Kubrick (La Cinémathèque française)

Thanks to Maïté, I got to see the Kubrick exhibit at La Cinémathèque française this evening with a tour guide. It was really cool. I realized that I had seen all of his films from Dr Strangelove to Eyes Wide Shut with the exception of Barry Lyndon. There was a lot to learn: did you know that when Jack Nicholson looks so haggard in The Shining – it is because he literally wanted to kill Kubrick for forcing him to redo scenes over and over again? (It was kind of reminiscent of Martin Sheen’s real nervous breakdown during the hotel room scene in Apocalypse Now when Coppola said to keep filming). I was reminded of the incredible symmetry of Clockwork Orange and the stupendous black humor in Dr. Strangelove. I didn’t realize before that 2001 was filmed BEFORE there were satellites in orbit taking pictures of the earth, so there was an incredible amount of research to predict what our planet would look like from space. I also enjoyed the dark humor in Full Metal Jacket. Another interesting point is that several times, Kubrick blew his timing: 2001 was too early for a “serious”  science fiction movie as it was a flop because people weren’t ready for it. Full Metal Jacket came too late because the genre of Vietnam movies was almost exhausted by the time he filmed it. And his project about the Holocast, The Aryan Papers, had to be abandoned because Spielberg’s Schindler’s List was going to beat it to the screens by a few months. Timing is everything – even in movie direction! Two other tidbits: 1/ Kubrick was a true guerilla filmmaker who knew absolutely everything about the business from camerawork to scenarios and storyboarding to editing to distribution. A true one man film crew like our generation’s Roberto Rodriguez 2/ Kubrick didn’t invent product placement but with 2001, he exploded its profitability by offering free images to companies in exchange for them developing and offering products such as modern looking clocks, furniture and watches to the set. Like I said, the expo is chock-full of interesting information!

The exhibit sprawls over two floors and has extracts and artifacts from all of his opus. There is a cool section of lots of the camera lenses that he used. All the material comes straight out of the Stanley Kubrick Archives and some pieces have never been shown in public before. Apparently, this particular exposition is on a world tour, most recently in Melbourne. If you are in Paris, it is definitely worth an hour or so of your time. And, no, I didn’t fork out €200 for the dual catalog with DVDs of all the films as well as a picture book. Perhaps I should have…

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About Michael Finocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
This entry was posted in Expo Reviews, Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Kubrick (La Cinémathèque française)

  1. Poulet says:

    Hi Fino,

    You woke up the appetite on this one.
    Don’t need to spend 200€, the book on Kubrick by Michel Ciment (from Positif) including interviews with Kubrick and others who worked with him is absolutely worth its 40€s. If you look for a nicely illustrated sum on Kubrick you might like the Kubrick’s archive second edition (as complete but smaller format easier to read) from Taschen for around 50€s. As for 2001, I’ll show you my ultimate geek trophee : 2001 concept watch designed by Hamilton for the movie even so it is not seen in it althought you can see archive photos of it in the Taschen book.

    Bises

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