Author Topic: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?  (Read 4336 times)

Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« on: March 10, 2021, 09:34:02 PM »
I've seen at least a few documentaries how each of his movies are filled with clues about the ruling class of the world, and all the debauchery involved.

"The Mysterious Work of Stanley Kubrick" and another about the faking of the moon landing (something I saw many years ago) are a few documentaries.

I think its possible that Kubrick threw in certain things for his own amusement, knowing people always look for symbolism. Kubrick seemed like a very intelligent guy.

I once read a quote (probably refuted now) supposedly by Nicole Kidman who said that Kubrick told her "The world is run by pedophiles", which could be true, since it seems like people become power-drunk, and engage in the worst acts and crimes to show they are above the law.

shagatha crustie

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2021, 09:43:51 PM »
With yer Epsteins and Qanons and whatnot they have nowadays I can certainly believe Eyes Wide Shut is Kubrick dishing the dirt on what he saw in Hollywood's upper echelons, before the world was ready to hear about it.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2021, 09:44:40 PM »
.

Ant Farm Keyboard

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2021, 09:47:00 PM »
This is bullshit. Eyes Wide Shut is simply being picked by the QAnon community as a film with an hidden message about elites and child molestation, resulting in Kubrick getting killed before release, and a heavily modified cut being released by the studio to hide what Kubrick was about to reveal.

The irony is that, in its early days, the community had singled out Kubrick as a child rapist because of Lolita and his friendship with Spielberg (a major target).

The truth is that the whole universe is a huge conspiracy to hide to these people that they are total cunts.

Ant Farm Keyboard

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2021, 09:51:11 PM »
With yer Epsteins and Qanons and whatnot they have nowadays I can certainly believe Eyes Wide Shut is Kubrick dishing the dirt on what he saw in Hollywood's upper echelons, before the world was ready to hear about it.

Kubrick shot all his films post Spartacus in England. He hadn’t witnessed anything in Hollywood since 1960 due to his well documented fear of flying. He went to New York on the Queen Elizabeth for the 2001 premiere, but he never set foot in the US afterwards.

And he was in very friendly terms with Roman Polanski. They had very long phone conversations.

shagatha crustie

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2021, 09:54:43 PM »
I'm not a member of the QAnon community and i'm not going to get into an argument about this, but - what is EWS about if not the super rich being beyond the law and going to secret extremes of decadence and taboo?

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2021, 10:07:50 PM »
The event shown in Eyes Wide Shut was significantly more theatrical and interesting than the reality doubtlessly is: boring luxurious Hollywood villas with grotesque plastic men slithering about the place scheming for arse to the sound of Pitbull.

mothman

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2021, 10:12:38 PM »
I'm not a member of the QAnon community and i'm not going to get into an argument about this, but - what is EWS about if not the super rich being beyond the law and going to secret extremes of decadence and taboo?

But I think we all knew that before 1999. If you want an actual filmic example, see Diamond Skulls from 1989... which I’ve only just learned was Nick Brookfield’s fictional-directorial debut. Huh.

Ant Farm Keyboard

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2021, 10:19:11 PM »
I'm not a member of the QAnon community and i'm not going to get into an argument about this, but - what is EWS about if not the super rich being beyond the law and going to secret extremes of decadence and taboo?

It's first about a married guy who has all his certainties about his life and about his wife crushed over the course of a single night.
The character is supposed to be ridiculous. In the original Schnitzler novella, his name is Fridolin (it's usually changed in translations), which is the name of a German carnival figure. In the story, he takes a lot of stuff, like the love of his wife, for granted.
Kubrick tried for years to keep some comedic element more obvious in his adaptation. His first picks for the part were Steve Martin (he loved The Jerk) and Woody Allen, until he assumed that a real life couple, like Cruise and Kidman or Baldwin and Basinger would be more believable.
Still, the orgy is somewhat grotesque. Rather than exposing the decadence of the wealthy, it shows how bored and unimaginative they are. They're basically paying people to act sexual fantasies, while they are watching the scenes slightly stiff and bored, while "Strangers in the Night" plays in the background.
Sure, they don't hesitate having a model killed when they think she could be a threat to their group, but other than that, they show how much Bill Hartford is out of his element (and of his league) while he assumed he was some big shot.
I don't think that the final message of the film is that there are secret societies where people can have other people murdered. It's rather that there are mysteries in life, including secret societies, that you can have a brush with, but that, in the end, you still have make your relationship with your significant other work, rather than just indulging in fantasies.

chveik

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2021, 10:41:30 PM »
kubrick's films are fascinating, and i keep getting back to them, but these theories completely miss the point and they're pretty boring

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 10:51:30 PM »
I'm not a member of the QAnon community and i'm not going to get into an argument about this, but - what is EWS about if not the super rich being beyond the law and going to secret extremes of decadence and taboo?

EWS is about man's fear of impotence and of his masculinity being called into question.  In the course of the evening, Tom Cruise's character has many, many opportunities for sex - including once with a corpse - yet none is consummated.   But even if his dick isn't working then plan B - his wallet - never lets him down.  (Am I right in thinking that, "Where's my wallet?"  is the film's first line?)  He whips it out time and time again during the film and its potency never flags - there's always another fifty in there.

And those orgy scenes are just silly.  Critics at the time said that it looked as if Kubrick hadn't done any research on the subject since reading a Dennis Wheatley novel some time in the fifties.

chveik

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 11:29:17 PM »
And those orgy scenes are just silly.  Critics at the time said that it looked as if Kubrick hadn't done any research on the subject since reading a Dennis Wheatley novel some time in the fifties.

i dunno, given the amount of research he had done for his later films, it must have been intentional

Ant Farm Keyboard

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2021, 11:58:43 PM »
Kubrick was so meticulous in many aspects that everything in his films looks intentional. Even when it was some incident or goof (and there are tons of goofs in his films).

For instance, in the final montage for Lolita, they mistakenly used an alternate shot for the first scene, where Humbert Humbert finds Quilty in an armchair covered by a sheet. In the alternate shot, there's nobody under the sheet.
When David Lynch saw this (he's a huge fan of Lolita), he knew that it was a goof, but still wondered what if Quilty was ultimately a figment of Humbert Humbert's imagination (as the shot could suggest), who took the blame for everything awful he had done with Lolita himself. Along with the OJ Simpson trial, this is the kind of considerations that fueled the "psychogenic fugue" at the core of Lost Highway.

In Eyes Wide Shut, Bill Hartford is supposed at some point to drive a Range Rover over a bridge, with Manhattan in the background. Of course, these are some of the few shots that were actually filmed by a second unit. Yet, look at the "Bill Hartford" who's supposed to drive the car. The guy is six inches taller than Tom Cruise. Just like the stuntman who falls the stairs in The Shining doesn't look at all like Nicholson. Or the reflection from some crew guy you can see in the chrome trim for the shower in the theatrical version (is was later blurred through CGI for the DVD). Kubrick could be sloppy.

And then, he had the press clip for an "ex beauty queen in hotel drugs overdose" credited to New York Post reporter Larry Celona, then translated into several languages for the foreign versions.
As Celona also reported on Kubrick's own death, Epstein's suicide or Ghislaine Maxwell getting arrested, people speculate about connections between these different cases. The obvious truth is that, as stated at the time by Celona himself, Kubrick commissioned the actual Larry Celona to write this fake article, for accuracy, as Celona was and is one of the NY Post go-to guys for suspicious deaths or criminal investigations.
Yet, when they printed the fake article, they still put "drugs overdose", while an American paper would speak of "drug overdose", singular.

Chedney Honks

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2021, 03:53:17 AM »
Great posts, AFK.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2021, 04:11:46 AM »
I'm not a member of the QAnon community and i'm not going to get into an argument about this, but - what is EWS about if not the super rich being beyond the law and going to secret extremes of decadence and taboo?

I think you could argue its a Fight Club like situation were the film is actually denouncing that kind of viewpoint, that its basically a fantasy of Cruises character buys into to cover his own insecurities.

That did often seem to be Kubrick's focus I'd say, his films ending up as commentary on the source rather than a faithful adaptation of it. So the Shining plays down the supernatural aspect in favour of an abusive family relationship, Barry Lyndon plays has the narration take a view of Barry as only interested in wealth/status whilst the actual performance seems to show something different.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2021, 10:15:36 AM »
That documentary on The Shining, Room 237, was excellent on this.

I had a friend who watched and dismissed it, saying the theories were fanciful, seemingly missing that this is the point. Many of the theories overlap or contradict each other, we can't possibly believe them all. The documentary, ultimately, is about what we bring with us to a film and what we see in it - particularly when someone as masterful as Kubrick is at work, someone able to present myriad metaphors onscreen at once, some of them seemingly by accident and others obviously by mistake.

All artists must have this to greater or lesser extents - but Kubrick is fascinating for his weirdly uncanny sense of how to leave several doors open at once.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2021, 10:50:37 AM »
I always assumed that Kubrick was a perfectionist and any mistake was deliberate but after watching Room 237 I changed my mind; at least half the theories discussed in that film seem to be the result of simple continuity errors that you'd see in any film if it was examined frame by frame and picked to pieces. It's Dominic Cummings 5D chess all over again.

Bad Ambassador

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2021, 11:25:08 AM »
I did a podcast on EWS a few years ago, where I think my idea was the film presents imagined and actual infidelities as being equally "real", so Bill wanders from being propositioned by a sex worker to finding himself at a secret masked orgy with no change in presentation, even though the latter is really only a fantasy of his revenge on his wife. This allows the "actual" elements, such as meeting Mandy at the Zieglers' and later finding her body, to merge with the "imagined" bits, like her rescuing him from the creepy red-cloaked man, which is an obvious lift from Poe just as the man following him standing under a streetlight is lifted from Edward Hopper. I'm probably not explaining this very well, but it made sense to me at the time.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2021, 01:03:44 PM »
I did a podcast on EWS a few years ago, where I think my idea was the film presents imagined and actual infidelities as being equally "real", so Bill wanders from being propositioned by a sex worker to finding himself at a secret masked orgy with no change in presentation, even though the latter is really only a fantasy of his revenge on his wife. This allows the "actual" elements, such as meeting Mandy at the Zieglers' and later finding her body, to merge with the "imagined" bits, like her rescuing him from the creepy red-cloaked man, which is an obvious lift from Poe just as the man following him standing under a streetlight is lifted from Edward Hopper. I'm probably not explaining this very well, but it made sense to me at the time.

No, I think the whole movie, except for the shot of Kidman's bum at the start, is a dream.  Bill is lying on the bed all sleepy watching his wife undressing, he dozes off and voila! all his anxieties are laid out for him, and us, to see.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2021, 02:35:11 PM »
Ran across this by accident on reddit.. Just uploaded yesterday. Haven't seen it yet, wanted to post it here before I forgot, or before its taken down.

A comedian talking about Kubrick's movies - very fitting to this place
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nCU95Q6YEE

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2021, 07:05:45 PM »
all total and utter shit, I can buy The Shining having references to Native American history but beyond that, skiing minotaurs and the moon balls - shoot these cunts

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2021, 08:07:38 PM »
It does seem Kubrick tends to attract a certain kind of more right leaning viewer more likely to buy into this kind of stuff, maybe because the films have a harshness to them and focus strongly on entertainment? I mean i think theres a heart behind that as well but perhaps one you don't need to acknowledge as openly for people who are uncomfortable with that.

it is quite a cheap route to setting yourself up as some kind of "expert", just watch a youtube video or two picking out the suppsosed hidden details without really having to read the films intentions much.

An tSaoi

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2021, 08:32:13 PM »
It does seem Kubrick tends to attract a certain kind of more right leaning viewer more likely to buy into this kind of stuff

It's funny that the kind of conspiracy-minded far-right loonies who go on and on about the Rothschilds and Bilderberg types controlling the media would also be admirers of a famous mainstream Jewish Hollywood director. They hate the jews but they love this one guy who looked like a rabbi.

If he hadn't made EWS, they'd be tarring him as a cointelpro paedo lizard man or some such.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2021, 08:42:02 PM »
isn't Barry Lyndon about Ireland

An tSaoi

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2021, 08:56:36 PM »
Most of it takes place outside Ireland.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2021, 08:57:18 PM »
ah but does it though??

An tSaoi

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2021, 09:01:55 PM »
In the credits it says filmed in Eire, which is spelt wrong.

"Éire" is the country, but "Eire" is Irish for "encumbrance".

Aaah another secret message.

Please watch my 5 hour documentary.

St_Eddie

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Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2021, 10:18:57 PM »
That documentary on The Shining, Room 237, was excellent on this.

I had a friend who watched and dismissed it, saying the theories were fanciful, seemingly missing that this is the point. Many of the theories overlap or contradict each other, we can't possibly believe them all. The documentary, ultimately, is about what we bring with us to a film and what we see in it - particularly when someone as masterful as Kubrick is at work, someone able to present myriad metaphors onscreen at once, some of them seemingly by accident and others obviously by mistake.

Nah, not having this.  It's just a shitty, badly made documentary.  This whole retroactive idea that the point of the documentary is to show how we all bring our own personal interpretations into The Shining is hogwash.  It's ironic because it's projecting onto the documentary the same way that the interviewees in said documentary project onto The Shining and create their own "meaning" of what it's all about, without the evidence to back it up.

If the documentary had wanted the ultimate point to be about personal interpretation, don't you think the filmmaker may have actually raised that point at the end of their documentary, to hammer home their point?  Having said that, let's say that it is about personal interpretation; well, so what?  Why is it interesting to sit down and listen to cretins spouting utter gibberish for an hour and a half?  I guess to come to an epiphany that everyone interprets art differently?  Oh my god!  Mind blown!  What an incredible revelation!  I'm really glad that I sat through an excruciating waste of my time, listening to gubers prattling on, talking nonsense to learn something as basic and obvious as that.

A documentary about personal interpretation of film, where the subjects provide their own theories on what a film means, could absolutely work but it would require that the theories be at least somewhat credible, intriguing and thought provoking and it would require that the central message of varying personal interpretation be clearly communicated by the end of the documentary.  Room 237 is not that documentary.

Instead Room 237 is a pointless collection of theories upon the film, told by absolute nobodies with no clue of what they speak, much less an understanding of film production, film critique, or film analysis.  It's the documentary equivalent of filming a bunch of randos and asking them to look at a cloud and then ask each of them what they see it as, through their pareidolia perception.  Does it sound interesting to hear people say "ice cream", "man in a hat", "woman walking a dog" for an hour and a half?  Because that's what Room 237 essentially is.

It's giving the filmmaker far too much credit to suggest that there was any thought behind this documentary other than "man, there's a lot of theories about The Shining out there on the Internet.  I should place an ad asking people to record their theories on microphone and submit them to me, so that I can stitch them all together and release it commercially".  Fact is, it's just an incompetently made "documentary" (and I use that word in the loosest possible sense), both in concept and execution.  As per usual, Adam from YMS gets it spot on in his review.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 10:49:01 PM by St_Eddie »

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2021, 10:50:42 PM »
Nah, not having this.  It's just a shitty, badly made documentary. 

Whether you liked it or not, I feel it's wrong to say it's a badly-made documentary. On a technical level alone, it was an especially well-made documentary that achieved exactly what it set out to do - it just may not have set out to do what you wanted it to.

Like all of Rodney Ascher's stuff that I've seen, its focus is on a select group of people obsessed with their individual experiences of a phenomenon (whether that be The Shining, a trailer for the movie Magic or sleep paralysis). At no point in any of those documentaries does the filmmaker profess to have all the answers - in fact, the filmmaker's voice is refreshingly silent.

So I suppose the point of Room 237 was never to once-and-for-all determine what Kubrick was trying to say with The Shining, but rather to emphasise what an engimatic pop-culture phenomenon it actually is - hence all the wildly different viewpoints collected. I'd also argue that at least some of those theories were credible, if not entirely likely (specifically the ones involving blatant continuity errors, which the notoriously meticulous Kubrick wouldn't have overlooked[1]). I feel like the documentary is far more about the nature of fandom and ambiguity than the film itself, though. In that regard it absolutely succeeds.
 1. Overlooked.

Re: Do You Believe Stanley Kubrick's "Mysterious Messages"?
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2021, 10:57:52 PM »
For work reasons I once had to drive Jan Harlan, Kubrick’s brother-in-law and executive producer, around for a day. He told me in no uncertain terms that a certain strata of wealthy folk do indeed have masked orgies of the kind depicted in EWS. Boredom and means prompt such depravity. He didn't mention anything conspiratorial though.

One recurrent thing I have seen in analyses of Kubrick is the notion that the recurrence of German vehicles is a comment on the Holocaust. I have always assumed that this was more likely a production issue. He made a great many movies that were set in the US but filmed in England. This would necessitate getting left hand drive cars and so on. It would therefore always be easier and cheaper to get a left hand drive VW or Merc from Germany to England than it would be to have an Oldsmobile shipped from the US.

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