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"I just love the smell of gorilla spore, don't you?"  -Sigourney Weaver to Bryan Brown, while shooting Gorillas in the Mist.
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 

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One of his very first film achievements, Killer's Kiss was independently produced by Kubrick with money borrowed from friends. Foreshadowing the release of his horror epic, The Shining, this is a darkly broding tale about Davy Gordon, a down-on-his luck boxer who falls in love with a beautiful dancer working in a seedy nightclub. When they attempt to leave New York to start anew, Davy finds himself at odds with Vince, the club owner, and the scene is set for a bloody confrontation.

At Kubrick's insistence, the panning and tracking shots were filmed with a 25mm lens – the widest then available. One of the first films to successfully employ a non-linear storytelling technique, The Killing is billed as one of the greatest crime thrillers ever made. When ex-con Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) plans a daring racetrack robbery, he looks forward to a life of fortune. But he hasn't counted on dames like Sherry Peatty (Marie Windsor) – a money hungry vixen who has devious plans of her own.

Kirk Douglas plays Colonel Dax, a French General Staffer who has been ordered to 'take the Ant Hill at any cost'. But Dax knows it's a suicide mission and when three soldiers are charged with cowardice and mutiny for avoiding the fray, he is enlisted to fight the un-winnable fight and help save them from the firing squad. Regarded as the masterpiece of anti-war films, Paths of Glory still stands as one of the best films in this genre.

The original and still the best, Vladimir Nabokov personally adapted his most controversial novel for this Kubrick classic. James Masin stars as the sexually obsessed writer who weds Charlotte (Shelley Winters) to satisfy an unhealthy desire for her teenage daughter Lolita (Sue Lyon). Matching him at each twist and turn, Peter Sellers also stars as the doomed chameleon Clare Quilty.

Proclaimed by Steven Spielberg as the formative 'Big Bang' of his filmaking generation, this is regarded by most as Kubrick's master work, for which he won an Academy Award. Dazzling in its visual effects, this futuristic take on man's place in the universe was years ahead of its time, forever breaching the boundaries of what 'could be' in the world of film.

In a total break from the accepted technique for film lighting, Kubrick made the whole film using the natural (candle) light of the period. The result is lush, drawing parallels with his early work as a photographer for Look magazine. Ryan O'Neal stars as an 18th Century lad, determined to achieve status via every means at his disposal.

Co-adapted for the screen by the master of horror himself, Stephen King, this suspense-filled horror epic gave Jack Nicholson ("Heeeere's Johnny!") one of his most famous characters to date. As the menacing Jack Torrance, he plays to the hilt the role of a man driven mad by the demons that lurk in his winter idle. Shelly Duval plays Jack's terrified wife.

Hailed as the definitive comment on America's waterloo – the Vietnam War – this is the last film Kubrick made before Eyes Wide Shut. A harrowing account starring Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dorian Harewood and Arliss Howard, Full Metal Jacket pays no homage to the 'heroism' of war. Using a real ex-marine (Lee Ermey) to play the savage drill sergeant, Kubrick pulls no punches as he takes you from the rigours of basic training to the hell of actual combat.

DR STRANGELOVE (OR: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.)
Peter Sellers plays three characters in this brilliant black comedy apout a bunch of military men planning a nuclear apocalypse.

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The Kubrick Collection
Available from July 1999
Warner Home Video
$19.95 each ($29.95 on DVD*)


Killer’s Kiss
The Killing
Paths of Glory
2001: A Space Odyssey
Barry Lyndon *
The Shining *
Full Metal Jacket *
Dr Strangelove * (courtesy Columbia Tri Star Home Video)

VHS Box set: last six titles – RRP $79.95


See Andrew L. Urban's FEATURE on the Kubrick Video Collection

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