A few weeks ago Warner Brothers announced a May 31 release date for the Stanley Kubrick Limited Edition Collection on Blu-ray. The set will include all the Kubrick films previously released on Blu-ray and adds 3 more jewels in the crown, MIA until now. Lolita and Barry Lyndon have been remastered and the set will include the 2001 documentary biography, Kubrick: A Life in Pictures. Held off posting this news because I don’t want to go overboard with the Blu-ray fetishism. But today ran across the brochure for the British Film Institute’s upcoming tribute to Ken Adam, Kubrick’s preeminent production designer, so the news of the box-set now has more artistic relevance. (Earlier DVD editions of Barry Lyndon couldn’t do justice to the shadowy flicker of the delicate candlelit atmosphere.)
Nathan Crowley on Barry Lyndon
Sir Ken Adam is perhaps best known for his ability to create scale using singular set pieces that are so memorable that they infect the character of the whole film. Barry Lyndon does not rely on this singular moment but instead portrays life in the late 1800s, gently immersing you in a time and period that feels
The film builds in scale with ever increasing complication through a series of misfortunes that start humbly in rural Ireland, massing into the decadence of the 1880s. Interiors complement the landscapes with a level of artistic composition and precision.
The film is full of imagery that helps describe the emotion and period of the film, none more than: ‚ÄúBarry‚Äôs daily walk at Sir Charles Lyndon‚Äôs house in the gardens‚Äù towards the end of the film, where the bleakness of finally reaching his goals with the coldness of the walk contrasts with an empty feeling of loneliness and meaningless in his pursuit which led him here, not to mention the cost in betrayal, violence, love and jealousy.
It‚Äôs a marvellous piece of design that continues to be part of one of my favourite films and offers great inspiration when embarking on new projects.
Crowley was BAFTA-nominated for his work on Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008)
Nathan Crowley talks about Dr Strangelove after the cut, where you’ll find more details about the Blu-rays.
Jim Clay on Dr Strangelove
Some years ago I found myself in Stanley Kubrick‚Äôs kitchen discussing the work of Ken Adam on Kubrick‚Äôs past films. It was the early pre-production days of Eyes Wide Shut and Stanley had asked me to be his production designer; daunting on many levels but not least because I was stepping into the shoes of Ken
Adam whose work I had admired for so long.
The pressure on me was short lived ‚Äì one month later I was fired and my admiration for Ken doubled immediately. Adam‚Äôs War Room for Dr Strangelove has held iconic and inspirational status with
filmmakers and cinema devotees alike for the last 48 years. The visual power and awe-inspiring scale of this subterranean bunker so enhances and supports the narrative it has been drawn upon and copied many times but never matched.
In this strangely elegant space, the creation of a circular and horizontal band of light draws a low and ominous horizon line across the conference table below, thereby illuminating the absurdity of the ensuing
debate. The massive maps float above, ever illustrating the unstoppable advance of the bombers and imposing the cathedral-like proportion of the space.
The absolute purity of this concept is design at its highest and most memorable level.
Clay won BAFTAs for his work on Children Of Men (2006) and Christabel (1988) and was nominated for The Singing Detective (1986).
(Kubrcik first became acquainted with Ken Adam through his work on Dr No and other Bond films. (supersize)
More Blu-ray details as they emerge, but here’s what to expect on the new disc for A Clockwork Orange.
A Clockwork Orange 40th Anniversary Edition
Special features include:
- Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and historian Nick Redman
- Malcolm McDowell Looks Back: Malcolm McDowell reflects on his experience working with legendary director Stanley Kubrick on one of the seminal films of the 1970s (new)
- Turning like Clockwork: the film’s ultra-violence and its cultural impact (new)
- Still Tickin’: The Return of Clockwork Orange
- Great Bolshy Yarblockos!: Making A Clockwork Orange
- Theatrical Trailer
- Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures: Kubrick’s career comes into sharp focus in this compelling documentary narrated by Tom Cruise. Fascinating footage glimpses Kubrick in his early years, at work on film sets and at home, augmented by candid commentary from collaborators, colleagues and family (new to Blu-ray)
- O Lucky Malcolm!: Documentary about the life and career of actor Malcolm McDowell produced and directed by Jan Harlan
The 40th Anniversary Edition will be packaged in a 40-page Blu-ray Book with rare photos, production notes and more.