Enjoy an 11-Minute Interview with Stanley Kubrick and Some of His Best Scenes

Perhaps it’s the spirit of Room 237‘s imminent release, but our cinemaic collective unconscious seems to be quite fixated on Stanley Kubrick as of late—you know, more so than usual. But it’s interesting that a director that left us over a decade ago still continues to make news and excite with his legacy on a daily basis. And because the genius auteur is no longer around to grace us with his brilliance, discovering new insights into his complex mind and creative process is always more than welcome. And in a recently surfaced 11-minute interview with French film critic Michel Ciment, we get the chance to hear Kubrick discuss Barry Lyndon, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket—so you’ll definitely need to pause what you’re doing and enjoy this. Plus, have a look back on some of the meticulous and director’s finest moments from The Killing to Eyes Wide Shut.

Michel Ciment Interviews Stanley Kubrick

A Clockwork Orange, Beethoven’s 9th

Barry Lyndon, Seduction 

Dr. Strangelove, War Room Scene

Lolita, Ping Pong

The Shining, Bar Scene

Killer’s Kiss, Fight

Full Metal Jacket, Mickey Mouse Song

 

The Killing, Chess Club Scene

2001: A Space Odyssey, I’m Sorry Dave

Eyes Wide Shut, West Village

Check Out the New Theatrical Poster for Rodney Ascher’s ‘Room 237’

For self-confirmed Stanley Kubrick scholars and devout fans alike, Rodney Ascher’s Room 237 is truly a cinematic delight. And after debuting at Sundance over a year ago, IFC Films is finally releasing the illuminating doc about The Shining that proves you don’t have to be crazy to love Kubrick, but it helps.  

Back in September I got to speak with Ascher at the New York Film Festival and dive into this idea further, going in-depth about his own Kubrickian obsession and desire to unearth these myths and theories surrounding the meticulous director’s beloved work (interview coming next week). Room 237 not only pays homage to The Shining but Kubrick’s work as a whole, inspiring us to open our eyes to everything living lying just out of frame inside the meticulous director’s cinematic worlds.  The proper synopsis for the film reads:

After the box office failure of Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. The Shining, Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick’s film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of Shining devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s wry and provocative Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic.

And with the new theatrical poster for the film, we not only get  Saul Bass-like design but a disclaimer warning us that yes, these opinions are rightfully insane and not associated with the views of Kubrick. Take a look.

rooom

‘Room 237’: You Don’t Have To Be Crazy To Love Kubrick, But It Helps

I caught a screening of the charmingly demented documentary Room 237 last night and wow, I have it a lot more together mentally than I’d always assumed. The film is built upon interviews with several obsessive Stanley Kubrick fans, all haunted in particular by his masterpiece of horror, The Shining. Note that I don’t use “obsessive” here in the way you might say, “I’m obsessed with cupcakes.”

No, the “Interviewees,” as they are identified from the outset, are like a cast of conspiracy theorists, each driven to the brink of madness by their idiosyncratic reading of the film. They’re never seen, but various Kubrick characters stand in for them in clever pastiche. They note every possible subtextual clue: the TV that Danny and Wendy watch has no wire connecting it to the wall. Objects disappear, a typewriter changes color, and potent symbols of everything from genocide to space exploration crop up. Oh, there’s discussion of a moon landing hoax, but really the only unforgivable thing was when one dude called Barry Lyndon “boring.” That and how another guy kept pronouncing it “Kyoo-brick.”

There’s an arresting few moments of the original film being projected backwards and forwards simultaneously, atop one another, establishing weird connections that the Interviewees insist are critical to the story’s idea of time and the past. By the end, when they’re discussing all the stuff Kubrick changed from the book just to put Stephen King in his place, including the addition of the hedge maze, you realize that The Shining doesn’t have a subliminal message—or rather, it has them all. Mainly, it’s an insidious trap designed to keep the viewer wandering the Overlook Hotel… forever

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

You Can See Lots Of LACMA’s Stanley Kubrick Exhibit Online

Stop being such an uncultured swine.

The Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is up until June 30. But in the case that business or please won’t be bringing you to fair L.A., you can see lots of the exhibit online via the web site Minimally Minimal. From movie posters to props like the bowler hat and cane from A Clockwork Orange to Kubrick’s directors chair, it’s almost as good as being at the actual LACMA.

Given the creepy nature of Kubrick’s work (and overall demeanor — I mean, look at that mug!), Stanley Kubrick is an inherently creepy exhibit. Funny how that works, huh? The Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum Of The Moving Image in Queens, New York, was filled with puppets and still managed to not be as creepy as the pinafore dresses worn by the two little girls in The Shining

Anyway, take a peek …

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Watch the Trailer for Rodney Ascher’s Kubrickian Documentary ‘Room 237’

At one point in Rodney Ascher’s clever and thought-provoking documentary Room 237, one of the Kubrickian theorists refers to Stanley Kubrick post-Barry Lyndon as mad genius bored out of his mind. And that idea, thought of a man with so much intelligence and creative power in desperate need of a mental playground, has stuck with me and whenever I think about The Shining, I see it as Kubrick’s own game of chess. And more than any other Kubrick film, his chilly psychological/supernatural horror film, The Shining serves as the one that toys with people’s minds. The maze-like narrative allows viewers to vear off on their own tangents and spark their own theories as to why this mad genius chose to tell his story in this specific way. And in the decades since its release, The Shining has continued to be a confounding work that only gets better with time.

So after premiering almost a year ago and screening at various festivals around the world, Rodney Ascher’s  documentary Room 237 will finally see its theatrical release on March 29 in limited theaters. Back in Spetember I got the chance to see the film at the New York Film Festival and chat with Ascher about his own obsession with Kubrick’s work, his desire to reveal these myths, and his own experience viewing the film for the first time (interview coming next month). Room 237 not only pays homage to The Shining but Kubrick’s work as a whole, inspiring us to open our eyes to everything living lying just out of frame inside the meticulous director’s cinematic worlds.  The proper synopsis for the film reads:

After the box office failure of Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. The Shining, Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick’s film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of Shining devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s wry and provocative Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic.

A new full trailer has premiered today, harkening back to Kubrick’s original teaser for the film and inviting us into the realm of the Overlook Hotel; check it out below and click HERE for more photos from the film played backwards and forwards simultaneously superimposed.

 

n

dann

jjj

room

Get a First Look From the Set of Ti West’s New ‘Sacrament’

Ti West knows what he’s doing. The intelligent and weird director takes cues from classics of the past to transform contemporary horror into something original and refreshing that creeps up on us like someone breathing on our neck in the dark and the things that go bump in the night rather than cheap thrills and spooks hiding around the corner. When I spoke with him back in September for the release of anthology film V/H/S, he had some interesting things to say about what elevates a genre film into a more cineamtically challenging realm and his intentions as a filmmaker:

The Exorcist is a movie about a woman with a sick daughter, and then it’s a possession movie; or The Shining is about an alcoholic man who hates his family, and then it’s a haunted hotel movie. Those are things that make the movies personal or sociologically interesting and give them value beyond just the surface-level genre stuff. I think it’s missing [in most horror movies] because it’s easier to not focus on the story. Why go back and try to get A-list directors to make smart genre movies when you can make them for cheap with people who just take cool shots. [Those movies] make millions of dollars; from a business perspective, why would you do that? As far as me trying to do it, I think it’s the right thing to do. That’s just kind of a lame reason but that’s how I am. People will give me some money to make horror movies, so if I can take their money and promise them that, yes, it’ll be a movie called The House of the Devil and at some point there will be satanic stuff they can sell, but I get to do whatever I want. And whether it’s horror or not, I can put whatever I want in there that I think is valuable. The genre elements that are being sold to you are gonna be there.

And with the first photo released from his latest project in production, The Sacrament, we’re thrown into the fields of Savannah, Georgia where actor AJ Bowen appears to be bloody and on the run while engulfed into some sort of hallucinatory tunnel. The film, produced by fellow horror master and friend Eli Roth, also stars mumblecore king Joe Swanberg, Kentucker Audley, and filmmaker/Upstream Color star, Amy Seimetz. Yeah, we’re excited.

the sacrament

Read the Deleted Final Scene of Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’

Stanley Kubrick was a tireless genius, his mind a impenetrable maze of its own. You can attempt to analyze the auteur’s work and pinpoint his intentions but there will always be the sneaking suspision that he knew something just beyond our realm of knowledge and we’ll never quite find the answers we’re searching for. So when it comes to The Shining, his meticulously-detailed and visually-staggering horror film, everyone tends to hold tightly to their own, very personal theories and opinions—from it being nothing more than a metaphor for WWII to the film as Kubrick’s way to express the anxiety he was carrying about secretly helping to fake the moon landing of 1969 (as told in Room 237). And to our thrill, Vulture has pointed out that on The Overlook Hotel—a Shining site run by Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3—you can now read the deleted ending of The Shining in its original text. 

Just after the U.S. opening in May of 1980, Kubrick chose to remove the ending from the film, sending assistants out of L.A. and New York to cinemas to erase the final moments from all finished prints. Upon its initial release, the scene featured a hospital epilogue between the haunting shot of Jack in the snow and the spine-tingling long dolly shot through the lobby that ends on the July 4, 1921 photo that pinches every chilling nerve in your body. Sadly, little remains of the original ending, save some polaroids, costumes, and 35mm film trims that are a part of the Kubrick archive. Diane Johnson, Kubrick’s co-writer on The Shining says, "[he]had filmed a final scene that was cut, where Wendy and Danny are recovering from the shock in a hospital and where Ullman visits them." Weird. She also goes on to talk about how Kubrick felt that, "we should see them in the hospital so we would know that they were all right. He had a soft spot for Wendy and Danny and thought that, at the end of a horror film, the audience should be reassured that everything was back to normal." Hmm. Well, I am certainly thankful for his manic episode of realization, that, no, that ending takes so much away from the final shot of pleasure of fright that lives inside the closing moments we know and love to watch—over and over and over.

Read the first page of the final scene below and the rest here, and check out these polaroids—which time (and perhaps something more sinister) have withered and blurred to the point of ghostly expressionist paintings. Oh, and feast your eyes on The Shining forwards and backwards simultaneously superimposed.

pah

dannyshelpoljjj

Follow Hillary Weston on Twitter.

‘Room 237’ Documentary Examines Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’

Conspiracy theorist documentaries are generally eyerolling — cough 2016: Obama’s America cough — but this one looks actually pretty cool. Room 237 is an unofficial documentary that attempts to make sense of hidden messages and meaning in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic film, The Shining.  

The doc examines the theories of five Shining devotees who believe Kubrick’s 1980 film based on the Stephen King novel was encrypted with statements "secret messages regarding genocide, government conspiracy, and the nightmare that we call history."

Room 237 debuted at both Sundance and Cannes earlier this year and just this week wrapped up screenings in New York City at the New York Film Festival in Lincoln Center. It’s presently screening at the BFI London Film Festival.  As it has been picked up by IFC Films, hopefully it will get a theater run.

For horror fans and documentary fans alike, the doc seems like it will be a thinkpiece-y look at a film many of us just write off as as scary movie. Here’s a brief trailer below:

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.

A Brief Compendium of Genre-Swapped Trailers

For tonight’s geeky web diversion, a trend that is hardly new, but one that seems to resurface every so often. The genre-swapped movie trailer even went mainstream with AMC’s Forrest Gump In The Hood promo. Some of these you’ve probably seen umpteen times, others not so much, but these are the best in a field that has quite a few dregs. Goodnight, everybody! 

The Shining As A Family Comedy

This one set the standard for this YouTube trend eons ago. Jack Nicholson looks more like Jim Carrey in his role, but more importantly, there’s the tacky but highly effective ‘80s voiceover and a reminder of the importance of music in trailers, with “Solsbury Hill” cutting through the tension of the movie that holds repressed childhood nightmares for many of us.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off As Fight Club

We’ve actually seen it proposed as a conspiracy/alternate analysis theory on a few websites, and it’s a creeper. At first you’re like, “nahhhh, that’s not possible at all this is some high-grade Internet crap,” but then you start to think about it more and more… and then… yeah. It makes sense.

But that leaves a few unanswered questions, most notably, would have that have created some sort of rumor around the high-society Chicago world that Abe Frohman, the Sausage King of Chicago, skipped out on a check while talking to himself? Where is our mind?

Ferris Club – watch more funny videos     

The Fly As a Rom-Com

There’s a bit too much reliance on the editor’s screencaps to move the reimagined plot along, but there are some very good sequencing choices made and the jangly song by The Spinto Band used gives the whole thing that added rom-com feel. Let this primarily serve as a reminder that Jeff Goldblum should be in every movie ever.

Groundhog Day As Psychological Horror

Short and sweet, but rather chilling.

Mrs. Doubtfire As Completely Terrifying

Opening up with that black-and-white shot of Mrs. D’s plaster mask—gold. The only thing that would have made this one better is the “HELLLOOOOO!” pie scene being played for that last-minute jump at the end of the trailer.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceAs A Raunchy Teen Comedy

As a note, there are mutiple recuts of HP films as teen comedies, including one that recasts Harry, Hermione and the like as the Breakfast Club archetypes. But this is easily the best of the lot, transforming Harry and Ron into two sportos partying and looking for love, making the love potion the center of the plot. Hermione, as always, is still Hermione, calling them out on their trifery.