Kubrick By Kubrick trailer

Stanley Kubrick is probably one of the most studied filmmakers in American history – you can find hundreds of books about the making of classics like The ShiningDr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Spartacus, and the rest of his filmography. But hearing what Kubrick thought about his movies, in his own words, is more of a rarity. Now, a new documentary aims to scratch that itch for film fans. Read More »

A.I. and Minority Report

(Welcome to 21st Century Spielberg, an ongoing column and podcast that examines the challenging, sometimes misunderstood 21st century filmography of one of our greatest living filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. First up: A.I. and Minority Report.)

“What if Peter Pan grew up?” pondered the tagline of Steven Spielberg’s 1991 fantasy Hook. It was an intriguing premise: what would happen if the perpetual child – the boy who refused to get older – embraced the cold, stark, finite nature of adulthood? Of course, the compelling concept of this tagline is all but forgotten in the runtime of Hook, where the adult Peter Pan quickly reverts to childhood in order to save the day. Still, what a notion!

Sometimes, life imitates art. In the 21st century, Steven Spielberg, the perpetual child – the pop culture impresario who found a way to turn childhood and nostalgia into a lucrative, highly entertaining art form – did something remarkable.

In the 21st century, Steven Spielberg grew up.

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The 92nd Academy Awards are almost upon us, and if there’s one certainty going into Oscar night, it’s that some worthy talent in some category will be overlooked in favor of a lesser talent. No nominee or winner is undeserving of recognition, but snubs are also an essential part of Oscar history and directors are not immune to them. In fact, some of the greatest directors of all time have gone their whole career without receiving a proper Best Director Oscar.

Film is fundamentally a collaborative medium, and we’re only a little over a month removed from a decade where the movie industry shifted to a more producer-controlled landscape in which IP-friendly tentpoles seemed to occupy all the best real estate. Yet the best directors, the ones with the most singular voice or vision, do tend to bolster the case for auteur theory, whereby a director can be considered a film’s primary author. With that in mind, here’s a roughly chronological look at ten great film authors eluded by the golden statuette for Best Director. With each name on this list, we’ll be seeking to answer three questions: who did they lose to (if they were ever nominated), what film or films should they have won for, and why, oh, why didn’t they ever win?

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Cooking Scenes in Movies - Ratatouille

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, listen as a professional chef reviews cooking scenes in movies like Chef, Ratatouille, Julie & Julia, and many more. Plus, see how Stanley Kubrick‘s family friendly holiday drama Eyes Wide Shut compares to the original 1926 novella on which the movie is based, and hear Richard Jewell co-star Kathy Bates look back at the most memorable characters from her career. Read More »

2001 A Space Odyssey Exhibit

Calling all Kubrick fans: the Museum of the Moving Image will open its pod bay doors next year for a 2001: A Space Odyssey exhibit. The exhibit will contain the most comprehensive look at the film ever put together in a museum. Costumes, concept art, test footage and more from Stanley Kubrick’s iconic sci-fi epic will be on display starting January 2020.

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Eyes Wide Shut - Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman

Twenty years ago, on the eve of the new millennium, Stanley Kubrick invited moviegoers into a mansion where the rich and powerful donned Venetian masks and black hoods to engage in ritualistic orgies. It was the summer of 1999 and Kubrick had passed away months earlier, leaving behind the last entry in his filmography, Eyes Wide Shut, as a posthumous release. The film hit theaters on July 16 and like The Shining — which earned the auteur a laughably shortsighted Worst Director nomination at the first-ever Razzie Awards — it received mixed reviews early on.

Starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, the leading Hollywood power couple of the day, Eyes Wide Shut wasn’t quite the erotic thriller that its marketing made it out to be. The sole sex scene involving one of the main characters was a fantasy sequence, glimpsed only in flashes of monochrome thought. Instead, audiences settled in for a 160-minute night odyssey that confronted the egocentrism in human nature through the lens of desire. In short: not your typical summer movie fare, unless maybe you were expecting a dark, twisted Christmas in July.

Forget the Illuminati; what really matters in Eyes Wide Shut is sins of the heart and how those affect couples caught up in a world that is beyond their understanding or control. In its own feel-bad, pre-Gone Girl way, this is a movie that might actually qualify as required viewing for anyone in a long-term relationship. The password is fidelio.

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Doctor Sleep Q&A

Mike Flanagan, the director of Oculus, Hush, Gerald’s Game, and The Haunting of Hill House, has crafted plenty of cinematic moments that have left audiences with their hearts pounding. But his upcoming film Doctor Sleep, which is both an adaptation of Stephen King‘s sequel to The Shining and a continuation of the story told in Stanley Kubrick‘s 1980 horror classic, gave Flanagan “the two most nerve-wracking moments of [his] entire career” – getting approval from both King himself and Kubrick’s estate.

That’s no small feat, considering King’s opinion about Kubrick’s movie, and in a Q&A in West Hollywood yesterday afternoon, Flanagan and his producer Trevor Macy talked about striking that balance, recreating some of Kubrick’s iconic visuals, and much more.

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Eyes Wide Shut Christmas

‘Tis the season for Grinches and Gremlins, for leg lamps and Clark Griswold, and for the annual debate over the quality (or lack thereof) of Love, Actually – an argument that has grown more boring (and annoying) than the annual declaration that Die Hard is actually a Christmas movie. But in this house, ’tis the season for Stanley Kubrick; be it the wintry and claustrophobic familial terror of The Shining, or the harrowing yuletide sex odyssey taken by Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick’s final film hardly needs justification for its place in the Christmas movie canon (many others have successfully argued for this classification). What could – and will – be argued, however, is that Eyes Wide Shut is the best Christmas movie of our lifetime. Read More »

Stanley Kubrick Burning Secret

Acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick died in 1999, but if a bold enough filmmaker comes along, a new movie may be added to Kubrick’s cinematic legacy.

Kubrick co-wrote the script for a movie adaptation of a novella called Burning Secret back in 1956, but the film never got made – not only that, the screenplay was thought to be lost forever. But someone found it earlier this summer, and the Stanley Kubrick Burning Secret script is officially going up for auction later this month. Could his version of the story actually make it to the big screen after all?
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The Shining sequel

Mike Flanagan‘s adaptation of Stephen King‘s Doctor Sleep is technically a sequel to The Shining – but that causes a problem. As any King fan can tell you, Stanley Kubrick‘s film adaptation of The Shining is very different from King’s book, which raises a question: will Flanagan’s film ignore The Shining movie adaptation entirely, or will the filmmaker reference Kubrick’s classic in some capacity? We now know the answer.

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