Filmmakers on Filmmakers: Paul Thomas Anderson on Max Ophuls’s mastery of the tracking shot, and The Earrings of Madame de….

HAPPY 130th BIRTHDAY, FRANZ! ( Kafka meets Welles in “The Trial” )

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Orson Welles: “What made it possible for me to make the picture is that I’ve had recurring nightmares of guilt all my life: I’m in prison and I don’t know why –- going to be tried and I don’t know why.

The Trial - eyes

“It’s very personal for me.  A very personal expression, and it’s not all true that I’m off in some foreign world that has no application to myself; it’s the most autobiographical movie that I’ve ever made, the only one that’s really close to me.

The Trial Welles directing Perkins

Directing Anthony Perkins

“And just because it doesn’t speak in a Middle Western accent doesn’t mean a damn thing. It’s much closer to my own feelings about everything than any other picture I’ve ever made.”

The Trial - Perkins and screen:

The Trial - title

NARRATOR (at opening of film):

Before the law, there stands a guard.

The Trial - Prison door

A man comes from the country, begging admittance to the law.

The Trial - door

But the guard cannot admit him.

The Trial - man blocking door

May he hope to enter at a later time? That is possible, said the guard. The man tries to peer through the entrance.

The Trial = people

He’d been taught that the law was to be accessible to every man.

thetrial-deportees1

“Do not attempt to enter without my permission”, says the guard. I am very powerful. Yet I am the least of all the guards. From hall to hall, door after door, each guard is more powerful than the last.”

The Trial Perkins in office

The Trial - the trial

By the guard’s permission, the man sits by the side of the door, and there he waits. For years, he waits.

The Trial - perkins

Everything he has, he gives away in the hope of bribing the guard, who never fails to say to him “I take what you give me only so that you will not feel that you left something undone.”

The Trial - Perkins w: piantings 2

The Trial - perkins and Schneider

The trial - walking outside

The Trial - Perkins in trial

Keeping his watch during the long years, the man has come to know even the fleas on the guard’s fur collar. Growing childish in old age, he begs the fleas to persuade the guard to change his mind and allow him to enter.

The Trial - Perkins in slits

His sight has dimmed, but in the darkness he perceives a radiance streaming immortally from the door of the law.

the trial-cathedral

And now, before he dies, all he’s experienced condenses into one question, a question he’s never asked. He beckons the guard. Says the guard, “You are insatiable! What is it now?” Says the man, “Every man strives to attain the law. How is it then that in all these years, no one else has ever come here, seeking admittance?”

The Trial perkins at prison door

His hearing has failed, so the guard yells into his ear. “Nobody else but you could ever have obtained admittance. No one else could enter this door!

The Trial - man blocking prison door

This door was intended only for you! And now, I’m going to close it.”

The Trial closed door

This tale is told during the story called “The Trial”. It’s been said that the logic of this story is the logic of a dream… a nightmare.

The Trial -- running in tunnel

Kafka by Warhol

“Franz Kafka” by Andy Warhol (1980)

KUBRICK at LACMA

KUBRICK exhibit entrance 1

As the stunning Kubrick exhibition prepares to depart Los Angeles, here is a quick tour (with some additional photos).  Think of this as a prelude to a future perambulation through the Kubrickian maze….

SHINING maze

“Essentially the film is a mythological statement.  Its meaning has to be found on a sort of visceral, psychological level, rather than in a specific, literal explanation.”  — Stanley Kubrick.

KUBRICK posters

Kubrick's cameras and lenses

The altering eye: Kubrick’s cameras and lenses

From Kubrick’s photos of New York life in the 1940s in Look magazine:

Cartoonist Peter Arno with model

Cartoonist Peter Arno with model

From Kubrick's photos of New York life in the 40s in Look magazine

KUBRICK man in subway

Deep space and wide angles — Kubrick signatures

"The Shining"

The Shining

???????????????

The following shot — a Kubrick favorite

"Full Metal Jacket"

Full Metal Jacket

THE KILLING movie poster

THE KILLING in bed

Sterling Hayden and Coleen Gray

Kubrick's chess set and "Paths of Glory"

The art of strategy — the strategist in art. On set and onscreen Kubrick always had a chess game in progress (here in Paths of Glory)

On locations shooting "Paths of Glory"

On location shooting Paths of Glory

Storyboards for "Spartacus" by Saul Bass

The patterns of war: storyboards for Spartacus by the legendary Saul Bass

Costume for Crassus (Laurence Olivier)

Costume for Crassus (Laurence Olivier)

The Senate set

The Senate set

Matte painting for "Spartacus" by the legendary Peter Ellenshaw

Matte painting for Spartacus by the legendary Peter Ellenshaw

Finished scene

Finished scene

Shooting Spartacus

Shooting Spartacus

Contemplating Lolita....

Contemplating James Mason contemplating Lolita….

Contemplating Lolita

…. and Lolita contemplating us…..

Lolita - kubrick directing Sue Lyon

Kubrick and Sue Lyon (Lolita) photographing the iconic scene

Promotional shot of Sue Lyon by Bert Stern

Promotional shot of Sue Lyon by Bert Stern

(More photos from Bert Stern’s legendary shoot can be found here).

Model of the War Room set from "Dr. Strangelove"

Designing Armageddon: model of the War Room set from Dr. Strangelove

Copy of source material for "Dr. Strangelove", with Kubrick's notes for possible film titles

Copy of source material for Dr. Strangelove, with Kubrick’s notes for possible film titles

Kubrick drawing on Strangelove bombs

STRANGELOVE riding the bomb

Riding the Bomb

Apres doomsday survival pack

Who says doomsday is the end of the world?

Peter Sellers filming Kubrick playing chess with George C. Scott on set of "Dr. Strangelove"

Peter Sellers filming Kubrick playing chess with George C. Scott on set of Dr. Strangelove

Polish poster for "2001: A Space Odyseey"

Polish poster for 2001: A Space Odyssey

"2001" co-author Arthur C. Clarke with Kubrick on set

2001 co-author Arthur C. Clarke with Kubrick on set

Stargazer....

Stargazer….

Designing movement for the Dawn of Man

Designing movement for the Dawn of Man

Intuitive thinking... ("2001: A Space Odyssey")

Grasping new concepts (2001: A Space Odyssey)

The Future is Here

2001 in 1968

2001 space station interior

Model of the giant centrifuge set

Model of the giant centrifuge set

2001_CENTRIFUGE_SET

The real thing

Filming inside the centrifuge set

Filming inside the centrifuge set

Unattended Monolith

Caution: Unattended Monolith

Early thoughts were to "fly" the monolith with wires. This idea was later abandoned.

Early thoughts were to “fly” the monolith with wires. This idea was later abandoned.

Suspended model of the White Room ("2001")

The alien in the familiar: suspended model of the White Room where Man takes the next step in his evolution (2001: A Space Odyssey)

One possible future of Man —

KUBRICK 2001 starchild

The future of Man?

or another —

CLOCKWORK spanish poster

Even Mannequin Alex inspires unease

Even mannequin Alex inspires unease (A Clockwork Orange)

Design sketch for Alex's room

Design sketch for Alex’s room

CLOCKWORK alex's room

CLOCKWORK headlines 2

Fallout from the film led to Kubrick withdrawing it from circulation in the UK for 27 years. I had to travel to Paris to see it for the first time, dubbed into French

CLOCKWORK design sketches

Set design sketches by John Barry

Milk anyone?

Got milk?

"Barry Lyndon"

In which our Hero lies amidst the illusions of his invulnerability (Barry Lyndon)

LYNDON photo:storyboard

Kubrick would use location photos to storyboard, as with this shot of a carriage

Capturing candlelight -- the camera for "Barry Lyndon", complete with high speed Zeiss lens

Customized camera and lens for capturing the impossible beauty of Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon 2

“My candle burns at both ends

It will not last the night;

But oh, my foes, and ah, my friends —

It gives a lovely light.”

Barry Lyndon 3

Early poster design by Saul Bass

Early poster design by Saul Bass

Kubrick and Jack Nicholson on set

Kubrick and Jack Nicholson on set

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (The Shining)

"Hello, Danny!"

“Helloooo, DANNY!”

shining blood-in-the-hallway1

What critic Michael Ciment calls “the return of the repressed”, a strand of behaviour that weaves throughout Kubrick’s work, becoming a murderous psychosis signalled by a telltale look:

MSDSHIN EC021

Private Pyle (Full Metal Jacket):

"The return of the repressed" (Pyle's breakdown in "Full Metal Jacket")

"Full Metal Jacket"

The duality of Man: Joker’s helmet from Full Metal Jacket

Enemy -- thy name is woman

Enemy — thy name is Woman!

"Aryan Papers" Installation (abandoned project)

Cataclysms echoing endlessly through time: Aryan Papers installation (abandoned film project)

Masques of the Red Death

In flagrante delecto — Masques of the Red Death….

eyes ceremony

Masks of marriage…..

EyesWideShut

and celebrity….

The masks of marriage -- and celebrity

“Who’s been sleeping in my bed…..?”

eyes wide shut kidman 1

In the room the people come and go….

"We'll meet again"

“We’ll meet again…”

Talking of Michelangelo….

SCREENS starchild 1

“…. some sunny day”

-- and "Cut!"

“…. and — CUT!”

stanley_kubrick_on set in chair