Stanley Kubrick, cinephile

Started by wilder, July 26, 2013, 05:48:31 PM

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you readers of the historical documents that've since been burned, as tends to happen to documents like those (i see why, that was nice, and wilderesque and Brett Ratner are chill imo),

my basic q is about babette's feast, which is listed. it's available on blu-ray as a recent criterion product and it's one of a small number of these movies that i haven't seen. i'm headed there. should i head there? does anyone know that movie?

it's surprising to me that he lists abigail's party, a choice from mike leigh's early movies. i bought the movie because i like leigh and i like the title, and here it's listed. listed twice. i feel inspired to watch it a second time

max from fearless

Watched Babette's Feast earlier this year, restored at the Bfi and it's such a simple (albeit complex) story, feels like a really well told short story, but it keeps shedding it's skin and revealing more and more about the characters and what the story is actually about, and once you see the film, it's easy to see why Kubrick would find that particular theme appealing. The ending is great and it has a great sense of place, a great sense of humour to it, plus the cooking/serving/eating scenes are great. It's a really strong film. Definitely see it if you can.


excellent. nothing really new in that article but i appreciate what he's trying to do. there's a lot that can be said about some of those movies and the real influence they had on his own films, some very specifically as in where he employed costume designers from the films he admired but other things that haven't been acknowledged, like the marketing of EWS and its similarities to White Men Can't Jump.

anyway, i'm definitely gonna make my way through that list, any excuse to watch all of bergman and woodsy again. on that note though, i find it interesting that he is so into those two dudes when woodsy himself is so ridculously influenced by bergman to the extent that he frequently tried to BE him. i guess it makes sense, but now i'm thinking of what makes these two dudes special. a telling remark by jan harlan is how deeply moved kubrick was by certain films, along with the observation that radio days reflected kubrick's own childhood as well. maybe that's it, dude was just a big softie.
under the paving stones.


for the curious about:
QuoteHell's Angels
Howard Hughes, 1930

Harlan: "I realise it's on this 1963 list, but strangely, he never mentioned Hell's Angels to me when we played the forever changing Desert Island Discs game with films."
that's not strange at all. the movie has a problem between silence and sound. it was made during a transitional period, and sound was added later. during the silent parts, which include aerial photography, the movie glows. you can really think about what a camera can do. during the sound parts, there's little thought about the camera, and cinema doesn't glow. the makers attempted easy and productive means for dialogue recording, and that's awful now. just awful. watch the movie today and during those moments you'll want to strangle yourself. all those actors and all those cameras are worried about where the microphone is. it's a worry for the audience also. rouben mamoulian is famous for being an early hollywood director who ignored the sound production in order to focus on the art. kubrick doesn't list mamoulian, and he doesn't list many silent or early talking movies in the first place. i think a lot of the problematic varieties were ignored because why focus on the problems, and a lot of the early greats were ignored for a fear of the problems

today i think it's different. well, i wasn't alive then, but i know that today there's a lot of reassessment being made. a los angeles example:


I just wanted to second the Babette's Feast recommendation. A lovely film. Possibly the best food porn you will ever see.


aside from a really awful dream sequence, babette's feast really is lovely.  it at times feels slight but i think that's more a credit to how fluid the narrative is, and by the film's end it's pretty clear it was a deliberate choice for the tone.  "a fairy tale for adults" is an inanely reductive way to sum things up but it's more or less exactly what it is, in the best way possible.  i don't think the communal act of sharing a meal, and the sensual pleasure derived from eating great food has ever been put on film better.  and any person who's ever had a creative inclination at one time or another will likely be destroyed by the powerhouse of an ending. 

interesting fact i learned from the special features: a handful of the actors in the film are from carl dreyer's troupe, which was fun to find out because i felt like the visuals were greatly influenced by dreyer.


I bought Babette's Feast today and was wondering where I'd heard of it on here, so I'm glad it's from a good source. Looks interesting, I'm kind of putting together a collection of movies about cooking and food to watch as I've been putting off writing my script that involves it for quite some time. So, that's a successful recommendation.

The other thing that grabbed my attention was this:

Quote from: Pubrick on July 28, 2013, 09:27:52 AM
other things that haven't been acknowledged, like the marketing of EWS and its similarities to White Men Can't Jump.

show me an example.


Quote from: Reelist on January 16, 2014, 12:25:39 PM
Quote from: Pubrick on July 28, 2013, 09:27:52 AM
other things that haven't been acknowledged, like the marketing of EWS and its similarities to White Men Can't Jump.

show me an example.

there's a lot to admire about the racial and gender politics in the film, it really pulls no punches especially in its conclusion where it settles for realism instead of idealism. but what i was referring to specifically kind of stems from this:

this is a dvd cover but it's essentially the same as the theatrical poster minus the tagline "it's not easy being this good" which is usually placed between the two. what struck me was the bluntness in the way the stars are presented as simply WOODY, WESLEY, then the memorable title that kind of instantly creates drama between them.

having the whole poster kind of rely on just a few names is maybe not uncommon, but this presentation is supplementary to the trailer which i will go into a bit later. the point is that EWS also used this to an extreme degree..

the difference is that kubrick puts himself as a third figure. here are both cruise and kidman pictured, but where is kubrick? he's unseen, but being the role of director (assumed knowledge) we understand his part in the trio: that is perfectly illustrated in that image he captured on the poster. Alice's solitary gaze at herself in the mirror is odd because it's centered but avoids our gaze completely, while oldmate doesn't even notice. we notice, but then our gaze at the screen does not connect to hers. the only thing connecting it all is kubrick's gaze, which captures all of the above.

let's look at the white man can't jump trailer:

and of course the EWS teasers are just names:

the trailer for white men is a repetitive cut to single-name identification as a selling point that is interspersed in monochromatic text throughout the length of the trailer. You're flashed WESLEY and WOODY and they attempt to remind you of who ron shelton is but they don't push hard enough. they skimp on the love story too, probably because if people went in looking for that they'd be left a bit unsatisfied.

CRUISE KIDMAN KUBRICK. always struck me as a really oddly pretentious or self-aggrandizing way for kubrick to sell a movie, making himself an equal star to the others. but i think kubrick was being alternately playful and deadly serious, sort of like the vibe at the toy store. yes he always insisted on having his name above the title, his mark on the original work superceding any other name previously attached (stephen who?) but the way it was presented in EWS felt like he was consciously putting himself INTO the film.

he'd already made some headway into this on FMJ, the drill instructor being one of the greatest "directors" ever captured on film, and that camera crew later on with the dude who looks a bit like kubrick. in EWS he really kind of found his place in the dreamscape he had created. it's his most personal film because it deals with things close to his heart, which he presents quite bluntly upfront... his marriage, his occasional waltz, his wife's paintings plastered everywhere, his friends and closest associates starring in the film, his hometown, his dad's profession, and basically the only world he ever knew condensed entirely into a feature length film, that is his experience of the 20th century.

i think what kubrick liked about White Men Can't Jump was the fresh dialogue and natural performances, also sports, he liked sports.
under the paving stones.