The Killing (1956)

The Killing
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writer: Stanley Kubrick
Based on: Lionel White‘s novel Clean Break
Cast: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Ted de Corsia, Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook Jr., Joe Sawyer

Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) has big plans for himself and his girlfriend Fay (Coleen Gray). Since he just got out of prison, he wants to retire somewhere with her. But for that he needs money and that isn’t so easy to come by. So Johnny organizes a race track heist with the help of several accomplices. But the best laid plans won’t stand up to reality and so Johnny finds himself foiled at every turn.

The Killing isn’t particularly long, that’s why I thought that it might be my chance to see a Kubrick movie without falling asleep. Unfortunately that didn’t come true, despite the fact that it is not a bad heist movie.


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Eyes Wide Open: Stanley Kubrick as Photographer

Eyes Wide Open: Stanley Kubrick as Photographer was an exhibition at the Kunstforum Vienna.

Stanley Kubrick started his career as a photographer for Life Magazine before heading into film. He mostly took photos of people, doing entire portraits of more or less famous people, but also (more or less staged) snapshots on the street or in public transportation. The exhibition I saw tried to give an overview over his work as a photographer by showing the span of his photo essays which worked very well. We also had an interesting guided tour. Generally I think I like his photographic work better than his cinematic work, though already in his photographs he shows a keen eye for the right moment and for the (necessary) theatracality.

You can find some of my favorite images after the jump.


Portrait of Rosemary Williams with bonus selfie.

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Room 237 (2012)

Room 237
Director: Rodney Ascher
Part of: Viennale

Room 237 is a documentary about Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining, or rather it’s about how obsessed some people can get with a topic. It showcases the various theories about The Shining floating around – like, really, The Shining is about the genocide of the Native Americans. Or actually, it’s about the Holocaust. Although, really, it’s all about subliminal sex messages. And of course, Kubrick meant it all exactly like that.

I do like conspiracy theories and hearing about the nuttery that goes along with them. And Room 237 gives you a healthy dose of just that. But nevertheless it does grow long.

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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

[Part of the Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum.]

Dr. Strangelove is a movie by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George, starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden and James Earl Jones.

Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) manages to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union all by himself. Since the American government headed by President Muffley (Peter Sellers) doesn’t actually want a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, they frantically try to abort the command.

I have to admit that I was barely conscious when I saw this film. I had been too much to the cinema and I was stressed and tired and I kept falling asleep during the movie – even though I enjoyed the hell out of it.

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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

[Part of the Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum.]

2001: A Space Odyssey is Stanley Kubrick‘s famous Science Fiction Epic, developped with Arthur C. Clarke and starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester and Daniel Richter.

The film opens a long time ago, when a group of apes is disturbed by a suddenly appearing monolith which goes on to inspire them to use tools and weapons.
We then jump quite a while into the future where scientist Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) is sent to the (colonized) moon. Rumors have been going around that there’s an epidemic, but actually Floyd is there to investigate a mysteriously buried monolith.
18 months later, a mission is sent to Jupiter: 2 astronauts РDave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole  (Gary Lockwood) Р3 scientists and cryogenic hibernation and AI Hal (voiced by Douglas Rain). Hal is supposed to be infallible Рbut is he really?

2001: A Space Odyssey is a monumental film, but it’s far from perfect. Parts of the movie are absolutely excellent, like the science and the special effects. Other parts aren’t, like the sound and the mystery around the monoliths. And it does have some lengths, though it’s mostly surprising how little length it has.

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