Discussion:
Letters by Stanley Kubrick
(too old to reply)
p***@yahoo.com
2008-07-09 15:22:38 UTC
Permalink
I was not able to copy/paste page 3 of letters. Here is page 3 (I
hope):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/07/07/bf_stanleykubrickletters.xml

This is related to the Christiane Kubrick interview. Big Kubrick week.
~ Gen

The letters of Stanley Kubrick

Page 1 of 3

SPARTACUS, 1960
(with Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier and Jean Simmons)

This was the film that would establish Kubrick as major force in
cinema. But not everyone was happy throughout filming.
advertisement

June 5, 1959
To Laurence Olivier

Dear Larry, I am sorry the rushes were late yesterday and I was unable
to come by for that drink. I hope that when you see the finished film
you will be less disturbed about certain things than are now. In any
case, I should like to thank you for the decent way you have behaved
about the things with which you were in such disagreement. Good luck
and Best Regards, Stanley.

LOLITA, 1962
(with James Mason as Humbert and Sue Lyon as Lolita)

Olivier, who had originally agreed to star as Professor Humbert
Humbert if he could co-write the script, pulls out of the entire
project.

December 15, 1959
To Stanley Kubrick from Laurence Olivier

Having scrutinised the book curiously and intensely during the last
week I do not feel my mind grasping a film conception of the subject
and I therefore don’t feel that I can very well bear the onus of the
responsibility of partnership in the script of a subject concerning
which strong doubts are so uppermost in my mind. These doubts come
from a conviction that the chief merit in the book lies in the
author’s brilliant original and witty descriptive powers and I can’t
see how this particular virtue is photographable. I fear that told in
terms of dialogue the subject would be reduced to the level of
pornography to which I’m afraid quite a few people already consign it.
I could not guarantee to myself that I would be much use in getting it
right and therefore cannot feel that I should guarantee to you that I
would play the part whatever happened. Full of admiration as I am for
the book my faith in it as a film subject is shaky.

Kubrick outlines the project to Peter Ustinov, perhaps with a view to
casting…

May 20, 1960
To Peter Ustinov

I think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see.

And Kubrick shows that he is against “sexing up” the film for more
liberal European audiences.

October 3, 1961
To Eliot Hyman, Lolita’s executive producer

Dear Eliot, RE: Addition Humbert crawling into bed segment. Needless
to say the confusion and chances for screw-ups don’t seem to balance
the questionable gain of the sequence. The people who will be
disappointed that Lolita is not a filthy picture with slobber love
scenes, semi-nudity and outrageous postures will not be appeased,
while on the other hand there are some people who will be horrified,
shocked and offended by this sequence which is not in the same genre
of the film. Artistically it contributes nothing that would otherwise
be lacking. I would strongly recommend that we drop the idea.

DR STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB,
1964 (with Peter Sellers as Dr Strangelove)

In pre-production, and casting matters arise, but Kubrick ever has his
eye on the money.

November 19, 1962
To James Harris, producer

Thanks very much for the Gene Kelly matter. I think he’ll be a
fabulous off-beat choice if we can work things out with him. Please
try to create the impression in his mind that we’re very tight on
money (we are).

July 22, 1963
To Jack Wiener, in Columbia Pictures, Paris

I have checked a number of sources (most of them in France) on the
subtitle. Bim bam bombe sounds like a Jerry Lewis picture.

The letters of Stanley Kubrick

Page 2 of 3

Late 1963
Telex to Editor of the London Evening Standard

I must correct a false impression… In the case of Dr Strangelove Or:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, the choice of
England was solely dictated by the fact that Peter Sellers’ presence
in England was required during the filming in order to appear in court
for his divorce. But don’t get me wrong. I love England.

December 17,1964
To an un-named advertising executive
advertisement

If you place any value on my friendship you will discontinue this
bewildering display of rudeness. I am not used to being treated as a
pest. I am used to having my phone calls promptly returned – not being
brushed off to assistants. You are the only one who has ever done this
to me and my willingness to accept this method of operation has
apparently destroyed all perspective as to what might constitute
reasonable treatment of me. The lack of what might even be considered
routine planning has resulted in no proper screening facilities being
available for the Academy. It has also resulted in an amateurishly mis-
booking at the Crest theater which can contribute little to the
nominations, opening the day before the ballots are sent. I know you
are very busy, but so am I. I am working around the clock with a
writer who has a tax deadline by which he must leave the country. And
I have two stars who are making almost daily trans-Atlantic phone
calls trying to juggle other start dates. The whole thing has
virtually stopped all work on my script and between the realities of
the problem and the maddening attempts to reach you the effect has
been disastrous to my time.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, 1968

The process of collaboration between Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke
begins.

March 31, 1964
Dear Mr Clarke, It’s a very interesting coincidence that our mutual
friend Caras mentioned you in a conversation we were having about a
Questar telescope. I had been a great admirer of your books for quite
a time and had always wanted to discuss with you the possibility of
doing the proverbial really good science-fiction movie. My main
interest lies along these broad areas naturally assuming great plot
and character.

1. The reasons for believing in the existence of intelligent extra-
terrestrial life.

2. The impact (and perhaps even lack on impact in some quarters) such
discovery would have on earth in the near future.

3. A space probe with a landing and exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Would you consider coming sooner with a view to a meeting, the purpose
of which would be to determine whether an idea might exist or arise
which could sufficiently interest both of us enough to want to
collaborate on a screenplay?”

He approaches Robert Shaw to play the Moon-Watcher character,
eventually played by Daniel Richter.

February 17, 1965
To Robert Shaw

I am enclosing a sketch of an Australopithecine man-ape from Raymond
Dark’s “Adventures with the missing link”, without wishing to seen
unappreciative of your rugged and handsome countenance, I must observe
there appears to be an incredible resemblance.

Kubrick allows “cross plugging” for the film and asks companies to
redesign their products for the future world of 2001.

May 14, 1965

To an unnamed executive at MGM

I have hired Roger Caras [Polaris Productions] to implement the plan
to obtain co-operation and exploit cross plugging from companies such
as General Electric, General Motors, etc.

September 22, 1965
To Roger Caras

Dear Roger We are badly in need of a mad computer expert who can be
around and advise on dialogue and jargon to use in computer scenes. It
should be someone who has his eye on the future of computers and not
just a stick in the mud type. Can IBM assign someone from England to
serve as this part-time liaison. Stanley.
Padraig L Henry
2008-07-09 18:09:36 UTC
Permalink
Excellent samples of his letters!

Some of them would even serve as model ripostes to newsgroup trolls and
eejits:

"I would also suggest that you write more temperate [posts] because though I
can conjure up the imagination to conceive of you as a reasonable person
despite the tone of your [post], I seriously doubt that many other people
would be able to."
-------------

"… I must have complete, total and final annihalating control over the
picture."

[chuckle]




<***@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:6b387d47-068f-444e-8d50-***@m73g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
I was not able to copy/paste page 3 of letters. Here is page 3 (I
hope):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/07/07/bf_stanleykubrickletters.xml

This is related to the Christiane Kubrick interview. Big Kubrick week.
~ Gen

The letters of Stanley Kubrick

Page 1 of 3

SPARTACUS, 1960
(with Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier and Jean Simmons)

This was the film that would establish Kubrick as major force in
cinema. But not everyone was happy throughout filming.
advertisement

June 5, 1959
To Laurence Olivier

Dear Larry, I am sorry the rushes were late yesterday and I was unable
to come by for that drink. I hope that when you see the finished film
you will be less disturbed about certain things than are now. In any
case, I should like to thank you for the decent way you have behaved
about the things with which you were in such disagreement. Good luck
and Best Regards, Stanley.

LOLITA, 1962
(with James Mason as Humbert and Sue Lyon as Lolita)

Olivier, who had originally agreed to star as Professor Humbert
Humbert if he could co-write the script, pulls out of the entire
project.

December 15, 1959
To Stanley Kubrick from Laurence Olivier

Having scrutinised the book curiously and intensely during the last
week I do not feel my mind grasping a film conception of the subject
and I therefore don’t feel that I can very well bear the onus of the
responsibility of partnership in the script of a subject concerning
which strong doubts are so uppermost in my mind. These doubts come
from a conviction that the chief merit in the book lies in the
author’s brilliant original and witty descriptive powers and I can’t
see how this particular virtue is photographable. I fear that told in
terms of dialogue the subject would be reduced to the level of
pornography to which I’m afraid quite a few people already consign it.
I could not guarantee to myself that I would be much use in getting it
right and therefore cannot feel that I should guarantee to you that I
would play the part whatever happened. Full of admiration as I am for
the book my faith in it as a film subject is shaky.

Kubrick outlines the project to Peter Ustinov, perhaps with a view to
casting…

May 20, 1960
To Peter Ustinov

I think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see.

And Kubrick shows that he is against “sexing up” the film for more
liberal European audiences.

October 3, 1961
To Eliot Hyman, Lolita’s executive producer

Dear Eliot, RE: Addition Humbert crawling into bed segment. Needless
to say the confusion and chances for screw-ups don’t seem to balance
the questionable gain of the sequence. The people who will be
disappointed that Lolita is not a filthy picture with slobber love
scenes, semi-nudity and outrageous postures will not be appeased,
while on the other hand there are some people who will be horrified,
shocked and offended by this sequence which is not in the same genre
of the film. Artistically it contributes nothing that would otherwise
be lacking. I would strongly recommend that we drop the idea.

DR STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB,
1964 (with Peter Sellers as Dr Strangelove)

In pre-production, and casting matters arise, but Kubrick ever has his
eye on the money.

November 19, 1962
To James Harris, producer

Thanks very much for the Gene Kelly matter. I think he’ll be a
fabulous off-beat choice if we can work things out with him. Please
try to create the impression in his mind that we’re very tight on
money (we are).

July 22, 1963
To Jack Wiener, in Columbia Pictures, Paris

I have checked a number of sources (most of them in France) on the
subtitle. Bim bam bombe sounds like a Jerry Lewis picture.

The letters of Stanley Kubrick

Page 2 of 3

Late 1963
Telex to Editor of the London Evening Standard

I must correct a false impression… In the case of Dr Strangelove Or:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, the choice of
England was solely dictated by the fact that Peter Sellers’ presence
in England was required during the filming in order to appear in court
for his divorce. But don’t get me wrong. I love England.

December 17,1964
To an un-named advertising executive
advertisement

If you place any value on my friendship you will discontinue this
bewildering display of rudeness. I am not used to being treated as a
pest. I am used to having my phone calls promptly returned – not being
brushed off to assistants. You are the only one who has ever done this
to me and my willingness to accept this method of operation has
apparently destroyed all perspective as to what might constitute
reasonable treatment of me. The lack of what might even be considered
routine planning has resulted in no proper screening facilities being
available for the Academy. It has also resulted in an amateurishly mis-
booking at the Crest theater which can contribute little to the
nominations, opening the day before the ballots are sent. I know you
are very busy, but so am I. I am working around the clock with a
writer who has a tax deadline by which he must leave the country. And
I have two stars who are making almost daily trans-Atlantic phone
calls trying to juggle other start dates. The whole thing has
virtually stopped all work on my script and between the realities of
the problem and the maddening attempts to reach you the effect has
been disastrous to my time.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, 1968

The process of collaboration between Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke
begins.

March 31, 1964
Dear Mr Clarke, It’s a very interesting coincidence that our mutual
friend Caras mentioned you in a conversation we were having about a
Questar telescope. I had been a great admirer of your books for quite
a time and had always wanted to discuss with you the possibility of
doing the proverbial really good science-fiction movie. My main
interest lies along these broad areas naturally assuming great plot
and character.

1. The reasons for believing in the existence of intelligent extra-
terrestrial life.

2. The impact (and perhaps even lack on impact in some quarters) such
discovery would have on earth in the near future.

3. A space probe with a landing and exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Would you consider coming sooner with a view to a meeting, the purpose
of which would be to determine whether an idea might exist or arise
which could sufficiently interest both of us enough to want to
collaborate on a screenplay?”

He approaches Robert Shaw to play the Moon-Watcher character,
eventually played by Daniel Richter.

February 17, 1965
To Robert Shaw

I am enclosing a sketch of an Australopithecine man-ape from Raymond
Dark’s “Adventures with the missing link”, without wishing to seen
unappreciative of your rugged and handsome countenance, I must observe
there appears to be an incredible resemblance.

Kubrick allows “cross plugging” for the film and asks companies to
redesign their products for the future world of 2001.

May 14, 1965

To an unnamed executive at MGM

I have hired Roger Caras [Polaris Productions] to implement the plan
to obtain co-operation and exploit cross plugging from companies such
as General Electric, General Motors, etc.

September 22, 1965
To Roger Caras

Dear Roger We are badly in need of a mad computer expert who can be
around and advise on dialogue and jargon to use in computer scenes. It
should be someone who has his eye on the future of computers and not
just a stick in the mud type. Can IBM assign someone from England to
serve as this part-time liaison. Stanley.
p***@yahoo.com
2008-07-09 18:55:31 UTC
Permalink
I must admit, Padraig, that I was not prepared for Kubrick's comments
on Barbara Streisand:

"Barbra is the end! None of the praise she has received has
sufficiently described her genius. I won't attempt to here but I do
have one observation. I think it's true only the most magical actors
in the world can overdo and make it believable and tasteful. She
belongs in that group."

Well, she was great during the 1960s.

Gen
Boaz
2008-07-09 20:34:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I must admit, Padraig, that I was not prepared for Kubrick's comments
"Barbra is the end! None of the praise she has received has
sufficiently described her genius. I won't attempt to here but I do
have one observation. I think it's true only the most magical actors
in the world can overdo and make it believable and tasteful. She
belongs in that group."
Well, she was great during the 1960s.
Gen
LOL!!! I'm wondering about Robert Shaw as Moonwatcher. He was fine as
Henry VIII in "A Man For All Seasons," and as the Ahab-like Quint/
shark food in "Jaws." But what could he have brought to the role,
given that he would have been hidden under that ape costume, that
Daniel Richter and his people ended up doing so brilliantly?

At least it is on the record officially in the October 5, 1965 letter,
that the novel of "2001: A Space Odyssey" is a "spin-off" of the
screenplay, and not the other way around, as so many people continue
to claim or assume.

The letter of July 12, 1966, must be the one regarding Kubrick holding
out on having the novel published by Delacorte Press, and it would be
two more years, three months after the film's release, that it would
be published -- which, according to Clarke, was no different than it
was then; no further revisions had been made or approved by Kubrick.

I like the letter about the "suspected pubic hair." If the idea was to
cover it up, why didn't Kubrick have Marisa Berenson wear a flesh
colored bikini bottom? I still have my full-color ad from the 1975
Variety, and one can't help to have their eye drawn to that part of
the frame blow-up (or of the other shots in the scene itself in the
film). A flesh colored bottom would have been less distracting, and it
would have been more in the spirit of paintings that showed nude women
sans pubic hair, suspected or otherwise.

The letter regarding the "X" rating of FMJ in Australia is odd too. I
recall back in the late '70s seeing a film on HBO called "The Odd
Angry Shot," an Australian produced film set in Vietnam. That film not
only had its share of violence, it also had a scene showing Australian
troops showering, and there was some full-frontal male nudity in it.
And when one thinks of the graphic violence and nudity in "The Road
Warrior" (aka "Mad Max II" in Australia) it becomes even more curious
as to why FMJ got slapped with an "X" rating.

Even Frederic Raphael's letters show more than a hint of intellectual
snarkiness.

It's too bad Kubrick felt he wasn't much of a public speaker. I
recently caught an old Dick Cavette show on TCM with Alfred Hitchcock.
I've also seen the ones with Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman. I think
it would have helped dispell this "recluse" crap had Kubrick gone on
TV once in a while, or lectured at a school. Every time I see
Tarantino on TV I wish some sniper would fire a tranquilzer dart at
him. Calm down, Quentin! Reduce your caffine intake! Take some
Vallium!

Thank goodness we have Vivian's doc on making "The Shining" to see and
hear Kubrick on film. I share the sentiments of many here on AMK to
see Vivian's behind-the-scenes footage of FMJ to be edited into a film
of some sort, not just the brief material seen in the "Life in
Pictures" documentary.

I wonder what "The Slaves" was all about? It makes me think of a
variation of "Spartacus," which Kubrick no doubt wanted to remain
distant from, due to that particular experience.

Great stuff. Has anyone checked out the video interview link yet?
That's pretty good too.

Boaz
("Uh, we're still trying to figure out the meaning of that last
phrase, sir.")
MP
2008-07-09 22:22:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Great stuff. Has anyone checked out the video interview link yet?
That's pretty good too.
What video interview link Boaz?
p***@yahoo.com
2008-07-09 22:40:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I must admit, Padraig, that I was not prepared for Kubrick's comments
"Barbra is the end! None of the praise she has received has
sufficiently described her genius. I won't attempt to here but I do
have one observation. I think it's true only the most magical actors
in the world can overdo and make it believable and tasteful. She
belongs in that group."
Well, she was great during the 1960s.
Gen
LOL!!! I'm wondering about Robert Shaw as Moonwatcher. He was fine as
Henry VIII in "A Man For All Seasons," and as the Ahab-like Quint/
shark food in "Jaws." But what could he have brought to the role,
given that he would have been hidden under that ape costume, that
Daniel Richter and his people ended up doing so brilliantly?
Where in the world did he get the idea that Shaw would be
interested...?
Post by Boaz
I like the letter about the "suspected pubic hair." If the idea was to
cover it up, why didn't Kubrick have Marisa Berenson wear a flesh
colored bikini bottom? I still have my full-color ad from the 1975
Variety, and one can't help to have their eye drawn to that part of
the frame blow-up (or of the other shots in the scene itself in the
film). A flesh colored bottom would have been less distracting, and it
would have been more in the spirit of paintings that showed nude women
sans pubic hair, suspected or otherwise.
I think this will spoil the film for some people. After all, even I
thought she had nothing on ;)
Post by Boaz
It's too bad Kubrick felt he wasn't much of a public speaker. I
recently caught an old Dick Cavette show on TCM with Alfred Hitchcock.
I've also seen the ones with Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman. I think
it would have helped dispell this "recluse" crap had Kubrick gone on
TV once in a while, or lectured at a school. Every time I see
Tarantino on TV I wish some sniper would fire a tranquilzer dart at
him. Calm down, Quentin! Reduce your caffine intake! Take some
Vallium!
I find it refreshing that he did not give interviews on television or
elsewhere.
Post by Boaz
Great stuff. Has anyone checked out the video interview link yet?
That's pretty good too.
Is it - because Berkoff's book was rather disappointing.
Gen
ichorwhip
2008-07-10 02:37:26 UTC
Permalink
<snips>
Post by p***@yahoo.com
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I must admit, Padraig, that I was not prepared for Kubrick's comments
"Barbra is the end! None of the praise she has received has
sufficiently described her genius. I won't attempt to here but I do
have one observation. I think it's true only the most magical actors
in the world can overdo and make it believable and tasteful. She
belongs in that group."
Well, she was great during the 1960s.
This cracked me up. It really did. At least Kubrick didn't say she
was "like butter."
I'm fairly indifferent to Babs. I think she has/had a great voice,
but her acting ability never did a thing for me although she could
play "annoying" as well as anyone. Maybe Kubrick just had fan-boy-
itis at the time... and what about Judy Garland???
Post by p***@yahoo.com
Post by Boaz
LOL!!! I'm wondering about Robert Shaw as Moonwatcher. He was fine as
Henry VIII in "A Man For All Seasons," and as the Ahab-like Quint/
shark food in "Jaws." But what could he have brought to the role,
given that he would have been hidden under that ape costume, that
Daniel Richter and his people ended up doing so brilliantly?
Where in the world did he get the idea that Shaw would be
interested...?
It sounds like either a joke or a ribbing or both to me. Praps some
nasty touche was in order when Kubrick compared the sketch of
australopithecine to Shaw: "...without wishing to seen<sic?>
unappreciative of your rugged and handsome countenance, I must observe
there appears to be an incredible resemblance." Wha?!! "What's this
some kind of sick joke?" I can't imagine Kubrick just out of hand
"insulting" Shaw like that saying he looked like an apeman, I mean he
had a broad forehead, but c'mon! I wonder if there is some further
history between Shaw and Kubrick that we're not privy to as of yet.
Did they even know each other?

"Colonel Dax! You will apologize at once or be placed under arrest!!!"
i
"piop"
Boaz
2008-07-10 04:28:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by ichorwhip
<snips>
Post by p***@yahoo.com
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I must admit, Padraig, that I was not prepared for Kubrick's comments
"Barbra is the end! None of the praise she has received has
sufficiently described her genius. I won't attempt to here but I do
have one observation. I think it's true only the most magical actors
in the world can overdo and make it believable and tasteful. She
belongs in that group."
Well, she was great during the 1960s.
This cracked me up.  It really did.  At least Kubrick didn't say she
was "like butter."
I'm fairly indifferent to Babs.  I think she has/had a great voice,
but her acting ability never did a thing for me although she could
play "annoying" as well as anyone.  Maybe Kubrick just had fan-boy-
itis at the time... and what about Judy Garland???
LOL!!! I think Kubrick's fascination with Streisand came before the
gay community hijacked her as one of their own, like they would soon
do for Garland. I wonder what he thought of Streisand when she became
a director herself?
Post by ichorwhip
Post by p***@yahoo.com
Post by Boaz
LOL!!! I'm wondering about Robert Shaw as Moonwatcher. He was fine as
Henry VIII in "A Man For All Seasons," and as the Ahab-like Quint/
shark food in "Jaws." But what could he have brought to the role,
given that he would have been hidden under that ape costume, that
Daniel Richter and his people ended up doing so brilliantly?
Where in the world did he get the idea that Shaw would be
interested...?
It sounds like either a joke or a ribbing or both to me.  Praps some
nasty touche was in order when Kubrick compared the sketch of
australopithecine to Shaw: "...without wishing to seen<sic?>
unappreciative of your rugged and handsome countenance, I must observe
there appears to be an incredible resemblance."  Wha?!!  "What's this
some kind of sick joke?"  I can't imagine Kubrick just out of hand
"insulting" Shaw like that saying he looked like an apeman, I mean he
had a broad forehead, but c'mon!  I wonder if there is some further
history between Shaw and Kubrick that we're not privy to as of yet.
Did they even know each other?
Did it have something to do with Shaw's performance as the Neanderthan-
like assassin in "From Russia With Love"? Shaw's character "gave
himself away," in a manner of speaking, by having red wine with his
fish dinner. A true sign of unsophistication in the eyes of 007!
("Only a thing would -- a sneaky, booze-guzzling, yellow-bellied rat
with a bottle for a brain...")
Post by ichorwhip
"Colonel Dax! You will apologize at once or be placed under arrest!!!"
i
"piop"
I'm still reeling over the possibility that what we saw wasn't
authentic pubic hair on Lady Lyndon, but rather Marisa Berenson merely
sporting her own "Merkin Muffley" while seated in the bathtub. I
wonder where the Presidential seal was located? ;-) I now find
myself running that scene over and over on my DVD. Mind boggling!
Especially when one thinks of the abundance of pubic hair on display
in ACO, EWS, and the one scene in "The Shining." But especially ACO,
which came before "Barry Lyndon." The early '70s was an amateur
gynecologist's dream! Not only ACO, but "McCabe and Mrs. Miller,"
"Last Tango in Paris," "1900," to name a few, and even actors of such
stature as Susannah York let us know she was truly a natural blonde
(Altman's "Images"). I know I'm only scratching the surface (in a
manner of speaking, of course) over the number of films that came out,
starting in 1970, where the "natural landscape" became a part of the
film landscape in major studio films, where before such sights were
relegated to underground films and stag films (which, by the way,
Kubrick tried to re-create in EWS). But it is odd that Kubrick imposed
this kind of restriction on himself in BL, especially since Marisa
Berenson had posed for Playboy and had done nude photo spreads (pardon
the expression) before BL. Or maybe this was all a smokescreen to
allow Kubrick to have gotten a PG rating.

Boaz
("I'm not sorry. And I'll not apologize. And I'd as soon go to Dublin
as to hell.")
p***@yahoo.com
2008-07-10 16:25:01 UTC
Permalink
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.

Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Boaz
2008-07-10 18:42:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.

I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.

The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.

Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.

Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")
p***@yahoo.com
2008-07-10 19:20:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.
I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.
The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.
Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.
Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")
Well written, Boaz.

This is comparable to what I have read in literature and history.
Kubrick's comments are uninformed but perhaps (in part) written to
alleviate controversy about Humbert’s sexual attraction to nymphs and
Lolita.

Gen
Boaz
2008-07-10 21:26:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@yahoo.com
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.
I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.
The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.
Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.
Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")
Well written, Boaz.
Thanks, Gen.
Post by p***@yahoo.com
This is comparable to what I have read in literature and history.
Kubrick's comments are uninformed but perhaps (in part) written to
alleviate controversy about Humbert’s sexual attraction to nymphs and
Lolita.
I think it was more the latter, giving Kubrick the benefit of the
doubt here. It probably wasn't the best "smokescreen" to use in order
to quell the controversy, but I could see why such a means was
employed, just as I think the "bikini bottom" was a "smokescreen"
involving Lady Lyndon in the bathtub. ("Doh! There I go
again.)Professor Cocks said in his "Wolf at the Door" book that
Kubrick was prone to tell a story from the point of view of a
"predator," and certainly Humbert fits that description. So does
Quilty. And Alex. And Jack Torrance.

Boaz
("Wendy... light of my life...")
Sensitivity
2008-07-10 23:07:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.
I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.
The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.
Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.
Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")
Well written, Boaz.
Thanks, Gen.
Post by p***@yahoo.com
This is comparable to what I have read in literature and history.
Kubrick's comments are uninformed but perhaps (in part) written to
alleviate controversy about Humbert’s sexual attraction to nymphs and
Lolita.
I think it was more the latter, giving Kubrick the benefit of the
doubt here. It probably wasn't the best "smokescreen" to use in order
to quell the controversy, but I could see why such a means was
employed, just as I think the "bikini bottom" was a "smokescreen"
involving Lady Lyndon in the bathtub. ("Doh! There I go
again.)Professor Cocks said in his "Wolf at the Door" book that
Kubrick was prone to tell a story from the point of view of a
"predator," and certainly Humbert fits that description. So does
Quilty. And Alex. And Jack Torrance.
Boaz
("Wendy... light of my life...")- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
I think a few of those letters, are fibs and attempts at silencing the
criticism, which I wouldn't fault him for. I can't believe that
isn't pubic hair...although I have not yet popped the disk into my
computer to look again. I remember wanting to get into that bathtub
with her at that moment.

----------------------

Other things that struck me:

re: makeup.....I find it interesting how optimistic both he and Clarke
were, in terms of future tech advancement, by the year 2001. Even
when I first saw 2001, at age 21, I knew their timeline on space
exploration was old school naive. Probably a generational thing.
-----------------------

I think Boaz is right about Shaw's role in the Bond film being the
inspiartion for that. I don't think it was intended as an insult. I
think he probably really did want Shaw.

-----------------------

Streisand.

I used to think she was pretty great there for a while. I saw here
as a great comedian.

He may also have been buttering her up ---maybe he had something in
mind for her?

-----------------------


Re: the letters to Clarke--Clarke was a much more mellow person then
Kubrick--as far as the payment he must have been asking for----I think
Clarke probably felt a tad overly used and abused---but still I don't
think it bothered him much. He was pretty laid back and I have never
seen any Clarke anti-Kubrick tirades--just some humorous mentions of
Kubrick's intensity--although he may have been angry at some point.


dc
kelpzoidzl
2008-07-11 00:37:24 UTC
Permalink
"Kubrick voices his anger about Australia's official X rating of Full
Metal Jacket. "


Is this really true??

Perhaps it was really a "R" rating SK was complaining about.

When I look up Australian rating system "X" = explicit sex. Both "R"
and "X" are restricted to 18+

In the letter Kubrick says nothing about an "X" rating, just mentions
18+

I think the article writer was just mistaken. Is there any other
verification on this?


dc






July 31, 1987
To Alan Finney, National Director of Sales and Marketing, Village
Roadshow Corporation, Melbourne

Dear Mr Finney, You will understand my disapointment that my film Full
Metal Jacket has been classified so as to prevent it being viewed by
young people under the age of 18. Obviously I do not regard young
Australians as being substantially different in nature, character or
temperament as to young people in other parts of the world and it was
my earnest desire that my film be an experience capable of being
shared by the widest audience possible.

This is important to me because I sincerely hope that Full Metal
Jacket will be regarded as making an important and relevant
contribution to the ways in which people view their own nature. My
intention was not to relish violence for its own sake but to emphasise
the reality of both the training process undergone by the recruits and
the war situation in which they found themselves. A crucial aspect of
this process is the use of language to dehumanise the young men. This
had to be presented in a totally truthful way otherwise I would have
compromised the reality of the story. I make no apology for taking
such an approach. Full Metal Jacket offers no easy moral or political
answers. It is not intended to be either pro-war or anti-war. It is
concerned with the way things are.
Harry Bailey
2008-07-11 05:21:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by kelpzoidzl
"Kubrick voices his anger about Australia's official X rating of Full
Metal Jacket. "
Is this really true??
Perhaps it was really a "R" rating SK was complaining about.
When I look  up Australian rating system "X" = explicit sex.  Both "R"
and "X" are restricted to 18+
In the letter Kubrick says nothing about an "X" rating, just mentions
18+
That's because there was no 'X' rating/R rating system in Australia
(like Britain), the censor classifications being for the most part
directly age related, 18s, 16s, 15s, 12s, General Release, etc. The
highest censor rating in such countries as Britain, Ireland, New
Zealand, Australia was 18s (ie restricted to over 18s), and remains so
in (most of) those and numerous other countries.

In Australia in the late 1980s, FMJ would have been given an 18s
rating (as it was in many other countries) because of Sgt Hartman's
odious verbal gymnastics, which was quite new for big-budget films at
the time - no other reason.
Post by kelpzoidzl
I think the article writer was just mistaken.  Is there any other
verification on this?
dc
July 31, 1987
To Alan Finney, National Director of Sales and Marketing, Village
Roadshow Corporation, Melbourne
Dear Mr Finney, You will understand my disapointment that my film Full
Metal Jacket has been classified so as to prevent it being viewed by
young people under the age of 18. Obviously I do not regard young
Australians as being substantially different in nature, character or
temperament as to young people in other parts of the world and it was
my earnest desire that my film be an experience capable of being
shared by the widest audience possible.
This is important to me because I sincerely hope that Full Metal
Jacket will be regarded as making an important and relevant
contribution to the ways in which people view their own nature. My
intention was not to relish violence for its own sake but to emphasise
the reality of both the training process undergone by the recruits and
the war situation in which they found themselves. A crucial aspect of
this process is the use of language to dehumanise the young men. This
had to be presented in a totally truthful way otherwise I would have
compromised the reality of the story. I make no apology for taking
such an approach. Full Metal Jacket offers no easy moral or political
answers. It is not intended to be either pro-war or anti-war. It is
concerned with the way things are.
Harry Bailey
2008-07-11 17:27:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Bailey
Post by kelpzoidzl
"Kubrick voices his anger about Australia's official X rating of Full
Metal Jacket. "
Is this really true??
Perhaps it was really a "R" rating SK was complaining about.
When I look  up Australian rating system "X" = explicit sex.  Both "R"
and "X" are restricted to 18+
In the letter Kubrick says nothing about an "X" rating, just mentions
18+
That's because there was no 'X' rating/R rating system in Australia
(like Britain), the censor classifications being for the most part
directly age related, 18s, 16s, 15s, 12s, General Release, etc. The
highest censor rating in such countries as Britain, Ireland, New
Zealand, Australia was 18s (ie restricted to over 18s), and remains so
in (most of) those and numerous other countries.
In Australia in the late 1980s, FMJ would have been given an 18s
rating (as it was in many other countries) because of Sgt Hartman's
odious verbal gymnastics, which was quite new for big-budget films at
the time - no other reason.
And, just to add, obviously, FMJ was given an 18 rating in most
countries, including Britain and Ireland, a rating that still
continues - see the UK DVD cover:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/images/B00005B756/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=283926&s=dvd

So I wonder did he pen similar letters to distributors etc in those
countries too? Or just gave up trying at that point, threw his hands
in the air, fed the cats, threw his PC out the window, and then did
his best teeth-grinding Sgt Hartman impersonation ...
Post by Harry Bailey
Post by kelpzoidzl
I think the article writer was just mistaken.  Is there any other
verification on this?
dc
July 31, 1987
To Alan Finney, National Director of Sales and Marketing, Village
Roadshow Corporation, Melbourne
Dear Mr Finney, You will understand my disapointment that my film Full
Metal Jacket has been classified so as to prevent it being viewed by
young people under the age of 18. Obviously I do not regard young
Australians as being substantially different in nature, character or
temperament as to young people in other parts of the world and it was
my earnest desire that my film be an experience capable of being
shared by the widest audience possible.
This is important to me because I sincerely hope that Full Metal
Jacket will be regarded as making an important and relevant
contribution to the ways in which people view their own nature. My
intention was not to relish violence for its own sake but to emphasise
the reality of both the training process undergone by the recruits and
the war situation in which they found themselves. A crucial aspect of
this process is the use of language to dehumanise the young men. This
had to be presented in a totally truthful way otherwise I would have
compromised the reality of the story. I make no apology for taking
such an approach. Full Metal Jacket offers no easy moral or political
answers. It is not intended to be either pro-war or anti-war. It is
concerned with the way things are.-
Harry Bailey
2008-07-11 05:52:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@yahoo.com
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.
I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.
The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.
Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.
Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")
Well written, Boaz.
This is comparable to what I have read in literature and history.
Kubrick's comments are uninformed but perhaps (in part) written to
alleviate controversy about Humbert’s sexual attraction to nymphs and
Lolita.
Nabokov studied Courtly Love literature while at Cambridge, and
indeed, Lolita does draw extensively on that narrative genre but
demonstrating how Humbert's relationship is a degraded and tragic
version of it. It is clear that Kubrick was well aware of this, which
is why he deliberately excised all possible prurience and adolescent
titillation from the film, as his other letter explicitly indicates:

"Addition Humbert crawling into bed segment. Needless to say the
confusion and chances for screw-ups don’t seem to balance the
questionable gain of the sequence. The people who will be disappointed
that Lolita is not a filthy picture with slobber love scenes, semi-
nudity and outrageous postures will not be appeased, while on the
other hand there are some people who will be horrified, shocked and
offended by this sequence which is not in the same genre of the film.
Artistically it contributes nothing that would otherwise be lacking. I
would strongly recommend that we drop the idea."

[Whereas the Lyne remake of Lolita in the 1990s is PRECISELY filled
with such 'slobber love scenes, semi-nudity, and outrageous postures',
deflating Nabokov's novel to a porno chocolate commercial].

Some remarks on Courtly Love:
-------------------------------------------

Historically speaking, there is no question that the modern notion of
romantic love is a degraded version of Courtly Love. One of the most
successful Courtly Love narratives was the 'roman de la rose' (romance
of the rose), and it is interesting that the word 'romance' originally
meant "story of a hero's adventures," and "verse narrative," and only
much later became solely associated with interiorised couple-passion.
Courtly Love was entirely on the surface, about what Lacan calls ex-
timacy, not the shared interiority of the modern domestic couple's
'four-eyed despotic machine.'

As Zizek rightly observes, it is the retrospectively understood truth
of Middle Ages Courtly Love, from which all our notions of erotic -
sometimes misleadingly called 'romantic' - love derive.

'From a capricious and ironic sovereign Lady, she changes into the
pathetic figure of a delicate, sensitive boy who is desperately in
love. It is at this point that true love emerges, love as a metaphor
in the Lacanian sense: we witness the sublime moment when eromenos
(the loved one) changes into erastes (the loving one) by stretching
out her hand and "returning love". This moment designates the
"miracle" of love, the moment of the "answer of the Real"; as such, it
perhaps enables us to grasp what Lacan has in mind when he insists
that the subject itself has the status of an "answer of the Real".
That is to say, up to this reverse, the loved one has the status of
the object: he is loved on account of something that is "in him more
than himself" and that he is unaware of - I can never answer the
question 'what am I as an object for the other? What does the other
see in me that causes his love?' We thus confront an assymetry, not
only the assymetry between subject and object, but in a far more
radical sense of a dischord between what the lover sees in the loved
one and what the loved one knows himself to be.

Here we find the inescapable deadlock that defines the position of the
loved one: the other sees something in and me and wants something from
me, but I cannot give him what I do not possess - or, as Lacan puts
it, there is no relationship between what the loved one possesses and
what the loving one lacks. The only way for the loved one to escape
this deadlock is to reach out his hand towards the loving one and
"return the love" - that is, to exchange in a metaphorical gesture,
his status as the loved one for the status of the loving one. This
reversal designates the point of subjectivization: the object of love
changes into a subject the moment it answers the call of love. And it
is only by way of this reversal that a genuine love emerges: I am
truly in love not when I as simply fascinated by the agalma in the
other, but when I experience the other, the object of love, as frail
and lost, as lacking "it", and my love none the less survives the
loss.

We must be especially attentive here so that we do not miss the point
of this reversal: although we now have two loving subjects instead of
the initial duality of the loving one and the loved one, the asymmetry
persists, since it was the object itself that, as it were, confessed
to its lack by means of its subjectivization. Something deeply
embarrassing and truly scandalous abides in the reversal by means of
which the mysterious, fascinating, elusive object of love discloses
its deadlock, and thus acquires the status of another subject.' ------
Post by p***@yahoo.com
Slavoj Zizek, 'Courtly Love, or Woman as Thing' from Metastases of
Enjoyment.



The contemporary degraded and coarsely sexualized version of erotic
love has renaturalized and biologized this miraculous moment as the
time in which copulation happens. But in Courly Love proper, sex can
be part of the initial phase of femachinic Master and attentive
Servant. It need not be the semiotic trigger for the threshold shift
into the miraculous encounter. No - the trigger is the moment when the
Master shows the Servant 'mercy'. Let's be clear that this is not the
end of the game, the shedding of masks and appearances to uncover the
empirical subject beneath them, or worse, the prelude to reproducer-
domesticated coupledom. Or at least it need not be. It can be the
start of an even more challenging, even more complex and intense game,
one that can last a lifetime at least.---Mark K-punk.
-----------------------------
Harry Bailey
2008-07-11 16:36:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.
I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.
The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.
Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.
Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")-
I'd also recommend the wiki entry on courtly love, which is reasonably
erudite:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love
Boaz
2008-07-11 21:07:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Bailey
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.
I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.
The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.
Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.
Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")-
I'd also recommend the wiki entry on courtly love, which is reasonably
erudite:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love
While we're at it, how about discussing Courtney Love?

Loading Image...

I think any knight would rather fall on his sword than to have to
serve her.

Not exactly Lady Lyndon-like here either:

Loading Image...

Boaz
("Well, you haven't even kissed me yet, have you?")
ichorwhip
2008-07-12 01:35:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Post by Harry Bailey
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.
I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.
The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.
Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.
Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")-
I'd also recommend the wiki entry on courtly love, which is reasonably
erudite:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love
While we're at it, how about discussing Courtney Love?
http://slog.thestranger.com/files/2007/07/20070430_Courtney_Love.jpg
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Look like she tryin ta pinch a loaf....
Post by Boaz
I think any knight would rather fall on his sword than to have to
serve her.
http://www.porcellino.net/donne/courtney_love1.jpg
Is that from "The People Vs. Larry Flynt"? She played the role of a
foul-mouthed, scuzzy, diseased whore, drug addict so sublimely! What
a method! ;-)

"I've had an epiphany once, Larry. When my daddy shot my entire family
in the head, and I was the only one to identify the bodies, and I was
sent to an orphanage full of good Christian nuns who shoved my face
into their pussies with their cruxifixes on for eight goddamn years!"
i
"piop"
kelpzoidzl
2008-07-12 01:47:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Post by Harry Bailey
Post by Boaz
Post by p***@yahoo.com
I am surprised that Kubrick's comments comparing Humbert's obsession
with nymphs and Lolita to "the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love.." have not been discussed.
I don't think even Nabokov would have concurred. Strange that we
haven't seen any letters to/from Nabokov.
Gen
I" think the most important thing to say about Lolita is that it is a
love story. A sad tender eventually heart-breaking story of passion-
love. Humbert’s love is a passion-love. It is in the tradition of the
middle ages, the tradition of courtly love, a love that is at once
scandalous, masochistic and tortured. It is a very different love than
the modern ideal, where the values are placed in “maturity”,
“togetherness” and “health”. The literal meaning of the word passion
will quickly suggest how far from the modern ideal it is. The passion-
lover is sick with his love. His passion fills his entire being to the
total exclusion of everything else. He expects his mistress to make
him suffer and submits willingly to her cruelty and enslavement... the
censorship thing does not concern me very much. The film will be
fairly innocent as far as what the eye will see."
Okay, I'll take the "bait," Gen.
I've been reading the works of Crètien de Troyes of late ("Perceval,"
"Erec and Enide" and "Yvain"), and one does get a pretty good idea of
what "courtly love" was about in the Middle Ages. (The book "French
Chivalry," by Sidney Painter, which I read in college, is also a good
source.) Crètien was writing about his own era, which was about the
time of Philip of Flanders, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of his
patrons as well (the late 12th century). He all but invented the
chivalric code that we normally associate with the stories of King
Arthur. Not surprising, since most of Crètien's tales revolved around
the exploits of Arthur's knights; this was long before Thomas Mallory
picked up the gaunlet with his stories of Arthur and his knights. The
knights served ladies of "high-born blood," and one can think of
Crètien serving Eleanor in a way that honors her as a knight would
serve a young woman.
The love expressed in these tales was more chaste than sexual (though
Crètien gives us a number of sub-plots involving those adventures as
well). If this is what Kubrick was suggesting he seemed to be way off.
Humbert in the novel didn't strike me as expressing that kind of love;
it was more unrequited than chivalric. And Humbert in the film came
off more like a dirty old man most of the time.
Knights fought battles and engaged in tournaments for women of "high-
born blood," but as depicted in some of the tales I've read by Crètien
the knights stopped short of accepting offers of marriage. However,
there were times they did not turn down the chance of spending the
night with a young woman, and those often had their share of
consequences, good and bad. I wonder if this is what Kubrick was
implying? If so, I don't think he translated this "interpretation"
very well to the film.
Boaz
("There has lately come to Berlin a gentleman in the service of the
Empress, Queen of Austria, who calls himself the Chevlaier de
Balibari. He appears to follow the profession of a gambler. He is a
libertine, fond of women, good food, obliging.")-
I'd also recommend the wiki entry on courtly love, which is reasonably
erudite:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love
While we're at it, how about discussing Courtney Love?
http://slog.thestranger.com/files/2007/07/20070430_Courtney_Love.jpg
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!  Look like she tryin ta pinch a loaf....
Post by Boaz
I think any knight would rather fall on his sword than to have to
serve her.
http://www.porcellino.net/donne/courtney_love1.jpg
Is that from "The People Vs. Larry Flynt"?  She played the role of a
foul-mouthed, scuzzy, diseased whore, drug addict so sublimely!  What
a method!  ;-)
"I've had an epiphany once, Larry. When my daddy shot my entire family
in the head, and I was the only one to identify the bodies, and I was
sent to an orphanage full of good Christian nuns who shoved my face
into their pussies with their cruxifixes on for eight goddamn years!"
i
"piop"- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
Courtney may not admit it, but her good points and low points have
coincided with ups and downs of her buddhist practice.

Yes that's right.---same sect

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/12/09/courtney-love-chanting-b_n_75961.html
Boaz
2008-07-12 04:06:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Post by Harry Bailey
I'd also recommend the wiki entry on courtly love, which is reasonably
erudite:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love
While we're at it, how about discussing Courtney Love?
http://slog.thestranger.com/files/2007/07/20070430_Courtney_Love.jpg
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!  Look like she tryin ta pinch a loaf....
AAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!!!!! COUGH! COUGH! COUGH! I almost choked on my
dinner when I read that. Do you know how hard it is to perform the
Heimlich Maneuver on yourself?

To me it suggests The Anti-Thinker. Rodin prolly wants to take a
hammer and chisel to her...
Post by Boaz
I think any knight would rather fall on his sword than to have to
serve her.
She is prolly what you will find in the Castle of Infinite Misfortune
-- and that is not a Python joke either. It's in Crètien's poem
"Yvain." Perhaps something like her existed, and in the usual poor
translation came out not as "Courtney Love," but as "courtly love."
Post by Boaz
http://www.porcellino.net/donne/courtney_love1.jpg
Is that from "The People Vs. Larry Flynt"?  She played the role of a
foul-mouthed, scuzzy, diseased whore, drug addict so sublimely!  What
a method!  ;-)
Yes, it is. I considered using an image from the same film that showed
her floating nude in a large bathtub, after she'd OD'd, so we could
see that she was showing her own pubic hair and not a merkin or a
bikini bottom. But, taken out of context, the image of a dead body --
even if it is Courtney Love acting -- is more than even my sense of
bad taste can take. And I thought that was a good film too. It was
directed by Milos Forman, so it wasn't anything exploitative or
cheesy.

Boaz
("Well, she...she was shooting up and she...she had a bad reaction.")
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