UnBooks:My Pal Stanley Kubrick
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Tonight we honor one of the finest directors of the 20th Century, the late, great Stanley Kubrick. As President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences I want to give a warm Hollywood welcome to our keynote speaker, Father John Murphy. The Padre, who just flew in from the Vatican, knew Stanley for over 35 years, up until and including Stanley's untimely death in 1999. I'm sure he has a treasure trove of information to tell us. Without further ado, would you kindly welcome the Pope's right hand, the Keeper of the Keys, and the dizzy Dean of the College of Cardinals, Father John Murphy.
Ya, ya, thought you'd be gabbin' all day. Ya wanna get me a couple of dose brownies ya all been chowing down? Hey, put it on a plate, not a fuckin napkin, ya raised in a barn? Yeah, dat's it. OK, listen up.
A quick introduction to my pal, Stanley Kubrick
I'm not gonna tells ya about da Stanley Kubrick ya think ya knows, but da real guy. I met him when I was an extra in "Lolita", dat flick where the old guy falls for a young broad but da old bat mother likes him. He has to marry da bat in order ta get ta da dish. Age old story. Well, Kubrick and the kid got it on at least twice a day, mostly in her trailer but sometimes on da set.
Hey, nobody leaves. Stop dose guys, O'Malley. I told youse I was gonna tells ya bout da real guy, da one who dressed hookers up in space suits, banging 'em in slow motion up against dat monolith. But Stanley was a brainiac, give him dat. He directed bout a dozen jawsdroppers dat ya jamokes seen at least twice. Except for Pauly Shore sittin' dere, IQ of a pineapple.
What the scholars say
First I'm gonna learns ya what da scholars at wicca paedia have ta say about Stanley. Just ta give Pauly Shore an introduction to a subject he knows nuttin about.
Da wiccans say dat Kubrick chose his subjects with scrupulouse care. They say dat he worked real slow - like some kind of snail - and dat he enjoyed making all kinds of films whenever da mood hit him. Science fiction, horror, period pieces, mysteries of da mind, antiwar rants, Stanley just made up whatever he wanted to. Nice gig. Then the wikipedes take a wild guess dat he was a technical perfectionism, and complain dat Kubrick was a recluse and seldom talked about his films until ya got him drunk. Da wise intellecstools seem to think dat Stanley always maintained complete and proper artistic control over his masterpieces. Sorta like if Pabble Picasso could afford a movie camera.
And then da esteemed professors go on to bitch dat Stan's films have a formal style and pay lots of attention ta detail. Dey think dat his later stuff is surrealistical and lacks structured linear narrative - whatever da hell dat means - and dat his movies are soooooo slow because he was diseased with some kind of anal obsessive perfectionism. Dey think Stan used recurring themes as a way to argue about man's inhumility to man. Got dat right. While dey are often described as opionated stories doused in ironic pessimism, da eggheads imagine dat Stanley's films contain a cautious optimism when viewed like dey like ta watch 'em.
Stanley's first good film and his last good film were his best films. "Lolita" and "Eyes Tight Shut". Hey, have ya guys ever seen "Lolita" with a couple of dese brownies in ya? Show of hands. Scorsese, ya, Coppala, of course, and over dere, Shyamalan. Ya, see, see dat? Dat's one hell of a movie. Once ya get past da first dull half hour or so den you sees James Mason come up on Lolita in a bikini and from then on, except for another dull half hour, Mason shows his acting range - the range of a bored middle-aged man living a boring life when alls'a sudden WHAM!!!!! he falls in total lust with a fifteen-year old boy or girl, depending on which director's cut you own, and da kid is game!
Den, right in da middle of dat shitstorm, youse get Peter Sellers thrown at ya like a circus clown playing several different characters at once, an all da other actors except for Shelly Winters who's crumpled up an dead by dat time carry each scene into da next in ways Kubrick shot like he was Da Vinci paintin' da inside of dat church. One of da best movies ever made, except for most of it, and 'specially if ya on dose brownies.
So Stan and I hung around on dat Lolita set, and on Lolita tell ya da God's truth - I seez ya laughin' O'Malley, been dere done dat - and we started palling around off-set too. Dat was 1962, jeez, time flies on dose gossamer wings, don't it. Ya, I see Woody Allen flinching. Hey Woody, whatsa matter, ya worried 'bout dyin? Look at him, rolled up in da fetal position. Boo!!! Heh heh heh, it's too easy.
So before ya could say "Do unto udders" Stan started callin' me his "lucky charm" and made me come to all his shoots. Later, when I got to be an uppity-up in da holy mudder church, him knowin' me and vica verso cames in handy when my boys policed da sets and handled union trouble with da locals.
Well, lets move up and down some of da years here.
The good times remembered
One time da church had me go to check out rumors dat Kubrick was makin a hippie movie. Dey didn't want none a dat. But when I got dere Stanley wasn't doin' a hippie movie at all, he was filming dis god-awful slow moving ting called 2001. Even scene on dat film seemed to take a year to shoot, with Kubrick digging deep into his noggin using spacetime to play in an all.
Anyway, one night Stanley was co-making-up da screenplay for 2001 with dat Arthur See Clarke brainiac. Stan made da mistake of hiring dis fellow Clarke, who thought he was da pope's shit, just a floating egghead filled with dese godawful space visions and communicational satellites and whatnot. Did you know dat da two of dem faked up da moon landings? Truth, sweat to god, I was dere, and when Neil Armstrong was supposed to be walkin' on da moon he had two hippie babes, Wildflower and Sunshine, off-stage getting ready to blow him.
Walkin' on da moon! Can ya believe it? Ya gonna break me up here. Never happened, sweat to God.
Well, Clarke and Stanley, deys all hunched up over a desk writin' down da scene where dat loony tunes talking computer whacks some guys. I happened to be walkin' by, minding my own selves and da churches business, when Stanley calls me over. "Fadda, how does a computer whack a guy?" he asked. "Jesus Christ, Stan," I say, "I dunno. Ya know question's like dat cut off da oxygen to my brain." And dats what dey did. Made me think dey should have given me a taste.
So then dere came "Dr. Stangelove, or how blah blah blah da bomb". Dis was dat commie movie where da American government and military look like a bunch of fag horses on a crippled merry-go-round. Where was I goin with dat? Ah, da brownies must be startin ta kick in, ain't dey O'Malley. Time slowin down an shit. Like watching one of his movies.
Yeah, dat was fun, especially tryin' to get Peter Sellers to break character, which he wouldn't do for his own mudda. When he was pretending to be a gimp in a wheelchair I'd grab his legs and pull, and he'd fall all over da floor an it took him forever to crawl back up. And when he started in on acting like a president I'd cover him with fish entrails and call dem blessed. Drove Sellers crazy, tryin' to keep up with my hyginxks and watchen out da corner of his eye, seein if I was sneakin' up on him. Never broke character though, give him dat.
Da movie itself discusses man's inhumanity to man, as if dat ever stopped anyone. My contribution was da final scene, when Slim Pickens jumps outta da plane ridin' an atomic bomb like a bucking bronco. He wagged his cowboy hat around back and forth like he was on a bull or oxen, one of dose. Dat came bout when Stanley said to me "What the hell, Fadda, how am I gonna end dis fuckin thing?" and I gives him da scene right down to da swingin' hat. He loved it, dey filmed it, and dat's what most people remember about da film. Could have given me some of dat writer's credit, but ya think dey did? Tards.
Ya, ya, now I can see Woody Allen shakin' his head up and down and smilin'. Now ya like me, huh Wood man? Maybe I'll play dat clarinet or trumpet or whatever it is ya blow with ya sometime.
Ya, I missed Stanley's next pictures, spendin' most of my time learnin' da ropes at da Vatigan. Shystering dose Cardinals around felt like burning da midnight oil at ten a.m. During dat time Stan did a fag pic called "Barry Lyndon", 'bout nothin' in particular except dis guy dresses up and prances around. I dunno what it's about, and if I did I probably couldn't tell ya anyways without getting excommunicated. Ha! Ya like dat Eastwood? Bust a gut.
So da next time I showed up, Stanley was already filming "Da Shinin'" up in a vacant motel in Colorado. I bunked with Jack Nicholsen, guy snores kinda like he talks, all smiley sinister with dat kill-ya-quick-as-look-at-ya drawl. He got buggier as da picture went on.
Gonna tells ya somethin' an dis will scare ya, so hold on ta somethin'. Ya, Pitt, funny, holdin' onto Portman. Angie's in da john, isn't she wise ass? Anyways, we was all alone, see, in dis giant motel, da crew and da actors and dem. Suddenly, for no parent reason, da lights went out and noises like skirts rustlin' were heard. Scotsman Crouthers and I were playin' drinkin' games in dat ballroom where da ghosts live, an we both saw a bottle move. Maybe half an inch. It just edged over like it was travelin' on tiny spooky wheels, like it had a railroad track under it in dere. Scotsman jumped a foot, funniest thing I've ever seen except for Woody dere, again with da fetal position.
Dat was Da Shining.
Shut Da Eyes
Stanley went on to make tings like Full Metta Jacket and other anti-war hogwash. I refused ta help him with dose propaganda films, da Church's stand of "Send as many of dem to heaven as ya can" takin precedent over my friendship dere.
The last film I made with Stanley was da last film he made, "Eyes Wide Shut", a name dat doesn't mean anything starring dat couple who was always fighting about scientaloogy and such, dat midget and da tall lady. Anyways, Stanley made da movie for one purpose only, to score Leelee Sobieski. Man, he was inta dat little girl so much he'd launch his pants just thinkin' 'bout her. No, it's true! I hear da murmering out dere. And hey, Sobieski, don't even think of leaving. All Iz sayin' is dat all da myths wanten ya ta believe Stan loved da book, or dat he wanted ta tell a metaphoric story about how all long time married couples have inner dreams of divorce - divorce from both dere spouse and dere structured lives - and dat it took him years to film and edit because he wanted to get it down ta da perfection an all dat, dey waz all smoke-screens holdin a mirror. He just wanted to boff Sobieski.
And he did dat. Alot. Jeez, ya know dose masks in da film? They musta worn every one of dem with each other - hey, isn't dat right Leelee? Did I get da scorecard right? I dunno hear no denials dere. Anywaz, da film also reported like a damn newspaper about how da upper elites like ta go at it in front of each other with tall beautiful ladies. Hollywoods people too. Humpin like bunnies with mystic occulty ceremonies all thrown in for da brain stretching, an wearin dose bird masks ta put ya at ease an stir up da mystery gene. See, Kubrick just wanted to tell da truth, and knew dat by doing dat Leelee would look at him like a daddy and jump some rope. It was a hard movie ta make, because Kurbrick ordered da cast around like a concentration camp cook demanding "More livers!" An' dat midget and his tall lady picked around thru der emotions pretty well and fought like jackals sometimes. But yeah, Sobrieski provided all da tension, playing da sexually active 16-year old living in da costume shop who turns da midget on.
Lots of people liked dat movie. Problem is, Stanley died, right after finishing editing "Da Wide Eyes". Last I saw him we waz putting him in da ground. Lolita and Leelee were dere, all teary eyed and moanin' "boo hoo hoo", bless dere hearts. Artie Clarke came all da way from Shree Lankya to bid Stanley adieu. Some of us pissed on his grave, but dat was all in fun.
Don't know why I'm tellin ya dis, must be da brownies talkin, but not many people other than da enforcers over at da U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - oh, and O'Malley dere - know dat da next film Stanley was gonna make was a script I wrote inspired by da holy spirit. It was called Da Troublemakers and was bout dose blabbermouth choirboys and altar ornaments who led da priests onto da primrose path visa via dose seductions. I'd never seen Stanley more excited than when he and da polish papa took a meeting to finalize da deal. Stanley wanted to name it Roma's Pretty Boys but Papa JohnPaul II told him "No, no, no, weze decided on da name." Would have won all dose shiny statues of Little Oscar youse guys hand over to da best of dis and da best of dat, tells ya now so youse could tink about it. But when Stanley decided to die da project got shelved along with him.
OK, I'll take questions on the other side of dis bathroom break, gotta pee like Secretariat opening up 31 lengths.
Questions and answers
Alright, shoot. No, wait - wait O'Malley, holster it. Justa figure of speech. Okay, youse, da Munich hausfrau in the big dress.
Good evening Father, Meryl Streep here. Can you give us some insight as to why Stanley Kramer would arc each of his thirteen individual movies, as well as his entire body of work, along the clean lines of apes misusing the tools of power and biological attraction intertwined with the concept of power-hungry authority figures, of males looking for bottom-feeder true love, and of entire classes of people hiding what they are doing from each other in order to fulfill their inner-demons? As you implied, some of that is symbolized in "Eyes Wide Shut" by the great actress. Leelee Siobeski, who drives the film with her calculated arousal of Tom Cruise. Mr. Cruise, who in real life is gay as a rose bush, is bewildered at Siobeski's age, energy, and the metaphor that she lives within the costume shop and can thus put on any persona while seeing through the costumes of others. Cruise then leaves her to follow his compulsion to explore the mystery of the occult mansion and its deeper multi-layered significance. What was Mr. Kubricks' expressed thoughts on these arcs?
I didn't understand a word you said missy. Stanley don't need da likes of you tellin him which side da bread is buttered on. He buttered both sides of da bread, an all round da edges too. Ah, next, you, da guy in da red cape.
You don't recognize your old roommate, Murphy? Jack. Jack Nicholson. Jeez John, you've been eating too many communion wafers judging by the girth of that gut. Anyway, what's all this I hear about Kubrick's movies being too slow? When I ran around throwing my talent all over the place in The Shining it was anything but slow, except at the end when I froze to death, which only slowed me down for a minute or so.
Nicky, I didn't recognize you from da old obese corpse-like structure standing before me dere. Ya, Stanley filmed his movies like da people watching dem had nuttin else better to do with their timing. An are ya kidding me? 2001 is so slow it looks like it was made in space. And Da Shining dat ya so gaga about, it goes on and on about nuttin and then nobody ever understood it even when it's finally over - something about living in da past, but it lost me while dey was driving up da road to get dere. And take dose donuts outta ya pocket.
Alright, you, in the yellow jump suit.
Father Murphy, blessings to you. I'm Hank, from the construction crew working outside. I just happened to wander in here on my break. But listen, I didn't hear you talk about Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange," maybe his most disturbing but supremely psychologically engrossing film. Did you have anything to do with that picture? Thank you.
Dat one was just goofy. It was 'bout a gang of jollywompers dressed to da nines in orange who'd come up and stomp bums to death. Da whole time dey got accompanied by classical music. What Stanley did dere was try ta break da violence barrier with dat one, to peel back da brain of a psychopath and show da deranged animal inside. But it got England's youth in such a lather dat he pulled da picture dere and wouldn't allow it to be shown until after he died, and even den he didn't like it. I talked Stanley into letting it run in da rest of da world, "Give da devil his due" I told him, and he did dat. Alright, you, da skin and bones hanging off ya dere.
My weight is the result of my being a nun of the Abstainian Order, which allows us one slice of bread a day. Due to this I am not long for this earth. But in the time I have left there is one movie I want to see, Spartacus, and I would like your unholy take on it.
Jesus, sister, chow down a chicken or something. I can see ya ribs poking ya in da back. You're as retarded as my last blow job - the kid thought I said crow job and covered himself in black feathers, jumped up and down, and made me throw corn at him. But ya, Spartacus, dat was Kirk Douglas prancing around pretending he was a slave and den getting other slaves to revolt. Unrealistic baloney, in real life da boys would have mowed dem down and hung dere heads on pikes leading into da city. Have ya seen Kirk Douglas lately? Looks like his head is already hung on a pike, and he's still moving around under it.
Thank you Father, for giving us your kind memories of a wonderful man and a great director, Stanley Kubrick.
Ya ain't heard a word I said have ya? O'Malley, dese brownies is makin' me see double, or dat may just be dose Olson twins. Grab my coat, we're outta here.