Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Kubrick’
March 14, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- Eudora Welty once explained her popularity as a public speaker: “Colleges keep inviting me because I’m so well behaved … I’m always on time, and I don’t get drunk or hole up in a hotel with my lover.”
- Stanley Kubrick’s estranged daughter, Vivian, joined the Church of Scientology in 1999; some have argued, compellingly, that Eyes Wide Shut is a requiem for her. (Think about it: that strange, elite sex cult …) Now Vivian has released a series of touching photos that show her growing up on the sets of her father’s films.
- “The first official Scrabble Word Showdown … allows players to nominate a new, officially playable word.”
- What’s it like being a real private dick in New Yawk City? Neither as fizzy nor as seamy as you’d expect, alas.
- “Welcome to the world of bouncing cars and velvet interiors at the Torres Family Empire Lowrider Convention in Los Angeles, California.”
February 21, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- “Is the goal so far away? / Far, how far no tongue can say, / Let us dream our dream today.” The worst poems by canonical writers. (Those lines are Tennyson’s—not his finest hour.)
- On the commercialization of nostalgia: “The memorial-industrial complex ensures that our past—our collective past—permeates our present.”
- How did Jeopardy! get its strange the-question-is-the-answer format? It was Merv Griffin’s doing.
- Aspiring writers: better to toil in obscurity. Studies show that literary prizes make books less popular. “Winning a prestigious prize in the literary world seems to go hand-in-hand with a particularly sharp reduction in ratings of perceived quality.”
- New behind-the-scenes footage from Full Metal Jacket shows Kubrick’s perfectionism in full force; “He labors to get just the right spacing between lime-covered actors playing corpses in an open grave.”
- Blunders—they’re a good thing!
August 6, 2013 | by Jason Diamond
Some people revere Jean-Luc Godard, others obsess over finding subliminal messages in the films of Stanley Kubrick. Much as I love the work of these masters, the filmmaker whose work I tend to think the most about is John Hughes. From the iconic films he both wrote and directed (The Breakfast Club, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles) to those he wrote and produced (Home Alone) the movies Hughes helped create between 1984 and 1991 are all classics in my eyes. (Even I will admit that after that his work gets really iffy: 101 Dalmatians, anybody?) I grew up laughing at his films, and when I eventually found myself homesick for the Chicagoland area I knew growing up, I’d revisit the copies of his films that I still watch on a monthly basis. Eventually I’d come to the realization that while David Kamp rightfully called Hughes the “Sweet Bard of Youth” in his 2010 Vanity Fair piece on the late director, I came to realize—thanks in large part to the distance between me and the place where I grew up—that Hughes was something even more; that he was to Chicago and its northern suburbs what Woody Allen was to Manhattan in the seventies and eighties. He made being from those bland suburbs seem more interesting than I recalled.
February 6, 2013 | by Ben Parker
Shortly before Christmas, New York moviegoers could choose between seeing two Tom Cruise films that were screening simultaneously: Jerry Maguire at Lincoln Center (as part of a retrospective celebrating him), and Eyes Wide Shut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (as part of a Christmas movie series). Sorry I could not watch both and be one viewer, I opted for Eyes Wide Shut. “You had me at hello” and “Show me the money!” would have to wait for another day. Surely I was taking the cultural high road, the Guermantes Way, if you will, one that would certainly never meet up with any quippy, Tom Petty–inflected sports romance.
Since the bemused response to the release of Eyes Wide Shut in 1999, the film’s admirers have been increasingly winning out over its critics. But both camps agree that the film is a closed universe, meticulously arranged down to the smallest detail, the ne plus ultra of auteurist micromanagement. Kubrick was a famous hermit who refused to leave England to film Eyes Wide Shut, although it is set in New York. Instead he constructed an enormous studio replica of Greenwich Village, and everything was shot in this controlled environment. Tom Cruise, as though under Kubrick-ordered house arrest, didn’t make another movie for the entire duration of the project (from 1997 to 1999). If you didn’t like the movie, you saw the final product as hermetically sealed and emotionally sterile, a bad imitation of New York and the way that real people talk and feel. But if you liked the movie, it was because each of its frames could be subjected to exhaustive analysis in a thousand term papers, like a game of hidden pictures, mined for occult symbolism, motifs of consumerism, and every possible allegorical reading. Kubrick’s obsessively detailed vision seemed particularly to license a shot-by-shot deconstruction. (I invite you to google: “Eyes Wide Shut illuminati” for a good time.) Read More »
July 27, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
May 1, 2012 | by Blake Eskin
Working with words is how I’ve made my living, but becoming a photographer has been a longtime fantasy, fed by the vinaigrette smell of the chemistry in the college darkroom, the monographs in the library upstairs, and all the museums and galleries and bookstores I’ve visited in the decades since. The more amazing work I saw, the more shy I became about picking up a camera, so this fantasy was sublimated into writing about photography, even writing about writing about photography.
The pictures that speak to me most are street photographs. I wanted to be a surreptitious chronicler of urban life, like Henri Cartier-Bresson or Helen Levitt or Elliott Erwitt. Street photography took off with the Leica, a groundbreaking portable camera introduced in 1925 that used the same 35-mm film manufactured for motion pictures. By the time I became aware of street photography, its golden age—its culturally decisive moment, so to speak—was behind us. To practice street photography at the end of the twentieth century seemed like nostalgia.