Like Ned, I can’t really find the time to go to the cinema these days. However, I also have real trouble finding time for DVDs. Last night I felt like watching Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975). Actually getting through its 178 minutes (didn’t people have jobs/chronic fatigue in the ’70s?) was out of the question, so I have to base my appraisal on a fast forward/chapter-hopping scheme more or less corresponding to the time it takes Mrs KM to run a bath. First things first: lovely transfer. The film looks grand. Second up: amazing focus. Apparently Kubrick had special lenses made for this. It was all worth it! Third: like lots (three) of Stanlique’s films, lots of familiar faces from British TV, such as him from ‘Reginal Perrin’. Fourth: uses ‘chapter heading’ intertitles like in Brecht or Fassbinder’s Effi Brist (1974), and what sounds to me like an ‘ironic’ v/o a la Dogville.
All in all, I don’t understand all the hate SK gets. This was the first I’d seen of his stuff since the great disappointment of Eyes Wide Shut almost five years ago. If I find the time, I’d like to see the whole of Barry Lyndon. If a major trope in ’70s cinema is the complementing of Freud with Marx (or vice versa) you could place SK as someone who thought Freud contradicted Marx. In this sense his affinities with Ophuls go far beyond a love of ornate camera movements.