Archive for May, 2010


Posted in Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 by kubrickblog

More than 30 years after its premiere, analyzing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is like trying to give the definitive interpretation of Dali’s surrealist painting Persistence of Memory, those melting clocks. Lots of people “get it” (or believe they do), and lots of others don’t (and don’t care). The general consensus agrees that it’s unlike anything that came before and most of what came after, and that it’s saying something — though exactly what it’s saying remains a matter of lively discussion. Since 1968, Kubrick’s cryptically visionary koan of alien influence, human development, and cosmic encounters has established itself in our cultural memory as an influential moment in movie-making history.

Rather like Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove a few years before, 2001 did what healthy art is supposed to do — it broke the rules, defied convenient categories, canons, and conventions, and showed us that there are still new ways of saying things, and even new things to say. Therefore you’ll find people who love it, others who hate it, and even among those who love it you’ll discover that they can have a hard time agreeing on what it’s all about.

The DVD Journal: 2001: A Space Odyssey



Posted in Uncategorized on May 16, 2010 by kubrickblog


The plot of this film is already well-known, but I’ll rehash it here for my purposes: A rogue U.S. Air Force general, Jack D. Ripper, initiates a nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. It’s then revealed that the Soviets have constructed a doomsday device which, at the first sign of a nuclear strike, will automatically release a Cobalt bomb into the atmosphere, destroying all life on earth and rendering the surface uninhabitable. The ultimate weapon for the era of M.A.D. and Détente.

Scary stuff, right? At the height of Cold War tensions, it didn’t seem all that unlikely that the U.S. and Soviet Union would end up annihilating each other, and Dr. Strangelove‘s “doomsday bomb” was Kubrick’s withering critique of the ultra-macho and myopic mindset of the U.S. and Soviet military—a mindset that could lead to ultimate destruction. And here’s the scariest part: The doomsday bomb is real, and it’s still active.

Last fall, Wired did a must-read exposé on the not-so-secret existence of a Cold War relic: a Soviet doomsday system called “Perimeter,” also known by the ominous name of Mertvaya Ruka, or “Dead Hand,” within official circles. And the system sounds like it was cribbed directly from Dr. Strangelove: ground-based detection devices, at the sign of a nuclear attack on Soviet territory, would then turn on a computer system that monitored the Soviet chain of command. If certain conditions were met, launch authority for a massive, world-ending nuclear counterattack would be transferred to a secure underground bunker, where the press of a button would initiate the ultimate apocalypse.

Ciné Files: Dr. Strangelove’s Real-Life Doomsday Machine :: Movies :: Columns :: Paste

Letters of Stanley Kubrick

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 by kubrickblog

une 5, 1959
To Laurence Olivier

Dear Larry, I am sorry the rushes were late yesterday and I was unable to come by for that drink. I hope that when you see the finished film you will be less disturbed about certain things than are now. In any case, I should like to thank you for the decent way you have behaved about the things with which you were in such disagreement. Good luck and Best Regards, Stanley.

LOLITA, 1962
(with James Mason as Humbert and Sue Lyon as Lolita)

Olivier, who had originally agreed to star as Professor Humbert Humbert if he could co-write the script, pulls out of the entire project.

December 15, 1959
To Stanley Kubrick from Laurence Olivier

Having scrutinised the book curiously and intensely during the last week I do not feel my mind grasping a film conception of the subject and I therefore don’t feel that I can very well bear the onus of the responsibility of partnership in the script of a subject concerning which strong doubts are so uppermost in my mind. These doubts come from a conviction that the chief merit in the book lies in the author’s brilliant original and witty descriptive powers and I can’t see how this particular virtue is photographable. I fear that told in terms of dialogue the subject would be reduced to the level of pornography to which I’m afraid quite a few people already consign it. I could not guarantee to myself that I would be much use in getting it right and therefore cannot feel that I should guarantee to you that I would play the part whatever happened. Full of admiration as I am for the book my faith in it as a film subject is shaky.

MORE….The letters of Stanley Kubrick – Telegraph

A.I Book

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 by kubrickblog

Space Odyssey – Blu Ray release

Posted in Kubrick info on May 3, 2010 by kubrickblog

Images from the new blu ray release of space odyssey 2001.

8. 2001: A Space Odyssey – PCWorld