Sunday, December 25, 2016


The Hollywood legend who helped make Paths of Glory such an incredible, unforgettable anti-war statement (and, to be fair, probably helped to make Spartacus not quite as awesome as it could have been) has achieved a milestone that few of us can ever hope to reach... 100 years on this stupid wet rock hurtling through the frozen blackness of space!

And yes, I know, going as far back as his autobiography, he's made a habit of occasionally spouting off some ignorant, bitter baloney about the object of this blog's obsessive affection. And yet still, it is with great pleasure--and a momentary setting aside of that whole Natalie Wood thing--that we here at Kubrick U wish a hearty Mazel Tov to the ragman's son! L'chaim, you handsome sunofabitch!


H. Perry Horton's Film School Rejects article, I Am a Camera: The Photos of Stanley Kubrick in the Films of Stanley Kubrick, pretty much serves only as an introduction to Candice Drouet's short but fascinating video, entitled "Kubrick: Photos and Films", in which she juxtaposes old photographs from Kubrick's LOOK Magazine days with scenes from his films, and which you can watch here and now...


Kubrick fans might do well to keep an eye out for Connor Provenzano's upcoming documentary, Focused Life, in which he examines the yogic concept of kundalini as it pertains to the fine art of paying attention, something which has become vitally important in recent years, thanks to the unchecked evolution and spread of psycho/cybernetic mechanisms of control, both online and off, in recent years. In an interview with SLUG Magazine, Provenzano, when asked about his major film influences, replied: "Stanley Kubrick is one that has a big influence on a lot of filmmakers, but he’s also had a huge influence on me. The risks that he was taking with his stylistic elements were really beautiful and intense. What I realized later was that a lot of filmmakers who were influenced by Kubrick were those that I was naturally drawn to. It’s almost like there’s this lineage of influence that I feel like I’m a part of." I'll know I'll be keeping my eyes peeled!


Did you know that the Minnesota Opera Company put on a musical stage production of The Shining this year, composed by Paul Moravec with libretto by Mark Campbell, and that it got really good reviews? You used to be able to hear the whole thing online for free, but unfortunately that was a time-sensitive offer that has already run out. At this link, however, you will find a photo-filled, scene-by-scene breakdown of the entire opera. As soon as the audio becomes available again, I will be posting it here.


Vivian Kubrick made a surprise appearance at a screening of The Shining organized by the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina last month, alongside two of the people responsible for helping Kubrick achieve the now iconic "look" of the film, Steadicam originator Garrett Brown and camera wizard (and Wilmington native) Joe Dunton. As part of her appearance, Vivian showed 10 minutes of previously never seen footage from the shooting of her BBC documentary "The Making of The Shining", in which she gives a tour of part of the film's set to visiting Japanese businessmen. Again, should that footage ever appear online, you can be sure that I will be linking to it here at Kubrick U!


Is that a monolith on your planet? Or are you just happy to see me? The indefatigable conspiracy and alien-hunter "Tyler", of SecureTeam10, claims to have discovered a massive, miles-high "monolith" on the surface of the planet Murcury. Follow the link to read more, and to see a 20 minute video detailing why this anomaly isn't a "doorway", as first thought by those who stumbled across it, but indeed, is a monolith, as made famous in Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey. We report, YOU decide!


Noted Kubrick fan Bilge Ebiri over at VULTURE (and it's nice to see that he's still doing these think pieces despite having scored a new gig as lead film critic for The Village Voice) asks a question with particular relevance to the object of our obsessive affections: What Happens When Filmmakers Raid Dead Directors' Unmade Projects? The impetus for asking this question is True Detective helmer Carey Fukunaga taking up Kubrick's unmade passion project Napoleon as a multi-episode series for HBO, but Ebiri clues the reader in to a number of other interesting projects, both past and future. Well worth the read.


After Moonwalkers and Operation Avalanche -- never mind Room 237, Dark Side of the Moon, and a host of "documentaries" by Youtube auteurs -- does the world need yet another movie exploring the idiot notion that we never went to the moon and that Stanley Kubrick secretly filmed the hoaxed footage on a soundstage in London? I guess we're about to find out.

Britney Spears' new video, "Slumber Party", features sequences at a party that Britney, herself, asked the director to make "like a younger version of Eyes Wide Shut". Forgive me for sharing it here with you all, but hey, it falls under my "collecting Kubrick related ephemera" mandate...


I have yet to read Kubrick's erstwhile manservant Emilio D'Allesandro's memoir, Stanley and Me: Thirty Years by His Side, but this Los Angeles Review of Books critique by Zack Sigel really makes me want to, even though it manages to tease out a far less than flattering image of Kubrick from D'Allesandro's fawning tribute. After a perhaps somewhat overly psychoanalytic parsing of D'Allesadro's account, Sigel does manage to point out an anecdote that managed to draw a smile through the fog of cynicism:
In Rome, D’Alessandro visits a museum exhibition of Kubrick’s personal effects and finds that every item signifies a fleeting moment shared with the late master: handwriting he had recopied, a string he had tied to Kubrick’s Eyemo camera. It’s as much Stanley’s gallery as Emilio’s. He can’t resist reaching out to grasp the past, his past, these artifacts from a distant age. A museum attendant stops him. “Come on,” he tells the attendant. “I must have already touched it millions of times! If you had any idea how much cat’s pee I’ve cleaned away from under there, you wouldn’t stand so close!”


The video series "Lessons from the Screenplay" examine what makes Kubrick and co-writer Diane Johnson's version of Stephen King's The Shining so damn creepy, paying special attention to the writing process.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


As they say in France, "les gouts ne se discutent pas" (which is a polite way of saying there's no accounting for people's taste), but this "mixed universe" painting by Clinton Neuhaus that combines tropes from Kubrick's The Shining with Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist is kind of incredible, and probably not in the ways that the artist intended. But hey... you can be the judge of that. Here it is, in all its ghastly glory.


For a quarter century, the city of Toronto's finest film school was not located in any of its many institutes of higher learning, but in a couple of gloriously grimy video rental shops called Suspect Video and Culture.

Sadly, a massive blaze destroyed their Queen Street location in 2008, and now the greed of real estate developers has doomed the flagship store on the southwest edge of the Honest Ed's building at Bloor and Bathurst.

Suspect's proprietor and resident cinema guru Luis Ceriz, who also spearheads the annual Horror-Rama convention in Toronto, is a close personal friend, and I can attest to his bona fides as one of the most ardent and vocal Kubrick fans to be found anywhere on God's green Earth.

It is with a mix of pride and sorrow that I share with you now Stuart F. Andrews' recent two part documentary about/tribute to this beloved institution.

Here is Part One:

And here is Part Two:


From The Creators Project: "We go behind the scenes of Operation Avalanche, a faux-documentary narrative following CIA agents tasked with faking the moon landing. As part of the research and creating a believable fake, the agents visit the set of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, blurring all boundaries between film and reality. By framing their film as a period documentary, these filmmakers created a unique challenge for themselves: How to have their characters interact with the real Kubrick in archival footage? Here, we see how director Matt Johnson and his team were able re-create this meta world from archival stills with amazing ingenuity and creativity, virtual space, 3D projections, and green screens."

I haven't seen it yet, but can't wait to. In the meantime, here's a good review, and here's an even better one, and here's one from the New York Times, in case you're interested.