Author Topic: torture  (Read 1288 times)

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mutinyco

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torture
« on: October 19, 2003, 09:15:55 AM »
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Steven Berkoff, the actor, wrote this about his experiences working with Kubrick:

 Stanley Kubrick

    I liked Stanley Kubrick from the start. He had a warm, benign nature and offered himself to you as a friend and ally. He seemed to possess no airs or attitudes, neuroses, or predilection towards tantrums. He appeared in real life as I had seen him in photos: beady-eyed, with dark matted hair and a free-growing beard, always seeming to wear the cumbersome jacket with a hood that is much beloved of movie directors.  

Stanley's way of identifying himself on the telephone was to speak one of my lines from A Clockwork Orange: "So who's been a naughty boy then?" Perhaps he had become tired of calling people and saying "This is Stanley Kubrick here," in case he was met with "Sure, and I'm Napoleon!" Or maybe he just liked a little game.  

He was casting Barry Lyndon, the great, unwieldy Thackeray novel and a most   extraordinary choice. I was first up for a larger role, but it went to Hardy Krüger and I ended up with the cameo part of Lord Ludd. I took fencing lessons for my duel with Ryan O'Neal, who was to play Lyndon, and I took the whole thing deadly seriously. But first I had a scene with O'Neal and his accomplice, played by the fiery Irish actor Patrick Magee. Magee was one of Stanley's group of actors, having played brilliantly in A Clockwork Orange. I had never known another actor where the tides of blood could actually be seen going in and out of his face. But now Magee, the poor fellow having been forced into 18th-century costume plus eye patch and coerced to play not only in German but in French, was stressed to bursting point.  

We were set to shoot the gambling scene where I - a wonderfully decadent aristocrat surrounded by a bevy of beauties - am fleeced. The camera was on Magee and he had only to say: "Faites vos jeux, mesdames, monsieur", deal the cards, and look suitably professional. For some silly reason, doing two or three things at once, one of the things is apt to stumble and so it was in Magee's case. Stanley would correct him in a most kindly manner, like a benevolent professor, saying: "Pat, you're saying 'Faites vos yeux'; make your eyes. So try to say jeux.'"  

By the 10th take, Magee had at last nailed down the  jeux, but the stress had caused perspiration to appear on his hands, and the cards were not flying from the fingers the way you would expect from a professional dealer. The hands were duly powdered, dressed and made up, and he continued for another 15 or 20 takes, but now the "missing" eye was twitching under the patch, which provoked Stanley to request that Pat not move his eyeball. So now our poor harassed actor had to deliver the cards, speak French, be aware of his eyeball, which twitched in compensation for the amount of concentration he was giving out, and look at me. All this would be too much for any mortal being. After a few more takes Stanley wisely decided to call it a day.  

During all this, I noticed that Stanley remained perfectly calm, and I sensed that he might even have experienced a twinge of pleasure in watching what a human being goes through, as might a scientist in the lab. This disintegration of Magee could perhaps have been prevented, but it seemed to have been extended instead. You might say Magee was miscast. I don't think Stanley could help it. He was an investigator of the human soul and we were experimental animals to be taken apart.
"I believe in this, and it's been tested by research: he who fucks nuns will later join the church."

-St. Joe

ono

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torture
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2003, 02:21:57 PM »
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Hehe.  Great story.  :yabbse-thumbup:

The Perineum Falcon

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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2003, 12:05:48 AM »
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Where did you come across this story?
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

mutinyco

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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2003, 09:56:05 AM »
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Here's the link. It was originally from the Guardian in the UK.

http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,1064171,00.html
"I believe in this, and it's been tested by research: he who fucks nuns will later join the church."

-St. Joe

 

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