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(Some Droog)   Stanley Kubrick was a perfectionist, as seen in his 10-point letter sent to projectionists specifying the number of feet of film for the intermission, the proper aspect ratio, and how many foot-lamberts of light should be on screen   (somecamerunning.typepad.com) divider line 10
    More: Cool, Stanley Kubrick, aspect ratio, Barry Lyndon, Gangs of New York, hack writers, Nice Work, McCormick, John Malkovich  
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3257 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 15 Jun 2012 at 3:07 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-15 08:05:44 AM
3 votes:
And now he's dead. That should serve as a lesson for people who are obsessed with detail.
2012-06-15 11:12:32 AM
2 votes:

Allansfirebird: It's possible that Kubrick liked the fact that the prop, that had already been made when the switch from Cinerama to Super Panavision occurred, just happened to be near the same proportion. It was more likely one of the rare happy coincidences in SK's films.

I think, if anything, Kubrick would've designed the entire movie for a square ratio film. He always preferred the academy ratio to widescreen.

IIRC, the monolith was supposed to have a mirrored finish with the same proportions. But, after camera tests, they decided that it would be near impossible to film. That's when they decided to make it flat black.


While the the monolith's face isn't quite the same ratio as that of the film, its rectangular shape is certainly a veiled reference to the film frame, and there are numerous other rectangular shapes in the film which riff on the theme. In particular, the rectangular housing which encloses HAL's cyclopean red eye is identical in proportion to the monolith. The white "windows" and tables in the conference room at Clavius are similarly proportioned, as are the funny zero-g toilet instructions on the shuttle, and various other architectural elements in the man-made bases.

In general, the rectangle seems to be shorthand for technological intent, and the monolith may even be an extremely reductive representation of humanity--an upright form set apart from the natural world by its self-awareness. On the other hand, circular forms also abound in the film--the ringed space station, the moon-bound shuttle, Discovery's main cabin, the pods, HAL's eye, the planets themselves. Curiously, Arthur C. Clarke's short story, "The Sentinel," upon which 2001 is based, had the monolith depicted as a pyramid.

As for why the monolith is the precise size it is, Clarke (and possibly Kubrick) decided that its dimensions should be the squares of the first three integers: 1x1=1, 2x2=4, 3x3=9, apparently to encode some mathematical intent signifying precision and intelligence to whoever would find it. So the 4x9 proportion of the largest face works out to 2.25:1, as Mr. Potatoass pointed out above, which is very close to a few of the standard film ratios. Kubrick would certainly have loved this, and the scene where Bowman approaches the giant Jupiter monolith in the pod plays with this visually, as the flat monolith rotates to occupy much of the widescreen frame.

This is almost certainly the only Fark post I've written containing math, zero-g toilet instructions, and the words "cyclopean" and "potatoass."
2012-06-15 04:20:20 AM
2 votes:

skepticultist: I'm not sure what's "cool" about being anal-retentive.


Are you sure that term is hyphenated?
2012-06-15 01:04:50 PM
1 votes:
Foot-lamberts?

ny-image2.etsy.com

obscure?
2012-06-15 11:17:57 AM
1 votes:
I saw Barry Lyndon when it first came out. My young teen friends and I went because we heard there were naughty bits, as I recall (and I had loved Kubric since simce seeing 2001 with my dad when it came out). Barry Lyndon was LONG. But I remember it being beautifully filmed. That really stood out.
2012-06-15 10:07:04 AM
1 votes:

velvet_fog: If only that perfectionism had translated into making a halfway decent movie. Barry Lyndon was the first really bad movie he ever made and only outdone in its awfulness by Eyes Wide Shut. And I have to say Full Metal Jacket is one of the most disappointing movies ever made and rightfully overshadowed by Apocalypse Now and Platoon. It's not terrible--it's just so mediocre and underwhelming. And it's amazing that the guy who made Paths of Glory could make such a boring war movie that really does nothing that hasn't been done better in several other war movies.


Thank you, Armond White.
2012-06-15 08:39:13 AM
1 votes:
Film A S P E C T

Find out what it means to me.
2012-06-15 03:32:48 AM
1 votes:

stoli n coke: Fair_Poopsmith: The My Little Pony Killer: Also why he made somebody hand type (typewrite?) each and every page of Jack Nicholson's manuscript in The Shining. No Xerox there.

The way that scene turned out, I would not be surprised if "somebody" was Jack Nicholson.

/kurbick

That's probably what he was typing during all his writing scenes. Add that Kubrick probably made him do each take 30 or 40 times, and the prop problem takes care of itself.


Also, the murderous rage problem.
2012-06-15 03:27:11 AM
1 votes:

Fair_Poopsmith: The My Little Pony Killer: Also why he made somebody hand type (typewrite?) each and every page of Jack Nicholson's manuscript in The Shining. No Xerox there.

The way that scene turned out, I would not be surprised if "somebody" was Jack Nicholson.

/kurbick


That's probably what he was typing during all his writing scenes. Add that Kubrick probably made him do each take 30 or 40 times, and the prop problem takes care of itself.
2012-06-15 03:22:22 AM
1 votes:
I'm not sure what's "cool" about being anal-retentive.
 
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