XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Stanley Kubrick => Topic started by: Ghostboy on February 09, 2003, 02:18:02 AM

Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ghostboy on February 09, 2003, 02:18:02 AM
I FINALLY watched Barry Lyndon last night (because the midnight showing of The Shining was sold out by the time I got there). I didn't start it until 2am, but it held my attention the whole way through. That said, I think it's probably my least favorite Kubrick film...it bears all the markings of a by-the-numbers literary adaptation (strict sense of progression, lack of character progression, etc.). I'll need to see it again. The photography was absolutely stunning, however, and if they really did that all in natural light I'm really amazed. And Ryan O'Neal's performance was quite impressive as well.

What does everyone else think?
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ghostboy on February 09, 2003, 02:58:11 AM
BTW, found this interesting site that offers a lot of in-depth insight into all Kubrick's works...

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Cecil on February 09, 2003, 07:50:00 AM
i really liked the movie. probably my least favorite also though. i need to see it again.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on February 09, 2003, 10:30:17 AM
it's ekzellent, man. ; .bL. .aY. .rN. .rD. .yO. .N.

.bl. barry lyndon man, .bl. familiar feelings man. statues.

Barry Lyndon is brilliant in a way that no other kubrick film is brilliant.

i always feel hungry after it
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: life_boy on February 09, 2003, 10:55:37 AM
I liked it a lot better the second time through.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Duck Sauce on February 09, 2003, 12:49:46 PM
Ive seen it a couple times and it is my least favorite, but by no means a bad movie. I just have a hard time paying attention to period pieces.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 09, 2003, 01:05:42 PM
I love this movie. And Pubrick is so right once again.

Not even close to my least favorite Kubrick movie, though... that would be Lolita, which is still a great movie. (Spartacus is not a Kubrick movie)
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: RegularKarate on February 09, 2003, 06:19:56 PM
Barry Lyndon is an amazing film.

Everyone says it's thier least fav.  

Maybe it's my least post-sparticus favorite, but it's way better than Killer's Kiss and Fear and Desire.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Gold Trumpet on February 09, 2003, 06:42:19 PM
Barry Lyndon may be one of the most important movies ever, and is most comparative with 2001 than any other Kubrick movie. Not in similiar story, but what it tries to achieve in scope for its subject. The great interesting thing about it is that it is easily the greatest and most accurate recount of period piece for any movie. Basically done because of the camera Kubrick invented with using an old camera with the lense of one from Nasa used in space. It gave the movie a feeling of authenticity that no computer graphic will ever come near. And the great thing is, Kubrick only made a few of these cameras and held the rights to them and is not going to allow anyone to come near them, thus making Barry Lyndon completely priceless.

My opinion of Barry Lyndon is that it is the second best Kubrick film ever made, very near to 2001.

~rougerum
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: TenseAndSober on February 19, 2003, 01:29:01 AM
Barry Lyndon is fucking bad ass!  I d rip so many shots off from this film ,its ridiculous.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Newtron on February 19, 2003, 01:41:30 AM
Quote from: TenseAndSober
Barry Lyndon is fucking bad ass!  I d rip so many shots off from this film ,its ridiculous.


Haha fuckin aye. Dibs on the courtyard track shot and long zoom of Barry first seeing Lady Lyndon, while playing chess I believe.

Suckaaa!
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ghostboy on February 19, 2003, 03:13:32 AM
That courtyard shot is just incredible. That whole scene is great, no dialogue, all that blue moonlight...

Since you have dibs on that, I'll steal the zoom out on the funeral procession.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: soixante on February 21, 2003, 09:55:01 PM
Barry Lyndon is my favorite Kubrick film.  It was the first Kubrick film I ever saw, and it blew me away.  I had never seen anything like it before.

It requires utmost patience to savor its subtle delights.  It is mid-70's art for art's sake, before the 80's bombastic video-game MTV quick-cut ADD school of filmmaking took hold.  You have to just sit there, be patient, and not expect Spielbergian set pieces every ten minutes.  It's a great movie, but you have to get into the late 18th century pace.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: ©brad on February 22, 2003, 07:56:01 AM
Quote from: Duck Sauce
I just have a hard time paying attention to period pieces.


why?
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Duck Sauce on February 22, 2003, 12:47:22 PM
Quote from: cbrad4d
Quote from: Duck Sauce
I just have a hard time paying attention to period pieces.


why?


I dunno, probably because Im closed minded and only concerned with modern society.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 22, 2003, 01:36:07 PM
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
My opinion of Barry Lyndon is that it is the second best Kubrick film ever made, very near to 2001.


Sometimes I love you, GT...  :kiss: ...  :oops:
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ghostboy on February 22, 2003, 07:33:21 PM
So who is looking forward to Ryan O'Neal's upcoming film, 'Malibu's Most Wanted?' It's a gangsta action comedy also starring Jamie Kennedy and Snoop Dog as the voice of a talking rat.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ernie on March 09, 2003, 12:23:18 AM
Yeah, I can't really get into many pre-1920's period pieces a lot of the time myself. I guess it starts to feel too much like school after awhile. Anything about the 20's through the 80's is fucking cool by me though, I love that stuff. I don't think there have been any 90's period pieces yet, right?

Anyway, Barry Lyndon was no easier for me to get into than any other 1800's set film I've ever seen. Like I said, it just started to feel like a film I would watch in history class. Don't get me wrong, it was technically AMAZING. The cinematography and the direction was just perfection in every sense of the word...but the story and the characters and all that just didn't click with me I guess. They really bored me. I mean, 2001 is slow...but the urgency is so intriguing...so you want to keep watching. That's why I love that film. Barry Lyndon didn't have that urgency. There did come a point where I didn't give a fuck about it anymore.

Oh well...I still love Kubrick.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: picolas on March 09, 2003, 12:30:00 AM
Quote from: ebeaman69
I don't think there have been any 90's period pieces yet, right?


Fight Club (?)
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ernie on March 09, 2003, 12:37:33 AM
Quote from: Ghostboy
BTW, found this interesting site that offers a lot of in-depth insight into all Kubrick's works...

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/


Oh, that's an awesome site. I've always wanted to actually understand Dr Strangelove. I love that movie for the most superficial reasons. I don't get any of the jokes but I still love it.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: ©brad on March 09, 2003, 08:02:05 AM
Quote from: ebeaman69
Yeah, I can't really get into many pre-1920's period pieces a lot of the time myself. I guess it starts to feel too much like school after awhile. Anything about the 20's through the 80's is fucking cool by me though, I love that stuff. I don't think there have been any 90's period pieces yet, right?

Anyway, Barry Lyndon was no easier for me to get into than any other 1800's set film I've ever seen. Like I said, it just started to feel like a film I would watch in history class. Don't get me wrong, it was technically AMAZING. The cinematography and the direction was just perfection in every sense of the word...but the story and the characters and all that just didn't click with me I guess. They really bored me. I mean, 2001 is slow...but the urgency is so intriguing...so you want to keep watching. That's why I love that film. Barry Lyndon didn't have that urgency. There did come a point where I didn't give a fuck about it anymore.

Oh well...I still love Kubrick.


ahhh to be 16 again...
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on March 09, 2003, 09:39:19 AM
Quote from: ebeaman69
I've always wanted to actually understand Dr Strangelove.

Quote from: General Jack D. Ripper
I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Interesting facts about the film:
-The dictionary definition of "Merkin" (the president's first name) is "a pubic wig".
-It is universally acknowledged that the film is full of phallic references. (refuelling; cigar chomping; bomb riding; etc)
-Men especially love it.


Quote from: ebeaman69
I don't get any of the jokes but I still love it.

Quote from: cbrad4d
ahhh to be 16 again...


(http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/Movies/9903/08/kubrick.obit/stanley.kubrick.jpg)
*sigh*
the anniversary of his death was yesterday.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ernie on March 09, 2003, 12:04:34 PM
Ok...where to start.

First of all, cbrad...you know damn well the average 16 year old wouldn't have acknowledged the cinematography and direction of Barry Lyndon if they didn't like it, they would have just bashed it for being slow. I didn't do that, I pointed out the parts I liked about it. You know, It's kinda funny how Duck Sauce didn't get ridiculed for not liking the film but I FUCKING DID! That is fucking funny! That is agism, that is prejudice and that should be illegal on these boards. Alright, I'm not going to apolgize for my fucking opinion this time. I didn't go overboard, I didn't lose my temper, and I didn't bash the film. I said what I thought politely with respect to those that love the film.

And Pubrick...as for Strangelove....look, I admitted that I like the film for superficial reasons, sue me. I like it because it's still fun to watch despite not getting any of the jokes. Just to watch it for the direction and that stuff is good enough for me. I also fucking said I was willing to learn, alright. I didn't say, "oh, that happened before I was born so who gives a fuck about it." I said "I don't really get any of the jokes but I'd be willing to learn so that I could."
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ghostboy on March 09, 2003, 12:11:43 PM
Quick! Someone post the Special Olympics picture!
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ernie on March 09, 2003, 12:13:22 PM
Quote from: Ghostboy
Quick! Someone post the Special Olympics picture!


That should have been posted before I posted. They antagonized me and I said what I thought about it, there's nothing wrong with that. What did you want me to say in response to them?...."oh, I'm sorry...I should have never posted my opinion...you guys are right, I'm sorry...what was I thinking?"

Sorry man but I swear to god I won't apologize for posting my opinion this time. I didn't do anything wrong this time. I didn't offend anybody. I didn't bash Barry Lyndon or Strangelove. Lol, I didn't even say I didn't like Strangelove. I also was pointing out blatant agism (discrimination based on age) on the boards. Duck Sauce said he didn't like it and nobody said shit. I said I didn't like it and two obviously condescending replies magically appear....weird stuff.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: MacGuffin on March 09, 2003, 12:37:57 PM
(http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/Movies/9903/08/kubrick.obit/stanley.kubrick.jpg)

"Stop! I'm getting dizzy from spinning in my grave."
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Duck Sauce on March 09, 2003, 12:55:05 PM
Dont drag me into this.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ernie on March 09, 2003, 12:59:27 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin

"Stop! I'm getting dizzy from spinning in my grave."


 :? From the people in the world that loathe ALL of his movies with a passion or from me not liking ONE of his movies? I'm confused.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: sphinx on March 09, 2003, 01:01:36 PM
Quote from: ebeaman69
:? From the people in the world that loathe ALL of his movies with a passion or from me not liking ONE of his movies? I'm confused.


i think he accidentally bought one of those spinning graves
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ernie on March 09, 2003, 01:01:51 PM
Quote from: Duck Sauce
Dont drag me into this.


Oh, like anybody's actually going to agree with me...come on man. You don't have anything to worry about. You didn't do anything wrong. And even if you had, nobody would have said anything. Remember, I'M the one that has to phrase all of my opinions to the liking of everybody else...you can say whatever you want. And if, at any time, I don't comply with these constraints on my opinion, not to worry...cbrad and Pubrick never fail to shoot me back down where all silly 16 year olds belong. Wouldn't want them getting their own opinions, would we? Next thing you know they're going to want the drinking age lowered! We just can't have any of that. It's just insane!
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ernie on March 09, 2003, 01:03:48 PM
Quote from: sphinx
Quote from: ebeaman69
:? From the people in the world that loathe ALL of his movies with a passion or from me not liking ONE of his movies? I'm confused.


i think he accidentally bought one of those spinning graves


Lol....oh, alright. Good, that's fine then. I didn't think I had the power to make somebody spin in their grave by not liking one of their movies. How could I? I'm 16.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on March 10, 2003, 02:41:32 AM
Quote from: ebeaman69
Lol....oh, alright. Good, that's fine then. I didn't think I had the power to make somebody spin in their grave by not liking one of their movies. How could I? I'm 16.

my message wasn't even dissing u but maybe giving a clue as to why u didn't understand the jokes in the film. obviously u didn't understand the message either. relax. and try not to reply to this.

TIP: don't freak out and try to defend everything u say.

ur cool, but too much Leno makes me claw my eyes out.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: ©brad on March 10, 2003, 05:08:19 AM
beaman, buddy- relax. meant no offense with my comment either. its all shits and giggles this message board, yes? feel free to make fun of me, lord knows its pretty easy.

just out of curiosity, how many of these did you take today?

(http://www.thegooddrugsguide.com/stories/images/ritalin.jpg)

remember dude, it says take one tablet...[/b]
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on March 10, 2003, 05:24:43 AM
Quote from: cbrad4d
feel free to make fun of me,

go and boil ur bottom, u son of a silly person. i blow my nose at u.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: ©brad on March 10, 2003, 05:32:41 AM
Quote from: P
Quote from: cbrad4d
feel free to make fun of me,

go and boil ur bottom, u son of a silly person. i blow my nose at u.


see how easy that was beaman? it just rolls off my back- all good and fun, don't take anything personally.

now, err, uhh, excuse me while I, uhh, I need to blow my nose.

(http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:7r3TeEf9G0cC:www.rowdyruff.net/images/fanart/heavy/Crying-in-the-rain_color.png)

why is everyone so mean to me?
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ernie on March 10, 2003, 03:27:53 PM
Alright, I am truly sorry cbrad and Pubrick...I fucked up, my bad. I misunderstood your posts. It seems that I can't fucking help but do that anymore. Sorry sorry sorry again.

Lol, I didn't take the ritalin...I should look into that, thank you. And I would never make fun of you by the way. I don't do that, even outside of the internet I never do that.

What did you mean by the "Leno" thing by the way Pubrick? Just wondering so I can make sure I'm not doing it anymore. Thank you.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: RegularKarate on March 11, 2003, 04:10:33 PM
You keep gettin' closer Ebe... one of these days you won't blow it.

tip: don't reply to this
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Kumar on April 01, 2003, 01:42:23 AM
Um I would just like to say that Barry Lyndon is a masterpeice of a quality that few directors will ever achieve.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Kumar on April 01, 2003, 01:54:47 AM
Quote from: Ghostboy
BTW, found this interesting site that offers a lot of in-depth insight into all Kubrick's works...

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/



I was also wondering if other directors have sites like this?
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: USTopGun47 on May 18, 2003, 08:14:02 PM
Barry Lyndon is great from a visual standpoint.  It's lush and it puts me to sleep, not saying that's a bad thing!  Kubrick is all about pace, the changing emotions on the face over time tell the story.  It's more real that way, longer, more sleep inducing, more beautiful.  I don't think it's his greatest work from, well, an entertaining standpoint obviously.  It's more like being at an art museum for 24 hours.  Great and exhausting.  2 viewings however is enough for me.   :-D
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: modage on May 18, 2003, 11:09:27 PM
i just got around to watching this movie and didnt particularly care for it.  i think i am a bit prejudice to most movies of that era of white wigs and black moles and such.  i didnt get down with amadeus either although im sure they were both fine films, they put me to sleep.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: soixante on May 30, 2003, 11:14:28 PM
Apparently, Scorsese is really into Barry Lyndon.

There is a very stylized and emotionally remote quality to the film that is off-putting to most people.  One of the keys to the film is Kubrick starts a lot of shots in close up, then pulls back for a long shot, so the effect is like a landscape painting come to life.  The lighting, the costumes, the mise en scene is of the highest quality.  The cinematography alone makes this a landmark film, as it influenced pretty much everything that came afterwards (Days of Heaven, most significantly, which with its golden hour cinematography has been endlessly influential).
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: modage on June 08, 2003, 07:26:34 PM
Quote from: soixante
Apparently, Scorsese is really into Barry Lyndon.

There is a very stylized and emotionally remote quality to the film that is off-putting to most people.  One of the keys to the film is Kubrick starts a lot of shots in close up, then pulls back for a long shot, so the effect is like a landscape painting come to life.  The lighting, the costumes, the mise en scene is of the highest quality.  The cinematography alone makes this a landmark film, as it influenced pretty much everything that came afterwards (Days of Heaven, most significantly, which with its golden hour cinematography has been endlessly influential).


i just read a Billy Wilder interview that i thought was really interesting where he talked about Barry Lyndon.  what he basically said was that that close up pull back thing, was effective the first few times and then quickly lost impact, (which i would agree with).  he also said that some of the shots in the movie were as beautiful as anything he'd ever seen, but anytime you have time to stop and say "wow, look how neat that shot is", you're not too invested in the actual story.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: SoNowThen on June 09, 2003, 09:31:16 AM
I've always disagreed with that statement about being aware of the beauty of the shot. I think it works perfectly well for this story. For a master of composition like Kubrick, each shot carries so much significance (visual and narrative), I think Wilder's dead wrong...

And the more you saw the zoom out, as Barry's story progressed, I felt it gained more and more impact.

Oh well... a wonderful film, just saw for the first time last night.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: AlguienEstolamiPantalones on June 09, 2003, 09:40:57 AM
Quote from: Ghostboy
So who is looking forward to Ryan O'Neal's upcoming film, 'Malibu's Most Wanted?' It's a gangsta action comedy also starring Jamie Kennedy and Snoop Dog as the voice of a talking rat.


it was his love of barry lyndon, that lead snoop to taking the part
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: sexterossa on June 11, 2003, 11:30:04 PM
wow, that ebeaman/cbrad/pubrick/ducksauce banter was highly entertaining.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Redlum on November 18, 2003, 04:18:46 PM
I just blind bought Barry Lyndon today. Really good movie but what I came to say was that every damn shot looks like a work of fine art. Canvas paintings. Just the placement of objects and people within the shots. The colours were amazing.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: MacGuffin on March 12, 2004, 07:58:00 PM
So I rewatched this film after not having seen it for many, many years...

Brilliant. I have better appreciation for the beauty of the cinematography and the storytelling techniques from when I first saw it before I took an interest in filmmaking. I liked how scenes would start and hook you in, and then the narration would give you the exposition. And I'm surprised no one mentioned (unless I missed it) the use of score. After the camerawork, it's the most remarkable part of the film. It's has a very calming quality to the film, and the contrast of it's use against battle scenes worked perfectly.

One other thing that struck me was the use of exchanged glances. Without any dialogue, the use of just the eyes to tell you everything one is thinking.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Weak2ndAct on March 13, 2004, 02:23:37 AM
Quote from: MacGuffin
And I'm surprised no one mentioned (unless I missed it) the use of score. After the camerawork, it's the most remarkable part of the film. It's has a very calming quality to the film, and the contrast of it's use against battle scenes worked perfectly.

Oh yeah, the score is quite wonderful.  My favorite has to be the rendition of the theme while Lady Lyndon writes out her payment in the final scene.  Just heartbreaking and perfect.

I just watched this again last week and still think it's Kubrick's best film.  

Plus it also has one of the best, and most dramatically earned ass-whoopins I've seen in a while :wink:
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Just Withnail on August 01, 2004, 04:51:31 PM
Barry Lyndon

Spoilers

Sat down last night. Wine in the glass, Barry Lyndon in the DVD player. And when I awoke this morning and thought, "That sure was something last night", I wasn't talking about my hangover, I thinking of my Lyndon virginity, that had just been lost.

Though it was slow in pace, it hit me like a sledgehammer. Not exactly the most original story I've seen, but O'Neil's performance makes Lyndon's rags-to-riches-and-back-again story believable. I think it was already mentioned, and I wholeheartedly agree that his face is just amazing in this, it practically carries the film. Though that's way too unfair to all the other amazing aspects of it. The often praised cinematography for instance. The film seems lit like a dream sequence in any other ordinary film, every frame a painting. But this has all been mentioned, and I'm simply repeating. However, what has gained little and almost no response is the music, and I agree with Mac and Weak. The piece that plays during the death scene of Barry's son (the one that starts the film, and re-appears quite a lot) was very beautiful. Adding to the music both the acting of father and son, and put in context of the story, the death sequence is definitely the most emotional scene in the entire film (for me at least), and probably in the entire filmography of Kubrick. Who'd've thought Kubrick could make me cry?
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Derek on August 01, 2004, 05:18:09 PM
I own the box set, have for a couple of years, and never got around to watching this until a month ago. Expectations of being bored by pretty costumes, I suppose. But I finally popped this in out of obligation, I suppose and was floored. Ryan O'Neill gives one of my favorite performances EVER. It really is amazing, I haven't seen any of his previous movies but everything in this set is not simply a very good movie but they are all great movies.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Finn on August 01, 2004, 10:46:03 PM
I've owned the box set for a year now. I've seen the movie but I have yet to watch it on dvd.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: NEON MERCURY on August 01, 2004, 11:23:02 PM
i own the betamax version....and it was scrumptous...
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on August 02, 2004, 12:14:35 AM
so u ppl own the boxset for what, decoration?

fuckin ppl baffle me.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: soixante on September 28, 2004, 03:08:37 AM
Barry Lyndon is sublime.  The music is perfectly selected.  The cinematography set a new gold standard for excellence in lighting and composition, which everyone imitated.  Kubrick's detached and resigned view of human beings is on splendid display.  There is plenty of decorum, pageantry and marching in this film, soldiers in perfect columns stepping to their doom like lambs scattering to their slaughter (in one shot, marching soldiers share the frame with shepherded lambs).
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: meatball on October 02, 2004, 11:35:16 PM
Quote from: Pubrick
so u ppl own the boxset for what, decoration?

fuckin ppl baffle me.


Don't get flustered.

I think that of all the movies in the box set, Barry Lyndon is the least appealing choice to watch if somebody has never seen it -- considering all the other films that come with it.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on October 03, 2004, 12:51:40 AM
i'll take that as a yes.
Title: Barry Lyndon
Post by: RegularKarate on October 03, 2004, 02:03:50 PM
Seriously... seems like if you have a set of movies by a great director, you're going to be the most excited about seeing the one you HAVE'NT seen.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: MacGuffin on May 31, 2007, 11:33:25 AM
(http://www.thereeler.com/images/vitali_052707.jpg)


"A Hell of an Experience"
Exclusive: Kubrick actor and associate Leon Vitali looks back on 30 years of Barry Lyndon
By Jamie Stuart; The Reeler

Leon Vitali was Stanley Kubrick's assistant for nearly 25 years. They first worked together when he was cast as the elder Lord Bullingdon in 1975's Barry Lyndon; Vitali subsequently stepped over to run Kubrick's office, cast his films and oversee the video transfers and restored prints of his features. In recent years, he has permanently relocated to Los Angeles from the UK and worked as a producer on Eyes Wide Shut alumnus Todd Field's Little Children. When I learned Vitali was to be presenting a series of screenings of Barry Lyndon at the Walter Reade Theater (the sold-out run concludes today at 3 and 7 p.m., with Vitali introducing and discussing the second screening), I immediately threatened Lincoln Center with thermonuclear blackmail until they capitulated to allow an interview.

In person, he's extremely tranquil and eloquent, speaking with a tinge of British on top of his American-born accent. As one of only a handful of people to have known Stanley Kubrick intimately over an extended period -- both personally and professionally -- speaking with Leon Vitali was probably as close as I could ever get to stepping into Kubrick's world.

THE REELER: There are a ton of questions I could ask about Barry Lyndon, but so many of them are cliché: the NASA lenses, how it was initially received. For me, when I was first getting into Stanley Kubrick -- I was probably a freshman in high school, so we're talking '89-'90 -- the one movie I didn't know about was Barry Lyndon. I knew about Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, had seen Full Metal Jacket on opening day when I was 12. I knew everything but this. I didn't even know that this movie existed until I was like 18 years old. Maybe we can start there. These screenings are completely sold out. It's become this movie that everyone genuinely loves. But it was this movie that just wasn't talked about for a while.

LEON VITALI: You know, the genesis of that, I think, was -- and Stanley always admitted this -- he took too long to make it. There was about a year of pre-production, a year-plus of shooting, then he took an awful long time to edit. And by the time it was ready to come out, I would say, the blockbuster action movies had become de rigeur. That was what the people really wanted to see. So when this film came out it was received as strange, slow, completely out of context to what was going on -- and I think people were expecting something a little closer to A Clockwork Orange, which, of course had caused such a furor. It was living! A Clockwork Orange was playing for over a year in London. And it (Barry Lyndon) was trashed by many critics, equally so in the UK. That really hurt Stanley a lot. He was very depressed about it. Very upset about it. He took it to heart. It took a long, long time really before... I can tell you exactly when it was... It was in the early-'90s. The BBC ran a series of his films on television. It was all the films from Lolita, Strangelove, 2001, Clockwork, Barry Lyndon, The Shining --

R: The major canon.

LV: The major canon. The Radio Times, which is like a TV Guide, but more of a magazine, I suppose -- they gave each film a critical breakdown. Well, they gave Barry Lyndon five stars, because they believed that was the true Odyssey film: you start with someone who's lowdown; he travels all the way around Europe; gets himself into the upper-echelons of the British aristocracy; then there's a slow decline back to where he came from. It's a classic Odyssey story. They gave it five stars and all the other films got four stars, but perfect critiques. And they said if it hadn't been for the fact that Barry Lyndon was playing along with these other films, they would have given all those films five stars. I realized there'd been a real turning point, especially toward the end of Stanley's life, where we were getting feedback from a lot of critics that suddenly said: "I've just seen Barry Lyndon again, and I did not realize at the time what a wonderful film it was." They went so lyrical about it.

But anyway, after they screened it on BBC television, the next morning Stanley came into my office, and he said: "Wow, Leon, I watched it for the first time since I don't know when -- and it's a really great movie!" And I said: "Well, that's what we've been trying to tell you for years." It was really then that he started to get enthusiastic about it and, if he had lived, then you can bet that Warner Bros. would've taken notice. We controlled marketing. Barry Lyndon would've been much more to the front of subsequent releases, and it would've had a lot more publicity, been released on its own, given a little flourish. But, in a way, I kind of like the way there's a slow understanding beginning to happen. You feel like it's a groundswell. When I moved to Los Angeles permanently in 2003, I met so many filmmakers and people who work in film, and they started telling me that Barry Lyndon, for them, was not only their favorite Kubrick movie, it was just their favorite movie. It's beginning to work now in a way that it never did when it was released. It's so gratifying.

R: It's sort of the way the movie itself works. The first half of the movie, you really don't know where it's going.

LV: Correct.

R: I always find that with Stanley, on the one hand, his work was so innovative and so many people looked to him as somebody who's going to take it to the next place, but at the same time I kind of feel that he was making his movies outside of time. To one extent, he wanted to be at the forefront of things, but simultaneously, he wasn't doing things as part of the culture. It's one of the reasons his movies have been able to be successful and popular, as opposed to just a zeitgeist movie which sums up the moment culturally, but 30-40 years later you look back and it's just completely dated.

LV: Right. I think you've got a real valid point there. And it's something that I've always been interested in. One of the key things about Stanley -- I was with him on his last four films -- one of the key things that you understood was, the whole point of what he was trying to do was to get each one of those stories down to the most basic, simple, straightforward way of telling the story. Which involves cutting out probably some people's favorite passages from a book, because they have some relevance socially or what have you. He never wanted to do that.

R: It's all very distilled.

LV: Very distilled. Very focused. Very concentrated. And I think that's one of the reasons some people say he was a very cold filmmaker. But, in actual fact, I never find that. I just find him very honest. Getting down to that very distilled or focused storytelling takes out all those sorts of relevances that -- if you'd left them in -- would've dated the movie. So you cut out all that stuff, because even in a film like Barry Lyndon, which is about 18th-century English aristocracy -- it was a satire (of) them really, that was the whole idea of Thackeray's book -- it still, if you look at that film, it has a relevance to the way that society all over the world is structured, because it's an outsider trying to break into an establishment. And the establishment doesn't want the outsider to break in. That's really what it's about.

R: A lot of his work was very much about "the outsider."

LV: That's right.

R: Within a system or some kind of... I think if you read some of the really bad analyses they would've said, "The outsider within some kind of machine..."

LV: Yes, yes, yes. I think he's the most over-analyzed filmmaker in history. I really do.

R: History has its own ways of judging things.

LV: Yes. Absolutely.

R: To me, that's also just the way that Stanley worked. You can see the scene functionally for what it is, but on the second pass you realize: Wait a second, there's something else very much going on here! What you thought was going on isn't what's going on.

LV: Exactly. When I was at drama school, for instance, obviously we studied a lot of classic text. People like Strindberg and Chekhov and whatnot. What happens, I suppose, is, if you get down to the kind of simplicity that they do it leaves the door open for anybody, even in a new era, to put an interpretation on it. It may have not been something consciously that Strindberg meant to be saying, for instance, or Chekhov, but it's still valid. That's the wonderful thing about interpretation -- the personal gratification you get upon watching something. It's down to you. And if it's well-made, you could go back and see it a third, fourth, fifth time. Scorsese said that every time he sees a Kubrick film, he could watch it 10 times, and each time it's like watching a new movie.

R: The thing that's interesting for me: I'm 32, so for the most part, with the exception of Full Metal Jacket as a kid and, of course, Eyes Wide Shut, I got to know his movies on a TV screen.

LV: Right. Right.

R: Finally seeing them on the big screen after getting to know them and analyze them on video, there's always something different seeing it in the manner it was originally intended. When you see 2001 on a big screen, you see the detail inside the space station -- you see the little people walking around through the windows.

LV: I know. It's insane.

R: There's always something. Or because the later films were all done for video in full-screen, or the full negative, I should say...

LV: That's right. Absolutely. I worked with all those transfers. We went East/West. You have the whole frame. When he shot through the camera what he would do was compose for 1.33 -- which is the full TV screen -- and also for 1.85. It's not an uncommon thing to do. But he would intentionally have action going on in the top of the frame. In Full Metal Jacket, a really good example, on the TV screen you see it in a really different context. It doesn't lose its power. Suddenly you're seeing tops of buildings. You're seeing how small these people are inside that milieu. And that danger can come from anywhere. The same with The Shining. It has another kind of power on the TV screen. And another kind of power when it's shown theatrically. But there's no doubt about it, when you see a film like Barry Lyndon or 2001 -- and I'd say also The Shining -- theatrically they're a hell of an experience. It's an experience, that's what it is.

R: I saw Full Metal Jacket during the Film Forum series (in 2000), and all of a sudden it was like -- seeing it cropped to 1.85, and changing the composition, it called so much more attention to the lines within the barracks. But also, every time they're outside and doing something, the troops will maybe be in the foreground or moving along the Z-axis -- but splitting the screen in almost every shot there's a line of troops in the background. My jaw just dropped. Almost every shot. And it just gave the most incredible depth to the compositions.

LV: You know, he was not a fan of 1.85. He always thought, you know, "You pay to see a movie, you want to see the whole picture." He always thought that if you're ripping out 27 percent of your screen space in a letterbox format that was a bit sad. But he understood with the multiplex situation what was happening; that was really the only way to go. That's the same reason he only recorded in mono. Everything except for 2001 -- which in 70mm, there's no point in having a mono track with that -- and Eyes Wide Shut. Because by the time we made Eyes Wide Shut, he realized that most of the multiplexes -- and I would say that 90 percent of the movie houses in the UK are multiplexes now -- understood that sound was something that had become important to the average viewer. When we released Full Metal Jacket, we sent a squad of people around checking the movie houses. Some places didn't even know that their stereo systems weren't working. They had no idea. He didn't want to have a bad stereo track playing where you lose half your track if it's not working. Mono you were always safe with. I believe Woody Allen still only releases in mono.

R: Really?

LV: I believe so. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty certain. It's not bad. A good mix is a good mix. That's all there is to it.

R: I was aware that Stanley had done that. One thing I find interesting is that so many people talk about the level of control within his films.

LV: That's right.

R: But other filmmakers I think of who have a great degree of control -- modern filmmakers like say the Coen Brothers or somebody like David Fincher -- they very much work from storyboards. They go into shooting their movies knowing exactly what they want, and they do it until they get exactly what they want. With Stanley, however, it seems like it was completely about the process.

LV: That's right. He never used storyboards. Never used storyboards. That's a wonderful feeling of freedom you have as an actor, and I've said several times that Stanley was the closest to a theater director that I ever worked with. That was the process you went through. It's just that instead of taking six weeks to rehearse for a play scene by scene by scene, here we were taking hours and sometimes days to rehearse and shoot and rehearse and shoot. And all the time during rehearsals, he insisted: "Do it for real. Do what you think you will do." Because the way he found his first shot, he used to walk around the set with an Arriflex tube and just change lenses, look around, down, up, move away, move around. Once he found his first shot, he knew he could build the scene from that point. But he said: "If you don't do it properly, if you don't do it for real, you could change the way I think about the scene. You could suddenly put a whole new accent on it." You know, it's such a refreshing way for an actor to work. It really is.

R: In 2002, I was at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards and Todd Field was there for In the Bedroom. He was the first person I saw, and was like: It's Nick Nightingale (from Eyes Wide Shut)! I went right up and started talking to him. He was saying the same thing -- you would rehearse the scene to the point where you inherently knew where the camera was going to be.

LV: That's right. And the other thing is, you hear a lot of actors -- and I'm not being negative here -- a lot of filmmakers, for instance, will say that if you over-rehearse it gets boring, you lose its freshness, spontaneity. But what I always understood was, boredom is just another phase. You get through that. And once you get through that, that for me was always a sign that you'd broken the back of whatever problem was blocking you. You'd gone through it and gone through it and gone through it -- and sometimes you don't even understand why suddenly it feels fresh again. But he wouldn't shoot until it had gotten to that point. That, for me, was the wonderful thing about working with him, because you could trust him to see that point where it's beginning to work, then... Bang! It was like shooting shit off a shovel. It was just take after take after take. And each time, something else would come from that. Then the scene could change again. Could be: "Ahh, I hadn't thought of that..." Then we'd dash off, sit down somewhere. "How would you say that?" Then you'd start that process again. The most exciting time I had as an actor, apart from a couple of stage productions. It really was.

R: I have this idea that a filmmaker should be able to step into any environment and be able to immediately find at least half a dozen shots.

LV: Yeah. Absolutely. I always think one of Stanley's really big plusses when it came to that was he knew how to organize material. So if ever he kind of found himself in trouble in the editing process, he always had this instant mental access to another shot that maybe could help him out. Maybe it was a slightly different angle. Or it was another line reading. Because when he edited dialogue, you know, if he had 50 takes of say, "I love you very much," what he would do is strip out word-for-word -- he'd have 50 "I's," 50 "love's," 50 "you's," 50 "very's," 50 "much's." Then he would cross-match to see which combination of them could give him that dramatic impact. It's a very long process. But he knew how to organize that. And once we got into editing with Avid... The first time we ever edited using a computer system was Full Metal Jacket. We used a system called Montage, which, I gotta tell you, was like Computer Alley! You had to have these huge towers for random access. A tower for the main drive. A hard disk. A command center.

R: Now I can do that on my laptop.

LV: Exactly. Exactly. It was a real amazing experience. You realize, you used to do the same thing before, but you were cutting mag. And that took forever. I mean, it took long enough when you could access your material like that (snaps fingers).

R: And you don't have to worry about trying to find that one frame at the bottom of the bin.

LV: Exactly. I mean, the trim box was, like, overflowing.

R: This is kind of a general question, and it might be difficult to answer. But I think it's something everybody wants to know: Who was Stanley?

LV: You know, it's not as complicated as you might think. The best way I can put it is this: If you make it in more of a personal context and you think about yourself as being someone who can sometimes be angry, sometimes be generous, sometimes be jealous, sometimes be resentful, sometimes be extremely kind -- all those basic human qualities. Everybody's got them. And the thing is, for many people, there's one part of them that drives them more than another. Some people are continually feeling guilty about life. He could feel guilty about some of the things he had to do. Or they could be extremely ambitious. Something drives them more than all the others. They have all those other qualities inside them. But somebody like Stanley, who had all those like you or I, but to about the power of a gazillion, all right? Because from minute to minute it could change. One of those, the ambitious, would suddenly give way to something quite mean. And then equally give way to something almost over-generous. Everything he did was almost overpowering. Which was quite difficult to live with. But, of course, stimulating at the same time.

For some people it was hard to deal with because if they were delivering bad news, for instance, or reporting on a failure to complete a mission, for want of a better way of putting it, his line was always: "How long have you known this? And were you waiting for the right moment to tell me -- the right psychological moment to tell me?" Of course, you'd always say, "No." But inside you were nodding away. Of course you were, because if you're having a bad time, I don't want to come and tell you I've just had a phone call from so-and-so. It just wasn't worth it. ... What he couldn't stand was if someone lied outright, which is really an easy thing to happen when you're dealing with somebody who's so powerful, who can be so angered and outraged at something. People don't want to go willingly into those situations. But if you did, I could tell you we went into everything so thoroughly, got to the bottom of everything so thoroughly, you were always going to be found out. It's as simple as that. So you kind of learned that approach wasn't worth it either. It was often easier to seek the forgiveness than to seek permission to do something, just to get some things done sometimes.

R: I understand there's going to be another Kubrick Collection for HD...

LV: Yes, they used the standard-def DVD collection that we did for the whole restoration program a little while ago as a guide. But, as you know, in high-definition there a whole color science that goes on. I'm sure a lot of DP's and directors who shoot film going into the digital intermediate or digital negative, they realize that it doesn't always translate right across. So you really have to get into it. But they did a really good job. I went in to look at the titles, which were 2001, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut, and A Clockwork Orange -- all we really needed to do was just place-to-place shift it a little bit. They looked really, really fine. It also means that in HD you are getting the 1.85 you saw theatrically. That'll be converted into 1.77 or 1.78 --

R: 16:9.

LV: Yeah. 16:9. And now it actually fills the whole screen, so you don't get those blank bars at the top and bottom. The only one they're not doing is Barry Lyndon. And I have no idea why not. That would look totally beautiful in HD. And 2001, I can't tell you. It is stunning! It is so stunning! The detail... You know, we tried when I was working with them all those years ago, we tried to see what would happen if we digitally projected it. But back then, they only had this 1080 interlace, and what happened was a lot of digital blocking in the small detail areas --

R: Yeah, the lines...

LV: That's gone now because it's progressive 1080. It's beautiful.

R: 2k scan?

LV: 2k scan, yeah.

R: They just came out with the Alejandro Jodorowsky set.

LV: Right.

R: And they did a 2k scan of The Holy Mountain. It's gorgeous looking.

LV: I went to an exhibition in Las Vegas. I went to the Sony tent. They want all their cinemas in Japan to be 4k within a year. I even saw some test stuff in 8k, and then you're getting into realms of... And there's no use comparing it to film. I love film, and I have so much affection for it. But you can't think about those things in that way anymore. It is going to go. And digital is what it is. It isn't like film, it's different. There's no point in crying over it. It's coming and you just have to deal with it.

The only thing: I was talking last night to some people about this, and the only thing that worries me about digital is there's been no test of time about storing the information. Whether you're going to drop those 1's and 0's -- this migration problem they're talking about. They've gotta work that out somehow. Because if stuff's shot digitally and it's not put on a film format, you've got no 100 percent storage for future archiving. So I hear a lot of people now, if they're shooting digitally, they're making what they call separations on film just to make sure it's covered. But it is something they're going to have to deal with.


http://www.thereeler.com/features/a_hell_of_an_experience.php
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: ono on September 13, 2009, 01:14:56 AM
Ebert wrote about Barry Lyndon for his Great Movies series (incorporating his 1975 review) not more than a few days ago.  http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090909/REVIEWS08/909099993/1004
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Stefen on September 13, 2009, 01:58:59 AM
I feel like a dickhead for never seeing this. Throw tomatoes at me so I can watch it.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Jefferson on September 14, 2009, 11:26:14 AM
(http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/files/2009/08/tomato.jpg)
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: mogwai on August 16, 2010, 03:57:03 AM
Been watching some parts of it because they show it on the tv here all month. Been also watching the "special edition" dvd that looks poor without its 16x9 enchanced widescreen. And I'm baffled over how the Kubrick estate didn't include it on the recent Blu-Ray box set. I know there's a petition to try to get it released through Criterion but I dunno. I was wondering if we could create a letter to send to Warner Bros or something DEMANDING to get this motherfucker released soon?
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on August 16, 2010, 10:38:30 PM
I was wondering if we could create a letter to send to Warner Bros or something DEMANDING to get this motherfucker released soon?

i can't be bothered but i imagine Jan Harlan is the man to go to for this.

if someone here wants to find the dude's address then by all means send him a KIND letter outlining your rage about the situation.

i agree it is an outrage. btw, why are they showing Barry Lyndon all month in sweden?
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: mogwai on August 19, 2010, 07:06:47 AM
I was wondering if we could create a letter to send to Warner Bros or something DEMANDING to get this motherfucker released soon?

i can't be bothered but i imagine Jan Harlan is the man to go to for this.

if someone here wants to find the dude's address then by all means send him a KIND letter outlining your rage about the situation.

i agree it is an outrage. btw, why are they showing Barry Lyndon all month in sweden?

I suppose I can try to find some kind of contact. And I will try to write letter and I promise I'll be gentle. :yabbse-smiley: I could post it here before sending so y'all can review it, yeah?

The reason they show BL in sweden is because the network channel Canal plus. They show it in 16x9 widescreen but it's only the Blu-Ray quality that's missing. They show all kind of movies on repeat all month.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Derek on August 23, 2010, 07:43:32 PM
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/rumormill.html#082010

Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on August 23, 2010, 10:14:51 PM
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/rumormill.html#082010

here's the relevant part:

8/20/10

... So a lot of you have probably been wondering, where are Warner's Blu-rays of Lolita and Barry Lyndon?

Well... that's a question we here at The Bits have been asking the folks at Warner Home Video for months now. And today, they surprised us with an answer! Yes, both Lolita and Barry Lyndon are currently being prepared for Blu-ray Disc release by the studio in 2011. And here's the even better news: They hinted that the films are going to be available both as singles AND as part of a new Stanley Kubrick Blu-ray Collection! We're waiting on more details, and no doubt it will be a while before the release gets officially announced, but it appears that Warner plans to really do their Kubrick catalog up right on Blu-ray in the new year!


mogs you can call off the hounds.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: mogwai on August 24, 2010, 02:51:36 AM
I can sleep like a baby now. Thanks!
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ravi on June 03, 2011, 01:52:11 AM
The Blu-Ray of Barry Lyndon is presented at 1.78:1. I thought Kubrick's preferred aspect ratio for this film is 1.66:1?
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ghostboy on June 03, 2011, 09:55:42 AM
The consensus remains unclear, but the whole issue is delved into at length right here:

http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/some_came_running/2011/05/leon-vitali-on-the-barry-lyndon-aspect-ratio-issue.html

Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: mogwai on June 03, 2011, 12:28:46 PM
Is the blu-ray upgrade any good, image wise?
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ravi on June 03, 2011, 12:52:08 PM
The Blu-Ray looks terrific.

Screenshots (http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_reviews54/barry_lyndon_blu-ray.htm)
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Fernando on June 03, 2011, 03:39:11 PM
The consensus remains unclear, but the whole issue is delved into at length right here:

http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/some_came_running/2011/05/leon-vitali-on-the-barry-lyndon-aspect-ratio-issue.html

I'll post the important part of the article for posterity and to avoid any future controversy.


Leon Vitali on the "Barry Lyndon" aspect ratio issue (updated 5/26/2011)

Leon Vitali plays the role of Lord Bullington in Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon. During that shoot Vitali and Kubrick became friends, and Vitali collaborated with Kubrick as a personal assistant and sometimes casting director on all of Kubrick's films up until the director's death after the making of 1999's Eyes Wide Shut. Since that time Vitali has been closely involved in the adaptation of Kubrick's work for home video. He was in New York today to speak to the press in connection with both the 40th anniversary release on DVD and Blu-ray of Kubrick's 1971 A Clockwork Orange, and the upcoming Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection on Blu-ray and Stanley Kubrick: The Essential Collection on standard definition DVD. I took the opportunity to ask him about the controversy concerning the 1.78 framing of Barry Lyndon on Blu-ray, which caused me a certain amount of confusion and the online community of cinephiles and Kubrick fans a fair amount of concern/consternation. What follows below is the best I could get to a verbatim transcription of our exchange on the matter.

Glenn Kenny: "Well, there’s already controversy brewing because the Barry Lyndon Blu-ray is 1.78 and there’s some feeling that it should have been 1.66..."

Leon Vitali: "Well I can tell you what now, okay; never was it ever 1.66, it wasn’t shot in 1.66, we never released it in 1.66 in any format whether it’s film or television or DVD. It was 1.77.  It was shot it…I mean , the difference between 1.77 and 1.78 is miniscule, you couldn’t see it with a magnifying glass. And anyone who thought it was meant to be in 1.66 is sadly delusioned. Seeing as I was there, at every stage of it; shooting and everything, I should know. I should know."

Glenn Kenny: "Well, that’s about as definitive an answer as we’re likely to get; so where does it come from, then? Where’s the 1.66 idea come from…?"

Leon Vitali: "It comes from people who think they know and weren’t there and have something to say about Stanley all the time. You know, when I first went to Los Angeles, I could go to a party, and somebody’s voice would go up saying, ‘Oh, yes, that’s Stanley,’ and ‘Oh, Eyes Wide Shut,’ and I thought ‘Do they know Stanley, is this common that people at parties talk about him in a loud voice?” But it wasn’t that, it was because they knew…I was there. And you get those idiots…truly, who think they know.  [adopts orotund voice] ‘Stanley was a very philosophical guy.’ I say: bullshit."

Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: P Heat on June 05, 2011, 03:29:27 AM
There is also that part where some production pictures look and measure aspect ratio at 1.77 and even if that proof isn't valid who cares. 1.78.1 is an acceptable comprise between 1.85 and 1.66 :yabbse-grin:

But anyway This is a release that Actually makes me want to buy a great bluray player and larger hdtv. I already bought some hdmi cables lol and I'm tempted to buying this bluray soon without knowing when i will get a bluray player.

Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ravi on June 21, 2011, 04:37:26 PM
http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2011/06/case_closed_vit.php

Some Came Running's Glenn Kenny has published a copy of a 12.8.75 letter written by Stanley Kubrick and sent to projectionists that states unequivocally that Barry Lyndon was shot at 1.66 and that it should be projected at this aspect ratio, "and in no event at less than 1.75 to 1."

(http://i51.tinypic.com/2mo2kci.jpg)
12.8.75 letter from Stanley Kubrick to projectionists about the particulars of presenting Barry Lyndon in theatres.

This is the irrefutable, concrete, smoking-gun proof (which was supplied to Kenny by screenwriter and former Time critic Jay Cocks) that I've been right all along about this aspect-ratio brouhaha, and that Leon Vitali, former assistant to Kubrick who infamously declared at a New York press conference last month that the intended aspect ratio of Barry Lyndon was 1.77 to 1, and whose commitment to this piece of revisionist history led to Warner Home Video's Barry Lyndon Bluray being presented at 1.78 to 1, is dead wrong.

Yes, Kubrick states in the letter than he was willing to tolerate Lyndon being shown at a 1.75 to 1 aspect ratio. It is this allowance, apparently, that Vitali and Warner Home Video seized upon to justify their 1.78 to 1 aspect ratio determination. And yet -- let's try to not misunderstand -- Kubrick says in clear and unmistakable terms in the letter that Lyndon was shot in 1.66 and should be projected at that aspect ratio -- period, end of story and shut up.

Vitali and Warner Home Video were willfully wrong in their insistence upon presenting the Lyndon Bluray at 1.78 to 1, and now is the time for Vitali and Warner Home Video's Ned Price to stand up, man up, come clean, admit their mistake and pledge to re-issue a Barry Lyndon Bluray at the correct aspect ratio.

If I were Vitali, I would grab a fishing hat and a fake beard and hide out in the desert for a good two or three weeks until this matter blows over or at least settles down. For he has now been proven to have endorsed misinformation that has slightly distorted and diminished the presentation of a classic film.

12:05 pm Update: I've just spoken to Vitali at the Standard Film Company, where he works in some co-managing or partnering capacity with director-writer Todd Field. I asked for an email address, and sent him the URL of Kenny's article, and asked for a reply after he's had time to digest it.

I wrote the following to Kenny this morning: "EUREKA! What a SCORE!! Congrats to you, and thanks ever-so-much to Jay Cocks.

"I'm nonethless mystied by the response from a Warner Home Video rep, which you quote in your short piece about the letter: "We stand firmly that we are 100% in compliance with Mr. Kubrick's wishes" and that 'the letter from Kubrick to projectionists was the reference for our 1.78 aspect ratio call."

How does Kubrick specifying 1.66 to 1 and allowing that he will tolerate a 1.75 to 1 presentation become a "reference" for Warner Home Video's 1.78 aspect ratio call? By what kind of strange, Orwellian, logic-bending process did the WHV rep compose this sentence?
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: RegularKarate on June 21, 2011, 05:36:19 PM
Who is this angry little man?

Can someone with more knowledge in projectionist history explain "and in no event at less than 1.75 to 1."?

I used to be a projectionist and have worked with some older projectors.
From what I understand, the standard back then for European projectors was 1:1.75  "FLAT".  They would have had to have an older projector in order to project at 1.66 and in the states, the minimum they would be able to handle is 1:1.85. So how could he expect it not to be "less"?  at least in the states.

I'll ignore that he wrote "1-1:75" when the correct way is "1:1.75" (though that seems odd for a stickler like Kubrick), but why would he write a letter telling everyone to project the film at a ratio that most theaters can't project at?

ALSO, if this was his intention, it seems he would be smart enough to know that if he had the film printed for 1.66 projection and that the majority of the world would see it projected at either 1.75 or 1.85, the image would be (slightly) distorted.  Why not just print the film for 1.85/1.75 projection and mask off the areas you don't want seen?

It seems ridiculous to call this letter a fake (mostly because it IS ridiculous to fake this letter), but I'm just a little confused by it. 
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: cronopio 2 on June 21, 2011, 05:39:53 PM
you're good with words, RK.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: RegularKarate on June 21, 2011, 05:47:20 PM
Ha, my gut reaction is to assume sarcasm and get defensive. 
Instead, I'll say "thanks(?)".
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: cronopio 2 on June 21, 2011, 06:12:27 PM
no, man. it's the second time in less than a week that i've congratulated you.
your last line over this thing is great.
WRITE A BOOK,MAN.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Ravi on June 21, 2011, 07:43:30 PM
I used to be a projectionist and have worked with some older projectors.
From what I understand, the standard back then for European projectors was 1:1.75  "FLAT".  They would have had to have an older projector in order to project at 1.66 and in the states, the minimum they would be able to handle is 1:1.85. So how could he expect it not to be "less"?  at least in the states.

I don't know if 1.75:1 was in use in the US in the 1970s, but MGM and Disney adopted the aspect ratio in the 1950s for flat, non-Panavision (anamorphic) films.

Barry Lyndon looked fine at 1.77:1 on the Blu-Ray, which is negligibly wider (shorter, really) than 1.75:1.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Alexandro on June 22, 2011, 10:10:00 AM
As usual, the real problem is the studio being cheap and not releasing the film in both versions. One for the obsessives and one for the people like myself who will enjoy it anyway. Or at least to be able to see the difference. How hard can it be? And will fans of fucking Barry Lyndon won't pay a little extra for a blu ray with both versions?
It's just fucking stupid.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: DocSportello on November 23, 2012, 01:38:24 PM
That moment when at the party you've thrown, out of all the movies in a generous stack, a guy comments on your Barry Lyndon blu-ray.

Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: ono on November 23, 2012, 03:33:00 PM
What did he say?
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Pubrick on November 23, 2012, 03:49:32 PM
"This party is so fucking boring that if you were to play Barry Lyndon right now everyone in the room would shit their pants with excitement."
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: Reelist on November 24, 2012, 10:42:49 AM
What did he say?

"Why don't I own this??"


I played Barry Lyndon at the end of a party once with the sound off. Great way to get everyone to leave.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: DocSportello on November 24, 2012, 02:58:28 PM
He basically just said it was one of his favorites and commented on the use of lenses and lighting in the film. When I asked what other movies he's in to he said Robocop, a movie I have never seen for some reason. He said he loves it for it's satiric undertones. He was cool.
Title: Re: Barry Lyndon
Post by: socketlevel on November 24, 2012, 03:35:58 PM
The uncut Robocop is amazing, sounds like a solid dude. wide enough palette to have a good conversation.