The Underseen Barry LyndonSo you've seen Barry Lyndon, the Stanley Kubrick film? Really? Oh, c'mon, really? Seriously? I'll bet most people haven't.
Barry Lyndon isn't 2001 or The Shining or Dr. Strangelove which is pretty remarkable since it's a faithful and stunning re-creation of a Thackeray novel. This means a viewer will be seeing a lot of periwigged, fluffy-shirted nobles conniving in the reign of King George III so non-tea lovers might want to avoid it. There are other viewing hurdles as well. I mean, sure, it's 3 hours long and could've used Christopher Doyle as a DP but it's always been for me a remarkable and engrossing film. Things to love?
- Given his perfect-for-Disney-filmstrips voice, Michael Hordern is the BEST NARRATOR EVER.
- The robbery scene is always funny, always. ("I'm afraid we must get on to the more regrettable stage of our brief acquaintance".)
- The final duel in the dovecote.
- Cinephile much? Then you have to see any of the card games with the fops.
SMUGLY, THE INTERVIEWER: The danger in an historical film is that you lose yourself in details and become decorative.Like others (reportedly) I think Ryan O'Neal was a bit miscast but I'm a poor judge, I think, since my introduction to his work as an artist was The Main Event, a boxing movie with Barbra Streisand whose tagline reads "a glove story." (Seriously.) I'd still watch Lyndon again, though, if I had 3 hours of contiguous non-work, non-music time. Maybe in 2008.
KUBRICK, WHO SOUNDS A LOT LIKE AN ENGINEER: The danger connected with any multi-faceted problem is that you might pay too much attention to some of the problems to the detriment of others, but I am very conscious of this and I make sure I don't do that.
Pound for pound and silhouette for silhouette, Barry Lyndon has what might be my favorite movie poster ever.