CINELATION | Movie Reviews by Christopher Beaubien
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Film4’s Kubrickian Advertisement

Written by Christopher Beaubien • July 06, 2008 • Start the Discussion!


A couple months after the UK’s take on Gremlins, Film4 has paid homage to Stanley Kubrick (“You haven’t a dook of an idea how to comport yourself public-wise, O my brother!”), one of the most studied and revered filmmakers. To kick off the Film4 channel’s seasonal tribute to the highly guarded auteur, their production house Channel 4 Creative Services concocted a TV spot in homage to The Shining (1980). The following promotional clip takes you through The Shining set in one continuous 65-second tracking shot, a film aesthetic long favored by Kubrick since Paths of Glory (1957), from the director’s point of view.

Channel 4’s KUBRICK SEASON Advertisement

kubrick2The attention to detail is absolutely terrific from the recreated sets that look exactly like the original Overlook Hotel corridors and hedge maze from thirty years ago to the lighting and lens choice — a 25mm Cooke lens that was favored by Kubrick. The amount of visual in-jokes will have die-hard Shining enthusiasts viewing it several times before none have escaped their close attention. I marvel at the prospect that the filmmakers even cast Kubrick’s crew to look like the real-life counterparts including John Alcott, Kubrick’s longtime director of production before his death in 1986. Watch out carefully for a half-dozen dead ringers of The Shining’s most prominent characters. Oh, and the tricycle that appears at the end is the real deal. This is the type of work ethic that makes me beam with joy.

Citizen Kubrick, a new documentary by Jon Ronson will first head off ten of the selected movies from Kubrick’s generous filmography. The chosen films range from the most famous (Lolita, 1962; 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968; Barry Lyndon, 1975) to the most obscure (Killer’s Kiss, 1955; The Killing, 1956). After watching the documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001) by Jan Harlan, one of Kubrick’s closest producers, I’m still very curious about the secretive genius. I am also relishing the published 304-page diary by Matthew Modine (Short Cuts, 1993) on the making of Full Metal Jacket (1989).

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