Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Great Stasis

Nicole Kidman has recently written an article discussing Stanley Kubrick and her work with him on Eyes Wide Shut I read to-day. It's not particularly illuminating, as might be indicated from this bit I found rather amusing;

[Kubrick] said: "Never put me on a pedestal. When someone's on a pedestal, there's no creativity." That's how I approach every creative person now -- it does not help to glorify them.

I see Stanley as a great philosopher of the human condition, like Socrates was in his time. That's what von Trier, Daldry, Campion and Stanley are.

I never praise anyone hugely because I was told not to by the greatest man who ever lived!

I found the preceding bit a little more interesting, though;

People have asked me if Stanley ever told us what Eyes Wide Shut was about -- and the answer is no. He didn't believe in interpretation. He always said, "Never say no to an idea -- you never know how that idea will ignite another idea."

Sounds more like Kubrick was saying he didn't believe in nailing a work down to a specific interpretation, but in any case, it reminds me of the line from Oscar Wilde; "When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself."

I thought about that line last night when I was looking at the Wikipedia entry for Hostel, the Eli Roth film, after watching it for the first time in years. I'm so used to defending the movie to people who've never seen it that I suppose it's natural I found it a little underwhelming--a lot of it feels very young, as though it was made by a director still pretty new to this filmmaking business. Mainly in the oddly robust score and the sometimes stiff, self-conscious dialogue. Yet it's also in this dialogue that we can see a filmmaker with intelligent ideas who's endeavouring to use the medium in order to explore them, rather than making the cheap horror show so many people accuse him of doing.

The movie has one of the things I think is often essential to good horror movies--guilty protagonists or protagonists with a certain amount of deep psychological uncertainty about themselves. In this case it's the former--guilty protagonists. There's not really a lot of self analysis going on, but the equation is simple enough for the audience to see--Americans going to Europe with the idea of exploiting the foreign women for cheap sex have the tables turned on them when their own flesh is bought for carnal exploitation. Good horror stories are often about the guilty being punished a bit more than they deserve--this is true in examples as diverse as Psycho and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

I've decided I'm going to only watch horror movies between now and Halloween.

Twitter Sonnet #439: Vengeance Edition

Spoiled gummi bears step in the saloon.
Runny raiment flesh marked fixed flagellants.
Bourbon wood walls like a teenage balloon
Formed the tacky snow globe of vigilance.
Skinless globes work down the sink disposer.
Continents never break for the suction.
Obsession glazes the perfume poseur.
Laser men are invited to luncheon.
Low slung wigs water down the blank pistol.
Mushroom caps with faces scream every way.
Slack roots start to writhe on a deep missile.
Exploding wallpaper cons Michael Bay.
Ragtime shredded pots join the confetti.
Pepper pistols have no longevity.

No comments:

Post a Comment