Archive for 2001: A Space Odyssey

Kubrick Boxes

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2019 by dcairns

Mr. George Swine!

When I first handled Michel Ciment’s magisterial Stanley Kubrick, my friend Robert pointed out something unusual about the pictures, which were glossy and coffee-table-suited, but also — “He’s making connections.” I’m not sure a movie book had done that, previously.

(Obviously, I should have connected the fights in THE DAY OF THE FIGHT [where SK proves it’s not a proper documentary by filming the big match flat on his back at the pugilists’ feet], KILLER’S KISS and BARRY LYNDON, and Tom Cruise’s street-crazy palm-punching in EYES WIDE SHUT with Nicholson’s rather more compelling version in THE SHINING, the vehicular love scenes in STRANGELOVE and 2001, etc, etc…)

An Odyssey in One Bit

Posted in FILM with tags , , on April 13, 2019 by dcairns

So… It was suggested I copy and paste all my 2001 pieces into one megapost. This seemed a lot of work, but, in the words of Stan Laurel, aged 9, “I’ll tell you what I *will* do…” Here are links to all the posts in order, so you can have an epic odyssey of your own, reading my verbiage.

MAIN TITLE

THE DAWN OF MAN Day One

THE DAWN OF MAN Days Two & Three

THE MILLION-YEAR JUMP CUT

THE BLUE DANUBE: The Fantasy Department with special guest Quincy Jones

MOONWATCHERS

DR. SMYLSOV, OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE SQUIRT

JUPITER MISSION: Keir Dullea and Gone Tomorrow

THE COMPUTER WORE CARPET SLIPPERS

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND

THE WHITE ROOM

PUTTING THE STARCH BACK INTO STARCHILDAlso there are these three pieces, which, though not part of the sequential voyage through Kubrick’s film, deal with aspects of it or have strong connections to it, and the pieces appeared during my Odyssey in Bits so they belong here as marginalia or something.

DELIBERATELY BURIED by Bruce Bennett

REFLECTIVE VALUE with King Vidor

THIS IS THE UNIVERSE

Alpha-Omega

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2019 by dcairns

The opening and closing shot of every Kubrick feature film.

Observations:

Some of these films seem to be talking to each other.

KILLER’S KISS, which in Kubrick’s own revised filmography stands as his first feature (he suppressed FEAR AND DESIRE, top) is the only film ending with anything so conventional as a clinch, but way down at the end EYES WIDE SHUT ends with Nicole’s four-letter suggestion, thus closing a circle of a kind.

The forested hillsides of FEAR AND DESIRE seem to echo those of THE SHINING but if you’re looking at what the shot’s DOING, the real rhyme is between DR. STRANGELOVE and THE SHINING.

STRANGELOVE to CLOCKWORK ORANGE is the sequence I really stand by.

It’s sometimes hard to know what IS the last shot. BARRY LYNDON earns two images, the last live image and the Epilogue card which is clearly part of the film and makes a nice connection with LOLITA and THE SHINING. Likewise LOLITA gets the last shot of Mason, which loops back to the first scene (Peter Sellers is about to emerge and say “I’m Spartacus” just as we hastily fade out), and its final super-title. THE SHINING’s closing shot I’ve represented with two images because it’s a rostrum move.

SPARTACUS is an outlier — I chose to use the first shot of Saul Bass’s title sequence, because the first shot of the film proper, I believe, is by Anthony Mann before he was fired. And the hand makes a nice rhyme with LOLITA…