pretty archetypical sci-fi) but it's not exactly a philosophical movie either. i love it. i think it's funny and beautiful and strange. i dont think it's profound but who cares about that really.

detractors expect too much of it.

ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 04:09 (sixteen years ago) link

complete with an overture and intermission!

Dan S, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 00:09 (three months ago) link

The Brits (Olivier, Ustinov, Laughton) are having great fun, and in life they loathed each other.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 00:16 (three months ago) link

yes, mastah

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 00:26 (three months ago) link

I did like seeing the men’s bodies in the baths

Dan S, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 00:31 (three months ago) link

the oysters vs snails interlude made me chuckle

Dan S, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 00:33 (three months ago) link

it's even funnier when you revel in the Anthony Hopkins dubbing of Olivier

(that scene was restored in the '90s)

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 00:39 (three months ago) link

I know Kubrick distanced himself from it, and as much of a 60s hollywood production as it was, I liked it. want to see Paths of Glory again

Dan S, Thursday, 30 April 2020 00:37 (three months ago) link

Never managed to get through it myself.

Vegemite Is My Grrl (Eric H.), Thursday, 30 April 2020 13:03 (three months ago) link

Kubrick knew how to handle Roman maniples.

Shame he never teamed up with Bondarchuk's Red Army for his Napoleon biopic.

speaking moistly (Sanpaku), Thursday, 30 April 2020 19:15 (three months ago) link


fuck it (Left), Thursday, 30 April 2020 20:04 (three months ago) link

show your working

imago, Thursday, 30 April 2020 20:05 (three months ago) link

no i’m good thanks

fuck it (Left), Thursday, 30 April 2020 20:09 (three months ago) link

That Spartacus battle scene was one of the "And a Cast of Thousands!" kind of scenes, where it cost so freaking much to get it onto film that they were never going to reduce it to a fast-paced fifteen seconds of action.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 30 April 2020 20:13 (three months ago) link

yes, and that clip is just the beginning of the battle sequence

Dan S, Thursday, 30 April 2020 22:08 (three months ago) link


fuck it (Left), Friday, 1 May 2020 00:29 (three months ago) link

sorry ignore

fuck it (Left), Friday, 1 May 2020 00:30 (three months ago) link

I also recite da classics

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 1 May 2020 00:34 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

have been rewatching Kubrick’s films in order. The Killing, Paths of Glory, Spartacus and Lolita are all so different

Dan S, Saturday, 16 May 2020 01:12 (two months ago) link

love the edgelord first post on this topic

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Saturday, 16 May 2020 01:32 (two months ago) link

Did you catch the first two? Killer's Kiss is very good imo.

herds of unmasked cletuses (WmC), Saturday, 16 May 2020 02:52 (two months ago) link

don’t see killer’s kiss on any of my subscriptions but fear and desire is on kanopy, I will watch it

Dan S, Saturday, 16 May 2020 03:03 (two months ago) link

It's not great apart from the sense of unreality and detachment, cool to see this in embryonic form. I love that he borrowed money from his uncle to make it and expected it to make his investment back as a Saturday afternoon feature.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Saturday, 16 May 2020 03:22 (two months ago) link

edgelord first post right not wrong

mark s, Saturday, 16 May 2020 12:26 (two months ago) link

don’t see killer’s kiss on any of my subscriptions but fear and desire is on kanopy, I will watch it

You still have Kanopy?

Louder Than Bach's Bottom (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 16 May 2020 14:05 (two months ago) link

yes, through the SF library. when I signed up they were giving access to 8 films a month, but they have increased the number over time, it’s now 15/month

Dan S, Saturday, 16 May 2020 14:29 (two months ago) link


Louder Than Bach's Bottom (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 16 May 2020 14:54 (two months ago) link

watched Fear and Desire, it was ok. Paul Mazursky's first film role!

Dan S, Thursday, 21 May 2020 22:08 (two months ago) link

can see the humor in Lolita but struggle to be amused by Dr. Strangelove, I think it is the wrong time to rewatch this movie, it’s hard to see it as comedy at this moment

Dan S, Thursday, 4 June 2020 01:44 (two months ago) link

That’s what makes it great? Human being’s survival isn’t a factor in the humor.

Vegemite Is My Grrl (Eric H.), Thursday, 4 June 2020 03:44 (two months ago) link

I do think it is great, watched it again today trying to ignore the present moment, appreciated it more

Dan S, Saturday, 6 June 2020 01:20 (two months ago) link

I watched "Strangelove" with my older kid recently, and it really hit me, for the first time, just *how* black it is as a black comedy. Like, it goes so far in that direction that it's barely a comedy. George C. Scott is brilliantly broad, and the bits with him and the Russian ambassador are slapstick funny, sure, but so much of the rest of it is so bone-dry in its delivery. The humor is in the absurdity and mounting doom of the scenario, not in the jokes, per se.

I bet Kubrick was a big fan of "Airplane!", though.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 6 June 2020 03:47 (two months ago) link

Sellers' reactions during the bodily fluids discussion are gold

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Saturday, 6 June 2020 04:23 (two months ago) link

Filmworker is on film 4 on Wednesday night (at 01:50)

koogs, Saturday, 6 June 2020 14:21 (two months ago) link

four weeks pass...

rewatched A Clockwork Orange in a dysphoric state of mind. The vision, concepts, imagery were great but I didn't enjoy it. I appreciated Kubrick's dystopian films when I felt more secure and safe myself, but not now

Dan S, Saturday, 4 July 2020 01:37 (one month ago) link

watching it now I just want the comfort of Singing in the Rain

Dan S, Saturday, 4 July 2020 01:41 (one month ago) link

An ugly film I managed to get through twice; no desire to revisit.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 July 2020 01:43 (one month ago) link

I think it stands at the top of the heap as an aesthetic achievement, but yes, it’s ugly. It has to be ugly.

circa1916, Saturday, 4 July 2020 02:38 (one month ago) link

I did think about that after I posted--it can't be anything else, so I'd really have to organize my thoughts and provide a lot more explanation than just that.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 July 2020 03:33 (one month ago) link

Understand. I will say for such a deeply stylized and attractively art directed film, the violence in it has always struck me as uniquely disturbing. There’s nothing cool or sexy about any of it.

circa1916, Saturday, 4 July 2020 04:01 (one month ago) link

It’s his most puerile, which for him must have been some kind of achievement.

Get the point? Good, let's dance with nunchaku. (Eric H.), Saturday, 4 July 2020 04:59 (one month ago) link

It has to be ugly.

It doesn't have to be uglier, more puerile and more vulgar than the book, which it is.

The Fields o' Fat Henry (Tom D.), Saturday, 4 July 2020 10:59 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Barry Lyndon is melancholic and beautiful, very detailed and extremely long. I’ve managed to watch it in one sitting, but that in general seems hard for me in 2020

Dan S, Thursday, 23 July 2020 23:26 (two weeks ago) link

I like the above assertion that it is skewering pomposity and I agree with d leone’s long ago posts about the symmetry of it - rise and decline, all uphill the first half, and a gradual descent into hopelessness in the second

Dan S, Thursday, 23 July 2020 23:27 (two weeks ago) link

I had vague memories of it as geneal and benign when I saw it at first but now it’s clear to me after watching his films again after all these years that 2001 was really Kubrick’s most optimistic, humanist film.

Dan S, Thursday, 23 July 2020 23:29 (two weeks ago) link

the candle-lit scenes in Barry Lyndon were beautiful

Dan S, Thursday, 23 July 2020 23:52 (two weeks ago) link

I like the 60s/70s crap British futuristic squalor of Clockwork Orange, can only think of one other film with that kind of feel to it - Jubilee.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 24 July 2020 00:15 (two weeks ago) link

have been planning on watching Sebastiane and Jubilee

Dan S, Friday, 24 July 2020 00:26 (two weeks ago) link

it definitely benefits from that brutalist architecture and design

also Stan was at least 10x the filmmaker Derek Jarman was

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Friday, 24 July 2020 13:03 (two weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

watched The Shining again, seeing it again after all of these years reminded me that it’s hard to remove one's self from the original experience

Dan S, Tuesday, 11 August 2020 01:32 (seventeen hours ago) link

it’s hard to remove one's self from the original experience

Wait.. Dan... Danny?

Basil Ker-ching (Noel Emits), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 07:51 (eleven hours ago) link

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