I quit using my script. I just take the ones they type up each day.
June 6, 2007 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Anything you do as many times as a successful actor, you can't have one set of theories, you know. You can go for years saying “I'm gonna get this thing real”, because they really haven't seen it real, do you know? They just keep seeing one fashion of unreal after the other that passes as real and you, you know, you go mad with realism and then you come up against someone like Stanley who says, “Yeah, it’s real but it’s not interesting.”
posted by acro (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I remember seeing clips from Vivian Kubrick's documentary which showed Shelly and Kubrick not getting along very well together.

I think they got on quite well personally. I think they respected each other at a certain point. I think in that sequence which we extracted in our documentary (which Kubrick allowed us to do, which was very nice of him) I think he was playing up for the camera at that point frankly. He wanted to make a point and in fact, the worse exchange at the doorway, during the false snowstorm, he switches very cleverly from one point he's making to another, to really wrong foot her. Which is, if you look at it two or three times very clever, but its below the belt. I don't think she deserved that treatment.

Did you try and obtain interviews with members of Kubrick's families or friends, i.e. Vivian Kubrick or Alex Singer?

I got to James B. Harris, which I thought was pretty close for that. Vivian was in America and untraceable at that point. She seems to have left the Kubrick household now and is traveling somewhere and doesn't seem to have made another film. It would have been interesting to talk to her but I couldn't trace her. We put out some calls, but nothing came back.
posted by acro at 9:14 AM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Nice! I haven't seen this yet.
posted by Neilopolis at 9:15 AM on June 6, 2007

This documentary is followed around Jack Nicholson as he prepared for the "Here's Johnny!" scene and interviewed the actors about there relationship with Stanley Kubrick, the scripts and scene.
posted by acro at 9:16 AM on June 6, 2007

cut+paste seckrets reveled!
posted by acro at 9:20 AM on June 6, 2007

face full of lamb chops
posted by nervousfritz at 10:08 AM on June 6, 2007

Good interview content between Qureshi and Joyce , but sheesh that's some bad spelling. At least two instances of using "Theirs" instead of "there's" is kind of sad and there are plenty of other sad errors. If this interview was in person or over phone, then the person who transcribed it should maybe have someone look over it for those kinds of problems. I mean, I don't want to be nitpicky, but this was supposedly printed in a Newspaper for cryin' out loud.

Okay, belly aching aside, Kubrick's monomaniacal attention to detail has produced many films I enjoy a great deal. It's sad, I'd really have liked to have met him and see what he was like myself.
posted by Green With You at 10:36 AM on June 6, 2007

When I was 7 I used to be shuttled back & forth to my grandmother's house to avoid the drama of my parents' nasty divorce. I'd sit on a PSA jet by myself, such a regular to the routine that the flight attendants knew me by name. One day, the plane was about to leave the gate when suddenly everything stopped and a new passenger got onto the plane. He was laughing and hugging people and I could tell that there was some excitement. Soon the man walked down the aisle towards me and he looked familiar. He was this happy looking black man with big white teeth and a gregarious way about him. He saw the empty seat next to me and asked "Hey little lady, may I sit next to you?" I nodded.

I knew I'd seen the guy on television but I'd never seen a celebrity in person before. I had also met very few black men at that point. He turned to me and his face was like this mesmerizing ray of sunshine unlike anyone I'd ever seen. He said, "Do you watch Hong Kong Phooey?" I didn't but I said I did. He replied "That's ME!" I remembered then that I had seen him on Chico & The Man, he was the garbage guy.

The flight from San Diego to Burbank took around 40 minutes. Throught that whole time the man focused on me, taking a break every few moments to sign the pieces of paper that people were sending him from other parts of the plane. I had felt so invisible as a person because of my family's problems, he paid more attention to me than anyone had in months, always peppering his sentences with "Little Lady."

He thought I was a lady. I liked him.

When the plane started to land, I looked out the window and started to cry. He noticed. He cocked his head to the side & asked me why I was crying. I told him that when we landed he was going to go away and forget all about me and I'd never see him again and it made me sad. He smiled & I was blinded by his teeth. He said, "That's not true. We will always be friends. And someday you will see me on tv and I will wink. And that wink will be for you." He held my hand as we walked down the plane stairs together & walked me to my grandmother. I waved goodbye.

Since then, I've seen him on tv & in movies a lot. He winks pretty regularly. I always wonder how many other people believe he's winking at them too. (He's not. He's just winking at me. They're deluded.)

Moral of this story (I do have a point here)... I couldn't watch The Shining for MANY years. I just couldn't bear even the thought of that wonderful man getting an axe in his back.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:45 AM on June 6, 2007 [45 favorites]

BTW, even though I've watched the movie a bunch now? I still fast forward through that scene.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:46 AM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

For you young whippersnappers who had no clue what I was talking about: Hong Kong Phooey
posted by miss lynnster at 11:06 AM on June 6, 2007

Didn't mean to derail. Scatman Crothers just kicks ass. Please resume Kubrick discussion.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:25 AM on June 6, 2007

Awesome story, miss lynnster! I was a big fan of SC...
posted by darkstar at 11:33 AM on June 6, 2007

Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy.
Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye.

He's got style, a groovy style,
and a car that just won't stop.
When the going gets tough, he's really rough,
with a Hong Kong Phooey chop (Hi-Ya!)

Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy.
Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye.
Hong Kong Phooey, he's fan-riffic (gong!)

posted by acro at 11:59 AM on June 6, 2007

See "The King of Marvin Gardens" for an excellent darker side of Crothers' acting power. Also an awesome movie in its own right: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn... how can you miss?
posted by squirrel at 12:11 PM on June 6, 2007

so he says FAN - riffic does he ?

I thought it sounded like HAN - riffic.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:10 PM on June 6, 2007

Well, too bad he wasn't in Eyes Wide Shut. 'Cuz Lordy I hated that movie. Whenever Tom Cruise opened his mouth I kept HOPING for an axe to show up.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:42 PM on June 6, 2007

I once sat next to Stanley Kubrick on an airplane. After about 25 minutes of silence, he scowled at me. 25 minutes later, he extended his middle finger at me. Then he pulled out a portable chess set and asked if I played.

I was on the chess team in high school, I answered.

Good, he said. Let's play, you little twat.

He destroyed me. He knew all the moves. He pinned my pawns, he forked my knights, he deflected, he undermined, he zwischenzuged. With each move, he would hiss at me under his breath. Cock, he would hiss. Pussy. Asshole.

When I finally toppled my king, his lip curled with disgust. You call that a chess game? He asked. Tom Cruise played a better game. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise is a moron.

Then he ordered a flute of champagne from the stewardess. When it arrived, he dumped it in my lap. Later, Shelly Duvall told me he used to do that to her all the time.

She laughed when I told her about my flight with Kubrick. Especially when I told her that, just before the plane landed, Kubrick had slapped me, hard, across the face, growling, his beard flecked with his own spit.

That means he liked you, Shelly Duvall told me. If Stanley hadn't liked you, he would have dumped beer in your lap and punched you in the balls.

Now, when I watch his movies, I always notice the bruises on the cast members. Watch the shining, for example. Jack Nicholson's shirt collar is always brown from dried blood. Duvall told me that whenever Nicholson would take a nap, Kubrick would nick his throat with a straight razor. God, he loved Jack, she told me.

Or Paths of glory. Kirk Douglas has a black eye in several scenes. Apparently, Kubrick gave it to him on his birthday. Peter Sellers walked with a limp for most of his life because Kubrick crushed his foot with a bowling ball at the wrap party for Lolita.

I watch those movies and remember the slap to my face fondly. But, at the same time, I feel a little jealous. Just a slap?

Maybe if I hadn't been so rattled, I could have beaten Kubrick at chess. If I wasn't so frightened of him, at the very least, maybe I could have put up more of a fight, made the game more interesting for him. And maybe then he would have respected me more, liked me more.

Maybe he would even have knocked out a tooth.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:16 PM on June 6, 2007 [22 favorites]

I just realized, Scatman Crothers is who I've been visualizing when reading about Mr. Nancy/Anansi in Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and "Anansi Boys". He doesn't have the accent, I guess, but apart from that, he's exactly what I've been imagining.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:08 PM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Astro Zombie (!) . . .*kicks Astro Zombie in the nuts*
posted by nola at 5:13 PM on June 6, 2007

I was at work earlier so I didn't get to see the clips until just now. I just finished the first one. Seeing Scatman cry with gratitude at the end tore me up. Thank you for posting this, it reminded me of one of the best memories of my childhood. He was one of the most dear-spirited people I think I'll ever be honored to meet.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:40 PM on June 6, 2007

I feel kind of bad for reposting kottke's links and taking credit, but thanks ml.
posted by acro at 8:04 AM on June 7, 2007

kottke takes enough credit for everyone. I only saw the clip because of your post. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 5:44 PM on June 7, 2007

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