Blog

Apr 14

Stanley Kubrick & his long lost LUNATIC AT LARGE, Starring Scar Jo

A "lost" Stanley Kubrick treatment, LUNATIC AT LARGE, was discarded in
the sixties but will now make it to the big screen, with Scarlett
Johansson and Sam Rockwell on board to star in the film. The story, set
in 1956, revolves around a former carnival worker living in New York,
who befriends an attractive barfly. According to The Guardian, the
audience "must try to work out which of the characters is an axe
murderer escaped from an asylum" (more). YES!

Stanley
Kubrick's son in law, Philip Hobbs, rediscovered the lost treatment
over a decade ago while cleaning out Kubrick's estate. "I knew what it
was right away," Hobbs said in an interview with THE NEW YORK TIMES.
"Because I remember Stanley talking about Lunatic. He was always saying
he wished he knew where it was, because it was such a great idea" (more). Apparently,
Kubrick was a packrat who didn't like to discard anything, but he was
also disorganized and failed to maintain an effective filing system. As
he moved from Hollywood to London in 1962, a number of his projects
went astray, including LUNATIC AT LARGE. Luckily, Kubrick's story will become known to his fans soon
enough.

Kubrick is widely recognized as one of the most
influential and progressive filmmakers in history. He was, as his
anyone who knew him describes, a stubborn and obsessive perfectionist.
As such, his surrealistic and provocative films reflect Kubrick's
meticulous attention to detail. If you haven't seen ALL of the titles
below, you are surely missing out on a crucial chunk of film history.
Be sure to visit (or revisit) them!

You'll never be able to get these twins out of your head! Never!

THE SHINING (1980)
From
a script he co-adapted from the Stephen King novel, Kubrick melds vivid
performances, menacing settings, dreamlike tracking shots and shock
after shock into a milestone of the macabre. In a signature role, Jack
Nicholson ("Heeeere's Johnny!") plays Jack Torrance, who's come to the
elegant, isolated Overlook Hotel as off-season caretaker with his wife
and son. Torrance has never been there before - or has he? The answer
lies in a ghostly time warp of madness and murder. Roger Ebert wrote on
the film in 2006, "In a snowbound hotel, three people descend into
versions of madness or psychic terror and we cannot depend on any of
them for an objective view of what happens. It is this elusive
open-endedness that makes Kubrick's film so strangely disturbing."

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)
VARIETY
calls this important 1970's film "a brilliant nightmare". Derby-topped
teddy-boy hooligan Alex has his own way of having a good time - at the
tragic expense of others. His journey from amoral punk to brainwashed
proper citizen and back again forms the dynamic arc of Kubrick's
future-shock vision of Anthony Burgess' novel. Controversial when first
released, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE won New York Film Critics Best Picture and
Director awards and earned four Oscar nominations, including best
picture. Its power still entices, shocks and holds us in its grasp.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

What
many consider to be one of the greatest films ever made, 2001 needs no
introduction, but here goes: A mysterious black monolith appears at the
dawn of man to educate a group of apes. In modern times, the monolith
is found again, unearthed on the moon. It sends a strange signal to
Jupiter, and a group of astronauts travel to that planet to learn more.
Unfortunately, their on-board computer goes...a little crazy. Human
evolution and artificial intelligence mixed with a little bit of
surrealism? Yes please.

DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
Kubrick's
black comedy classic about an "accidental" nuclear attack received four
Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, 1964). Convinced the Commies
want to pollute America's "precious bodily fluids," a crazed general
orders a nuclear air strike on the U.S.S.R. As his aide, Captain
Mandrake, scrambles to unlock a recall code to prevent the bombing, the
U.S. President calls a drunken Soviet Premier on the hotline claiming
the proposed attack is all a silly mistake, while the President's
advisor (an ex-Nazi scientist) Dr. Strangelove verifies the existence
of a dreaded Doomsday Machine -- a retaliatory device designed by the
Soviets to end the human race once and for all! The film has been
selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.