Tag Archives: Stanley Kubrick

Friday finds

My homies find the perfect way to tell Anders Breivik to go fuck himself.

A new translation of Theodor Fontane, with great pictures of Stirling Castle.

The list of the covers of the e-books of the knockoffs of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Saul Bass was a genius. What, you don’t believe me? How about some more examples?

Ward-heeling with incense.” Genius. Just genius.

Racing stats? Racing stats?

Douglas Trumbull, the visual effects pioneer behind Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey, talks about the cinema of the future. What will it be like to watch The Hobbit in its higher-resolution version?

I left my hardanger in San Francisco.

Tales from a radio obsessive.

Mining the sky — a few links, a few thoughts.

Want a free Monster? Of course you do. And here it is.

“I defy any writer to move to Paris and not be posing like Hemingway in a café within the first few months. I had that kind of Lost Generation love when I first moved to Paris. Actually, I wrote about this in an essay for the Huffington Post years ago, about the way that hanging out in cafés and pretending to be a writer like Hemingway actually did make me a writer. I wouldn’t necessarily have self-identified as a writer before I studied abroad in Paris. I was more of a reader than a writer. But I guess if you pretend to do something for a while, you realize that, oh, wow, that was just a way to do get to something that I guess I secretly wanted to do.”

That is one deserted highway.

Having fun with a feeb.

Don’t steal art.

Is watching this video really worth three minutes of your life? Once you know, it will be too late.

“Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, and a technical adviser on the Amanda Seyfried film, once asked Lovelace: ‘Why did you join up with feminists trying to ban porn instead of feminists trying to fight domestic abuse?’ Lovelace’s response? ‘The people fighting domestic abuse never approached me. Catherine [MacKinnon] was the first person to really approach me’ says much about how she led her life. Dance with the one that brought you.”

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Friday finds


Everybody knows that the 1964 Stanley Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was supposed to end with an enormous pie-throwing fight in the War Room. Here’s why it was changed, and how the original ending played, as described by the film’s editor, Anthony Harvey.

Who’s the poet laureate for your state?

This is the year for John (and Dan) Fante. Is America ready? 

Fifty years of Naked Lunch.

The Online Museum of Wingnuttia, aka The Big Pail O’Fail. What an awful time for our country.

Hoo boy, now that is an embarrassing moment.

Your summer reading list of summer reading lists.

Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter With Kansas? and The Wrecking Crew, is reviving The Baffler, the business and culture magazine he founded in 1988. Commodify Your Dissent, a collection that showcases the magazine’s most provocative articles, will give you an idea of what’s to come. 

Especially with these valve amplifiers that we really love, it gets to the point where they suddenly start really working, and the valves start to really glow and glow, and they might even explode. That’s when it’s starting to get good.”

Scottish castle magic.

Trying to visualize Dejah Thoris.

Poppies grown in Australia account for roughly half of the legally produced opium in the world. Who knew? And wallabies are eating the poppies and creating crop circles as they wander in a narcotic haze. No wonder they call the place Oz.

Some of the things Bill told me on the tapes I have never repeated, except to my wife. One thing I can partly tell now that he is dead. When he entered the CIA, in 1951, he beat the polygraph test that all prospective agents have to take. (Always willing to risk.) He was determined to protect a family member from an embarrassing disclosure, and he did. I asked him how he accomplished that. ‘I guess that if you think you have a right to tell a lie, it will not register as one.’ At least it did not with him.”

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Friday finds

clockworkSome years ago, Stanley Kubrick ordered an assistant to gather up and incinerate all the outtakes and unused footage from his 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, thereby denying future cineastes any hope of seeing an alternate or extended cut of the movie. There are, however, stills from some of the deleted scenes, and you’ll find a bunch of them at this very thorough tribute site dedicated to the star, Malcolm McDowell. The stills, with corresponding passages from the Anthony Burgess novel, include shots from the gang’s attack on a man coming home from the library (above),  the “sammy act” with the old ladies at a bar, and scenes of the droogs preparing to steal a car.  

What Samuel Johnson can teach us about writing. Apropos of which, today’s word is devotionalist.

It’s the new taste sensation that’s going to harden the arteries of the nation! Really, your cholesterol is going to shoot through the roof just reading about this thing.

Back in 1972, Jerry Lewis embarked on the film he envisioned as his grand artistic statement. The result was The Day the Clown Cried, a legendarily le-jerry1awful Holocaust drama starring Lewis as a clown who plays Pied Piper to a group of children being led into the gas chamber at the Auschwitz death camp. The production was a nightmare of delays and financial problems, and the film could not even be released because the rights to the screenplay had lapsed. The handful of people who have seen the only existing rough cut of the film say it is a work of jaw-dropping bad taste — one witness said it is “so drastically wrong” that it achieves a kind of perfection. This remarkable site gathers stills and production photos, various drafts of the script and this lethally hilarious essay that was one of the high points of the days when Spy magazine could still bring the funny. (Bird-dogged by Scott McLemee.)        

This bookseller in Kabul doesn’t much like The Bookseller of Kabul.

We reached the northern town of Akureyri, and met up with Janus, the Greenlandic man who did not love Eeva-Liisa. That night we watched the northern lights in the clear sky above the fjörd. Janus — who bragged that he saw the aurora borealis “five or six times a week” at home — told us that if you whistled, the northern lights would move. I was amazed when he whistled, and the yellow streaks shimmered green and wiggled toward us.

Troy Paiva was photographing Vermillion Sands before he even knew about the place. Now that he does, he can understand why people kept making the comparison.

In the mid-1970s, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page agreed to compose soundtrack music for Lucifer Rising, at that time the latest  film from Kenneth Anger, who shared Page’s interest in Aleister Crowley and matters of the occult. Anger ended up firing Page and hiring a former Charles Manson crony to compose the music, but now you can listen to Page’s work here. Should you download? As Crowley himself would say, do what thou wilt. And, if you live in the New York area, you can catch this retrospective of Anger’s films at P.S. 1.

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Track meet

Film buffs, it’s time to get your geek on. This Laboratory 101 page devoted to great tracking shots in films is tailor-made to start arguments and inspire comparisons. If nothing else, it gives you an excuse to revisit some cool moments from flicks like Boogie Nights, Touch of Evil and The Player. John Cole makes his pitch for Donnie Darko, while Andrew Sullivan singles out the pool party from Boogie Nights.

Long tracking shots were something of a signature for Stanley Kubrick even before there was a Steadicam to make it easier. I think he never made more effective use of it than he did in the 1957 war drama Paths of Glory. In this clip, the tracking shot begins at about 6:10:

For most of the sequence, the camera is retreating before the officer as he tours the trenches, then shifts to follow him, as though eavesdropping, after the meeting with the shellshocked soldier.

I couldn’t find a suitable clip, but the opening of A Clockwork Orange (a film I otherwise loathe) always impresses with the way Kubrick has the camera draw back from Alex and his droogs, like a fearful courtier, gradually revealing the interior of the Korova milkbar and the perverted environment Alex prefers.

Since the famous “trip” sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey takes an astronaut from our solar system to (presumably) a completely different galaxy, it technically qualifies as the longest tracking shot in human history:

I guess a distant second would be the opening sequence of Contact, which pretty much fixes our place in the universe:

I realize these last two are special-effects shots, but should that disqualify them? Most of the shots cited by Laboratory 101 would have been impossible without some kind of technological boost. I am open to argument on the subject.

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