Stanley Kubrick...a legend in his own right whose extraordinary visions and painstaking craftsmanship created some of the best films in cinema history. And now with the upcoming release of the Masterpiece Collection, we get a stellar set of his movies including a brand new in-depth documentary that is a must see and only available on Blu-Ray.
Below, check out my brief interview for Moviepilot with Ryan O'Neal and Leon Vitali who both worked closely with Kubrick.
A divorced British professor of French literature, Humbert (James Mason) travels to small-town America for a teaching position. He allows himself to be swept into a relationship with Charlotte Haze, his widowed and sexually famished landlady, whom he marries in order that he might pursue the woman's 14-year-old flirtatious daughter, Lolita, who he's fallen hopelessly in love with, but whose affections shall be thwarted by a devious trickster named Clare Quilty.
DR. STRANGELOVE or: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING & LOVE THE BOMB
A cold war satire thats a chilling dark comedy about a psychotic Air Force General unleashing an ingenious, foolproof and irrevocable scheme sending bombers to attack Russia, as the U.S. President works with the Soviet premier in a desperate effort to save the world. The film stars Peter Sellers, in multiple roles, as well as George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
One of my favorites visually, Kubrick’s dazzling Academy Award®-winning achievement (Special Visual Effects) is an allegorical puzzle on the evolution of man and a compelling drama of man vs. machine. Featuring a incredibly stunning meld of music and motion, the film was also Oscar®-nominated for Best Director, Art Direction and Writing. Kubrick (who co-wrote the screenplay with Arthur C. Clarke) first visits the prehistoric age-ancestry past, then leaps millennia (via one of the most mind-blowing jump cuts ever) into colonized space, and ultimately whisks astronaut Bowman (Keir Dullea) into uncharted space, perhaps even into immortality.
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
A movie that majority of the public couldn't handle or comprehend at the time of initial release, causing major controversy, the film garnered four Academy Award® nominations – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Screenplay. The film also introduced into popular culture the concept of “ultra-violence,” as singing, tap-dancing, derby-topped hooligan Alex (Malcolm McDowell) has a “good time” – at the tragic expense of others. His journey from amoral punk to brainwashed proper citizen and back again forms the dynamic arc of Kubrick’s future-shock vision of Anthony Burgess’ novel. One of Kubrick's best.
Redmond Barry (Ryan O’Neal) is a young, roguish Irishman who's determined, in any way, to make a life for himself as a wealthy nobleman. Enlisting in the British Army and fighting in Europe’s Seven Years War, Barry deserts, then joins the Prussian army, gets promoted to the rank of a spy, and becomes a pupil to a Chevalier and con artist/gambler. Barry then lies, dupes, duels and seduces his way up the social ladder, entering into a lustful but loveless marriage to a wealthy countess named Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson). He takes the name of Barry Lyndon, settles in England with wealth and power beyond his wildest dreams, before eventually falling into ruin.
From a script he co-adapted from the Stephen King novel, Kubrick melds vivid performances, menacing settings, dreamlike tracking shots and shock after shock into a milestone of the macabre. The Shining is the director’s epic tale of a man in a snowbound hotel descending into murderous delusions. In a signature role, Jack Nicholson stars as Jack Torrance, who’s come to the elegant, isolated Overlook Hotel as off-season caretaker with his wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd). Watch out for the twins.
FULL METAL JACKET
My personal favorite from serving in the military, a superb ensemble falls in for Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant saga about the Vietnam War and the dehumanizing process that turns people into trained killers. The scathing indictment of a film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. ‘Joker’ (Matthew Modine), ‘Animal Mother’ (Adam Baldwin), ‘Gomer’ (Vincent D’Onofrio), ‘Eightball’ (Dorian Harewood) and ‘Cowboy’ (Arliss Howard) are some of the Marine recruits experiencing boot-camp hell under the punishing command of the foul-mouthed Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermy). The action is savage, the story unsparing, and the dialogue is spiked with scathing humor.
EYES WIDE SHUT
Kubrick’s daring and controversial last film is a bracing psychosexual journey through a haunting dreamscape, a riveting suspense tale and a career milestone for stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Cruise plays a doctor who plunges into an erotic foray that threatens his marriage – and may ensnare him in a murder mystery – after his wife’s (Kidman) admission of sexual longings. As the story sweeps from doubt and fear to self-discovery and reconciliation, Kubrick orchestrates it with masterful flourishes. His graceful tracking shots, rich colors and startling images are some of the bravura traits that show Kubrick as a filmmaker for the ages.
ONCE UPON A TIME...A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
This is new to the U.S. and features interviews with a sociologist and a psychologist that shed their professional opinions on the movie itself. Its a wonderful cine-documentary to where it focuses more on the movie’s historical context and philosophy than on its production and reception. It also benefits from audio commentary by the late Stanley Kubrick, who offers his rationale for making the controversial, in which others didn't understand the meaning behind.
STANLEY KUBRICK IN FOCUS
Being new to Blu Ray, Spielberg, Soderbergh, Stone, Nolan, Scorsese and others tell how Kubrick’s directorial style influenced them and how his unique style was developed. A nice feature coming from directors that all respect and admire Kubrick's work.
A new look into the Kubrick archives, with special appearances by his widow Christiane Kubrick. Featuring never-seen footage of Stanley’s works, his house and his film production facilities. This is one of the best produced and most in depth ones I've ever seen on the man and it ties the package together perfectly, a must see for any die hard fan.
STANLEY KUBRICK: THE MASTERPIECE COLLECTION is available December 2nd