“Barry Lyndon” is a story which does not depend upon surprise,’ Kubrick told Michel Ciment in one of his rare interviews, nailing the film’s re-found appeal. ‘What is important is not what is going to happen, but how it will happen. I think Thackeray trades off the advantage of surprise to gain a greater sense of inevitability and a better integration of what might otherwise seem melodramatic or contrived.’
Likewise, as time goes by, Kubrick’s own contrivances – the technical obsessions, the outwardly puppet-like performances, Ryan O’Neal’s seemingly endless wanderings, adventures and increasingly futile ambitions – have themselves fallen away to reveal something quite extraordinary: the shape of a life, a human’s rise and fall, rendered as an epic, mesmeric, suffusing slow dance of immersive cinema – and therefore, not only Kubrick’s most beautiful but also his most empathetic and understanding work
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I’m intrigued to learn that the life of Lucien Carr is to be made into a film. Carr was the man who introduced writers Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg (to be played by British actor Ben Whishaw).
Kill Your Darlings revisits an infamous night in 1944 when Carr stabbed his friend David Kammerer to death. He was later convicted of the manslaughter. Kerouac spent a night in the clink for helping Carr dispose of the knife.
It’s difficult to gauge how good it will be; films about the Beat Movement have been so uniformly dire, which is strange because you’d have thought that the movement would be made on the silver screen. All that great music; those wide open roads; the scenes of bohemian hedonism have somehow never been successfully translated to the cinema.
+ Incidentally there is a decent-looking Kerouac documentary is doing the festivals circuit.
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A bit of visual candy: Disney designer Eric Tan makes posters for new films in the old style. Taking inspiration from the work of the artists of the German UFA studios of the 1920s, Tan’s posters are used within Hollywood (The X-Men poster was produced for Stan Lee’s birthday), but have yet to be given a full theatrical release.
Holy bungled distribution Batman! The wrong trailer has been sent out! Or was it? Audiences in America who turned up to see an Imax preview of I am Legend, this week, have been treated to an apparent accidental taster of the forthcoming Batman movie, The Dark Knight, which is not due to arrive until July next year.
Six minutes of the film were “accidentally” screened in Imax cinemas and the bootleg quickly leaked on to the internet. The scene shows an intense bank robbery, not dissimilar bank-heist sequence from Michael Mann’s Heat, in addition to shots of the Heath Ledger’s Joker and some extra scenes from the movie (you can see the official trailer here).
But although Warners pulled the bootleg preview from YouTube earlier today, you can’t help but wonder if this was accident or design. Set designs and short clips are routinely leaked months before the theatrical release (just take these recent shots of the set from the upcoming adaptation of The Watchmen). Seeing that Dark Knight has already one of the most elaborate viral campaigns for a forthcoming movie, it does make you wonder. For all those that saw it reported that the six minutes of raw action didn’t half leave them panting for more. The Joker couldn’t have planned it better.
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