Jan. 11 - 19, 2002

American Cinematheque Presents...

Grand Master: The Films of Stanley Kubrick

Series Compiled by Dennis Bartok. Additional program notes by Chris D.

 

Special Thanks to: Jan Harlan; Mike Kaplan; Linda Evans-Smith, Marilee Womack and Bill Robens/WARNER CLASSICS; Pamela Godfrey/WARNER HOME VIDEO; John Kirk/MGM-UA; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL FOCUS; Mike Schlesinger/COLUMBIA REPERTORY.

Tickets available 30 days in advance.

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From his landmark early films like PATHS OF GLORY, LOLITA and DR. STRANGELOVE, through his futuristic nightmare A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and on to his late masterpieces THE SHINING, FULL METAL JACKET and EYES WIDE SHUT, director Stanley Kubrick (1928 – 1999) created an unmistakable vision of a world both primitive and alarmingly advanced, plagued by war and constantly in search of some transcendent vision of harmony. His recurrent theme of the dehumanization of mankind was often juxtaposed against the exquisitely beautiful images he framed with his camera.

Born in the Bronx to Jewish parents, Kubrick was introduced at a young age to chess and photography by his physician father; both would become lifelong obsessions. At age 17, he joined the staff of Look magazine as a photographer, and after directing several short documentaries, made his first low-budget feature, FEAR AND DESIRE in 1953, followed quickly by KILLER’S KISS and THE KILLING.

Notoriously private but intensely loyal to friends and family, Kubrick spent much of the last four decades of his life at his home in England, surrounded by camera equipment and meticulous notes on the making of his films; he passed away there in 1999, just prior to the release of his final film EYES WIDE SHUT.

On the heels of our special two week re-release of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in 70 mm., we are happy to present a near-complete retrospective of Kubrick’s classic films – including an ultra-rare screening of his very first film, the 1951 documentary "Day of the Fight," plus a screening of the acclaimed documentary "Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures," followed by a Q&A with director (and "A.I." executive producer) Jan Harlan.

 

Friday, January 11 – 7:30 PM

THE SHINING, 1980, Warner Bros., 142 min. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. A brilliant exercise in pure supernatural terror, THE SHINING stars Jack Nicholson as a frustrated writer who takes the job of winter caretaker (along with wife Shelley Duvall and son Danny Lloyd) at an enormous mountain hotel, in the hope that snow and solitude will give him peace of mind. He finds just the opposite, as the hotel’s own horrific past quickly overtakes him in this soul-chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.

 

Saturday, January 12 – 5:00 PM

Malcolm McDowell In Person!

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, 1971, Warner Bros., 137 min. Kubrick was so stunned by Malcolm McDowell's debut in IF... that he was reportedly unwilling to begin his film of Anthony Burgess' savagely brutal, futuristic satire until he could be assured of McDowell's participation. This benchmark cinematic prophecy proved to be more foresighted than anyone dreamed, as the punk explosion and skinhead-fomented race riots demonstrated in the later ‘70s. In the role he is most identified with, McDowell is both frightening and funny, and in the process gives sinister new meaning to beloved tune Singin' In The Rain. Malcolm McDowell will appear for discussion following the film.

 

Saturday, January 12 – 8:30 PM

Super Technirama 70 mm. Print!!

SPARTACUS, 1960, Universal, 184 min. Kubrick’s awesome epic is one of the most visually stunning films ever produced in 70 mm. Kirk Douglas stars as the gladiator who leads his fellow slaves in a revolt against Rome, while co-stars Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis, Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin and Nina Foch get swept into the firestorm. Brilliantly scripted by writer Dalton Trumbo, whose hiring by producer Douglas helped shatter the blacklist, with Oscar-winning photography by Russell Metty.

 

Sunday, January 13 – 5:00 PM

DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB, 1964, Columbia, 93 min. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Against a gallery of unforgettable comic grotesques, including Sterling Hayden’s fluoride-hating general and George C. Scott’s oversexed Commie killer, Peter Sellers stands out in arguably his greatest role(s) – as the befuddled U.S. President, veddy-British commander Mandrake, and the maniacal Dr. Strangelove. (Ironically, Sellers was supposed to play a fourth role – Slim Pickens’ B-52 pilot – before illness forced him to drop out!)

 

Sunday, January 13 – 7:00 PM

BARRY LYNDON, 1975, Warner Bros., 183 min. Winner of four Academy Awards, including one for d.p. John Alcott’s marvelous cinematography (the all-candlelit interiors must be seen to be believed), BARRY LYNDON stars Ryan O’Neal as Thackeray’s flawed 18th-century soldier of fortune, struggling to find his place in a rigidly structured (and beautifully coiffured) social hierarchy. Here, Kubrick recreates a bygone romantic era with a bittersweet wistfulness and a wealth of nuance and realistic detail. With Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Kruger.

 

Wednesday, January 16 – 7:30 PM

Ultra-Rare Screening – Kubrick’s Very First Film!! Double Feature!

First, an extremely rare screening of the short "Day Of The Fight" (1951, 16 min.), a documentary portrait of middleweight boxer Walter Cartier preparing for a bout on April 17th, 1950. (The film was inspired by a photo essay Kubrick did on Cartier for Look magazine in the late 1940’s.)

KILLER’S KISS, 1955, United Artists, 67 min. Kubrick’s second feature (after the ultra-low budget FEAR AND DESIRE), is a compact, moody noir gem about a boxer’s vengeful quest when his romance with a neighbor girl leads her employer to murder. With Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith

THE KILLING, 1956, United Artists, 83 min. Kubrick’s tough-as-nails heist film about a robbery at a racetrack features an incredible rogues’ gallery of great character actors, including Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Elisha Cook Jr., Marie Windsor and Timothy Carey. One of the most entertaining crime films ever made, propelled by Kubrick’s no-nonsense approach and screenwriter Jim Thompson’s biting, chiseled in stone dialogue (based on Lionel White’s novel Clean Break.) Discussion between films with THE KILLING producer James Harris (schedule permitting).

 

Thursday, January 17 – 7:30 PM

LOLITA, 1962, MGM (Warner Classics), 152 min. Kubrick’s hilariously bleak and twisted portrait of sexual obsession (based on Vladimir Nabokov’s infamous novel) stars James Mason as ultra-fussy college professor Humbert Humbert, whose life is up-ended when he sets eyes on Sue Lyon’s blasť blonde nymphet. Watch for Peter Sellers’ scene-stealing performance as Humbert’s nemesis. Discussion following with producer James Harris (schedule permitting).

 

Friday, January 18 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

PATHS OF GLORY, 1957, United Artists, 86 min. Aided by writers Jim Thompson and Calder Willingham, Kubrick fashions what still remains one of the most biting, potent and eloquent anti-war films ever made. During WWI, French officer Kirk Douglas finds himself in a maze of catch-22 contradictions when he decides to defend three of his men against charges of cowardice from insane general George Macready. Featuring great performances from Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Meeker and Timothy Carey.

FULL METAL JACKET, 1987, Warner Bros., 116 min. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. A remarkably faithful and powerful adaptation of Gustav Hasford’s novel The Short Timers, flavored with equal parts black humor and pathos, following green Marine recruits Mathew Modine and Arliss Howard from basic training to Vietnam inferno. Includes some of the most jawdropping portrayals of military madness ever to grace the screen, courtesy of raw recruit Vincent D’Onofrio and real-life drill sergeant R. Lee Ermey. Discussion between films with PATHS OF GLORY producer James Harris (schedule permitting).

 

Saturday, January 19 – 5:00 PM

Director Jan Harlan In Person!!

STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE IN PICTURES, 2001, Warner Bros. Home Video, 141 min. Kubrick’s longtime friend, producer (and brother-in-law) Jan Harlan created this riveting portrait of the maestro, from his childhood in the Bronx (illustrated by rare home movie footage of a smiling Stanley and his sister!), through his early days as a photo-journalist, his first features, the furor over LOLITA and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, right up to his final days working on EYES WIDE SHUT. Featuring interviews with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Jack Nicholson and others, and a wealth of stunning footage of Kubrick on- and off-set, A LIFE IN PICTURES is a wonderful testament to a filmmaker who was in love with cinema and its endless possibilities. Discussion following with director Jan Harlan.

 

Saturday, January 19 – 8:30 PM

Sydney Pollack and Jan Harlan In Person!!

EYES WIDE SHUT, 1999, Warner Bros., 154 min. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Endlessly debated (like all of Kubrick’s films) on its initial release, EYES WIDE SHUT is an unnerving portrait of a seemingly-happy couple (played fearlessly by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) whose lives are thrown into turmoil when they look beneath the bourgeois surface of their marriage to find a terrifying warren of self-deceit, sexual obsession and emotional betrayal. Co-starring Sydney Pollack, Todd Field and Leelee Sobieski. Discussion following with Sydney Pollack and executive producer Jan Harlan (schedules permitting).