February 2009

Barry Lyndon: Kubrick Does Period Right

Of all the top-shelf auteur directors in cinema history, perhaps none have acquired a bigger reputation for being fussy and over-ambitious than Stanley Kubrick, and certainly none more deservingly. The man only made pictures on a grand scale and was always more than willing to do a take a hundred times over to get it right. Actors who worked with him have stories of Kubrick's odd proclivities regardless of the project. Adam Baldwin has been known to tell the tale of Kubrick's decision to double the shooting time for Full Metal Jacket because it started in a rainy season and he couldn't get the kind of natural light he wanted. But if we're going to talk about Kubrick and insane but brilliant production decisions, there's only one movie that can capture the scope of the director's eccentricities.