Kubrickian Classics

Which director made the best films, made the best visuals, or smelled the best? This is the forum to find out.

Kubrick, take your pick...

2001
17
23%
Barry Lyndon
5
7%
A Clockwork Orange
12
16%
Dr. Strangelove
18
24%
Full Metal Jacket
5
7%
The Killing
1
1%
Lolita
2
3%
Paths of Glory
0
No votes
The Shining
11
15%
Eyes Wide Shut
4
5%
 
Total votes : 75

Kubrickian Classics

Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:15 am

Been up all night watching "Barry Lyndon" and thought it was time for a Kubrick poll. Much like Gilliam, it's not easy to just single out one film as being "better" than the others, but if you challenged me to a duel if I didn't answer, I'd go with Strangelove. Then I'd shoot you in the back.

President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.


but my favorite of all is the Sterling Hayden classic...

Johnny Clay: You'd be killing a horse - that's not first degree murder, in fact it's not murder at all, in fact I don't know what it is.
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:21 am

I haven't seen them all (2001, Clockwork, Strangelove, FMJ, and Shining are it), but Dr. Strangelove gets my vote.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:42 am

"The Killing" is a brilliant heist flick, intricately detailed, with some dead-on performances and dialogue. It's the film that Kubrick first found his voice, and many of the themes in it would subtly manifest themselves in his other work.

"Paths of Glory" is his first war film, set in WW1. Great set pieces, and much like in "Full Metal Jacket" Kubrick lays bear the insanity of war. Powerful film.

"Lolita" has some brilliant performances, but you can tell that Kubrick was not allowed to be as faithful to the Nabokov novel as he wanted to be.

"Barry Lyndon" is Alex from Clockwork (basically), set in the mid 18th century. It's a movie of manners, of the rigid social stratus of the time, dueling...I almost voted for it because I figure nobody else will (and I just watched it) but I just prefer the black humor of Strangelove.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:54 am

This a was a the tough vote... The Dino, he would a say his a top 5 would be:

1) A Clockwork Orange
2) Dr. Strangelove
3) 2001
4) Barry Lyndon
5) The Shining

Anna I've always hadda the soft spot inna my heart for a the Spartacus.
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Postby John-Locke on Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:54 am

For someone who is always hailing Kubrick as the true master of Cinema, I have a guilty secret. I have never seen Paths of Glory or the Killing at all and I've never seen Spartacus or Lolita all the way through, having said that my favourites are, in order.

Dr Strangelove
Barry Lyndon
Clockwork Orange
The Shining
Full Metal Jacket
2001
Eyes Wide Shut.

I can't believe I used to actually avoid Dr Strangelove, I must have thought it was along similar lines to Dr Zhivago or something? Anyway I remember watching it on BBC1 late one night and I fell in love with the dark humour and the fact that it's as relevant today as it was when it was made.

I even have a T-Shirt with a Sterling Hayden screen grab (Cigar in Mouth Looming above the Camera) that reads, Women sense my Power.

If you haven't seen it you don't know what you're missing.

Rather Large Quote that makes me smile

[the President calls the Soviet Premier]
President Merkin Muffley: [to Kissoff] Hello?... Ah... I can't hear too well. Do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little?... Oh-ho, that's much better... yeah... huh... yes... Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri... Clear and plain and coming through fine... I'm coming through fine, too, eh?... Good, then... well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine... Good... Well, it's good that you're fine and... and I'm fine... I agree with you, it's great to be fine... a-ha-ha-ha-ha... Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb... The *Bomb*, Dmitri... The *hydrogen* bomb!... Well now, what happened is... ah... one of our base commanders, he had a sort of... well, he went a little funny in the head... you know... just a little... funny. And, ah... he went and did a silly thing... Well, I'll tell you what he did. He ordered his planes... to attack your country... Ah... Well, let me finish, Dmitri... Let me finish, Dmitri... Well listen, how do you think I feel about it?... Can you *imagine* how I feel about it, Dmitri?... Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello?... *Of course* I like to speak to you!... *Of course* I like to say hello!... Not now, but anytime, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened... It's a *friendly* call. Of course it's a friendly call... Listen, if it wasn't friendly... you probably wouldn't have even got it... They will *not* reach their targets for at least another hour... I am... I am positive, Dmitri... Listen, I've been all over this with your ambassador. It is not a trick... Well, I'll tell you. We'd like to give your air staff a complete run-down on the targets, the flight plans, and the defensive systems of the planes... Yes! I mean i-i-i-if we're unable to recall the planes, then... I'd say that, ah... well, ah... we're just gonna have to help you destroy them, Dmitri... I know they're our boys... All right, well listen now. Who should we call?... *Who* should we call, Dmitri? The... wha-whe, the People... you, sorry, you faded away there... The People's Central Air Defense Headquarters... Where is that, Dmitri?... In Omsk... Right... Yes... Oh, you'll call them first, will you?... Uh-huh... Listen, do you happen to have the phone number on you, Dmitri?... Whe-ah, what? I see, just ask for Omsk information... Ah-ah-eh-uhm-hm... I'm sorry, too, Dmitri... I'm very sorry... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well... I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are... So we're both sorry, all right?... All right.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:11 am

I love me some Barry Lyndon... easily the most beautifully filmed movie of all time, imo.
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Postby John-Locke on Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:01 pm

I agree Burl, Watching Barry Lyndon is like looking at a moving Painting,The use of shadow and light, the way he composes peoples places in the shot. It's like looking at the work or a great painter. Also props are due for the use of Music in the film, some of the most powerful music ever used IMHO.
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Postby so sorry on Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:03 pm

I cast my vote for FMJ. I have a soft spot for military movies (even ones that are anti-military!). then Clockwork then Strangelove. I gotta say that I've always had problems weith 2001 (the problem of staying awake, that is). You guys have convinced me to go rent Barry Lyndon, although I know bubkiss about it.
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Postby John-Locke on Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:18 pm

so sorry, Barry Lyndon does have a leisurely pace, When I watch it, it's normally a Sunday Afternoon.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:24 pm

YES... Barry Lyndon is the perfect sunday afternoon movie. God its beautiful. Is it available on DVD?
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Postby John-Locke on Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:30 pm

I got it for about £5/$8 in the UK, well worth it, I watch it a couple of times a year without doubt, It never gets old/tired. I can also guarantee putting it on during the Festive Holiday Period, normally when they show the old Bond Films that I am totally bored of.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:51 pm

Hmmm... I've always found Kubrick to be one of those guys you really respect and admire, but can't quite LOVE.

I really, really enjoy what I've seen of his, but I always feel sick after watching Clockwork (which, I know, is the idea).

I voted for The Shining because it's the film of his I enjoy the most.

I'll just always be more a Spielberg guy at heart.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:05 pm

I have to say, overall Kube isnt one of my favorite directors. I respect his work alot and I like The Killing, Dr Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket. Thats about it for me. Hes like Hitchcock, I like some of his films, but I dont worship him like others do.

I'm more of a Leone/Scorsese/DePalma type.

I chose A Clockwork Orange on the poll. I love that one!
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:24 pm

How can a you like a the DePalma anna not like a the Hitch?

Then again, I suppose a that's a like a sayin' "I like a the Raymond Feist but I donna like a the JRR Tolkein"...

I dunno... maybe it makes a the sense?
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Postby WinslowLeach on Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:35 pm

I didnt say I dont like Hitch, but I definitely like DePalma more than him. I love almost every DePalma film Ive seen. I only love a few of Hitch's films.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:23 pm

You do know that a the DePalma has a ripped offa the Hitch many times, no?

That's a the point I'm a making...

EDIT: I just a read your post over onna the Films of a the Brian DePalma, anna know that you know that he rips offa the Hitch... but you seem a to think that's ok. So... OK.
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Postby TheBaxter on Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:59 pm

If it weren't for Full Metal Jacket, the 2 Live Crew masterpiece "Me So Horny" would have never existed. So obviously it gets my vote.
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Postby lyra belacqua on Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:09 am

I'm bad. I've only seen two of these movies.

However, I cannot imagine any of them being better than Dr. Strangelove. It's one of those movies that I try to build lessons around. Haven't made it yet.

Full Metal Jacket is huge among the teenage boys I teach. I hear quotes from it all the time being bantered back and forth. That's why I never get to see classic movies anymore, I'm too busy watching the movies my students are obsessed with so I understand all their references.
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Postby wonkabar on Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:14 am

Tough, tough call. Lyndon is probably the better crafted of the bunch. The Shinning is my personal favorite. Clockwork is the coolest, but I can't stop watching Jacket if it's on. I pity anyone who's stuck with old unrestored collection. Burn it, buy the new set, and see what you've been missing all this time.
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Postby bluebottle on Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:42 am

It's funny.

When I was 12 I would have said Dr. Strangelove

-But I had only seen Strangelove, Clockwork (I was advanced for my age) and 2001 (which made me fall asleep)

at 17 I would have said Clockwork

-Having, at this point, seen most of Kubricks films (i was working in a video store)

Now, at 30, I'd say Dr. Strangelove
- but 2001 ranks a close second. I just love sitting back, taking a deep breath and watching that film on a widescreen tv. It feels like i don't even blink.
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Postby wonkabar on Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:28 am

How could I forget Strangelove. You that stuff about fluoride is true. What, no Eyes Wide Shut?
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:37 am

This a reminds a the Dino, one a time, he was invited to a the film appreciation class as a the guest... the film a that day, she was a Strangelove, anna inna the opening credits, with a the airplane refueling, the prof, the putz, he was a laughing anna laughing anna laughing...

He then got up inna exasperated manner, anna shut offa the projector anna screamed atta the kids, "WHY AREN'T YOU LAUGHING? DONNA YOU GET IT?"

Blank stares...

"WHAT'S THIS!?!?" he yelled, poking his a index finger of a one hand through the thumb-anna-forefinger circle of a the other...

The Dino, he was a so embarrassed for a the poor kids, they were just a trying to enjoy a the movie, eh, without a this goddamn putz wanna-be director trying to point out alla the ironies anna the entendres.

It was atta that a moment, that I placed a call to a some contacts to a destroy his a life. The Dino, he hates a the film profs...
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Postby kookook on Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:06 am

The Shining is a work of genius, directorally speaking. Unfortunately, as a story, it falls flat. When Kubrick set out to make a symbolic movie, he forgot to include real characters.
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:45 am

Ahaaa! Now here's a thread where I can really sink my teeth into.... alas, an exam beckons me...


Ehhh, wait a minute, where's Eyes Wide Shut?!

Ok, when I get back, someone's gonna git it...

Oh, and kookook, you might want to rethink that last post...
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Postby Brocktune on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:22 am

for me, Barry Lyndon edges them all out. but thats just right now, my opinion changes more frequently than a traffic light. The Killing is probably the coolest. its also nice when a director who is notorious for lengthy movies can pack just as much of a punch into an hour and a half. Lolita is alomst as funny as Dr. Strangelove, and for a while, this one was my favorite, because James Mason, Shelley Winters and Peter Sellers are so amazing in that flick that my head almost explodes when i watch it. Before that, it was 2001, because in my attempts to dissect and understand it, i formed the opinion that this was the greatest piece of film as art of all times. But right now, i am simply in love and enamored with Barry Lyndon. every single nuance is amazing. every single frame of film worthy of framing and hanging on the wall (just like Kurosawa). thank god for REAL directors!
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:18 am

Octaveaeon wrote:Ehhh, wait a minute, where's Eyes Wide Shut?!


Intentionally left out for two reasons.

1. The studio rape job of the party scene.

2. I don't think that this is the movie Kubrick would have put out. I know it was "completed" (suspiciously, I might add) right before his death, but c'mon!

oh wait, three reasons...it sucked.
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:32 pm

keepcoolbutcare wrote:Intentionally left out for two reasons.

1. The studio rape job of the party scene.

2. I don't think that this is the movie Kubrick would have put out. I know it was "completed" (suspiciously, I might add) right before his death, but c'mon!

oh wait, three reasons...it sucked.


Surely you jest, my young grasshopper!

Ok then, I must be blunt with the following questions:

1. What studio rape job? What are you basing yourself upon? That scene is EXACTLY what he wanted it to be... (I can defend this...)
2. How do you know this is not what Kubrick would have put out? Again, what are you basing yourself upon? Even the ending is perfect (if you understood what came before...).
3. It sucks?! Dude, do you even know what the movie was about? Pop that disk back in the DVD player and watch it again... with your eyes open! :shock:

Ok, as you'll notice, I'm taking this a bit to heart, but that's for very important reasons... To me, this is one of his best, no question about it, and Kubrick's movies are my favorites... they are the ones that really got me to appreciate Art (with a capital A), and more. But the themes, and more particularly, the composition, like always, require us to delve deep into the superficial aspects he's presenting us.... Remember, Kubrick was a master, and nothing he did was haphazzard (whether you believe that he edited the final cut or not, you won't doubt that he filmed each scene himself, right?). What's more, all his works are true esoteric masterpieces, meaning that he's hidden a wealth of information 'between the lines', but for that we need to understand the 'code' with which he wrote these, which shouldn't surprise us since he himself was steeped in esoteric and occult knowledge (one word: Fidelio... check it out).

Look, if you want, I can unveil a bit of what Kubrick did with 2001, Eyes Wide Shut, and even AI (there is a very important reason why he wanted Spielberg to direct, and why he gave him all the materials he had developed up to the moment, adding one caveat... he had to insert Strauss' 'Rosencavalier' somewhere in the movie... according to John Williams in the DVD bonus, which is very telling...; the other movies will have to wait since I haven't had time to rewatch them, but those babies will get their turn soon enough...), but if you're interested, let me direct you to a previous post I wrote not so long ago about AI, though towards the end I even talked about EWS. It's pretty long, but if you're really a Kubrick fan, then it'll be worth it. Obviously, it's my own interpretation, but I've read enough about the themes he was interested in, and Kubrick, to understand what he was getting at with the movies. For the moment, though, I need to get some sleep 'cos I haven't slept in more than 24 hours...

Anyways, here's the link... http://www.aintitcool.com/tb_display.cgi?id=20487

go to this post:
Dreaming Robots and their search for humanity

I can't stress enough the importance of the message that he was trying to communicate to the audience. The same could be said for Spielberg (AI, WOTW..), and to a much lesser extent Lucas (Star Wars, THX1138), though he threw all subtelty out the window... but in the end, Kubrick was in a class all on his own. No other director has been able to do what he has done with film... he was the real deal, in every aspect. That's why though all his movies seem different... they are united by a common, but very important, thread... mankind (and they called his work 'unemotional'... ha!).
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:56 pm

Octaveaeon wrote:Dude, do you even know what the movie was about?


Keepcool, Keepcool... you're glib, eh? He's done a the research....

Octaveaeon wrote:Anyways, here's the link... http://www.aintitcool.com/tb_display.cgi?id=20487

go to this post:
Dreaming Robots and their search for humanity


This is a the fascinating anna REALLY scary alla atta the same a time, no? Doc Ock, you gotta relax, paisan... No seriously... you GOTTA relax. At a this pace, you gonna be dead inna side of a the 2 years.
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:08 pm

Dino, I'll refer to to page seven sub-paragraph five of my post on this subject!!!

Oops, back to studying for my exam!
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:54 pm

Man, it's hard to be serious and funny at the same time...

Ok dudes, have your fun... but could you also talk about Eyes Wide Shut or his other movies as well? I'm interested in what you guys think about Kubrick's movies, not to mention the man himself... I know you'll think this is funny as well, but there really isn't anybody I know whom I can talk about this, at least this in depth... If there ain't anybody here, in a movie website-forum, then maybe I'm just wasting my time... And yes, I really am that busy... and that tired... I've spent my entire vacation studying (yes, funny).


And I thought this thread was about Kubrick... stupid me...
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:00 pm

Octaveaeon wrote:I know you'll think this is funny as well, but there really isn't anybody I know whom I can talk about this, at least this in depth


Like I said, you gotta relax... a little of a the introspection, she can a reveal a lot, no? For example... How long have a you had this obessession with a the Kubrick? Do you find a yourself dreaming about a him during your waking hours? Have a you lost time thinking about a the Kubrick? How long have a you felt alone inna your quest to find a someone who shares a your Kubrickian viewpoint?
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Postby John-Locke on Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:52 pm

Doc Ock, I think you could be on to something, Kubrick puts so many levels into his films it boggles the mind at times, they all have something in common as well, but I cant quite put my finger on it. Eyes Wide Shut is much better than most people think but I still think WB messed with the cut a bit, he delivered two cut's one censored the other not, only the censored version got released I think (but could well be misinformed). It's like he was trying to figure out the meaning of life throughout his movies, everyone shows a different side of humanity, something Spielberg captured brilliantly in WOTW in the bit I keep going on about, when the guy tears at the windsheild with his bare hands, that felt like a Kubrick moment to me. Kubrick is without a doubt my favourite Director of all time, no one else comes close to his genius IMHO.
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:55 pm

Well, I was referring to the fact that I don't know many movie buffs, let alone big Kubrick fans, but hey, I'm not even a big Kubrick fan. But I do respect and love his work. I like understanding why people do things, particularly if they do them well...

But what about you paisano, you lika Kubrick, si? You know he had a big fondness for Venice, right? Been there?
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:03 pm

from Wiki...
American censorship controversy
Citing contractual obligations to deliver an R-rating, Warner Brothers digitally altered the orgy scene for the American release of Eyes Wide Shut, blocking out images of explicit sexuality. This alteration of Kubrick's vision antagonized many cinephiles, as they argued that Kubrick had never been shy about ratings: A Clockwork Orange had an X-rating.

In contrast to their usual behaviour, the British Board of Film Classification allowed Eyes Wide Shut to be released to British cinemas without the need for the digital alterations seen in US cinemas. The film was rated 18, viewable only by those aged 18 and over.


That studio rape job

How do you know this is not what Kubrick would have put out?


um, I don't. I merely stated that it was "suspiciously" completed RIGHT before his death. Now since you don't know me you don't know that I'm into conspiracy theories. So with that...

http://www.gettingit.com/article/136

As to my own beliefs...a movie with 2 HUGE stars, delayed and delayed and delayed and delayed by the perfectionist himself. He dies and viola!, a summer release date. I know I smoke a shit load of weed, but jeez, you can at least acknowledge something some foul play might have been involved.

and for the sake of brevity my opinion was it sucked. Many people far more intelligent than myself have agreed with me. Calling my intelligence into question for not enjoying it? I know I ain't that bright, but I knows what I likes, and "Eyes Wide Shut" I didn't, no sir, I didn't like it.

I know you'll think this is funny as well, but there really isn't anybody I know whom I can talk about this, at least this in depth...


Please let's discuss some more. My esteemed colleagues are just poking some fun at the new guy, you'll learn to take their funny with a grain of salt (and a good laugh).

Once again, good to have you on board (on the boards?) Octaveaeon.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:12 pm

oh, and here's fun 'bout Kubrick and Senor Spielbergo...

http://citypages.com/databank/22/1074/article9670.asp

Have fun with that.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:22 pm

Yes, I like a the Kubrick... 2001 anna the Clockwork anna Strangelove, anna even a the Spartacus, they alla great films.

But I'm a NEVER gonna forgive a him for breaking uppa the Tom anna Nicole! Look inna your geek heart, you know it to be a true...
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:34 pm

God, finally someone interested in talking about the big K instead of taking the piss... (sorry, but my patience is at a low at the moment... my bad... kinda)

Yeah, Kubrick was certainly the kind of guy who was only interested in 'the' big question of life... what are we here for? And all his movies showed different facets of the human condition. But with EWS, he really went for broke, and gave us his most personally critical movie of all. But I believe you can't see it without juxtaposing it alongside AI, which is what he was planning on doing next, and what he'd worked on for so long. Chronologically, the world of EWS predates the world of AI, but I don't think he was being metaphorical with the dates, let alone the events (I would say the same of 2001, though here the events are much more symbolical... alchemically so actually). In EWS, he not only criticizes those in power, particularly those sexually and morally corrupt who dabble in occult rituals as part of their network of influences - like certain Freemasonry lodges, check out: http://www.youreyeswideshut.com - without consideration for human lives, while at the same time he criticizes us, the audience, for allowing the wool to be pulled over our eyes and for letting our fears and imagination, like all those conspiracy nuts, get the best of us. But we can see that the relationship between Nicole and Tom (and pay attention at how they treat their kid...) is a precursor to the lack of humanity that humans display in AI, considering that they believe that a robot could actually be a substitute for their real child, even if temporarily.

Now, I'm not sure about the cut... I'm assuming that this is the movie he wanted made, if not pretty darn close to it, otherwise I think we would have heard something from his wife, or maybe even Spielberg considering that they were talking a lot towards the end... (or what about Nicole or Tom... oh, nevermind).

And 2001... that was an alchemical initiation for the audience (remember the long dark silence in the beginning... ever wonder what that was about?! THAT was the 'philosopher's stone'... the 'materia prima'... the monolith! The movie itself represents the monolith!)... and dare I say I think it worked...

Still, now I'm curious if you're right about the censoring... must have been some minor graphic stuff only...

Check out this really good article on EWS,
http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0096.html -
though it fails to mention Kubrick's own occult interests, such as his affiliation to the magazine FIDELIO (http://www.schillerinstitute.org/fid_97-01/fidelio.html), which was also the code in the movie. Here is another article on the subject: http://metaphilm.com/philm.php?id=108_0_2_0

Fucking interesting guy, that Kubrick.

[ok, now i see that there have been other posts in the meantime... this post doesn't take that in consideration... the next one will...]
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Postby TonyWilson on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:40 pm

I really like EWS, I don't pretend to get ALL the levels and codes he puts into his films but I get enough and they fascinate me.

Octavaeon, buddy no one wants to rain on your parade or anything, any jokes are just a bit of ribbing nothing to take to heart. I'll happily talk about Kubrick all day and all night with you and I do love all his films he really is the greatest director IMO so any Kubrick theories would be welcome here.
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:42 pm

Thanks keepcool... I'm gonna take a time out to read those articles...

Now we're getting somewhere...

And yeah, thank you Dino too, for... being you. (btw, is the accent for real? Talk about dedication...)

Here's another 'interesting' quote:

"I'm sure you are aware of the extremely grave potential for social shock and disorientation caused by this information. We can't release it without proper conditioning." - Heywood Floyd, 2001 A Space Odyssey.


that one's for you keepcool (i too have my eyes wide open...)
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:43 pm

oh, and sorry for insinuating that you weren't smart for not ''getting it". Bad call... not what I meant...
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:45 pm

Cool Tony, the more the merrier...

and yeah, you too Dino, you stick around and... just be you...
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Postby TonyWilson on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:47 pm

The moment that really bowled me over in EWS was when Sydney Pollack does the greatest bit of spin and disinformation on Tom Cruise over the billiard table near the end of the film. Stunning piece of writing and acting and Kubrick makes casual viewer believe what Pollack is telling them, because they want to believe it.

Just a perfect moment.
Octavaeon I'd be interested to hear your views on it.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:50 pm

The Eye of a Hal inna 2001... when a he's reading a the lips of a the astronauts...

That's a the good scene, no?
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:55 pm

TonyWilson wrote:The moment that really bowled me over in EWS was when Sydney Pollack does the greatest bit of spin and disinformation on Tom Cruise over the billiard table near the end of the film. Stunning piece of writing and acting and Kubrick makes casual viewer believe what Pollack is telling them, because they want to believe it.

Just a perfect moment.
Octavaeon I'd be interested to hear your views on it.


I agree, but I think I'll just defer to what the first article says on this:

"For all his flaunting of his money and professional rank, Bill Harford is ultimately put back in his place as a member of the serving class. Recall how he's summoned away from Ziegler's party in the same polite but perfunctory manner as his friend Nick, the pianist; like him, Bill is just hired help, the party doctor, called upon to repair (if possible) and cover up (if necessary) human messes like Mandy. When he goes to his patient Lou Nathanson's apartment, he's met by their housemaid, Rosa, who's also dressed in black with a white collar, in a perfectly symmetrical entry hall where every object is in a matched pair. The shot makes the doctor and the maid doubles; they're equals here. When Bill tries to infiltrate the orgy, he's given away by telltale class markers--he shows up in a taxi rather than a limo, and has a costume rental slip in his pocket. His real status at Somerton, as an outsider and intruder, is spelled out for him the next day when he returns to the estate, only to be dismissed with a terse typed note handed him through the bars of the front gate by a tight-lipped servant. (This isn't the only time we see Bill through bars--he has to bribe his way past the grated door at Milich's.) When Ziegler finally calls him onto the carpet for his transgressions, he chuckles at Bill's refusal of a case of 25-year-old Scotch (Bill drinks Bud from the can), not just because this extravagance would be a trifle to him, but because Bill's pretense of integrity is an empty gesture--he's already been bought. Bill may be able to buy, bribe, and command his own social inferiors, and he may own Alice, but he's Ziegler's man.

Although Ziegler has a credible explanation for everything that's happened--Harford's harassment, Nick Nightingale's beating, Mandy's death--we don't ever really know whether he's telling the truth or lying to cover up Mandy's murder. The script carefully withholds any conclusive evidence that would let us feel comfortably certain either way. But Ziegler does have suspiciously privileged access to details of the case: "The door was locked from the inside, the police are happy, end of story! [dismissive lip fart.]" He also claims to be dropping his façade and coming clean a few too many times to be believed: "I have to be completely frank," "Bill, please--no games," and finally, "All right, Bill, let's... let's... let's cut the bullshit, all right?" And notice how he introduces his explanation: "Suppose I were to tell you..." [emphasis mine]. He's not being "frank"; he's offering Bill an escape, a plausible, face-saving explanation for the girl's death to assuage his unexpectedly agitated conscience. (And it's one of the few things that Bill has a hard time buying--watch the way his hand adheres to his cheek and slowly slides off his face as he rises to his feet and walks dazedly across the room, trying to absorb the incredible coincidence Ziegler's asking him to swallow.) Ziegler's "no games" plea notwithstanding, this entire conversation is a game--a gentlemanly back-and-forth of challenges and evasions over a question of life and death, throughout which the two opponents circle each other uneasily around a blood-red billiards table.

When Bill persists in his inquiries, Ziegler loses his temper and resorts to intimidation and threats. He reminds him of their respective ranks as master and man: "You've been way out of your depth for the last twenty-four hours," he growls. Of his fellow revelers at Somerton, he says, "Who do you think those people were? Those were not ordinary people there. If I told you their names--I'm not going to tell you their names, but if I did, you might not sleep so well." In other words, they're "all the best people," the sorts of supremely wealthy and powerful men who can buy and sell "ordinary" men like Bill and Nick Nightingale, and fuck or kill women like Mandy and Domino. The "you might not sleep so well" is also a veiled warning, and it isn't Ziegler's last. His final word of advice--"Life goes on. It always does... until it doesn't. But you know that, don't you, Bill?"--proffered with an avuncular, unpleasantly proprietary rub of the shoulders, sounds like a reassurance but masks a threat. (We immediately cut from this to a less friendly warning, the mask placed on Bill's pillow.) Bill's expression, in the foreground, is by now so tight and working with suppressed and conflicting feelings that it's hard to read, but one of those feelings is clearly fear for his life--he looks as though he might burst into tears or hysterical laughter, and when Victor claps those patronizing hands on his shoulders, he flinches. In the end, he chooses to accept Victor's explanation not because there's any evidence to confirm it, but because it's a convenient excuse to back down from the dangers of further investigation. He finally understands that he, too, no less than a hooker or a hired piano player, is expendable."

Yep, we, the audience, and the critics, WANTED to believe that nothing was afoot...

That's how well Kubrick understood humans...
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Postby TonyWilson on Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:01 pm

Great Article, bud.
I knew I "got" that film for want of a better phrase. Interesting to see it put down so explicitly in print though.

Have as anyone read Traumnovelle the book EWS was based on?
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:04 pm

Keepcool, I respect you and all, but the holes in the arguments of that citypages article you posted, you could drive a truck through. Once again someone doesn't understand the point of AI, because they think those were aliens in the end.
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Postby TonyWilson on Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:09 pm

yeh but to be fair Adam, when I first watched it I thought they were Aliens, it was only through going on the net that I heard different.
I need to get round to reading all thses article though. Damn I spend to much time doing my work.
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:13 pm

It is a bit Spielberg's fault though. Some of the original sketches for the advanced mechas had them kinda silvery looking. I think people would have gotten the connection better then.

Just irritates me a critic with such a snide, acerbic tone repeating this. Someone who went to so much trouble digging up dirt on Spielberg could have at least done their homework on that one.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:14 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Keepcool, I respect you and all, but the holes in the arguments of that citypages article you posted, you could drive a truck through. Once again someone doesn't understand the point of AI, because they think those were aliens in the end.


Only put it up to display my feelings that Spielberg's A.I. is NOT the movie Kubrick would have done. All this "mutual respect" you hear comes from Spielberg. Kubrick didn't feel like he did the Holocaust any justice with "Schindler's List", and you've got to admit that the two men's directorial styles clash at best. That was not my opinion on the ending in any way/shape/form. I shoulda just put the relevant text in quotes.

Octagon, good point about A.I. tying in with Eyes. The ending of 2k1 with the emphasis on the "Space Babies" eyes, followed with the pullback of Alex's eyes during the opening of Clockwork. The character of Redmond Barry could be read as a 17th century Alex. The madness of a society (Barry Lyndon) vs. an internal madness (The Shining). All of his movies can be read to tie in to one another.
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Postby Octaveaeon on Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:15 pm

I just finished the CityPages article, well, barely finished it... It's not anything I haven't read before, and when I saw the date, then I understood why. But like Tony, I too thought the same when I first saw it. Not only did I think that they were aliens, but my expectations had led me up a completely different path... but after reading a few posts from fellow AICNers, this is what i came up with:

"DocP, concerning an earlier point you made, I completely agree that one crucial theme explored in the movie (AI) is HOW to create a robot with a soul, that acts and feels like a human, that can grow attachments in a self-reflexive manner, fully conscious of its self. That's what the movie starts out with, a speech by the 'father' of David, and how this whole project is a reaction to the death of his own son, the real David. And then at the end of this scene we see the company logo, which is obviously an allusion to the robots in the end (don't forget the scene towards the end of the movie when David after talking to his 'maker' wanders around his lab and looks through a mask of his mecha self and looks ominously at that prophetic logo, and a bit later on jumps off the ledge into the water while sitting right next to the statue, but lands his plunge right next to another statue, this time underwater: kind of like the Hermetic doctrine “Whatever is below is similar to that which is above. Through this the marvels of the work of one thing are procured and perfected.”, see ‘The Emerald Tablet” on Wikipedia for more info.) who are in a sense, his children, since he, like God, made them to love him, and that in turn could be described as egotistical, and probably also a subtle critique of the notion of God as most people experience 'it', while at the same time leaving open the possibility of an even more transcendent Being as responsible for our existence and our false Gods.


This would imply the introduction of a 'demiurge' to the cosmological hierarchy depicted by Spielberg and Kubrick. This is reflected by our incapacity to see beyond our own selves and our identities, which is manifested by our drive to "find out who created us", which is also what the Mechas (which sounds a lot like 'mecca': "A goal to which adherents of a religious faith or practice fervently aspire" according to http://dictionary.reference.com) are busy trying to do at the end of the movie when they find David, a name that could be alluding to the biblical King, who "... was vouchsafed by God in the Bible that the Israelite and Jewish monarchies would be guaranteed to come from his Davidic line forever. Judaism believes that the Jewish Messiah will be a direct descendant of King David, and Christianity traces the lineage of Jesus back to him.", [Wikipedia] something which fits very much with his 'maker' telling him how his own son was 'one of a kind', but that mecha David is 'the first of many' (eventually it is the future Mechas that assert that he is indeed "unique and special", which makes the humans, and his maker, representatives of the Jewish perspective on Jesus, and the future Mechas the Christian contingent, since they link their evolution much more directly to David and his search for love, describing him as “the enduring memory of the human race”).


The role of Gigolo Joe is also crucial, and I think that it is clearly a messianic or at least prophetic role that he discharges, probably a combination of different historically important prophets [in the West] (Moses, Hermes Trismegistus, Zoroaster, Jesus Christ, etc.): he predicts the 'Apocalypse', says who will survive and why, walks on water, preaches love (although he confuses it, or maybe deliberately links it, with sex), and even sacrifices himself in order to help David.


And yet, 2000 years later, despite the use of technology in helping kick-start a whole new phase in "our" evolution (humans/orgas and mechas, which is a similar theme [technology, external intervention, and evolution of consciousness] of Kubrick's 2001, while AI itself came out in 2001), the future Mechas would nevertheless find themselves in a similar existential crisis, in their case their search for the essence of human 'spirit', that is nonetheless clearly lacking in the beginning of the movie (isn’t it ironic?), and fits in with the whole drive by every generation/species to find out about who created them, though the movie seems to describe a cyclical process which cannot be understood or 'unveiled' by relying on reason and misplaced faiths/beliefs (like finding out the 'original source', or “prisca theologia”), but it is only by pursuing our goals (the trials and tribulations that David is willing to go through, and the range of emotions these instill in him, in order to become a real boy and win the love of his mommy) that we manifest our 'uniqueness', 'spirit', 'humanity', etc.


Even Joe is caught up in this journey, though he ends up warning David of the lack of love that humans demonstrate to their kind, even his mommy, which is why they "are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes all that will be left is us", a prophetic statement that could be seen in the context of Moses' prophecy concerning the Hebrews and the fate of the Egyptians, though I'd like to add the fact that Moses is relevant also as a proponent of monotheism which is a shared framework of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all of which revere Moses as a prophet (which is probably why the role of Gigolo Joe as a Christ-like figure is harder to clarify, but which makes sense in the contentious position of Jesus in the context of these faiths).


In fact, the nature of David is probably imbued with even more deeper levels of symbolism, such as the fact that some "theories surrounding [the biblical King] David, suggest that he was originally considered a god, but at the point at which the Israelites became monotheistic, was converted into being a human, with human background added. Often this is said to be the unknown god "Dood", which is one of the alternative readings for "DWD", if it doesn't represent the name "David" (Hebrew did not usually write or indicate vowels, and the letter waw can, unhelpfully, mean both "v", "oo", and "ua")... It has been suggested that "Dood" may be a corruption of "Thoth" (which is also written Tut, the "o" is long, and the "h" indicates aspiration rather than being part of "th"), since "d" and "t" were almost indistinguishable in egyptian. Thoth himself was a moon god, and the significance of David's son Solomon would have, according to this connection, been down to his attribution as a sun god (his wives and so forth representing the stars, planets, etc.). The standard twinning of day and night, sun and moon, requiring that there be a tale associated with Solomon of magnitude equal to that of David."


The name of "Thoth" is I think relevant because this links us with the very important character of 'Hermes Trismegistus' - the prophet tied to Hermetic esoteric and exoteric knowledge, and who used to be associated with the revelations of Moses and Plato, among others, and who was variously seen (during the Hermetic revival during the Renaissance, and which influenced greatly the evolution of modern science as opposed to its mediaeval and classical practice and the natural and magical philosophy during its most critical point of transition, but which still goes on, primarily in debates between 'real' science and pseudo-scientific or New Age doctrines or views) as being a contemporary of Moses, coming after Moses but before Plato, or even predating Moses, and teaching the principles which will help us transcend the material basis of our existence (ascension).


The main reason why I think this link is not only relevant but also correct, is that important scene when one of the advanced Mecha talks with David about their envy for the human spirit and their drive to find the meaning of existence, which is obviously the basis behind every religion. Still, there is a huge bright moon easily visible through the circular window directly above them, something that I believe alludes to this relation not only because Thoth (David) was a moon God, but because the alien describes something which completely shatters the idea that these creatures are any better than the humans and mechas they descended from... they are in fact doing exactly same thing, and for the same reasons, as what their human progenitors did: they are creating artificial life in order to understand the meaning of life and existence in general (in the end of this exchange, the moon quickly disappears and daybreak – the Sun initiating the start of a new day, makes its entry).


Though humans did this by creating Mechas and artificial intelligence, the advanced Mechas are doing this by tapping into the fabric of space-time and transposing 'memories' into a body, even if only temporarily, of the 'original' humans who've long passed away (humans as the "key to the meaning of existence", which is why they started this 'project', while David represents “the enduring memory of the human race”). Not very encouraging: David will more likely be deified after being ‘discovered’, maybe as a saviour of some kind, like Jesus. And don't forget that even after 2000 years, the effect of climate change (a problem already clearly visible during the movie, and which reflects the impending doom of humans, not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually, which is what AI as a movie is warning us about) has continued unabated, practically transforming the whole planet into one giant tomb/museum, not the best setting for a forward-looking 'species'.


Still, that's probably what the makers were trying to get at, in that we are still trapped in the past, and continue making the same mistakes over and over again, continuously misunderstanding what we're looking for and who we really are deep down inside. This movie, and 2001 A Space Odyssey, should be seen, for this reason, side by side. I just hope it helps more people "open their eyes" (or "Eyes Wide Shut"?), or at least not rely on false Gods/beliefs/hopes/doctrines in order to sleep better (like David does in the end, though he deserved it because he fulfilled his goal, and was also aware that his mom wasn’t real). [Actually, it is hard to view these films, particularly those of Kubrick, and not see the associations with Masonic rituals, which also rely on syncretic links with ancient Egyptian 'wisdom', which is what EWS discusses, and in a way so did Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby"...)]


And one more thing concerning prophets: Zoroaster comes up in Richard Strauss’ theme “Also sprach Zarathustra [Zoroaster]” which figures prominently in Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey [as Zoroaster figures prominently in much Occult, esoteric, and Hermetic/Hermeticist writings]. Everything I’ve mentioned can be seen to some extent in The Matrix Trilogy, which suffers similarly to one respect with AI (and which ties in with what DocPazuzu and Fatal Discharge mentioned): the emotional aspect was tackled intellectually: the themes, and depiction, of what makes ‘emotions’ human is very hard for a lay person (human) to engage with if he/she is not engaged with emotionally, that is, cares or identifies with the characters. This represents a hermeutic problem that the makers have not fully realized, in my opinion. Ok, now I really should stop writing…"

Sorry Tony for all the reading... but how important is work, really, when you compare it to 'THE GENIUS OF KUBRICK"TM?


[this is my opinion, ofcourse, but in no way should this be confused with trying to be 'deep'... Remember, all that I've mentioned is stuff that Kubrick was most surely aware of... e.g. :

In Victor Ziegler's house there is a statue of Psyche and Cupid, which is based on a tale that shows up in Lucius Apuleius' novel, The Golden Ass, written in the second century CE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupid_and_Psyche). This is what Frances Yates had to say on the subject: "Apuleius of Madaura is a striking example of one of those men, highly educated in the general culture of the Graeco-Roman world who, weary of the stale teachings of the schools, sought for salvation in the occult, and particularly in the Egyptian type of the occult. Born circa A.D. 123, Apuleius was educated at Carthage and at Athens and later travelled to Egypt where he became involved in a lawsuit in which he was accused of magic. He is famous for his wonderful novel, popularly known as 'The Golden Ass' the hero of which is transformed by witches into an ass, and after many sufferings in his animal form, is transformed back into human shape after an ecstatic vision of the goddess Isis, which comes to him on a lonely seashore whither he has wandered in despair. Eventually he becomes a priest of Isis in an Egyptian temple." This is an obvious reference to the use of occult/Hermetic/esoteric rituals by certain secret societies.

You may not agree... that's ok. But closing your eyes is a bit premature.. IMVHO]
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