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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Christiane faith: remembering Kubrick

As a newly restored print of Dr Strangelove: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, makes an appearance at the 50th Times BFI London Film Festival, Christiane Kubrick appears as The Good Widow, taking the Times’ James Christopher into the Kubrick cloisters for a rare chat. Kubrick_self_3081816.jpg “The gravel drive leading up to Christiane Kubrick’s mansion near St Albans in Hertfordshire is protected by three sets of electronic gates and “Strictly Private” signs… It’s a rare honour… to stroll through the glass-roofed courtyard littered with paintings, past the creepy feathery masks for Eyes Wide Shut, and into a blood-red library crammed with art books, Thackeray, De Sade and the well-thumbed volumes on witchcraft that Stanley Kubrick collected for The Shining.” Of the abandoned “Aryan Papers” project, Christiane says, “He also had some bad luck. He couldn’t get the finance to do ‘Napoleon,’ and the film he wanted to make around 1993 about the Holocaust… he gave up because he couldn’t stand it any more. It was far too dark. The SS papers were too much to bear. Stanley would lie in bed all day after researching this stuff because he didn’t think it was worth getting up. It’s the only film I persuaded him to leave alone.” This can’t have been easy for a director with legendary stamina. “Even though he died at 70 he probably lived much longer than most people because he only ever slept for four or five hours a night,” says Christiane. “If people were ever exhausted by him it was never intentional. He just didn’t get tired.”

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch