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Friday, 20 September 2013

Exhibit; Kubrick interview- "ACO", violence& "Spartacus"

1/ Kubrick exhibit at LACMA:
http://www.whorange.net/whorange/2013/06/stanley-kubrick-exhibit-at-lacma.html

Kubrick camera lens exhibit LACMA
A Clockwork Orange Korova Milk Bar Kubrick exhibit LACMA
The Shining Alder typewriter All Work and No Play Kubrick LACMA 
This seems fun.
I wonder how a Martin Scorsese exhibition would be.

2/ Soundtrack in "A clockwork orange".
[Please play the music].


3/ Kubrick on "A clockwork orange": http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.aco.html
An interesting interview. 1st, it answers some questions in my head and reveals Kubrick's thought and reasons for some of his decisions. 2nd, it tells a few things about Kubrick's views, interests, hobbies... and a bit of his personality. 3rd, from the interview I may learn a couple of things about films and filmmaking.
The only thing I'd like to say here is, while I agree with Kubrick that I do not believe violence in films transforms an innocent, good, moral person into a violent person, filmmakers should still think carefully and take responsibility for their works, because violent films may feed people who already have some anti-social or hateful thoughts in them, and thus, may worsen their nature and drive them to the point of 'actualising' their fantasies. Freedom is good but every single filmmaker (like every author) must be responsible and must be aware of some possible effects their works have on the audience (or readers). Not that I disapprove of violence in Kubrick's films. I should elaborate, there are different kinds of violence. Violence in Kubrick's films is not pointless, it has a political meaning- "A clockwork orange" depicts violence without approving of or encouraging violence. Violence in Martin Scorsese's films is realistic violence- it is there because Scorsese makes films about gangsters and criminals (even so, he doesn't make it too violent, he, for example, changed the colours of the shooting scene in "Taxi driver").
What about Quentin Tarantino's films? To me there's something wrong with the aestheticisation of violence, though on the 1 hand one may argue that it doesn't look very realistic and shouldn't lead the audience to real acts of violence, on the other hand it disturbs me to find people comfortably laugh at and enjoy all the killings in his films, "Django unchained" especially. The kind of fun violence meant to be enjoyed is to me quite disturbing.
The only argument that may make me accept it is the fact that Quentin Tarantino deliberately makes it look unreal, so they are to be watched and enjoyed and forgotten and they aren't haunting. I, however, am totally against films like "A Serbian film". It may not make a person commit a crime nor inflict pain upon somebody else, but such a film doesn't do anybody good, even if the filmmaker has some ideas and intentions and political messages, the film 1st has effects on people watching it, and another director (with more talent and conscience and sense of responsibility), with the same ideas, could have made a less violent and haunting film.

4/ The other day I added another film to the list of Stanley Kubrick films I've seen, raising the number to 8: "Spartacus".
Only afterwards did I realise that he had disowned the film because he didn't have complete control over the filming. In the interview mentioned above, he said:
"In Spartacus I tried with only limited success to make the film as real as possible but I was up against a pretty dumb script which was rarely faithful to what is known about Spartacus. History tells us he twice led his victorious slave army to the northern borders of Italy, and could quite easily have gotten out of the country. But he didn't, and instead he led his army back to pillage Roman cities. What the reasons were for this would have been the most interesting question the film might have pondered. Did the intentions of the rebellion change? Did Spartacus lose control of his leaders who by now may have been more interested in the spoils of war than in freedom? In the film, Spartacus was prevented from escape by the silly contrivance of a pirate leader who reneged on a deal to take the slave army away in his ships. If I ever needed any convincing of the limits of persuasion a director can have on a film where someone else is the producer and he is merely the highest-paid member of the crew, Spartacus provided proof to last a lifetime."
What do I think of "Spartacus" then?
Well, it's OK. Excluding any inaccuracy, which I do not know because of my ignorance, the film has 2 main flaws: 1, 1-dimentional characters, particularly Spartacus (played by Kirk Douglas), a hero without faults and Crassus (by Laurence Olivier), a completely bad guy. 2, the film is a bit sentimental once in a while. Overall, it isn't a very bad film. In fact, keeping "Spartacus" in Stanley Kubrick's filmography not only does no harm to his reputation but also does good, because:
a) It shows his talent to direct the epic scenes, to handle a historical epic film with a cast of over 10000 people (at which point he was 30 years old).
b) It adds epic to the list of film genres he tried his hand at.
c) It again shows his talent, his ability to be different from himself, for "Spartacus" is different from his other films (though like "Spartacus", some of his other films such as "Paths of glory", "Full metal jacket" and "Barry Lyndon" also have marching and/or fighting scenes). 

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