I’m going to give it a shot. With much appreciated encouragement, from my author pal Michael Dellert, as well as advice from my new friend Michael W.(an old school film theory major), I’ve decided to tackle a new project. Kubrick. Stanley freaking Kubrick. A genius. If you were going to put a selection of filmmakers on Everest, Stanley would be there. It would be rarefied company. Kurosawa, Welles, Kubrick…that’s my starting point. Listen, David Cronenberg is my favorite active director, so that’s why I’ve done The Cronenberg Chronicle. Also, David Lynch has been a major influence, so I tackled his features via The Lynch Ledger. But what could I contribute to the legendary career of Kubrick? What hasn’t been said? What hasn’t been taught? What hasn’t been written? The prospect of writing about this titan of cinema terrified me. But I had an idea.
I want to talk about my personal connection to each of Stanley’s thirteen features, and attempt to steer clear of all the plot detail and credit synopsis that I provided in my earlier series on Cronenberg and Lynch. That’s how I can connect, that’s how I can make a difference. I was frightened of the formality. It’s been done to death, by much better writers than me, and with much keener insight. However, if I make the primary focus my experience, attraction, understanding, and fascination with Kubrick, I could create something unquestionably unique. My work with Cronenberg and Lynch certainly contained some of that too, but they were somewhat vast and information filled essays. If you want that, the material available on Stanley K is almost unlimited. I’d like my pieces to be tighter in scope, but more loose-limbed in style. My fear is subsiding. I’m actually starting to look forward to this now!
Now–how to do it. I worked backwards in chronology for Cronenberg’s nineteen features, from a 2012 start point, with one diversion for the release of “Cosmopolis”, and one return (so far) after the premiere of “Maps to the Stars”. With Lynch, I simply started with “Eraserhead”, then followed chronologically for ten months (one feature a month has been the goal for these, until the resume is completed). I desire to go about it somewhat different this time, involving a bit more chance. Here’s what I came up with: for the next 13 months, September of 2016 thru September of 2017, I intend to cover each of Kubrick’s feature films, after a fresh re watch (I’d like to think, that if you claim to be a fan of the director, that you already know what they all are). So, I wrote all thirteen down, on little pieces of paper, rolled the paper into tiny balls, and threw them into a cup and shook them up like dice…then spilled them out. I’ll repeat that, with one less title, each month. The movie I cover, will be the paper ball that lands at the northernmost point of my desk. And the first roll has been completed, and the paperball has been unfurled. The winner is…1975’s “Barry Lyndon”. So, watch for my essay at some point later this month. Wish me luck.