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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

How Kubrick composed: Leon Vitali describes

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Over at The Reeler, Jamie Stuart has a heckuva Q&A with former Kubrick assistant Leon Vitali, and most of it consists of fascinating technical bits. For instance, here’s Vitali on how on his final films, Kubrick composed for more than one format: “You have the whole frame. When he shot through the camera what he would do was compose for 1.33—which is the full TV screen—and also for 1.85. It’s not an uncommon thing to do. But he would intentionally have action going on in the top of the frame. In Full Metal Jacket, a really good example, on the TV screen you see it in a really different context. It doesn’t lose its power. Suddenly you’re seeing tops of buildings. You’re seeing how small these people are inside that milieu. And that danger can come from anywhere. The same with The Shining. It has another kind of power on the TV screen. And another kind of power when it’s shown theatrically. But there’s no doubt about it, when you see a film like Barry Lyndon or 2001—and I’d say also The Shining—theatrically they’re a hell of an experience. It’s an experience, that’s what it is.” [Photo © 2007 Jamie Stuart.]

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