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Saturday, 31 May 2014

If It Can Be Written, Or Thought, It Can Be Filmed

Dear friends,

As today is Saturday I will share with you what I did last week, on this very same day. Last Saturday I went with 2 of my friends from work + my adorable companions that you can see in the pictures below, to the wonderful and magical Stanley Kubrick Exhibition. I suggest you hurry up and come see it as well ;) as it was quite a sight for sore eyes! I can tell you that we stayed there over 3 hours and would have stayed even more if we had no other things to be done/places to go/people to meet up with. There are so many exponates and so many movies and short documentaries that it truly makes me go one more time :)
The Stanley Kubrick Exhibition is at The National Museum in Krakow (Muzeum Narodowe) - Main Building on Al. 3 Maja 1. The Expo will be open to the audience from 04.05.2014 to 14.09.2014.The Expo is done with the support of Deutsches Filmmuseum, University Of The Arts London & Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Sony-Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios Inc. / Universal Studios Inc. / SK Film Archives LLC.
The tickets cost 25 zloty for regular price and 18 zloty for the students and youngsters - it can be bought at the ticket stand at the main entrance and if it is raining outside and if you wish to deposit your umbrella and/or your belongings, you may go downstairs and deposit them ;) Also a grand plus is the fact that you can go inside the expo with your camera and do as many pictures as you wish, as long as they are without flash ;) 
You can get at the entrance one of the flyers - you can see the flyer and the ticket in the first picture, the one with The Ladybug & The Friendly Moose - and inside you will have all the info you will need. You will also have the map of the expo and I suggest you follow it - it will be a bit hard as the expo is not circular and at one point you just have to hop from one room to another, but we liked it nonetheless ;)
The first room introduces you to the origins of Stanley Kubrick's artistic career - from photography through documentaries to feature films. You can see a Graflex Camera - see pictures above - with which Kubrick took pictures as a regular photographer for the "Look" magazine.
You can also see a chess board as that was Kubrick's favourite game - it proves contributory to the development of his clarity of thought, discipline and strategic thinking; skills that came in handy when he became director ;)
The film on display in the "Early Documentary Films" - you can see one of my friends watching, it in the picture above - shows the origins of Kubrick's artistic career and fragments of his early documentaries.
I particulary loved this piece showing a 37 page-long screenplay named "Along Came a Soldier". He mailed the script to himself. You can see the sealed letter with the postmark of May 15, 1953 that was meant to serve as a proof of copyright :)
I just loved this poster :) Click on it and make it larger to see what it says ;)
The expo embarks you on a journey into the world of Kubrick's films along with the technology used. You can learn about his particular style of shooting and you will examine unusual filming and special effects equipment. Just pay attention to every bit and piece out there! :)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence Sketches of the next movie Stanley was supposed to shoot
I think this wall was my favorite part of the Expo :)
A round display case with filming equipment, lenses and camera which were used by Kubrick in innovative ways... The screening capsules - check out the pictures above for the outside look and the one below for a view from the inside - in which you can watch fragments of Stanley's films and documentariesabout the lenses he used in his work.
The inside of the screening capsule
My lovely friends are checking out the projection effect up close :)
Kasia testing the projector
A system built to achieve the front projection effect - and enterprising combination of mirrors, cameras and transparencies that enabled the shooting of outdoor scenes in a studio with an extremely realistic and breathtaking result. This experimental solution contributed to Kubrick's winning of an Academy Award for Best Special Effects ;)
The amazing computer of the times ;)
Make-up and fashoon 2001 - I was laughing so hard when I read this...
Too bad we could not test this ;)))
A bit of trivia about Lolita: Sue Lyon was chosen for the title role partly due to the size of her breasts. Stanley Kubrick had been warned that the censors felt strongly about the use of a less developed actress to portray the sexually active 14-year-old.
The friends relaxing on the red velvet chair :)
Since the censors would allow nothing close to a suggestion of pedophilia, Lolita's age had to be increased from 12 in Vladimir Nabokov's original novel to 14 for the film. They also objected to a scene where Humbert Humbert was to gaze at Lolita's picture while in bed with her mother Charlotte; in the end, the scene was filmed with Charlotte lying fully dressed on the bed and Humbert lying beside her wearing a robe.
Another thing very attractive about this expo were the letters that Stanley received and the responses he made regarding his movies. Above you can see a letter from the Christian Action, sanctioning Lolita + Stanley's answer :)
The 3 Muscheteers that braved the huge Expo :)
Here you have another set of letters for "A Clockwork Orange" . This movie I find particularly disturbing and I could never watch it fully. But in the expo I can tell you that you will also find two strangely bent female sculptures that were used as sofas at the Moloko Bar in the movie.
Mirror image of stills from A Clockwork Orange
The Shining was the movie that haunted my childhood and until this day I remember the Redrum and Nicholson slicing through the door... EPIC! In the expo you can find the mock-up of the labyrinth and the typewriter with which Jack Torrance was typing one and the same sentence for days on end: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"...
Because Danny Lloyd was so young and since it was his first acting job, Stanley Kubrick was highly protective of the child. During the shooting of the movie, Lloyd was under the impression that the film he was making was a drama, not a horror movie. In fact, when Wendy carries Danny away while shouting at Jack in the Colorado Lounge, she is actually carrying a life-size dummy so Lloyd would not have to be in the scene. He only realized the truth several years later, when he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He didn't see the uncut version of the film until he was 17 - eleven years after he'd made it.
Both Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall have expressed open resentment against the reception of this film, feeling that critics and audiences credited Stanley Kubrick solely for the film's success without considering the efforts of the actors, crew or the strength of Stephen King's underlying material. Both Nicholson and Duvall have said that the film was one of the hardest of their careers; in fact, Nicholson considers Duvall's performance the most difficult role he's ever seen an actor take on. Duvall also considers her performance the hardest of her life.
Stanley Kubrick, known for his compulsiveness and numerous retakes, got the difficult shot of blood pouring from the elevators in only three takes. This would be remarkable if it weren't for the fact that the shot took nine days to set up; every time the doors opened and the blood poured out, Kubrick would say, "It doesn't look like blood." In the end, the shot took approximately a year to get right.
For the scene in which Jack breaks down the bathroom door, the props department built a door that could be easily broken. However, Jack Nicholson had worked as a volunteer fire marshal and tore it apart far too easily. The props department were then forced to build a stronger door.
At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer for The Shining consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.
For the scenes when we can hear Jack typing but we cannot see what he is typing, Stanley Kubrick recorded the sound of a typist actually typing the words "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Some people argue that each key on a typewriter sounds slightly different, and Kubrick wanted to ensure authenticity, so he insisted that the actual words be typed.
And this, my friends, is the closest - I think, in my humble opinion! - I will get to an Oscar! And to a Golden Lion ;) but I must say it was a pleasure nonetheless. Totally worth all the money for the ticket! Now you go and check that out as well :)
The Golden Lion
The master and the boards - Take 1 :)
Though often referred to as Stanley Kubrick's "unfinished masterpiece", the final edit of the film was actually presented to Warner Bros. (by Kubrick) a full four days before his death. Stanley Kubrick considered this to be his greatest film. Stanley Kubrick died just four days after presenting Warner Bros. with what was reported to be a final cut of the film, after a legendarily long shoot.
God! I just loved how matching they were in this picture!
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman signed open-ended contracts. They agreed to work on this project until Stanley Kubrick released them from it, however long that turned out to be. Appeared in the Guinness Book of Records with the record for "The Longest Constant Movie Shoot", at four hundred days.
Now that is one amazing quote!
"Dr. Strangelove" is today considered one of the greatest comedies of all time, though Kubrick & Co. certainly weren't going for laughs in the beginning. The film's origins had Kubrick interested in making a thriller about a nuclear accident, eventually setting out to adapt Peter George's 1958 novel, "Red Alert." It wasn't until Kubrick started writing the screenplay that he saw the "comedy inherent in the idea of mutual assured destruction."
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"Dr. Strangelove" marks the film debut of James Earl Jones, the man who almost 15 years later would become a permanent fixture on the pop culture consciousness as the voice of Darth Vader in "Star Wars" (1977). Kubrick cast Jones in the role of Lt. Lothar Zogg, the B-52's bombardier, after seeing him in a stage production of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"... a production that also featured General Turgidson himself, George C. Scott.
Just loved this shot with the extra's :)
Wouldn't you love to own one of these?! I would :)
Many of the shots were composed and filmed in order to evoke certain eighteenth century paintings, especially those by Thomas Gainsborough. Production was moved from Ireland to England after Stanley Kubrick received word that his name was on an IRA hit list for directing a film featuring English soldiers in Ireland
Warner Bros. would only finance the film on the condition that Stanley Kubrick cast a Top 10 Box Office Star (from the annual Quigley Poll of Top Money-Making Stars) in the lead. Ryan O'Neal was the #2 Box Office Star of 1973, topped only by Clint Eastwood. Ironically, this was his only time in the top 10, as exhibitors - who voted the list - attributed the success of Love Story (1970) (one of the top grossers at the time) to O'Neal's co-star Ali MacGraw, and named her to the list in 1971. The other top 10 stars were 3. Steve McQueen, 4. Burt Reynolds, 5. Robert Redford, 6. Barbra Streisand, 7. Paul Newman, 8. Charles Bronson, 9. John Wayne, and 10. Marlon Brando. 
Thus, the only actors Kubrick could cast in the role and receive Warners' financial backing for his decidedly noncommercial project were O'Neal and Redford. The other Top 10 stars were too old or inappropriate for the role (particularly in the case of #6, who would not assay a "male" role until Yentl (1983) in 1983). Both O'Neal and Redford were Irish, both had box office appeal, and both were young enough to play the role, though Redford was five years older than the thirty-two-year old O'Neal in 1973. At the time, O'Neal was the bigger star, having also garnered a Best Actor Oscar nomination for "Love Story". 
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However, Kubrick apparently offered the part to Redford first, but he turned it down, and thus O'Neal was cast. Redford's star would soon eclipse O'Neal's, as he would zoom to the top of the Box Office charts the next year after the successes of The Sting (1973) and The Way We Were (1973), clocking in at #1 in 1974, a position he also would anchor in 1975 and 1976. O'Neal dropped off the Top 10 list after 1973. His '73 appearance to this day, represents his sole appearance on that premier barometer of box office success for a thespian.
A Schedule for the filming - No Excel there ;) all manual work!
Aryan Papers is a part of Stanley Kubrick's unfinished projects. In 1976, Kubrick sought out a film idea that concerned the Holocaust and tried to persuade Isaac Bashevis Singer to contribute an original screenplay. Kubrick requested a "dramatic structure that compressed the complex and vast information into the story of an individual who represented the essence of this man-made hell." However, Singer declined, explaining to Kubrick, "I don't know the first thing about the Holocaust."
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In the early 1990s, Kubrick nearly entered the production stage of a film adaptation of Louis Begley's Wartime Lies, the story of a boy and his aunt as they are in-hiding from the Nazi regime during the Holocaust—the first-draft screenplay, entitled Aryan Papers, was penned by Kubrick himself. Full Metal Jacket co-screenwriter Michael Herr reports that Kubrick had considered casting Julia Roberts or Uma Thurman as the aunt; eventually, Johanna ter Steege was cast as the aunt and Joseph Mazzello as the young boy. Kubrick traveled to the Czech city of Brno, as it was envisaged as a possible filming location for the scenes of Warsaw during wartime, and cinematographer Elemér Ragályi was selected by Kubrick to be the director of photography.
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Kubrick's work on Aryan Papers eventually ceased in 1995, as the director was influenced by the 1993 release of Spielberg's Holocaust-themed film Schindler's List. According to Kubrick's wife Christiane an additional factor in Kubrick's decision was the increasingly depressing nature of the subject as experienced by the director. Kubrick eventually concluded that an accurate Holocaust film was beyond the capacity of cinema and returned his attention to the A.I. Artificial Intelligence film project.
Selfportrait @ Stanley Kubrick Expo
A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later. - Stanley Kubrick
Now I don't know about you but after going through this expo you come out a bigger fan of Stanley Kubrick than the one that entered. I do not regret going to see it and I think I may go one more time, maybe with my husband :) Guess what?! When he saw all the pictures - and trust me, this is just a small part of what I have! - he said he would also like to see it ;) So if you have the time, do drop by Krakow National Museum and have a look. And when you are done, let me know how that was for you. What did you feel? :)

** I was not payed in any way to do this review. It was all out of pure love for the art of film-making! And for the love of the great genius that was Stanley Kubrick. **

Yours truly, 
A Stanley Kubrick Fan - The LadyBug