UnBooks:My Pal Stanley Kubrick
Tonight we honor one of the finest directors of the 20th Century, the late, great Stanley Kubrick. As the 2012 President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences I want to give a warm Hollywood welcome to our keynote speaker, Father John Murphy. The Padre, as we in the winner's circle know him, just flew in from the Vatican on his private jet. Father Murphy knew Stanley for over 35 years, up to and including his untimely death in 1999, so I'm sure His Holiness has a treasure trove of memorable moments to share with us. Without further ado, would you kindly welcome Pope Benedict's right hand, the Keeper of the Keys, and the dizzy Dean of the College of Cardinals, Father John Murphy.
Ya, ya, ya, okay, settle down. Alright, stifle. An you. Thought you'd be gabbin' all day up dere. Ya wanna fetch me a couple of dose brownies everyone's chowin' down? Hey, put dem on a plate, not a fuckin napkin. Ya raised ina hillbillies barn? Dat's it. OK, now listen up.
A quick introduction to my pal, Stanley Kubrick
I'm not gonna tells ya anything about Stanley Kubrick dat ya thinks ya knows, ya get enuf of dis and dat swirling around in yer own head up in dere, but I wanna squawk at you about da real guy, da man himself.
I met Stanley when I was a young boy earning folding cash and green stamps as an extra in "Lolita". Dat was Kubricks' masterpiece, a flick where an old guy falls for a young broad. Remember dat? Dis old bat of a mother likes da guy, who's only renting a room in her house so he can salivate and distribute other liquids on her daughter, dis here Lolita. But den he has to marry da bat in order ta get ta da dish. Age old story. Well, Kubrick and da kid got it on at least twice a day, mostly in her trailer but sometimes on da set where we could watch. Pretty much always ending in doggie style, da way fuckin's supposed ta.
Hey, hey, wait, nobody leaves. Stop dose guys, O'Malley. I told youse, I was gonna tells ya bout da real guy. Da Stanley Kubrick I knew. Da guy who dressed hookers in space suits and banged 'em in slow motion against dat plastic monolith. But don't get me wrong, Stanley was a raging brainiac. Gotta give him dat. He directed 'bout a dozen jawsdroppers all ya jamokes seen at least twice. Except for Pauly Shore dere, IQ of a pineapple tit.
What da scholars say
First I'm gonna go all da way out on a thin limb and learns ya what da scholars at wiccan paedia got ta say about Stanley. Just ta give Lindsey Lohan an introduction to a topic she knows nuttin about.
Da wiccans say Stanley chose and filmed his subjects, scenes, objects in scenes, and even da dust bunnies in scenes, like he was always tryin to place metaphor on top of somebody-else's metaphor with scrupulouse care and an eye for layering. Dey continuingly yabber on 'bout how Stan worked real slow - like some kind of snail - and hows he enjoyed making all kinds of films whenever da mood hit him. Science fiction, horror classics, period pieces, mysteries of da mind, antiwar rants, Stan just made em up, knocked em down, and filmed dem, whenever da hell he wanted to. Den da wikipedes take a wild goose guess dat Stanley was a technical perfectionist, and start in complaining about how he was a recluse who would seldom talk about his films until ya got him stoned or drunk or whistling Dixie out of a tube. Da wise intellecstools seem ta think Stanley always maintained complete artistic control over his masterpieces - sorta like if Pabbo Picasso could afford a camera.
And den - ya gotta hear dis - and den da esteemed professors go on ta bitch dat Stan's films have a formal style and pay even more attention ta details and whatnot than a zen Buddahism monk tryin' ta figure out who makes da grass green. Da time-on-dere-hands wikiboys wanna make ya think dat Stan's later stuff is surrealistical, and dat his last films lack structured linear narrative - whatever da hell dat means. Like an echo chamber dey tell each udder dat his movies are soooooo goddamned slow because he was diseased with some kind of addiction to anal obsessive perfectionism. Da white beards den sit on top of ya preaching-to-da-choir dat Stanley used recurring themes as a way to argue about man's inhumility to man. Got dat right. While Stan-da-man's movies are often described by nancy boys as opinionated tall stories filled with nagging gossip doused in ironic pessimism, dese winkypee eggheads imagine dat Kubricks's films contain a cautious optimism dat tells ya ta "think for yourself" when viewed like dey like ta watch 'em.
What ya gotta know is dat Stanley's first good film and his last good film were his best films. "Lolita" and "Eyes Tight Shut". Hey, have ya guys ever seen "Lolita" with a couple of dese brownies in ya? Show of hands. Scorsese, ya, Coppala, of course, and over dere, Shyamalan and Opie, got ya backs man. Ya, see, see dat? Dat's one hell of a movie. Once ya get past da first dull half hour or so, ya finally gets ta da point where ya can point yer eyes at da masterpiece moment when James Mason, playing a proper college professor just hired by a local university who needs a room to live in, comes up on Lolita decked out in her bikini and fuck me hat. Sue Lyon looks up, takes off her blow-ya sunglasses, and instantly calculates da amount of lust just activated in dis strangers body, what she can use it for, checks out his clothes, shoes, and waistline, and den makes a few subtle moves with her eyes, face, and fingers to ramp da lust up tenfold. Kubrick put da music ta da scene so youse knows what's goin on. From then on, except for another dull half hour every once in awhile, James Mason and Sue Lyon show dere acting range. Da range of a bored middle-aged gentleman living his boring life when alls'a sudden WHAM!!!!! BLAM!!! he falls in lust at first sight with a fourteen-year old boy or girl, depending on which director's cut ya own, and da kid is game but plans ta cocktease him for awhile.
Den, right dere in da middle of dis shitstorm, youse got youse Peter Sellers thrown at ya like a circus clown jugglin' iced cotton candy, movin' his persona around pretendin' ta be several different people at once. All da other actors, except for Shelly Winters who's crumpled up dead by dat point - which is good so ya don't have ta look at her nomore - carry each scene onto da next in ways Kubrick shot like he thought he was Da Vinci paintin' da inside of da church. One of da best movies ever made, except for most of it, and 'specially if ya eat oneov dese brownies.
So Stan and I got to hanging around on da Lolita set, and on Lolita herself tells ya da God's honest truth - I seez ya laughin' dere O'Malley - and den we started palling around after hours and off-set. Dat was 1962, jeez, time flies on dose gossamer wings, don't it? Ya, I see Woody Allen dere flinching. Hey Woody, whatsa matter, ya worried 'bout dyin? Look at him, rolled up in da fetal position. Boo!!! Heh heh heh, it's too easy.
So before ya could say "Do unto udders", Stanley started callin' me his "lucky charm" and made me come to all his shoots. Later, when I got to be an uppity-up in da holy mudder Catlick church, him knowin' me an vice verso cames in handy when my boys policed da sets and handled union trouble with da locals.
Well, let's move on up and down some of dose years here, huh?
Good times remembered
One time da church had me go check on some false rumors dat Kubrick was makin a hippie movie. Dey didn't want a none a dat. But when I got dere, Stanley wasn't doin' a hippie movie at all! He was filming dis god-awful slow trainwreck nicknamed 2001. Every scene on dat sin-o-matic third-tit of a film seemed to take a year to shoot, 'cause Kubrick kept diggin deep into his own noggin pretendin' ta use spacetime ta play in an' all. By the time da stuff reached da editing room an came outta other side it was so fuckin' cockeyed and turned inside-out dat everyone was scratchin dere heads and even Stanley didn't know what da hell was up dere on da screen.
Anyways, one night Stanley was co-making-up da screenplay for 2001 with dat Arthur Sea Clarke fello, another brainiac. Stan made da mistake of hiring dis guy Clarke, who thought he was da pope's morning shit on da bee's knees. All he really amounted ta was a overpaid soft-broiled egghead filled with godawful visions of floating communicational satellites and whatnot. Must have been hell in dere. HEY, did you guys know dat da two of dem faked up da moon landings!!! Truth, sweat to god! I was dere, and when General Neil Armstrong was taking dat first moonwalk he was actually all sweaty and high after just hanging out in da capsule with dese two hippie babes, Wildflower and Sunshine, who blew him.
Walkin' on da moon! Can ya believe it? Ya breakin' me up. Never happened, swear on Mudda Mary's pointy haloed head and Magdalene's holy bastard.
Well, Clarke and Stanley, deys all hunched up over a desk like two midda-age frogs, busy writin' down da scene where da loony-tunes talkin' computer whacks some guys. I happened to be walkin' by, minding my own self and da churches business, when Stanley calls me over and puts an arm over my shoulder. "Fadda. Fadda, tell me, how does a computer whack a guy, and den gets whacked itself?" he asked. "Jesus Christ, Stan," I say, "I dunno. Question's like dat always cut off da oxygen to my brain." And dats how they get whacked! Made me think dey should've given me a taste.
So den came "Dr. Stangelove, or how blah blah blah da bomb". Dis was dat commie documentory where Stan made da American government and its military boys look like a bunch of fag horses, fag gay horses standing on rottin'wood painted paisley. Look, like, what, a merry-go-round does something different if...Christ, where was I goin with dat? Ah, dese brownies startin' ta kick in here, ain't dey O'Malley? Time slowin down an shit. Like watching one of his movies.
Anyway, yeah, dat Stangeglove shoot was fun. Especially tryin' to get Peter Sellers to break character, which he wouldn't do for his own mudda. When he was pretending to be some gimp in a chair I'd grab his ankles and pull, and he'd fall all over da floor an' it took him forever to crawl back up. An when he started actin' like da uppity sissy-boy president I'd cover him with fish entrails and call dem blessed. Drove Sellers crazy. Kept tryin' to keep up with my hijinks and shennanigains, watchen me outta da corner of his eye, checkin ta see if I was sneakin' up on him with a mouse-trap or hare-dryer. Never broke character, give him dat.
Da movie itself discusses man's inhumanity to man, as if dat ever stopped anyone. My contribution was da final scene, when Slim Pickens jumps outta a plane ridin' a nuclear bomb like it was a buckin bronco doin da mating dance with a hulu-girl bobblehead - we've all been dere. He wagged dis cowboy hat back and forth, back and forth, round his head, like he was on a bull or oxen, one of dose. Dat came bout when Stanley said to me "What the hell, Fadda, how am I gonna end dis fuckin picture?" I looks at him an gives him da scene right down to da swingin' hat. He loved it, dey filmed it, and dat's what most people remember about da movie. Stanley wanted ta give me some of dat writer's credit, but I said "No way in hell. I ain't no commie".
Ya, ya, now I can see Woody Allen shakin' his head up and down and smilin'. Now ya like me, huh Wood man? Maybe you and I can play dat clarinet or whatever else it is ya blow sometime.
Ya, I missed Stanley's next couple pictures, spendin' most of my time learnin' da ropes at da Vatican. Shystering some a dose third-world Cardinals felt like burnin' da midnight oil at ten a.m.
During dat time Stan did a fag pic called "Barry Lyndon", 'bout nothin' in particular dat I can tell except dis guy dresses up and prances around. I dunno what it's about. And if I did I probably couldn't tell ya without getting extracommunicated. Ha! Ya like dat Eastwood? Bust a gut. Dat Romney bit ya pulled off for Obama at dat convention was classic, could use ya over at da See.
So yeah, yeah, da next time I shows up Stanley was filming "Da Shinin'" in a vacant hunk of a motel over dere in Colorado. Jesus, was it cold. Witches or nuns tit cold, I can't tell dem apart anymore. So dere I waz, bunking with Jack Nicholsen Himself. Ugly as sin. Da guy snores like he talks, all smiley with dat sinister kill-ya-quick-as-look-at-ya expression. He got buggier as da picture went on.
Da Shinin' tells ya da story bout how metaphors are like yer stretched putty. Ya stick a family of loons - ya notice Olive Oil tryin' ta act dere? - in a large empty building for a cupple a months and dey all turn dere mood rings around twice and den go rabid and kill each other and da black guy or die tryin. Da way Stanley had da universe play dice with dat redrum kid I thought he'd finally had a stroke. I did jump outta my skin though - if ya know what I mean - when I saw dat corpse dame in da bathtub movin' all around, and if I wasn't pretending ta pray da rosary with two little boys as we screened it I'dda screamed like a girl.
Gonna tells ya somethin', an dis will scare ya, quarantine it, so hold on ta ya seats. Ya, Pitt, funny, holdin' onto Portman's seat. Angie's in da john, ain't she? Wise ass MUDDERFUCKER. Anyways, we was all alone, sees?, in dis giant roached motel, da crew and da actors and dem. Suddenly, for no parent reason at all, all da lights go out an da noises like skirts rustlin' were heard. Scotsman Crouthers an I were playin' drinkin' games in dat ballroom where da ghosts live, and just as we heard da skirts movin' around we both saw a bottle move. Maybe half an inch. It just edged over like it was travelin' on spooked insect wheels, like it had ghost railroad tracks under it. Scotsman jumped a foot, funniest thing I've ever seen! - except for old Woody dere again with da fetal position, and I sees he may not be breathin', check on him O'Malley.
Dat was Da Shining.
Shut Da Eyes
Stanley went on ta make tings like Full Meddle Jacket and other anti-war hogwash. I refused ta help him with dese propaganda space operas, or even waste my time watchin' em. Da church's stand of "Send as many of dem to heaven as ya can" takin' precedence over our friendship.
Da last film I made with Stan was da last film he made, "Eyes Wide Shut", a name dat doesn't mean anything starring dat couple who was always fightin' all over hell and back 'bout scientaloogy and such. Dat midget and da tall lady. Anyways, Stanley made da movie for one purpose and one purpose only, to score LeeLee Sobieski.
Man, he was so inta dat little girl dat when Nicole got tired of da midget and wanted to jump Stan he jus' kept eyeing LeeLee and asked Nikky to fetch him coffee. He'd launch his pants just thinkin' 'bout Sobieski. No, dis's true! I hear ya all murmering out dere. And hey, Sobieski, don't even think of leaving. All I'z sayin' is dat dose made up myths and smarty pants professors wantin ya ta believes dat Stan loved da book, or dat he wanted ta tell a metaphoricaly brilliant story about how all long-term married couples have inner dreams of divorce - divorce from both dere spouse and da structured lives dat dey be livin' dere every day - and dat it took him years to film and edit dis film all because he wanted to get it down ta perfectionalism - "Ya know Roma wasn't built in a daze an all dat" he'd tell da studio - but dey waz all smoke-screens with Stanley tokin' da smoke and holdin' up da mirrors. He just wanted to boff Sobieski.
And he did dat. A lot. Jeez, ya know dose masks in da movie? They musta worn every one of dem with each other - hey, isn't dat right Leelee? Did I get da scorecard right? I don't hear no denials. Anyway, da film also reported like a damn newspaper about how all da upper elites in Britain like ta go at it in front of each other with tall beautiful hookers. Hollywood's people like ta do dat too, and don't get me started on old man Benedicks "invite only" parties at da vatican. Humpin' like bunnies while dogging with da promissory excuse of mystic occulty ceremonies all thrown up in dere for da brain stretching and ta make da ladies and boys think dey doin' something special. An wearin dose bird masks, all metal and skulled up an glitterly faced? Yeah we, dey, do dat ta both put ya at ease over identity an' ta stir up da mystery gene.
See, Stanley just wanted to tell da truth, and he knew dat by being honest Leelee would look at him like he was her daddy, and she'd jump rope. It was a hard movie ta make, because Kubrick ordered da cast around like a concentration camp cook demanding "More livers!" An' dat midget and da tall drink of water? Dey picked each udders scabs around der emotions and fought like jackals, and dat marriage didn't last long after filming ended. Look, look, Kidman's laughing an noddin' her head up an down, don't ever tells anyone Fadda Murphy doesn't shot straight. But yeah, Sobrieski, she provided all da tension, and has da central role in da movie playin a sexually active 16-year old living in da costume shop who slinkers over an turns da midget on.
Lots of people liked dat movie. Problem is, Stanley decided to die right after editing "Da Wide Eyes", and da studio tried to cover everything up by dropping Leelee's name from over da title to eleventh on da final credits. Last I saw of him weze waz puttin' him in da ground. Lolita and Leelee and Kinski were dere, all teary eyed and moanin' "boo hoo hoo", bless dere hearts. Artie Clarke came all da way from Shree Lankya to bid Stanley adieu. Some of us pissed on his grave, but dat was all in jest. Or it may have been in da will.
Alright, dunno why I'm tellin ya dis, must be da brownies talkin'. Not many people other than da enforcers over at da U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - oh, and O'Malley here - know dat da next film Stanley was gonna make before he bet his maker was a script I wrote inspired by da holy spirit. It was called Da Troublemakers, and was all 'bout dose blabbermoutherly tatteredtail choirboys and altar ornaments who led da priests onto da primrose path visa via dose seductions. I'd never seen Stanley more excited than when he and I and da polish papa took a meeting to finalize da deal. Stan wanted to name it Roma's Pretty Boys but JohnPaul da Two told him "No, no, no, no, weze decided on da name, capice?" But when Stanley decided to die dat project got shelved right along with him.
My movie would have won all dose golden Little Oscar statues youse guys hand over to yaselves for ya best of dis and ya best of dat. Tells ya dat now so youse can think about it. Woulda'been Kubrick's first Little Oscar too, but I don't gotta tell you hippocrits dat juicy bit of informative, do I?
OK, I'll take questions on da other side of a bathroom break. I gotta pee like Secretariat opening up 31 lengths.
Questions and answers
Alright, shoot. No, wait - wait wait wait O'Malley, holster it. Just a figure of speech. Gotta learn ta ride da brownies O'Malley. Okay, youse, da Munich hausfrau in da big dress.
Good evening Father. Meryl Streep here. Can you give us insight as to why Stanley Kubrick would arc each of his thirteen individual movies, as well as his entire body of work, along the clean lines of apes misusing the tools of power and the brains' biological bonding attraction, and then faithfully intertwine that epic story with the concept of power-hungry male authority figures looking for bottom-feeder lust or violence while showing how individuals as well as entire classes of people hide what they're doing from each other in order to fulfill their inner-demons? As you subtly imply, much of that is well-symbolized in Kubrick's masterpiece, "Eyes Wide Shut", and is driven by the great actress Leelee Siobeski as she pivots the film with her calculated arousal of Tom Cruise. Mr. Cruise, who in real life is as gay as a rose bush, is bewildered at Siobeski's age, energy output, lifestyle, her scarcely hidden need for on-screen and off-screen pleasure, sorry LeeLee, and the metaphor that she lives within the costume shop and can thus put on any persona imaginable while still being able to truly see through the costumes of others. Cruise, thus already initiated but not knowing it, then leaves her to follow his compulsion to explore the occult mansion's mystery and its deeper multi-layered psychological-sexual inner-need significance. He finally gains the ultimate knowledge of his own exclusion from the finer things and finer people of both high society and the power elite, ergo experiencing temptress interruptus, much like the humanity crushing crescendos of Kubrick's other films. Tell us, please, what were Mr. Kubricks' expressed thoughts on those arcs?
I didn't understand a word you said missy. Stanley didnt need da likes of you tellin him which side da bread is buttered on. He buttered both sides of da bread. All 'round da edges too. Get a life. Ah, next, dat creepy old guy in da red cape.
You don't recognize your roommate, Murphy? Jack. Jack Nicholson. Jeez John, you've been eating a few too many salted communion wafers judging by the girth of your gut. Anyway, what's all this I hear about Kubrick's movies being too slow? When I ran around throwing my talent all over the fucking place in The Shining, believe you in me, it was anything but slow. Except at the end when I froze to death, which only slowed me down for a minute.
Nicky, didn't recognize you from da ancient obese corpse-like structure standing before me. And ya know what? Youse wrong again. Stanley filmed his movies like da people watchin' dem had nuttin better to do with their timing. 2001 is so slow it looks like it was made in space. And Da Shining, dat lollipop ya so gaga over? It goes on an' on an' on about nuttin, "all work and no play" ta coin a phase, and den nobody ever understoods it even when it's finally over. Something about living in da past, or creating da future, but it lost me when dey was driving up da road to get dere. So I just hung around and watched dem shoot it as an exercise in observational.
Alright, you, in da yellow jump suit.
Father Murphy, blessings to you. I'm Hank, from the construction crew working outside. I just happened to wander in on my break and have enjoyed your presentation. But listen, I didn't hear you talk about Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange", maybe his most disturbing but supremely psychologically engrossing film. Did you have anything to do with the production of that picture? Thank you.
Wat, ya gettin paid overtime for dis praddle? "Clockworkers Orange", yeah, dat one was just goofy. It was 'bout a gang of jollywompers dressed ta da nines in orange and wearin' round black hats who'd come up and stomp bums to death. Da whole time dese psychotelepaths got accompanied by classical music an classy camera angles. What Stanley did dere was ta try ta break da violence barrier. To peel back da brain of a psychopath and show youse da deranged animal sittin' dere inside, like dat Vatican researcher who's been lookin for da holy grail just ta take a piss in it. But "A Clock's Orange" drove lots of England's talented young psychopaths into such a lather dat Stanley pulled da picture outta circulation, and wouldn't allow it to be shown in da U.K. until after he died. Even den he wasn't too happy 'bout it. I talked Stanley into letting it run in da rest of da world though. "Give da devil his due" I told him, and he did dat. Alright, you, da skin and bones hanging off ya dere.
My weight is the result of my being a nun of the Abstainian Order, which allows us one communion wafer and half a cantaloupe a day. Due to this I am not long for this world. But in the time I do have left there is one movie I would like to see, Spartacus, and I would like your holy take on it.
Jesus, sister, chow down a chicken or something. I can see thru ya ribs poking ya in da back dere. You're as retarded as my last blow job - da kid thought I said crow job and covered himself in black feathers and made me throw corn at him. It's a joke, a joke people! Touchy liberatareans. But ya, ya, Spartacus, dat was Kirk Douglas prancing around pretending he was a slave and den getting all dese other slaves to revolt. Baloney! In real life da boys would have mowed 'em down and hung dere heads on pikes leading into da city. Have ya seen Kirk Douglas lately? Looks like his head is already hung on a pike, and he's still moving around under it.
Thank you Father, for giving us your kind memories of a wonderful man, Stanley Kubrick.
Ya ain't heard a word I said, have ya? O'Malley, dese brownies is makin' me see angels and demons, or maybe dats just dose Olsen twins. Grab my coat and da boy, we're outta here.