see, this is what i love about the vault. for years, most of the people i know have parroted the 'brilliant film' line whereas i think it's rubbish mostly because it does miss the point completely and utterly of what Burgess was saying. and another thing, while i'm in rant mode, kubrick is WAY overated. he was a good cum great director, BUT... the more famous he got, the more longwinded and drawn out his movies got, so that the self-editing facility never came into play (perhaps the earlier films were reined in by cash and producers?), which makes them frustrating as there are great films swathed and hidden in mediocre padding.
and he missed the point of the shining, too... if you want to put your own point, then write your own story! i can't see why he'd bother otherwise - it's not like he needed the 'name' on the property being a big enough name himself.
kubrick is WAY overated. he was a good cum great director, BUT... and he missed the point of the shining, too...
I can´t stand Shining. By minute 5 you know that Jack isn´t firing on all cylinders, so the rest is an excercise in boredom. Not to mention the miscast and annoying Shelly Duval. And of course he misses the point of the story.
I also can´t stand Eyes Wide Shut. Not because I hate Tom Cruise - which I do with a passion - but because the paperthin plot is an idiotic mess. If you read the hymnic reviews on IMDB you would think this is the second coming of filmmaking instead the pretentious bore with awful dialogues it is.
You deviants! Kubrick is God and all his fillums (although I haven't seen Fear & Desire) apart from Killer's Kiss are brilliant. The only thing the last chapter brings to the book is the fact that hoolies grow out of it as they get older (which isn't gospel) - although the book does have that marvellous reading the paper scene where Alex bemoans the fact that journos are only ever interested in what makes The Kids go bad, not what makes 'em good. Agree about the datedness of the fillum but that's part of it's ...er...charm. The Shining is also a fantastic film, if somewhat divorced from the novel (but that's all to the good if you ask me.) OK then Mr Clevers, how does Barry Lyndon compare with Thackeray?
Post by David A. Riley on Jan 18, 2011 9:36:53 GMT
I'm definitely not dogmatic about books always being better than film adaptations. Psycho a definite case in point. Hitchcock's film is certainly a vast improvement on Bloch's novel, much though I like Bloch's stories. On the other hand, I think Kubrick's version of The Shining misses much that would have improved it if he had stuck closer to King's original. Having the Jack Torrent character clearly mad from the start was a mistake which King avoided. The "shining" might just as well have not existed, and the chef's role at the end of the film was totally changed and made into a nonsense.
As for A Clockwork Orange, I find nothing in the film version that I can like or admire. It's a mess. Misscast and pretentious.
To be honest the only films of Kubrick's that I have any time for are Paths of Glory and Barry Lyndon, the former especially, and I wonder just how much of that is because of the actors' performances rather than what the director put into it.
I remember hearing the Science Fiction writer, Bob Shaw, talking about his experiences with Kubrick at a Preston SF meeting some years ago. That was a real eye opener and reflected nothing that was good on the director's behaviour.
because it does miss the point completely and utterly of what Burgess was saying. and he missed the point of the shining, too...
In what way Pulps? I thought the point of ACO was that man should be free to choose between good and evil, even if he is a complete bastid. Not sure of the point of The Shining - cooping up a man who's an alcoholic and a failure in a building that has a bad history with his wife and child is a recipe for disaster? I thought King's novel was not exactly autobiographical but contained some of his writing problems.
Good to have this debate. I should by the way clarify my point about the "rape scene in the novel being turned into an orgy", I was referring to the scene with Alex and the two very young girls by the way. Why he turned that into a Benny Hill style threesome just shows you how little he seemed to grasp the point of the story.
The ending to me does a great deal more than just say Neds grow out of it. It's talking about how society finds outlets for violent expression but not necessarily beneficial ones, Dim becoming a policeman for instance. If society is happy with violence as long as it's on the oppressor's side you have to ask yourself if this is instrumental in Alex's turning out how he did.
Without the final chapter the story merely has the brainwashing technique dissed and everything going back to square one, and also being rather celebratory about it. A long way to come for so little.
Kubrick also misses out the reference to the title! The same thing happened that year with Straw Dogs.
I abhor Kubrick: doing 400 takes doesn't make the end result necessarily wonderful. Lolita I think is a fine film although again he misses the point of the book. He does get something of the spirit of it which the later version is hilarious confused about (taking the whole story literally and even calling the lead character Humbert Humbert: that was meant to be his joke on us!) and I do enjoy The Shining despite its pomposity, because it works on the audience very well but otherwise, I can barely watch his films.
Post by franklinmarsh on Jan 18, 2011 15:34:30 GMT
Good points MB. Kubrick was getting away with an awful lot bearing in mind the film had to pass the censors so there's no way he could have filmed the scene in Alex's bedroom as written by Burgess. He said in interviews that he was trying to show the violence from Alex's point of view (ie it was something he enjoyed) at the beginning of the film; the opposite of Burgess' attitude as one of the reasons for his use of nadsat was to negate the chances of people flicking through the book for a cheap thrill. I came to the last chapter late and found it a bit of a letdown - but it was dramatised in a stage version I saw. Alex's vision of youth as those 'malenky little wind up toys' is rather apt, if implying they have little choice after all. I think Kubrick captured the 'recruiting of brutal young toughs into the police force' very well. The non-use of the title isn't a great loss as hopefully people would pick up on the 'mechanised inside, organic outside' subtext. (Straw Dogs was adopted as a title after negative reactions from those polled on variations of Wiilliams novel title) Must admit that the 'I was cured all right' ending of the condensed version of the novel isn't necessarily celebratory, so I presume Kubrick was commenting on Alex's manipulation of the Minister Of The Inferior.
I'll admit upfront that there was a great deal of mystique surrounding A Clockwork Orange growing up, at least for me there was and I don't suppose I'm alone in that. So when I finally got to see it at the pictures around 1996 it was a big thing. Still, it could've gone either way - I could have come away thinking, "Is that it then? Is that what all the fuss was about. That Kubrick's a right tw*t and no mistake and so am I for wasting so much of my life wondering what it'd be like, etc." In fact I walked out of that cinema and I was buzzing. F**king great it was. And do you know why it was so f**king great? It was f**king great in the same way Ken Russell's films were f**king great when I first saw them. Excessive, extravagant, deliberately outrageous, obsessive, provocative, driven, personal cinema. Something you rarely saw, even back then when people still had ideas, and which you almost never see any more. Pompous? Pretentious? Yeah, gloriously. My other abiding Kubrick cinema memory is dragging my dad to see 2001 in the '70s when I was just a kid. God bless him, he sat through the whole thing without a word of complaint even though I knew, and he later admitted, that he was completely bewildered/bored by the whole performance. Me? I'd never seen anything like it. I nearly wet myself (the only film I did actually wet myself during was Ring of Bright Water but that's a story for another day). And as for The Shining failing to accurately portray the work of Stephen King - well, all I can say is thank fuck for that. No offence like.
I've already put my tuppence-worth in on the Clockwork Orange film (pompous and pretentious - but not in any sort of a good way), and 2001 is one of the most boring films I have ever forced myself to sit through in the vain hope that something even faintly exciting might happen. But I agree with Steve on The Shining - there are a lot of problems with the film, but it's a definite improvement on the book (which like all of King's novels just has far too much stuff in it for my tastes).
I enjoy King's The Shining, but as an almost separate entity from Kubrick's fillum. I should point out that I was obsessed with the fillum of ACO for years and years. The first viewing on dodgy pirate vid was a tad disappointing but it has grown in stature over the years and still sits up there as my favourite film. Buying hordes of books about Kubrick (mainly for the Clocky O stills) as a youngster also made me perhaps more receptive to his other works.