'Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb' (1963)
The immortal Stanley Kubrick filming on the set of ‘Dr. Strangelove’ (1963)
“There’s a lot of pictures I’m going to talk about. Certainly one of my favorites is ‘The Searchers,’ John Ford’s ‘The Searchers.’ Up to that point, I’d become aware of certain names on films, and one of the key names was John Ford. I saw his name usually on the films I enjoyed, and then I began to realize what a director did and that is translate ideas into images, using the lens like a pen, and that’s the key… it’s forcing the audience to see something a certain way that you want them to see it.” —Martin Scorsese
“In this 25+ minute presentation, Martin Scorsese discusses several of his cinematic favorites and their influence on his film work. A prolific filmmaker who makes constant attempts to push the language of film forward, Scorsese provides a collection of films that can easily make an essential viewing list. The films cited are King Vidor’s ‘Duel in the Sun,’ Howard Hawks’ ‘Land of the Pharaohs,’ Elia Kazan’s ‘East of Eden,’ Orson Welles ‘Citizen Kane,’ Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s ‘The Tales of Hoffmann,’ William A. Wellman’s ‘The Public Enemy,’ Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson’s ‘Scarface,’ Byron Haskin’s ‘The War of the Worlds,’ John Ford’s ‘The Searchers,’ Lewis R. Foster’s ‘El Paso,’ and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s ‘The Red Shoes.’ As Martin Scorsese puts it so well, ‘you enrich your palette and expand your canvas by studying the old masters.’ Enjoy!” —Edwin Adrian Nieves, A-BitterSweet-Life
Martin Scorsese’s top 10 Criterion films: ‘Paisan,’ ‘The Red Shoes,’ ‘The River,’ ‘Ugetsu,’ ‘Ashes and Diamonds,’ ‘L’avventura,’ ‘Salvatore Giuliano,’ ‘8½,’ ‘Contempt,’ and ‘The Leopard.’
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Concept art from The Book of Life, and animated film by Jorge Gutiérrez and produced by Guillermo del Toro.
Locas II : Maggie, Hopey & Ray
Love & Rockets
Fantagraphics (September, 2009)
I have a lot of friends who love comics, collect comics, even write about comics and who have never read a single issue of Love & Rockets. It’s a brutally shocking omission - imagine being an aficionado of Westerns and never having seen a John Ford film, or blogging about manga without having ever cracked a single Osamu Tezuka volume - unthinkable, right?
Love&Rockets represents probably the greatest American work produced within the comics medium ever, but it’s kryptonite to the uninitiated. The most common concern I hear from folks is that there’s so much of it, and I dig - there are literally thirty years of stories which build upon an internal continuity in two distinct storylines from individual authors collected under a single volume, plus ancillary stories which are thematically united but independent from the core storylines, AND both books happily dabble in magical realism, introducing the absurd and unnatural in equal measures with the quotidian and the narrative.
BUT trust me, no one expects you to absorb all of that on page one; you just pick a story and start reading - there are excellent guides out there, like Fantagraphics’ “How To Read L&R”, but I honestly feel you could pick up any volume and immerse yourself in that particular arc right from the git-go, the stories are just that appealing.
And then? Then you’ll have literally thousands of pages of more comics to enjoy. It’ll be like finding an album that blows your mind and then discovering the musician who recorded it produced fifty more, each improvising on its core themes in a new and exciting way…
Love&Rockets is a comic you owe yourself, particularly if you’ve ever waxed philosophic or raged online about indy titles, creator ownership, auteurship, literate comics for grown-ups, breaking the corporate mold, comics not dependent on franchise, varied and deep depictions of women, strong female characters, representation of the female form, questions of race and identity in comics, gender and sexuality, comics driven on character and relationships rather than spectacle - that’s all in here, and more.
There’s more I can tell you to prepare you or try to sway you - the differences in Beto’s and Jaime’s storytelling, the premises of Hoppers and Palomar, where Birdland fits into the whole shmear - or in the best case scenario you can just discover it for yourself…
“Terry and Stanley found each other through Peter Sellers, who, at Christmas time, bought 100 copies of his favorite novel, The Magic Christian, and gave them to friends — friends like Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick saw in the novel a talent which could be orchestrated — a writer of dialogue who could be cut loose like Charlie Parker. Before Stanley read The Magic Christian, Esquire sent Terry to do an interview with the unknown director who had just finished ‘Lolita.’ Upon meeting Kubrick in England, Terry’s New Journalism investigations were bursting out across the pond in Esquire, including: ‘How I signed up for $250 a Day For the Big Parade Through Havana bla, bla, bla and Wound Up In Guatamala Working For the CIA,’ and ‘Twirling at Ole Miss’ — which Tom Wolfe cites as the story which started New Journalism and Gonzo. Upon Strangelove’s release, with Terry so popular, and with the previously contraband Candy making her debut as a controversial best-seller — the press turned Terry into the ‘author’ of the film — a tresspass Kubrick never completely forgave.” —An Interview with Stanley Kubrick Director of LOLITA by Terry Southern; Unpublished; 1962; NYC
Embedded below is another terrific episode of Cinéma cinémas, ‘Search Lolita desperately,’ with Sue Lyon.
Some more great reads:
- Kubrick by Michael Herr
- Kubrick by Terry Semel, Tom Cruise
- Playboy Interview: Vladimir Nabokov
- Vladimir Nabokov, The Art of Fiction No. 40
- A letter from Vladimir Nabokov to Stanley Kubrick with regards to the ‘Lolita’ script