Kubrick's swiping from other films

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jerrythenerdswahili

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Jul 20, 2005, 7:52:07 AM7/20/05
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Seeing the other thread about Warhol's VINYL prompted me to mention one
of my favorite recently seen films: FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES by Toshio
Matsumoto, which Kubrick *undoubtedly* saw and emulated in CLOCKWORK
ORANGE...

I counted no less than three specific scenes/tecniques that he lifted:
Alex's march through the circular shopping center, the girls with the
popsicles, the 3-way in alex's bedroom with sped-up music, the
straight-ahead shot of the Droogs walking beside the pool in the plaza,
the subsequent fight, the strange electronic music, etc.

This is beyond coincidence and very disorienting (and more than a
little disappointing) to see... it makes me wonder what other
little-known films he might have cribbed from? I remember reading
somewhere that he stole parts of FULL METAL JACKET from another
japanese film, but I cannot recall the name (?)

For what it's worth, FPOR is an amazing film on its own merits, truly
one of the best Japanese films of the 60s and worth looking at if you
can find it (and maybe other filmmakers don't want you to see it? I
also noticed specific scenes ripped off by Van Zant for PRIVATE IDAHO
and Lynch for ELEPHANT MAN).

Mikko Pihkoluoma

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Jul 20, 2005, 10:02:06 AM7/20/05
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I searched www.dvd-basen.dk, and apparently you can order this film on
dvd from www.amazon.co.jp. The reviews say the transfer is of good quality.

http://www.dvd-basen.dk/uk/home.php3?search=Funeral+Parade+of+Roses&land=%25&ok=go&mvis=ok&region=%25

http://tinyurl.com/bj4bf


http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000194U0G/qid%3D1121867927/249-4288698-0816358

http://tinyurl.com/9sjpb

--
mikko dot pihkoluoma at helsinki dot fi

"Coffee? I don't want coffee. To talk about my lousy films I need more
than coffee."
- Aki Kaurismäki, http://tinyurl.com/alfp5

ichorwhip

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Jul 21, 2005, 9:53:31 PM7/21/05
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jerrythenerdswahili wrote:

> Seeing the other thread about Warhol's VINYL prompted me to mention one
> of my favorite recently seen films: FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES by Toshio
> Matsumoto, which Kubrick *undoubtedly* saw and emulated in CLOCKWORK
> ORANGE...
>

> I counted no less than three specific scenes/techniques that he lifted:


> Alex's march through the circular shopping center, the girls with the
> popsicles, the 3-way in alex's bedroom with sped-up music, the
> straight-ahead shot of the Droogs walking beside the pool in the plaza,
> the subsequent fight, the strange electronic music, etc.
>
> This is beyond coincidence and very disorienting (and more than a
> little disappointing) to see...

I don't know about the disappointing part. I haven't seen this film,
but I'm interested even though it sounds about as perverse and wicked
as it gets. A DVD is currently up for grabs on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6415744088&category=617&ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1

The description pretty much sizes up what sort of film to expect
particularily the twisted Oedipus parody in which the protagonist kills
his mother and sleeps with his father. How delightful... even
whimsical... Nevertheless I'm tempted to snatch it up just to see with
my own two glazz-balls what it's like. Who knows? Maybe I'll want to
gouge my own eyes out.

I can't remember reading anything about Kubrick being influenced by it,
but it sounds certain. I doubt Kubrick purposively "lifted" the scenes
you mention with the intention of deceiving viewers into thinking it
was altogether his original concept. In this view, the scenes were
homages to a rather sick and obscure Japanese film. I wish I knew
more. Maybe someone else will step forward and clarify a few things.
Katharina?

>it makes me wonder what other
> little-known films he might have cribbed from? I remember reading
> somewhere that he stole parts of FULL METAL JACKET from another
> japanese film, but I cannot recall the name (?)

I think that's a bit disingenuous. Kubrick acknowledged influences.
Calling him a thief is a bit extreme I think. Most of the time
"thieves" are "stealing" from Kubrick.

> For what it's worth, FPOR is an amazing film on its own merits, truly
> one of the best Japanese films of the 60s and worth looking at if you
> can find it (and maybe other filmmakers don't want you to see it? I
> also noticed specific scenes ripped off by Van Zant for PRIVATE IDAHO
> and Lynch for ELEPHANT MAN).

Well I'm curious to see it. It can be found. Sounds like it's a
highly influential film.

"Maybe you better get a confirmation from base."
ichorwhip
"peace is our profession"

jerrythenerdswahili

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Jul 22, 2005, 5:34:51 AM7/22/05
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I want to be clear that I'm not disparaging Kubrick in any way -- he
will always be my favorite filmmaker... It's just fascinating to find
that even he wasn't above outright borrowing from other films. I can
only assume he admired FPOR; I'm sure he didn't swipe these scenes to
"deceive" anybody... though I do find it troubling that so few people
have seen Matsumoto's film, because it's a genuinely great work of art.

And I do clearly recall reading that much of FULL METAL JACKET was
lifted from another Japanese film; in fact I'm almost sure I read it on
this forum many years ago. And, again, I don't say any of this to
discredit one of the best films of the 1980s -- I just want to find out
what film is being referred to so I can see it.

Some links to reviews of FPOR:

http://www.supersphere.com/MediaMix/Review.html?ID=ROSES

http://www.thegline.com/dvd-of-the-week/2004/03-28-2004.htm

http://www.mondo-digital.com/roses.html

http://www.modemac.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl/Funeral_Parade_of_Roses

http://www.devildead.com/indexfilm.php3?FilmID=1069

http://www.mastersofcinema.org/reviews/overlooked.htm

Boaz

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Jul 22, 2005, 12:48:44 PM7/22/05
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> jerrythewondernerdswahili wrote:
>
> > Seeing the other thread about Warhol's VINYL prompted me to mention one
> > of my favorite recently seen films: FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES by Toshio
> > Matsumoto, which Kubrick *undoubtedly* saw and emulated in CLOCKWORK
> > ORANGE...

Looks like I inadvertenly opened the floodgates here. ;-)

> > I counted no less than three specific scenes/techniques that he lifted:
> > Alex's march through the circular shopping center, the girls with the
> > popsicles, the 3-way in alex's bedroom with sped-up music, the
> > straight-ahead shot of the Droogs walking beside the pool in the plaza,
> > the subsequent fight, the strange electronic music, etc.

Lifted, or looking at it and perhaps thinking, "Hey, I'd like to try
that." Kubrick has said in interviews after ACO came out that he was
trying to find a cinematic equivalent to the style of the language
Burgess used in the novel. There is nothing wrong about seeing some
experimental techniques from one film and deciding that perhaps some of
that can work in something another filmmaker is working on. It's
already been pointed out long ago that Kubrick was influenced by some
of the experimental films of the '60s for the Stargate sequence in
"2001." I see nothing wrong in bringing some techniques from obscure
films and introducing them into the mainstream. It's one way of
breaking down some of the barriers of "old fashioned" filmmaking some
of the people in the '60s still subscribed to.

> > This is beyond coincidence and very disorienting (and more than a
> > little disappointing) to see...

Why disappointing? Filmmakers are always borrowing from other
filmmakers. After D. W. Griffith it was fair game.

> I don't know about the disappointing part. I haven't seen this film,
> but I'm interested even though it sounds about as perverse and wicked
> as it gets. A DVD is currently up for grabs on eBay:
>
> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6415744088&category=617&ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1
>
> The description pretty much sizes up what sort of film to expect
> particularily the twisted Oedipus parody in which the protagonist kills
> his mother and sleeps with his father. How delightful... even
> whimsical... Nevertheless I'm tempted to snatch it up just to see with
> my own two glazz-balls what it's like. Who knows? Maybe I'll want to
> gouge my own eyes out.

LOL! One may as well assume that Matsumoto was influenced by the novels
of Yukio Mishima, which often had strong Oedipal themes in them, as
well as kinky sex, transgender sex, homosexuality and the
live-fast-die-young-and-leave-a-beautiful-corpse-behind mindset. This
film came out in 1969, which is the same year Mishima committed
seppuku, so his novels had been out for many years prior to that. He
also wrote plays and made experimental films, all dealing with the same
themes. Now who's lifting from whom?

> I can't remember reading anything about Kubrick being influenced by it,
> but it sounds certain. I doubt Kubrick purposively "lifted" the scenes
> you mention with the intention of deceiving viewers into thinking it
> was altogether his original concept. In this view, the scenes were
> homages to a rather sick and obscure Japanese film. I wish I knew
> more. Maybe someone else will step forward and clarify a few things.
> Katharina?

I hope she can too. In the mean time, I notice that "Peter" is the lead
in the film, based on the articles from the links in the other post.
So, does that mean Kurosawa was also influenced by this film? After
all, he also praised ACO as one of the best films he'd ever seen! And
Kurosawa used "Peter" in his film "Ran." As soon as I saw that name in
the first review the red flag went up. One may as well point an
accusing finger at Cronenberg too. His film "M Butterfly" involves
Jeremy Irons having a fling with a Chinese transvestite, and he never
finds out until some years later(!) What did Irons' character do, fuck
this guy in the ass without the goddamn common courtesy to give him a
reacharound? ;-)

I agree with you, Ich, I too think this is being very disingenuous to
even suggest Kubrick "stole" ideas from this film. Yes, there perhaps
are some influences, some of which Ken Russell would have had a field
day with too. But all filmmakers are influenced by other filmmakers;
it's a given. And then you point out, Ich, that the film uses themes
Sophocles presented in "Oedipus Rex," which was some twenty-five
hundred years ago!

> >it makes me wonder what other
> > little-known films he might have cribbed from? I remember reading
> > somewhere that he stole parts of FULL METAL JACKET from another
> > japanese film, but I cannot recall the name (?)
>
> I think that's a bit disingenuous. Kubrick acknowledged influences.
> Calling him a thief is a bit extreme I think. Most of the time
> "thieves" are "stealing" from Kubrick.

I agree, Ich. I'd like to know what that Japanese film was that Kubrick
allegedly "stole" from for FMJ. I have never heard anyone here on AMK
complaining that Kubrick "stole" from Peckinpah for the scenes in FMJ
where the sniper picks off Eighball and Doc Jay. The slow motion
photography as the two are shot, the blood bursts in slow motion, the
cutting away to another shot or two before cutting back to the body
still twisting and contorting, not yet hitting the ground, was all done
by Peckinpah in "The Wild Bunch" in 1969! And then Peckinpah copied
himself on practically every film he made after that! And Peckinpah got
many of his ideas from Kurosawa! (e.g., "Seven Samurai")

And if that isn't enough, Spielberg "stole" from Kubrick many of the
setups from FMJ to use in "Saving Private Ryan," including the streaked
effect from the stutter blade being deliberately adjusted to be out of
synch. Then Spielberg used a narrow shutter blade for some of the
action in order to enhance the jumpy, jerky sense of chaos in front of
the camera (showing the clods of dirt instead of blurs when the dirt
flies in the air). And then Ridley Scott stole from that in his films,
starting with "Gladiator."

Most recently, Tim Burton used footage from "2001" for a visual gag in
his "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Of the hundreds upon hundreds
of films Burton could have used as a reference to show how Willy Wonka
could "transport" a chocolate bar into an image on a TV as a sight gag,
he nevertheless chose a film that is, at this time, thirty-seven years
old! This is older than the age of the so-called "demographics" of the
audiences films today are aimed at! Yet Burton knew that audiences are
still aware of "2001," and knew they would get the reference.

> > For what it's worth, FPOR is an amazing film on its own merits, truly
> > one of the best Japanese films of the 60s and worth looking at if you
> > can find it (and maybe other filmmakers don't want you to see it? I
> > also noticed specific scenes ripped off by Van Zant for PRIVATE IDAHO
> > and Lynch for ELEPHANT MAN).

Such as...?

> Well I'm curious to see it. It can be found. Sounds like it's a
> highly influential film.

I'd like to see it as well. I'm sure I'll find scenes that influenced
other filmmakers, such as Tarantino. One should commend Kubrick for
having done this for mainstream filmmaking, rather than accuse him of
being this cinematic emperor with no clothes. How many other filmmakers
would have had the audacity to introduce into a mainstream studio film
techniques that are usually only found in underground and experimental
films that only a handful of students and film afficianados would see?
How many people would have had the audacity to make a film version of a
novel like A Clockwork Orange and have it financed by a major studio?
The fact that the first attempt was indeed an experimental film by Andy
Warhol says something right there. But it was Kubrick who was able to
"crack the code," as it were, and present a cinematic interpretation
that even the experimentalists couldn't achieve! But does he get credit
for that? No, he is merely accused of thievery, by what sounds like
someone going through his own Oedipal complex. ("Father?" "Yes, son?"
"I want to kill you!" "Mother, I want to...
aaaaaaauuuuuuuuggggghhhhhhhh fuck you allllll nighhhhhhhhht!") You say
you are disappointed, Jerry, but what I think the situation here is
that you are disillusioned. You thought Kubrick pulled everything out
of his own head to make ACO, did you not? His stuff was supposed to
have emerged full blown, like Athena from Zeus' skull? Did you ever
read the book? The story structure, the characters and most of the
dialogue came from that. I'm sure you will get over your "Catcher in
the Rye" syndrome and see that this "father figure" is not this sudden
"man of clay." That's what I am interpreting from your posts. And, by
the way, I also appreciate those links; the articles are much more
forgiving in their choice of words about FPOR being an influence on
Kubrick's ACO than what I seem to interpret from your posts. This is an
interesting find. Let's not spoil it with such words as "stolen."
"Emulated" is okay; "influenced" is better.

Boaz
("It's funny how the colours of the real world only seem really real
when you viddy them on the screen.")

jerrythenerdswahili

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Jul 22, 2005, 2:15:07 PM7/22/05
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Fuck you Boaz -- I've already said Kubrick is my favorite director of
all time (though I never in the least suggested he was infallable) so I
feel need to defend (or denigrate) him...

I'm merely fascinated by his influences, especially when it's a film as
remarkable as FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES, and especially when, as in this
case, the similarites are so striking, and yet so little has been said
about it. I've read hundreds of reviews of CLOCKWORK and not one ever
mentioned FPOR, so I thought it might be of interest to K's other
admirers, but it seems many of you in this newsgroup (which I have read
since its inception, though never posted to) have become like drunken
old men sitting on the same porch and yelling at passerby as the
senility sets in... Whatever, it's your loss.

I've already mentioned the scenes specific to Kubrick; Van Zant's use
of "stopping" the story and interviewing the "actors" is evident here
as well (and is especially relevant considering the ambiguous sexual
content of both PRIVATE IDAHO and FPOR) and ELEPHANT MAN's overhead
shot of the titular character's mother giving birth, swinging her head
left to right in excruciating slow-motion accompanied by a similarly
slowed down, groaning soundtrack is also here, plain as day.

As for your last paragraph: Get Bent.

Boaz

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Jul 22, 2005, 4:35:57 PM7/22/05
to
(jerrythenerdswahili shows his true colors here):

> Fuck you Boaz -- I've already said Kubrick is my favorite director of
> all time (though I never in the least suggested he was infallable) so I
> feel need to defend (or denigrate) him...

You "feel need to defend (or denigrate) him"? What's it going to be
then, eh? Here is what you said:

"I counted no less than three specific scenes/tecniques that he lifted:

Alex's march through the circular shopping center, the girls with the
popsicles, the 3-way in alex's bedroom with sped-up music, the
straight-ahead shot of the Droogs walking beside the pool in the plaza,

the subsequent fight, the strange electronic music, etc."

"Lifted"? You make it sound like Kubrick took this cavalier approach
and stole outright from Matsumoto's film. What's wrong with what he
did? You seem to be implying Kubrick did something wrong.

Then you said:

"This is beyond coincidence and very disorienting (and more than a

little disappointing) to see... it makes me wonder what other


little-known films he might have cribbed from?"

To me that sounds like your illusions about Kubrick were "shattered"
when you discovered he ("Oh, my God!!!") used material from SOMEONE
ELSE'S MOVIE to use in ACO!

> I'm merely fascinated by his influences, especially when it's a film as
> remarkable as FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES, and especially when, as in this
> case, the similarites are so striking, and yet so little has been said
> about it.

Well, it now sounds like a LOT is going to be said about it! ;-)

> I've read hundreds of reviews of CLOCKWORK and not one ever
> mentioned FPOR, so I thought it might be of interest to K's other
> admirers, but it seems many of you in this newsgroup (which I have read
> since its inception, though never posted to) have become like drunken
> old men sitting on the same porch and yelling at passerby as the
> senility sets in... Whatever, it's your loss.

You are a pedantic little shit, jerrytheswineherd. You try to cover
your tracks by claiming your "admiration" towards Kubrick, yet you act
like you just walked into your parents' bedroom while they were in the
middle of fucking when you discovered this obscure Japanese film has
material that had some influence on Kubrick when he was looking for a
visual style for ACO. If that's what you were trying to say, you didn't
do a very good job of it. Maybe you should have posted a long time ago
and worked on your communication skills a bit.

> I've already mentioned the scenes specific to Kubrick; Van Zant's use
> of "stopping" the story and interviewing the "actors" is evident here
> as well (and is especially relevant considering the ambiguous sexual
> content of both PRIVATE IDAHO and FPOR) and ELEPHANT MAN's overhead
> shot of the titular character's mother giving birth, swinging her head
> left to right in excruciating slow-motion accompanied by a similarly
> slowed down, groaning soundtrack is also here, plain as day.

So you have seen Van Zant and Lynch. Bully for you, kid! Have you read
the works of Mishima? Did you ever see the Paul Schrader film about the
life of Mishima? Have you ever seen films by filmmakers other than
Kubrick, Van Sant and Lynch? You sure don't sound like it! You come off
like some typical teenager who has limited his viewing habits to a
handful of "cult" films, among them ACO -- especially ACO (prolly
because you relate to the disaffected youth theme to it), and now you
can't decide whether Kubrick should be praised or damned because he
happened to "lift" material from this Japanese film to use in ACO.

> As for your last paragraph: Get Bent.

Oh, you mean where I say, "How many people would have had the audacity


to make a film version of a novel like A Clockwork Orange and have it
financed by a major studio? The fact that the first attempt was indeed
an experimental film by Andy Warhol says something right there. But it
was Kubrick who was able to 'crack the code,' as it were, and present a
cinematic interpretation that even the experimentalists couldn't
achieve!"

As for the rest of the paragraph, if the shit fits, wear it. I also say
some pretty interesting and intelligent stuff about Kurosawa and
Peckinpah. Don't try to play victim with me by erasing the entire
contents of my post in yours. Anyone with half a brain can read it and
see I am making sense. You fucked up in your initial post and now you
are trying to cover your pathetic little ass. If you could have talked
about it without suggesting Kubrick was "stealing material," it would
have been an interesting thread for discussion indeed. Even Ichorwhip
noticed your choice of words, such as "disappointing," and your
suggestion of Kubrick being a thief being, in his words, "extreme."

Boaz
("If it wasn't for dickheads like you, there wouldn't be any thievery
in this world, would there?")

ichorwhip

unread,
Jul 23, 2005, 12:34:50 AM7/23/05
to

Boaz wrote:
> > jerrythewondernerdswahili wrote:

<snip to a few details>

> I agree with you, Ich, I too think this is being very disingenuous to
> even suggest Kubrick "stole" ideas from this film. Yes, there perhaps
> are some influences, some of which Ken Russell would have had a field
> day with too.

Funny you mention Russell. Apparently he was once considered for
director of yet another production of ACO.

<snip>

> I have never heard anyone here on AMK
> complaining that Kubrick "stole" from Peckinpah for the scenes in FMJ

> where the sniper picks off Eightball and Doc Jay. The slow motion


> photography as the two are shot, the blood bursts in slow motion, the
> cutting away to another shot or two before cutting back to the body
> still twisting and contorting, not yet hitting the ground, was all done
> by Peckinpah in "The Wild Bunch" in 1969! And then Peckinpah copied
> himself on practically every film he made after that! And Peckinpah got
> many of his ideas from Kurosawa! (e.g., "Seven Samurai")

Of course when you bring up Peckinpah I think of "Cross of Iron" as
being one of his best films. Contained within it are some of the best
examples of the "ballet of death" that Peckinpah is renowned for. It's
just a stunning film layered in all manners of war's ugly face.

> And if that isn't enough, Spielberg "stole" from Kubrick many of the
> setups from FMJ to use in "Saving Private Ryan," including the streaked
> effect from the stutter blade being deliberately adjusted to be out of
> synch. Then Spielberg used a narrow shutter blade for some of the
> action in order to enhance the jumpy, jerky sense of chaos in front of
> the camera (showing the clods of dirt instead of blurs when the dirt
> flies in the air).

Yeah, and I'd say that those scenes in the D-Day invasion sequence are
the finest that Spielberg has ever managed. Too bad it goes downhill
from there.

"Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin."

jerrythenerdswahili

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Jul 23, 2005, 4:02:17 AM7/23/05
to
> So you have seen Van Zant and Lynch. Bully for you, kid! Have you read
> the works of Mishima? Did you ever see the Paul Schrader film about the
> life of Mishima? Have you ever seen films by filmmakers other than
> Kubrick, Van Sant and Lynch? You sure don't sound like it! You come off
> like some typical teenager who has limited his viewing habits to a
> handful of "cult" films, among them ACO -- especially ACO (prolly
> because you relate to the disaffected youth theme to it), and now you
> can't decide whether Kubrick should be praised or damned because he
> happened to "lift" material from this Japanese film to use in ACO.

CLOCKWORK is my least favorite of Kubrick's films for precisely the
reasons you suggest. Yes I've seen Schrader's MISHIMA, and read
Mishima's own work, and seen him in his own films (those he acted in as
well as adaptations of his work)... I don't really see any similarities
between any of Kubrick's work and that of Mishima, nor is there really
any similarity between Mishima's work and FPOR. If you want to jump
into a name-dropping contest, fine: I've also seen and admired the
works of Teshigahara, Terayama, Shindo, Shinoda, Ozu, Suzuki,
Kobayashi, Oshima, Ichikawa, Mizoguchi, Nakagawa, et-fucking-cetera.
Gee, I do so hope you're impressed. I've also read the original novel
by Burgess, and about half a dozen of his other books. Pretty
impressive, eh? I've also met Jan Harlan. Oooh! Yes, we all have
credentials here. I may not have "forum tenure" as you apparently do,
but it's a dubious distinction.

Look, this thread has become ridiculous -- however carelessly I might
have worded my initial post, these facts remain: I like Kubrick's work,
and assume others reading this board like it as well, and I can only
assume an yone with a serious interest in Kubrick's work would like to
see FPOR because Kubrick *did* copy scenes almost exactly from that
film... I don't care to put a label on that behavior at this point --
call it thievery, homage, coincidence, who cares. It's true and it
provides interesting points of comparison between the two works, and
possibly illuminates something of Kubrick's working methods, at least
during the making of CLOCKWORK.

And until any of you naysayers actually *see* the film, I'm the only
one here speaking with any sort of authority.

Mikko Pihkoluoma

unread,
Jul 23, 2005, 7:21:35 AM7/23/05
to
Seriously, what the fuck has happened to this newsgroup? I've been
reading this for six or seven years, and I don't think I've ever seen it
in as bad condition as it is now. Not even when lord whoever had his
prime time. Not even the worst of political crap... You can always avoid
reading some threads, but now that the regulars are trolling
continuously, I'm quite perplexed.

Someone actually comes in here and has found something new. And what
does he get? A treatment of verbal ultraviolence...

Yes, all artists are influenced by others... Don't you think it's more
than a little patronizing to think that jerry didn't know that? At least
he is someone who doesn't waste his time writing long posts in ngs, and
seeks out some little less known films than the canonized directors we
all here yap about out of our laziness to seek new things.

Equally patronizing is how people treat Matsumoto's film without seeing
it... Kubrick worked for a major company so naturally his films are more
worthy, and shouldn't be disparaged by using words such as "lift" or
"steal". ..I find this whole Kubrick-is-a-god defense mechanism rather
pointless. And that you pigeonholed jerry as a teenager who only watches
cult films, shows how limited your understanding of cinema is.

It all boils down to this sentence Boaz uttered:


> I see nothing wrong in bringing some techniques from obscure
> films and introducing them into the mainstream.

As hard as it might be for you to believe, some people who actually like
"underground" or experimental films, find this behavior disappointing.
Especially if one is not forthcoming about one's influences. The fact of
the matter is that Kubrick will be seen as the major innovator and
brilliant mind behind these ideas. I find that a little dishonest,
despite the well known fact that all artists are influenced by others.

That Boaz's whole snotty verbal assault came out of provocative choice
of words in the first post, makes this (my post included) rather futile.

iam...@hotmail.com

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Jul 23, 2005, 9:18:06 AM7/23/05
to

> credentials here. I may not have "forum tenure" as you apparently do,
> but it's a dubious distinction.
>

****
It's not only dubious. It was quite fashionable and pithy a few years
ago, and its still held dear in the hearts of the like minded!

Best,
Steve
*****

Boaz

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Jul 23, 2005, 2:14:14 PM7/23/05
to
Mikko Pihkoluoma wrote:

> It all boils down to this sentence Boaz uttered:
> > I see nothing wrong in bringing some techniques from obscure
> > films and introducing them into the mainstream.

Holy shit, man! How dare you try to foster the entire blame on me! I
have in the past made many an interesting and insightful post. You make
me out to be some fucking troll of the LB kind. I realize English is
not your first language; it's apparent you see my sarcasm as mean
spirited and not sarcastic humor. But I resent your lecturing me on
this.

> As hard as it might be for you to believe, some people who actually like
> "underground" or experimental films, find this behavior disappointing.

Then they'd better get used to it, because experimental techniques have
always found themselves in the mainstream after a while. Your sentence
suggests a kind of elitism on your own part, as if experimental films
are themselves sacrosanct. What happens, of course, that by putting
certain experimental techniques into the mainstream they become cliche.
That's a risk, but that's inevitable. I'm sure Warhol was aware of that
himself. Everything becomes cliche if they've been overused, and they
all become overused in the course of time. The example of the "2001"
reference in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is an example of a
great scene trivialized to the point of cliche. I don't just mean by
Tim Burton alone, but the numerous films and (especially) TV
commercials that have "lifted" bits and pieces from this scene (and
other parts of the film as well) for selling everything imaginable is,
I think, far worse than Kubrick "borrowing" a few bits from Matsumoto's


film to use in ACO.

As I pointed out with the Peckinpah/Kurosawa connection, everyone is
influenced in one way or another by another artist. The key element is
the director's own personal cinematic vision. Kubrick's vision has been
pretty consistent throughout his films. The fact that he may be
influenced by another person's film is, in my opinion, moot. He shows
his Kieslowski influence in EWS. He shows his Eisenstein influence in
the battle scene in "Spartacus." Yet his own cinematic view of mankind
and the world remains his own. I'm guessing that Kubrick used those
techniques from Matsumoto's film in ACO because they would fit in how
he was interpreting Burgess' novel, not because they would "look cool."

> Especially if one is not forthcoming about one's influences. The fact of
> the matter is that Kubrick will be seen as the major innovator and
> brilliant mind behind these ideas. I find that a little dishonest,
> despite the well known fact that all artists are influenced by others.

And what do you expect Kubrick and other artists to do, place little
acknowledgements at the end of their films, thanking such other
filmmakers as Matsumoto for inspriring them, or for borrowing their
techniques for their own films?

What I find much worse than artists like Kubrick "borrowing" from
filmmakers as Matsumoto, Peckinpah and Kieslowski are the filmmakers
who have no real vision; I'm talking about producers and directors of
both studio projects or low budget productions who take materials from
other films for their own movies because they have no fucking ideas at
all! They are strictly out to make money and they couldn't give to
shits about art or artistry. But they are not above "stealing" from
great films because they think that's going to make their wretched
projects look more like a movie.

> That Boaz's whole snotty verbal assault came out of provocative choice
> of words in the first post, makes this (my post included) rather futile.

> >>Fuck you Boaz -- I've already said Kubrick is my favorite director of


> >>all time (though I never in the least suggested he was infallable) so I
> >>feel need to defend (or denigrate) him...

I think Jerry could have done without the "Fuck you Boaz." His
knee-jerk reaction didn't help the situation, and neither is your
response, Mikko. As for snotty, you yourself are an arrogant prick to
suggest that I am singlehandedly driving this newsgroup to ruin. I
would like to see "Funeral Parade of Roses" as well. However, I will do
my own form of "damage control" to Jerry, as he graciously responded,
and I will do in kind, leaving my comments to him, instead of further
responding to you and your attempt to rub my nose in my previous post.
What you are doing is quite disingenuous yourself. I will get off my
high horse if you will.

Boaz

Boaz

unread,
Jul 23, 2005, 2:48:14 PM7/23/05
to
jerrythenerdswahili wrote:

> CLOCKWORK is my least favorite of Kubrick's films for precisely the
> reasons you suggest. Yes I've seen Schrader's MISHIMA, and read
> Mishima's own work, and seen him in his own films (those he acted in as
> well as adaptations of his work)... I don't really see any similarities
> between any of Kubrick's work and that of Mishima, nor is there really
> any similarity between Mishima's work and FPOR. If you want to jump
> into a name-dropping contest, fine: I've also seen and admired the
> works of Teshigahara, Terayama, Shindo, Shinoda, Ozu, Suzuki,
> Kobayashi, Oshima, Ichikawa, Mizoguchi, Nakagawa, et-fucking-cetera.
> Gee, I do so hope you're impressed. I've also read the original novel
> by Burgess, and about half a dozen of his other books. Pretty
> impressive, eh? I've also met Jan Harlan. Oooh! Yes, we all have
> credentials here. I may not have "forum tenure" as you apparently do,
> but it's a dubious distinction.

Okay, I will eat some humble pie here as I say, "I stand corrected."
And I notice you have seen your share of films from Japan, which no
doubt explains how you must have come across the Matsumoto film. You
are not some disaffected teenager, nor are your tastes limited.
Unfortunately, your initial post didn't sound that way. I am sorry for
misreading it that way. (The problem is that so many people who post
something here -- and who don't post much -- is that when it comes to
ACO they usually fit that profile. I misinterpreted your remarks,
that's all.)

As for name-dropping, I wasn't trying for that at all either. What got
this all going (and I'm sure Ichorwhip can vouch for me on this) was
*how* you posted your remarks about Kubrick being influenced by
Matsumoto. Do you think Matsumoto wasn't influenced by some other
filmmaker or artist in achieving what he did in FPOR? You didn't say,
and I myself can't say, only because I have yet to see the film. That
would help immensely.

> Look, this thread has become ridiculous -- however carelessly I might
> have worded my initial post,

I agree -- about how this thread has become ridiculous when that wasn't
your original intention. Yes, my response wasn't much better, though it
was partly aimed at Ich more than you. Sorry. However, there was no
need for any third party admonishing either, as we have seen here. This
is a matter strictly between you and me to clear up, and I hope I can
do that here.

> these facts remain: I like Kubrick's work,
> and assume others reading this board like it as well, and I can only
> assume an yone with a serious interest in Kubrick's work would like to
> see FPOR because Kubrick *did* copy scenes almost exactly from that
> film... I don't care to put a label on that behavior at this point --
> call it thievery, homage, coincidence, who cares. It's true and it
> provides interesting points of comparison between the two works, and
> possibly illuminates something of Kubrick's working methods, at least
> during the making of CLOCKWORK.

As I said in my response to Mikko, Kubrick must have found something
worthwhile in those bits you pointed out to want to use them in ACO,
apart from being at a loss for ideas. I don't think the latter part was
the case. I also don't think that Kubrick took the "Nobody will ever
see this movie, so I'll steal this guy's idea!" approach, due to the
fact that in 1970 there were no VCRs or DVD players, because there were
and have always been film societies and clubs that could rent 16mm
copies of this film to show. I still adhere to the belief that Kubrick
was trying to find a cinematic equivalent to Burgess' prose style.
Kubrick found in the novel many elements that must have coincided with
his own worldview, otherwise he wouldn't have bothered making a film
based on it. I guess what I am trying to say is that despite having
used shots, setups and other techniques from Matsumoto's film, Kubrick
must have seen something in them to want to utilize them in ACO that
would help present his personal themes.

Let me clarify things a bit more here: I have stated in previous posts
in the past regarding Kubrick's reliance on novels for the basis of his
films, rather than writing an original screenplay, either by himself or
in collaboration with others. (The only exceptions are "Fear and
Desire," "Killer's Kiss," "2001" and "Napoleon.") The fact that he has
used such source material hasn't (or at least shouldn't have)
diminished his position as an auteur; despite the fact that the story
is derived from an outside source the final film product is his own.
(And that's been the basis of many a heated discussion regarding "The
Shining.")

> And until any of you naysayers actually *see* the film, I'm the only
> one here speaking with any sort of authority.

This is true. How did you obtain a copy, and is there any chance the
rest of us can find it? I would like to see this, regardless of its
influence on Kubrick and ACO. It sounds like a pretty interesting film,
to say the least.

Boaz

Boaz

unread,
Jul 23, 2005, 3:05:45 PM7/23/05
to
One more thing:

Here is the IMDb link:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064068/

Be sure to scroll down and read the viewer comment below.

Boaz

ichorwhip

unread,
Jul 23, 2005, 9:41:32 PM7/23/05
to

I AM the GRAND MARSHAL of the Kubrick Parade and no one shall deny me.
You see, I've always been the grand marshal...

It always trips me to shit how people come on AMK and act all shocked
about me and my omnipotence. My new religion BoobonitBleubonnet is
bound to sweep AMK and overwhelm all 12 people posting here.

What's really sad is that the 12-20 people who bother with AMK anymore
are maybe the only existing sign that Kubrick still has his admirers.
Of course it's quite fashionable to wear your Kubrick belt buckle and
Kubrick Dingos when you're selling your celluloid to someone who thinks
they know what cinema is and what art's all about.

So I strive to find converts to the Book of Kubrick; it's some kind of
goddam proselytization pyramid scheme don't you know?

"I'll swallow your soul!"
i
"piop"

Your Pal Brian

unread,
Jul 24, 2005, 12:48:00 AM7/24/05
to
jerrythenerdswahili wrote:

> And I do clearly recall reading that much of FULL METAL JACKET was
> lifted from another Japanese film; in fact I'm almost sure I read it on
> this forum many years ago.

A while ago I posted about the Japanese influence on 2001. I think it's in
Arthur C. Clarke's diary of the making of that film where he mentions
Kubrick being disappointed with the sci-fi pictures Clarke had picked out -
we all know that anecdote - and then says he screened a bunch of Japanese
science fiction instead. I asked here what those films may have been and
the only guess was Ishiro Honda's 1959 film Battle in Outer Space. So
there's another scavenger hunt for you.

Brian

greenyammo

unread,
Jul 24, 2005, 3:01:10 AM7/24/05
to
I think Kubrick, like most directors (and artists) was inspired by
peices from other films here and there. If you like something it's
impossible not to be influenced by it to some degree and I'm sure if
Kubrick (being a very logical man) could not think of a better or more
concise way of doing something than was previously done, he might well
have "borrowed" that way of doing something, at least as a starting point.
I think I remember hearing him say something along the lines of "every
scene has already been done, it's how you do interperet it that matters"
and knowing his preference for "found" art direction, natural lighting
and improvisation I assume he liked to see things shaped somewhat before
he was inspired enough to use them.

A director is really just an arbiter of taste anyway, the pieces he uses
to fashion a film can be of any size. Tarantino uses huge pieces.
Kubrick's were much smaller.

DS

unread,
Jul 24, 2005, 4:42:12 AM7/24/05
to
It's actually more along the lines of "every angle (or shot) has been
done, our job is to do it a bit better." One of his friends drops this
second-hand K quote in the documentary "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in
Pictures."

Mikko Pihkoluoma

unread,
Jul 24, 2005, 9:04:17 AM7/24/05
to
Boaz wrote:
> Mikko Pihkoluoma wrote:
>
>
>>It all boils down to this sentence Boaz uttered:
>> > I see nothing wrong in bringing some techniques from obscure
>> > films and introducing them into the mainstream.
>
>
> Holy shit, man! How dare you try to foster the entire blame on me! I
> have in the past made many an interesting and insightful post. You make
> me out to be some fucking troll of the LB kind.

That wasn't really the intention. Or at least, not seriously. I have
been accused of being provocative every now and then... But I think I'm
not the only one who's disappointed in the course amk has been since, I
don't know, 911?

> I realize English is
> not your first language; it's apparent you see my sarcasm as mean
> spirited and not sarcastic humor. But I resent your lecturing me on
> this.

Again, I think I'm not alone here. Jerry didn't respond to your
titty-squeeze sarcasm that well either. I believe I understand English
fairly well, so I don't think this was a language barrier issue. (As far
as I'm aware of it, my command of English varies a lot, depending on
lots of obvious reasons.)

Don't you think there were mean spirited portions in it?

Anyway, I can see that you are handling this with him personally so
there's no need for us to discuss it further.

>>As hard as it might be for you to believe, some people who actually like
>>"underground" or experimental films, find this behavior disappointing.
>
>
> Then they'd better get used to it, because experimental techniques have
> always found themselves in the mainstream after a while. Your sentence
> suggests a kind of elitism on your own part, as if experimental films
> are themselves sacrosanct.

That's not really the case... I have spent some years focusing in on
European art cinema and some of the more well known directors. But
recently I've been picking different types of films to which Matsumoto's
film appears to belong (those that might fall into the much despiced
"cult/horror/genre" stereotypes).

Certainly there's elitism in both camps, and especially towards "those
other people". I think I'm still much more into auteur films than "these
other films", but I would like to mix these camps a little. That's
probably part of the reason I said what I said.

Another reason might be this quote and attitude of Kubrick's: "[...]It
should even be possible to do a film which isn't gimmicky without using
any dialogue at all. Unfortunately, there has been very little
experimentation with the form of film stories, except in avant-garde
cinema where, unfortunately, there is too little technique and expertise
present to show very much."
http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.aco.html

Here Kubrick takes for granted that something that is bigger is better.
And that by using a lot of money, his films become more accomplished.
Personally, I think K has a point, but it also reflects the kind of
arrogance he has over these other directors that he studies enough to
pick up things from them. One might also argue, that in order to justify
his artistic decision to use these tools, he undermines the less known
films and directors.

I don't know who Matsumoto was influenced by, but at least part of me is
convinced that in the marginal there is originality that is often
lacking in the mainstream (including, in a certain way, K's work).

That Kubrick picks stuff from foreign (e.g. Pavel Klushantsev in 2001)
experimental directors makes the matter a little more annoying in my
mind, since these films will probably end up staying in oblivion. This
will lead people crediting K for something he hasn't really invented.
And it is difficult to believe that he wasn't aware of that.

So adding a list of names at the end of the film doesn't seem ridiculous
to me. Tarantion has done it in Kill Bill (let's not argue over the
worthiness of that film).

Overall I just find it sad that there are so many people who find the
big names so important that a lot of time is consumed in trying to
defend them, when I think there might not be much of a reason to do
so... First and foremost, I am really trying to defend diversity.

But I probably shouldn't go any further as I (too) haven't even seen
Matsumoto's film...

> What happens, of course, that by putting
> certain experimental techniques into the mainstream they become cliche.
> That's a risk, but that's inevitable. I'm sure Warhol was aware of that
> himself. Everything becomes cliche if they've been overused, and they
> all become overused in the course of time. The example of the "2001"
> reference in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is an example of a
> great scene trivialized to the point of cliche. I don't just mean by
> Tim Burton alone, but the numerous films and (especially) TV
> commercials that have "lifted" bits and pieces from this scene (and
> other parts of the film as well) for selling everything imaginable is,
> I think, far worse than Kubrick "borrowing" a few bits from Matsumoto's
> film to use in ACO.
>
> As I pointed out with the Peckinpah/Kurosawa connection, everyone is
> influenced in one way or another by another artist. The key element is
> the director's own personal cinematic vision. Kubrick's vision has been
> pretty consistent throughout his films. The fact that he may be
> influenced by another person's film is, in my opinion, moot. He shows
> his Kieslowski influence in EWS. He shows his Eisenstein influence in
> the battle scene in "Spartacus." Yet his own cinematic view of mankind
> and the world remains his own. I'm guessing that Kubrick used those
> techniques from Matsumoto's film in ACO because they would fit in how
> he was interpreting Burgess' novel, not because they would "look cool."

Yes, it shouldn't be forgotten in these discussions that Kubrick's
vision is despite influences or borrowings, original. Like Lynch said in
an interview dealing influences: "Everyone uses their own voice."

>>Especially if one is not forthcoming about one's influences. The fact of
>>the matter is that Kubrick will be seen as the major innovator and
>>brilliant mind behind these ideas. I find that a little dishonest,
>>despite the well known fact that all artists are influenced by others.
>
>
> And what do you expect Kubrick and other artists to do, place little
> acknowledgements at the end of their films, thanking such other
> filmmakers as Matsumoto for inspriring them, or for borrowing their
> techniques for their own films?
>
> What I find much worse than artists like Kubrick "borrowing" from
> filmmakers as Matsumoto, Peckinpah and Kieslowski are the filmmakers
> who have no real vision; I'm talking about producers and directors of
> both studio projects or low budget productions who take materials from
> other films for their own movies because they have no fucking ideas at
> all! They are strictly out to make money and they couldn't give to
> shits about art or artistry. But they are not above "stealing" from
> great films because they think that's going to make their wretched
> projects look more like a movie.

I hear your pain. But the perverse state of Hollywood doesn't really
make Kubrick's doings right...

Boaz

unread,
Jul 24, 2005, 2:01:15 PM7/24/05
to
Despite what immediately follows, I will continue to smooth things
over:

> >>It all boils down to this sentence Boaz uttered:
> >> > I see nothing wrong in bringing some techniques from obscure
> >> > films and introducing them into the mainstream.
> >
> >
> > Holy shit, man! How dare you try to foster the entire blame on me! I
> > have in the past made many an interesting and insightful post. You make
> > me out to be some fucking troll of the LB kind.
>
> That wasn't really the intention. Or at least, not seriously. I have
> been accused of being provocative every now and then... But I think I'm
> not the only one who's disappointed in the course amk has been since, I
> don't know, 911?

Or "A.I." (Or, as Matt Lauer calls it, "A-1") I think since Kubrick's
passing (his birthday is coming up, by the way) it has been tough on
all of us who admire his films in realizing there will never be any new
ones.

> > I realize English is
> > not your first language; it's apparent you see my sarcasm as mean
> > spirited and not sarcastic humor. But I resent your lecturing me on
> > this.
>
> Again, I think I'm not alone here. Jerry didn't respond to your
> titty-squeeze sarcasm that well either.

American humor -- or Boaz humor. It's my nature. ;-)

> I believe I understand English
> fairly well, so I don't think this was a language barrier issue. (As far
> as I'm aware of it, my command of English varies a lot, depending on
> lots of obvious reasons.)
>
> Don't you think there were mean spirited portions in it?

I can't always be objective about my behavior. I suppose it all depends
on who is reading it.

> Anyway, I can see that you are handling this with him personally so
> there's no need for us to discuss it further.

I agree.

> >>As hard as it might be for you to believe, some people who actually like
> >>"underground" or experimental films, find this behavior disappointing.
> >
> >
> > Then they'd better get used to it, because experimental techniques have
> > always found themselves in the mainstream after a while. Your sentence
> > suggests a kind of elitism on your own part, as if experimental films
> > are themselves sacrosanct.
>
> That's not really the case... I have spent some years focusing in on
> European art cinema and some of the more well known directors. But
> recently I've been picking different types of films to which Matsumoto's
> film appears to belong (those that might fall into the much despiced
> "cult/horror/genre" stereotypes).

And I would like to mention my own interest in European cinema as well.
I also like Japanese films, so I would definitely like to see
Matsumoto's film. And I like to see "experimental" films too. I use
quotation marks because over the course of the years the word
"experimental" seems to have become subjective to both those who make
them and to those who patronize them. A well made experimental film
such as "Man With a Movie Camera" is high on my list. On the other
hand, short pieces, usually made badly and in haste that show perhaps
kitchen utensils being smashed as a means to protest consumerism is
very low on my list -- somewhere down there along with music videos.

> Certainly there's elitism in both camps, and especially towards "those
> other people". I think I'm still much more into auteur films than "these
> other films", but I would like to mix these camps a little. That's
> probably part of the reason I said what I said.

I think a mixture is a very good idea. And I admit here that I am an
elitist in my own way. I was at the Alex Theater in Glendale last night
to see the restored version of Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and
the Ugly." It was a packed house, by the way. Prior to the screening
film historian and Leone biographer Christopher Frayling (actually, Sir
Christopher Frayling; apparently you get a knighthood in England for
this stuff) briefly spoke of the history of this film, how it got made
and the work that went into the restoration. Then we were treated to
Alessandro Alessandroni, who played guitar and whistled some of Ennio
Morricone's more familiar tunes from Leone's films. (Alessandroni
provided the whistling for such films as "A Fistful of Dollars," and
was also responsible for creating I Cantori Moderni, the voices who are
often heard in films scored by Morricone.) The restored version
contained a total of 16 minutes of scenes not seen in the original USA
print. This also meant Eastwood and Wallach were required to record
their lines again. (Simon Prescott provided the voice of the late Lee
Van Cleef.) This screening was not only part of the Alex Film Society,
it was also for next week's opening of Leone's western films at the
Autry National Center here in Los Angeles, near Griffith Park. That
exhibition will be running through Janurary.

Anyway, back to Kubrick.

> Another reason might be this quote and attitude of Kubrick's: "[...]It
> should even be possible to do a film which isn't gimmicky without using
> any dialogue at all. Unfortunately, there has been very little
> experimentation with the form of film stories, except in avant-garde
> cinema where, unfortunately, there is too little technique and expertise
> present to show very much."
> http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.aco.html
>
> Here Kubrick takes for granted that something that is bigger is better.
> And that by using a lot of money, his films become more accomplished.
> Personally, I think K has a point, but it also reflects the kind of
> arrogance he has over these other directors that he studies enough to
> pick up things from them. One might also argue, that in order to justify
> his artistic decision to use these tools, he undermines the less known
> films and directors.

I hate to sound glib and say "there is a risk to that," but there is
very much a risk. His early works reflect influences from other
sources. I have never seen "Fear and Desire" all the way through, only
the clip in the "A Life in Pictures" documentary. But I could see the
influence from Kurosawa's "Rashomon" in that clip. His next film,
"Killer's Kiss," definitely shows influences from film noirs shot in
NYC, Dassin's "The Naked City" coming to mind. I mean, in my filmmaking
classes in college we borrowed from the films we saw, experimental and
otherwise. And later in film school we sort of did the same thing. We
even borrowed from each other, after having screen our work for the
student body. And we just didn't borrow, we would go up to the students
and ask, "How did you do that?" And then we would go out and try it on
our next projects. Everything is created from something else; it is
never created out of thin air.

However, why Kubrick may have been more blatant in his use of
Matsumoto's work for ACO is uncertain. As I said earlier, I haven't
seen FPOR, so I can only go by the descriptions, which are limited only
because they are from other people's interpretations of what they have
seen. I don't know the context of the shots that were mentioned as
ending up in ACO were used by Matsumoto. I only know what context
Kubrick used them in for his film.

> I don't know who Matsumoto was influenced by, but at least part of me is
> convinced that in the marginal there is originality that is often
> lacking in the mainstream (including, in a certain way, K's work).

Did Matsumoto write the original screenplay (which has its roots in
Sophocles, by the way)?

> That Kubrick picks stuff from foreign (e.g. Pavel Klushantsev in 2001)
> experimental directors makes the matter a little more annoying in my
> mind, since these films will probably end up staying in oblivion. This
> will lead people crediting K for something he hasn't really invented.
> And it is difficult to believe that he wasn't aware of that.

I'm not sure why you feel it is annoying. As for "invented," I don't
believe any filmmaker invented anything regarding film technique. I
think "innovator" or "innovating" is a more appropriate. One can invent
a camera or a projector, or even a lens, but how does one "invent" a
closeup?

(As another aside here, referring back to Leone, Leone created a myth
of his own out of a myth created by Hollywood, and in turn Hollywood
reflected their influence of Leone's work by creating recycled
Hollywood western film myths with a touch of Leone -- often in the
music, the use of violence and the camera setups. Leone was himself
something of an innovator, but certainly not an inventor.)

Matsumoto's film came out in 1969, right when Kubrick wanted to make
his "Napoleon." Having to now make a much less expensive film when MGM
killed the project, Kubrick wanted to find something that would be
looked upon as an adequate follow-up to "2001." ACO was that something.
As I've said before, Kubrick was seeking a cinematic equivalent to
Burgess' prose style. He obviously saw something in FPOR that would
work for him. I suppose when I finally get a chance to see this film
myself I may have different feelings towards Kubrick's "clever
techniques" in ACO, I don't know.

> So adding a list of names at the end of the film doesn't seem ridiculous
> to me.

However, filmmaking is the stuff involving big egos. So though your
idea may not seem ridiculous to you, I won't be holding my breath to
see anyone in the mainstream suddenly becoming maganimous in their end
credits. (And who but real film buffs or other filmmakers actually stay
to read the end credits anyway?)

> Tarantion has done it in Kill Bill (let's not argue over the
> worthiness of that film).

There is no argument on that one. However, I did like the Mariachi song
at the end of Volume 2, which sounds better by itself. So Tarantino is
an exception, but who besides his fans will stay to read that stuff in
the end credits? In most places, even here in L.A., people make a mad
dash for the exits the moment the first end title comes up, as if
someone just shouted, "Fire!"

> Overall I just find it sad that there are so many people who find the
> big names so important that a lot of time is consumed in trying to
> defend them, when I think there might not be much of a reason to do
> so... First and foremost, I am really trying to defend diversity.

Is it really defense? After all, this is the Kubrick newsgroup, and
most of us here still respect and admire Kubrick's films. If we become
"defensive" it has been because we like to see criticisms that are
legit, not the LB kind, nor of the "emperor has no clothes" kind, when
one discovers that a piece of business in a film by a director that has
been long admired turns out to have been "lifted" from another film. I
am aware that Kubrick is not infallible, but he does have great ideas
in his films, and while he often has to resort to other sources to find
his "story," he has been, in the long run, one of the few filmmakers
who tried to deal with weighty themes and serious issues without the
usual Hollywood sugarcoating or compromising that has made many a
cineaste like myself look to foreign shores for more substantial films
to watch. I can't think of too many filmmakers working in the studio
system today who work like that. Even your fellow countryman Renny
Harlin has "sold out" in Hollywood, churning out big budget crap with
the worst of them. So, flaws or not, Kubrick's passing did create a
huge hole in terms of quality filmmaking.

<snip>

> I hear your pain. But the perverse state of Hollywood doesn't really
> make Kubrick's doings right...

I don't agree. It doesn't make his doings wrong either, otherwise, why
are *you* here on *this* newsgroup?

And if we appear to continue to agree to disagree, so be it...

Boaz

jerrythenerdswahili

unread,
Jul 24, 2005, 5:52:57 PM7/24/05
to
I think we can all agree that no more personal attacks on anybody would
better this discussion, and I apologise for my particpation in that
sort of thing.

As for Matsumoto: certainly there are influences evident in FPOR --
most blatantly, Godard's formal "oddness" and his combination of the
personal and the political... and some moments are, just like some of
Godard's work (even his best work of the mid to late 60s) tedious and
indulgent and dated. But on the whole it's a strikingly original film
that uses several types of cinematography and clever, sometimes
shocking optical effects in a way that perfectly suits the story being
told.

Unlike Godard, or even Resnais (who I think is a smarter, more talented
filmmaker) Matsumoto's film, despite its formal daring, never feels
like just an experiment. At the risk of sounding prejudiced or
small-minded, I have to admit I'm not necessarily interested in stories
about the "gay underworld" (which in many films, unfortunately, is
presented in what appears to be an overly flamboyant, obnoxious
fashion) but in this case I found the film to be suprisingly moving and
even tragic in the best sense of that word, precisely *because* it was
so well-made.

And that's why it's so strange to see kubrick borrow something so
directly from a film like this. He certainly used the techniques
brilliantly in CLOCKWORK, and there *is* a shared sensibility of sexual
violence in both films, but it's somehow not like, say, Scorsese
borrowing shots from Bresson for TAXI DRIVER, which seemed entirely
appropriate and justified...

Perhaps most troubling for me is Kubrick's history of lawsuits
attempting to squash or limit works that were similar to his own. I
understand the reasoning behind this, and I also understand it might
not be him personally but rather a passel of lawyers... but it's
disturbing that he would worry about something as innocuously stupid as
SPACE: 1999 or the like. Obviously I've never read any suggestion that
Kubrick has hindered mention of FPOR or its distribution in the west...
but It's interesting to compare how vocal and supportive (relatively)
someone like Tarantino is about his "influences" as opposed to Kubrick
(though he has praised Ophuls camera work, and its influence is
apparent).

At any rate, I'm not a film reviewer, so the more I talk about this
sort of thing the more likely it is I'll put my foot in it, so I'll
just say FPOR is worth seeing, especially if you're a student of
Kubrick's work. I got my copy (a DVDr) from a friend who has the actual
Japanese disc, which seems to be available here (and probably
elsewhere):

http://us.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.aspx/pid-1003011861/code-j/section-videos/

... but it's pretty steep, so you might look at a bootleg copy (which
will also be region free). Don't know if this frowned upon, but here is
a fine bootleg site that carries, for the most part, films that are
otherwise unavailable (or out of print) in the US:

http://www.superhappyfun.com/content.htm

... search for "funeral" or pull down the "director" menu and click
"Matsumoto." I'm sure there are other sites like 5 Minutes To Live,
etc. that also carry this, and of course there are the previously
mentioned ebay auctions, though I've heard less than stellar comments
about 5MTL's quality.

If any of you do go through the trouble of viewing this, please
comment, even if you dislike it or don't think Kubrick was influenced
by it... it's an interesting film worth thinking about.

Thanks.

Mike Jackson

unread,
Jul 25, 2005, 8:01:02 AM7/25/05
to
in article 1122124686....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com,
iam...@hotmail.com at iam...@hotmail.com wrote on 7/23/05 8:18 AM:

Kee-rist, why is it when a really good shit storm breaks out around here I'm
always gone doing something in the real world?

It's like going to the bathroom during the movie and missing the part where
Alex knocks everyone akimbo into the drink...
--
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I
can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
-- "Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

Boaz

unread,
Jul 25, 2005, 3:42:54 PM7/25/05
to
jerrythenerdswahili wrote:
> I think we can all agree that no more personal attacks on anybody would
> better this discussion, and I apologise for my particpation in that
> sort of thing.

And I owe you an apology for getting out of hand with my responses. It
was largely meant to be sarcastic in places, but not meant to be mean
spirited to spark a flame war. Sometimes reading a post isn't like
hearing one's voice or seeing their expressions, which often belies the
words they use.

Anyway, let's continue with the real business at hand:

> As for Matsumoto: certainly there are influences evident in FPOR --
> most blatantly, Godard's formal "oddness" and his combination of the
> personal and the political... and some moments are, just like some of
> Godard's work (even his best work of the mid to late 60s) tedious and
> indulgent and dated. But on the whole it's a strikingly original film
> that uses several types of cinematography and clever, sometimes
> shocking optical effects in a way that perfectly suits the story being
> told.

Excuse me for asking, but what do you mean by "several types of
cinematography"? Just wondering; do you mean the way the camera is
used, or the lighting, choice of lenses, different film stocks?

> Unlike Godard, or even Resnais (who I think is a smarter, more talented
> filmmaker) Matsumoto's film, despite its formal daring, never feels
> like just an experiment. At the risk of sounding prejudiced or
> small-minded, I have to admit I'm not necessarily interested in stories
> about the "gay underworld" (which in many films, unfortunately, is
> presented in what appears to be an overly flamboyant, obnoxious
> fashion) but in this case I found the film to be suprisingly moving and
> even tragic in the best sense of that word, precisely *because* it was
> so well-made.

Is it a film involving a gay subject matter that can be accessible to
all audiences (mature straight audiences, I mean), and not the usual
"preach to the choir" type of gay films, like how you described above?

> And that's why it's so strange to see kubrick borrow something so
> directly from a film like this. He certainly used the techniques
> brilliantly in CLOCKWORK, and there *is* a shared sensibility of sexual
> violence in both films, but it's somehow not like, say, Scorsese
> borrowing shots from Bresson for TAXI DRIVER, which seemed entirely
> appropriate and justified...

I agree this sounds strange. It's not as though Japanese films haven't
found their way to American shores before. I'm also thinking how Sergio
Leone took Kurosawa's "Yojimbo" verbatim when he made "A Fistful of
Dollars." Of course, in Leone's case, he did acknowlege Kurosawa. Even
George Lucas cited portions of Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress" as a
major influence for "Star Wars." So this makes Kubrick's lack of
acknowledgement curiouser and curioser. Did he think that in lifting a
few shots no one would notice?

> Perhaps most troubling for me is Kubrick's history of lawsuits
> attempting to squash or limit works that were similar to his own. I
> understand the reasoning behind this, and I also understand it might
> not be him personally but rather a passel of lawyers... but it's
> disturbing that he would worry about something as innocuously stupid as
> SPACE: 1999 or the like. Obviously I've never read any suggestion that
> Kubrick has hindered mention of FPOR or its distribution in the west...
> but It's interesting to compare how vocal and supportive (relatively)
> someone like Tarantino is about his "influences" as opposed to Kubrick
> (though he has praised Ophuls camera work, and its influence is
> apparent).

And not only Ophuls, Kubrick has cited many times Eisenstein, even
acknowledging the "Battle on the Ice" seqeuence from "Alexander Nevsky"
as his influence for the big battle scene in the second half of
"Spartacus."

And not only lawsuits, but he also managed to cover his ass legally
when doing his own films. He made sure he got permission from MGM to
use the song "Singin' in the Rain" before he shot the rape scene in Mr.
Alexander's house for ACO. He also managed to secure the services of
Professor Felix Markham as a technical advisor, also getting his
permission to use his book on Napoleon, before embarking on the
screenplay of "Napoleon" -- or at least when he got to the preparation
stage. But he certainly covered his ass.

> At any rate, I'm not a film reviewer, so the more I talk about this
> sort of thing the more likely it is I'll put my foot in it, so I'll
> just say FPOR is worth seeing, especially if you're a student of
> Kubrick's work. I got my copy (a DVDr) from a friend who has the actual
> Japanese disc, which seems to be available here (and probably
> elsewhere):
>
> http://us.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.aspx/pid-1003011861/code-j/section-videos/
>
> ... but it's pretty steep, so you might look at a bootleg copy (which
> will also be region free). Don't know if this frowned upon, but here is
> a fine bootleg site that carries, for the most part, films that are
> otherwise unavailable (or out of print) in the US:
>
> http://www.superhappyfun.com/content.htm
>
> ... search for "funeral" or pull down the "director" menu and click
> "Matsumoto." I'm sure there are other sites like 5 Minutes To Live,
> etc. that also carry this, and of course there are the previously
> mentioned ebay auctions, though I've heard less than stellar comments
> about 5MTL's quality.

Thanks for the information. It's funny that it hasn't gotten picked up
by DVD companies such as Criterion or Kino, both of which will
distribute little known foreign films, including from Japan.

By the way, how is the quality of the bootleg copies?

> If any of you do go through the trouble of viewing this, please
> comment, even if you dislike it or don't think Kubrick was influenced
> by it... it's an interesting film worth thinking about.

The more you have written about it, the more I definitely have to see
this film -- even if it had no influence on Kubrick at all. I've tried
the usual video store venues, even Virgin, which stocks multi-region
DVDs and hard-to-find foreign releases, as well as cult movies very few
people have ever seen at all; they didn't have it (at least not the
store I went to). I may venture down to Little Tokyo the next weekend
and see what is there in their video stores. In the mean time I will
bug some of my friends around here and ask if they have ever heard of
this movie.

Thank you again, Jerry.

Boaz
("Padre, these are subtleties! We are not concerned with motives, with
the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down crime.")

Zip

unread,
Jul 26, 2005, 1:46:44 PM7/26/05
to
"Mikko Pihkoluoma" <mikko....@omaluukku.com> wrote...

> Another reason might be this quote and attitude of Kubrick's: "[...]It
> should even be possible to do a film which isn't gimmicky without using
> any dialogue at all. Unfortunately, there has been very little
> experimentation with the form of film stories, except in avant-garde
> cinema where, unfortunately, there is too little technique and expertise
> present to show very much."
> http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.aco.html
>
> Here Kubrick takes for granted that something that is bigger is better.
> And that by using a lot of money, his films become more accomplished.

That is a non-sequitur... That quote says nothing of the finance available
to a project. All it mentions is "technique and expertise". You cannot claim
from that quote that Kubrick even remotely believes that pouring more money
into a picture will make it better... The only thing you can infer is that
"technique and expertise" make for a more effective picture...

This is true of The Avant-Garde or The Mainstream, The Low-Budget or High
Budget, picture.

What Kubrick *does* suggest is simply that there is less "technique and
expertise" visible in the majority of Avant-Garde pictures. That is all.
Nothing more.

It is possible to lavish "technique and expertise" on an Avant-Garde picture
which has a low budget, just as it is possible to do so on a Mainstream
picture which has a Mammoth budget.

So your suggestion that Kubrick thinks "Bigger is Better" or that more money
makes for a better picture simply doesn't follow.

> Overall I just find it sad that there are so many people who find the
> big names so important that a lot of time is consumed in trying to
> defend them, when I think there might not be much of a reason to do
> so... First and foremost, I am really trying to defend diversity.

There is nothing wrong with that... I simply believe you are going about it
the wrong way by suggesting that Kubrick thought certain things without
having an ounce of evidence on which to base those presumptions.

Instead of trying to "Defend Diversity", why not *Champion Diversity*?

Tell people about Avant-Garde films from different backgrounds, rather than
mis-representing the words of an undisputed (and Dead) Genius. The latter is
a pointless undertaking and you will probably find yourself fighting an
uphill battle against an insurmountable foe...

-Paul.


Matthew Dickinson

unread,
Jul 26, 2005, 6:20:37 PM7/26/05
to

It's true. You dorks DO worship Kubrick as an idol.

Matthew Dickinson

unread,
Jul 26, 2005, 6:18:19 PM7/26/05
to

Boaz wrote:
> Mikko Pihkoluoma wrote:
>
> > It all boils down to this sentence Boaz uttered:
> > > I see nothing wrong in bringing some techniques from obscure
> > > films and introducing them into the mainstream.
>
> Holy shit, man! How dare you try to foster the entire blame on me! I
> have in the past made many an interesting and insightful post.

I disagree.

Mikko Pihkoluoma

unread,
Jul 27, 2005, 12:19:43 PM7/27/05
to
Zip wrote:
> "Mikko Pihkoluoma" <mikko....@omaluukku.com> wrote...
>
>
>>Another reason might be this quote and attitude of Kubrick's: "[...]It
>>should even be possible to do a film which isn't gimmicky without using
>>any dialogue at all. Unfortunately, there has been very little
>>experimentation with the form of film stories, except in avant-garde
>>cinema where, unfortunately, there is too little technique and expertise
>>present to show very much."
>>http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.aco.html
>>
>>Here Kubrick takes for granted that something that is bigger is better.
>>And that by using a lot of money, his films become more accomplished.
>
>
> That is a non-sequitur... That quote says nothing of the finance available
> to a project.

Are they not intertwined? Avant-gardism and small budget? Is it
possible to make a big budget film that is accepted as avant garde? Le
Mepris? I don't think so...

> All it mentions is "technique and expertise". You cannot claim
> from that quote that Kubrick even remotely believes that pouring more money
> into a picture will make it better... The only thing you can infer is that
> "technique and expertise" make for a more effective picture...
>
> This is true of The Avant-Garde or The Mainstream, The Low-Budget or High
> Budget, picture.

My conclusion included other information about Kubrick not explicitly
present in that quote. e.g. the fact that he always _wanted_ to make big
budget films, and truly believed that time (and hence money) is gold in
filmmaking. (I don't disagree with him.)

My interpretation of Kubrick's meaning in that interview is that by the
lack of "technique and expertise" he really means time and money. I find
it hard to believe that with a small budget one could accomplish or
acquire the technique and expertise Kubrick was searching. Even
Kubrick's favorite (and mine) Eraserhead shows (to my eyes anyway) a
certain degree of lack of technique and expertise.


> Instead of trying to "Defend Diversity", why not *Champion Diversity*?
>
> Tell people about Avant-Garde films from different backgrounds, rather than
> mis-representing the words of an undisputed (and Dead) Genius. The latter is
> a pointless undertaking and you will probably find yourself fighting an
> uphill battle against an insurmountable foe...

I was about to include a confession in my post about the lack of
"authority" I have about experimental films. I don't claim to know THAT
much about the subject. Nor do I champion most of those films to the
degree I do Kubrick's or most big budget art films. Besides, I don't
think this thread is an appropriate place for name dropping.

mikko.pi...@gmail.com

unread,
Jul 27, 2005, 1:49:54 PM7/27/05
to
"Boaz" <boa...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<1122228075.7...@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>...

> Despite what immediately follows, I will continue to smooth things
> over:
>
> > >>It all boils down to this sentence Boaz uttered:
> > >> > I see nothing wrong in bringing some techniques from obscure
> > >> > films and introducing them into the mainstream.
> > >
> > >
> > > Holy shit, man! How dare you try to foster the entire blame on me! I
> > > have in the past made many an interesting and insightful post. You make
> > > me out to be some fucking troll of the LB kind.
> >
> > That wasn't really the intention. Or at least, not seriously. I have
> > been accused of being provocative every now and then... But I think I'm
> > not the only one who's disappointed in the course amk has been since, I
> > don't know, 911?
>
> Or "A.I." (Or, as Matt Lauer calls it, "A-1") I think since Kubrick's
> passing (his birthday is coming up, by the way) it has been tough on
> all of us who admire his films in realizing there will never be any new
> ones.

I understand. Still most of us feel disappointed in how it has turned
out, and in the means people have tried to keep it alive.

(I "missed" his birthday. I was on a small holiday trip, and now I'm
in a hangover. You probably deserve a more coherent reply, but I'll
write now because I have time right now... Apologies for that.)

> > >>As hard as it might be for you to believe, some people who actually like
> > >>"underground" or experimental films, find this behavior disappointing.
> > >
> > >
> > > Then they'd better get used to it, because experimental techniques have
> > > always found themselves in the mainstream after a while. Your sentence
> > > suggests a kind of elitism on your own part, as if experimental films
> > > are themselves sacrosanct.
> >
> > That's not really the case... I have spent some years focusing in on
> > European art cinema and some of the more well known directors. But
> > recently I've been picking different types of films to which Matsumoto's
> > film appears to belong (those that might fall into the much despiced
> > "cult/horror/genre" stereotypes).
>
> And I would like to mention my own interest in European cinema as well.
> I also like Japanese films, so I would definitely like to see
> Matsumoto's film. And I like to see "experimental" films too. I use
> quotation marks because over the course of the years the word
> "experimental" seems to have become subjective to both those who make
> them and to those who patronize them. A well made experimental film
> such as "Man With a Movie Camera" is high on my list. On the other
> hand, short pieces, usually made badly and in haste that show perhaps
> kitchen utensils being smashed as a means to protest consumerism is
> very low on my list -- somewhere down there along with music videos.

I presume I'm younger than you are, so quite naturally I don't despise
music videos as much... Actually, I think MTV has had an interesting
influence on the new wave of (American) directors, especially in the
way they use (pop) music as a core instrument in their films. I'm
talking about Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Michel Gondry, Wong
Kar-Wai... Obviously they owe some of that to Kubrick among others,
but I feel that MTV has really helped in developing it further.

> > Certainly there's elitism in both camps, and especially towards "those
> > other people". I think I'm still much more into auteur films than "these
> > other films", but I would like to mix these camps a little. That's
> > probably part of the reason I said what I said.
>
> I think a mixture is a very good idea. And I admit here that I am an
> elitist in my own way. I was at the Alex Theater in Glendale last night
> to see the restored version of Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and
> the Ugly." It was a packed house, by the way. Prior to the screening
> film historian and Leone biographer Christopher Frayling (actually, Sir
> Christopher Frayling; apparently you get a knighthood in England for
> this stuff) briefly spoke of the history of this film, how it got made
> and the work that went into the restoration. Then we were treated to
> Alessandro Alessandroni, who played guitar and whistled some of Ennio
> Morricone's more familiar tunes from Leone's films. (Alessandroni
> provided the whistling for such films as "A Fistful of Dollars," and
> was also responsible for creating I Cantori Moderni, the voices who are
> often heard in films scored by Morricone.) The restored version
> contained a total of 16 minutes of scenes not seen in the original USA
> print. This also meant Eastwood and Wallach were required to record
> their lines again. (Simon Prescott provided the voice of the late Lee
> Van Cleef.) This screening was not only part of the Alex Film Society,
> it was also for next week's opening of Leone's western films at the
> Autry National Center here in Los Angeles, near Griffith Park. That
> exhibition will be running through Janurary.

I've seen the restored version on dvd, but what you describe sounds
like a festive event I would have wanted to experience.

These are all good points I agree with.

However, his transition to broaden his influences to avant garde
films, and the way he speaks about smaller productions, irritates me
to some degree. (I'm thinking about the quote dealing with art house
films, and not seeing much point in marketing films to a small
audience.)

Mostly, of course, he is correct. He was genious in accomplishing to
be in the position he was. (Money and control helps.) But sometimes I
can only see his ego talking if you know what I mean... And the road
he took didn't come without compromises.

Anyway, hopefully I'll explain myself better later in this post...

> However, why Kubrick may have been more blatant in his use of
> Matsumoto's work for ACO is uncertain. As I said earlier, I haven't
> seen FPOR, so I can only go by the descriptions, which are limited only
> because they are from other people's interpretations of what they have
> seen. I don't know the context of the shots that were mentioned as
> ending up in ACO were used by Matsumoto. I only know what context
> Kubrick used them in for his film.
>
> > I don't know who Matsumoto was influenced by, but at least part of me is
> > convinced that in the marginal there is originality that is often
> > lacking in the mainstream (including, in a certain way, K's work).
>
> Did Matsumoto write the original screenplay (which has its roots in
> Sophocles, by the way)?

I don't know, but as I understand it, we're dealing with visual
influences here. And I meant to refer to the originality of non-verbal
elements in experimental films.

> > That Kubrick picks stuff from foreign (e.g. Pavel Klushantsev in 2001)
> > experimental directors makes the matter a little more annoying in my
> > mind, since these films will probably end up staying in oblivion. This
> > will lead people crediting K for something he hasn't really invented.
> > And it is difficult to believe that he wasn't aware of that.
>
> I'm not sure why you feel it is annoying.

Well, because it will be immensly more difficult for film buffs to
find his sources... Also, I think partly he is acting in this manner
to boost his ego, which is not very admirable behaviour. Considering
that in doing so he will leave others to oblivion.

> As for "invented," I don't
> believe any filmmaker invented anything regarding film technique. I
> think "innovator" or "innovating" is a more appropriate. One can invent
> a camera or a projector, or even a lens, but how does one "invent" a
> closeup?

The choice of words here might have been a language barrier issue.
Sorry about that.

> (As another aside here, referring back to Leone, Leone created a myth
> of his own out of a myth created by Hollywood, and in turn Hollywood
> reflected their influence of Leone's work by creating recycled
> Hollywood western film myths with a touch of Leone -- often in the
> music, the use of violence and the camera setups. Leone was himself
> something of an innovator, but certainly not an inventor.)
>
> Matsumoto's film came out in 1969, right when Kubrick wanted to make
> his "Napoleon." Having to now make a much less expensive film when MGM
> killed the project, Kubrick wanted to find something that would be
> looked upon as an adequate follow-up to "2001." ACO was that something.
> As I've said before, Kubrick was seeking a cinematic equivalent to
> Burgess' prose style. He obviously saw something in FPOR that would
> work for him. I suppose when I finally get a chance to see this film
> myself I may have different feelings towards Kubrick's "clever
> techniques" in ACO, I don't know.

Yes, we should all watch the movie... It can be obtained on dvd, as I
wrote in this post http://tinyurl.com/coo24

But, yet another reason for me taking this seriously is that I'm not
that impressed with how Kubrick adapted Burgess novel --except for the


"cinematic equivalent to Burgess' prose style".

I am a fan of the original 21-chapter version of the novel, which
hopefully explains why I don't think that much of Kubrick's
adaptation. (I think ACO promotes nihilism, whereas the book and maybe
even BL, show a bit more balanced and understanding take on humans.)

> > So adding a list of names at the end of the film doesn't seem ridiculous
> > to me.
>
> However, filmmaking is the stuff involving big egos. So though your
> idea may not seem ridiculous to you, I won't be holding my breath to
> see anyone in the mainstream suddenly becoming maganimous in their end
> credits. (And who but real film buffs or other filmmakers actually stay
> to read the end credits anyway?)

The ego thing is exactly the point I've been trying to strive towards.
If not for big egos, we might have a better understanding of the
history of cinema. Of course without big egos we might be without some
film history altogether, but it doesn't really help my plight...

> > Tarantion has done it in Kill Bill (let's not argue over the
> > worthiness of that film).
>
> There is no argument on that one. However, I did like the Mariachi song
> at the end of Volume 2, which sounds better by itself.

I meant I like Kill Bill, but let's not go there...

> So Tarantino is
> an exception, but who besides his fans will stay to read that stuff in
> the end credits? In most places, even here in L.A., people make a mad
> dash for the exits the moment the first end title comes up, as if
> someone just shouted, "Fire!"

I'm not really interested in trying to feed knowledge to the vast
majority of people. I doubt very much they would even care. I think it
is enough that those devoted to the subject might have a chance to
know.

> > Overall I just find it sad that there are so many people who find the
> > big names so important that a lot of time is consumed in trying to
> > defend them, when I think there might not be much of a reason to do
> > so... First and foremost, I am really trying to defend diversity.
>
> Is it really defense? After all, this is the Kubrick newsgroup, and
> most of us here still respect and admire Kubrick's films. If we become
> "defensive" it has been because we like to see criticisms that are
> legit, not the LB kind, nor of the "emperor has no clothes" kind, when
> one discovers that a piece of business in a film by a director that has
> been long admired turns out to have been "lifted" from another film. I
> am aware that Kubrick is not infallible, but he does have great ideas
> in his films, and while he often has to resort to other sources to find
> his "story," he has been, in the long run, one of the few filmmakers
> who tried to deal with weighty themes and serious issues without the
> usual Hollywood sugarcoating or compromising that has made many a
> cineaste like myself look to foreign shores for more substantial films
> to watch. I can't think of too many filmmakers working in the studio
> system today who work like that. Even your fellow countryman Renny
> Harlin has "sold out" in Hollywood, churning out big budget crap with
> the worst of them. So, flaws or not, Kubrick's passing did create a
> huge hole in terms of quality filmmaking.

I'd like to make a couple of points.

Firstly I'm beginning to understand the reaction, but I think the best
way to respond might be to seek out the film and view it. Surely it
would be more interesting to discuss it after we've seen it rather
than respond to it with a post that follows "the treatment for
newbies". (I'm no better, I don't know when I'll have the time and
money to acquire it.)

Secondly, you turn to narrative ideas, which to me appear more
literate than the way I've understood the FPOR-Kubrick connection to
be. i.e. I'm very much interested in the ways K was creating his films
visually. I think generally his adapting skills and innovation of
narrative are well respected, and I have nothing to "challenge" on
that department.

Thirdly, I know my explanations might not have been the most strictly
well supported with evidence, but hopefully you're beginning to get at
least a vague idea of how I feel about the matter. After all, I'll
doubt we'll exactly convince each other on the matter. But agreeing is
pretty dull is it not?

And lastly, I think Harlin was sold out in his mind long before he
reached Hollywood. I am no fan of his work.

> <snip>
>
> > I hear your pain. But the perverse state of Hollywood doesn't really
> > make Kubrick's doings right...
>
> I don't agree. It doesn't make his doings wrong either, otherwise, why
> are *you* here on *this* newsgroup?
>
> And if we appear to continue to agree to disagree, so be it...

Your thought went somewhere along the lines that Hollywood is crap
today so we shouldn't disparage Kubrick. I understand it wasn't
simplistic like that, but I was trying to avoid discussing how bad
things are today now that we don't have any big budget artists like
Kubrick, only muppets like Spielberg. I'm sure we would agree for the
most part. However, there are new films which interest me a great
deal. Some of them are from Hollywood, or the incorporated
indie-companies like Fox Searchlight. Have you seen I Heart Huckabees?
Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou? They might not be Kubrick, but I find
great hope in (American) independent filmmakers. (But I think I'm
younger, and my point of view could be different...)


Mikko

Mikko Pihkoluoma

unread,
Jul 28, 2005, 7:29:21 AM7/28/05
to
I can't see this on google groups so I imagine it didn't get through...
Here's what I wrote:

jerrythenerdswahili

unread,
Jul 28, 2005, 2:44:38 PM7/28/05
to
> Excuse me for asking, but what do you mean by "several types of
> cinematography"? Just wondering; do you mean the way the camera is
> used, or the lighting, choice of lenses, different film stocks?

I'm not knowledgeable enough to speak with any real authority about the
technical aspects (lenses, stocks, etc.) of the work... but there are
high-contrast shots, slow-motion, sped-up scenes, Antonioni-esque long
takes and architectural compostions, still photos, "documentary" street
footage, video, hand-held work, extreme close-ups, razor sharp editing,
etc. There are some moments that might be considered a bit dated, but
nothing to snicker at. The amazing thing is how effectively each
technique amplifies the content of each scene, and also how
surprisingly well all the varied styles work together to convey the
main character's search for identity.

> Is it a film involving a gay subject matter that can be accessible to
> all audiences (mature straight audiences, I mean), and not the usual
> "preach to the choir" type of gay films, like how you described above?

I think so -- at least it felt and affected me that way as I watched it
and while I think about it afterwards. It's certainly not as empty or
off-putting as the lesser work of, say, Gregg Araki... and there's
never really any sense of Matsumoto trying to show off or be
"naughty"...

> > And that's why it's so strange to see kubrick borrow something so
> > directly from a film like this. He certainly used the techniques
> > brilliantly in CLOCKWORK, and there *is* a shared sensibility of sexual
> > violence in both films, but it's somehow not like, say, Scorsese
> > borrowing shots from Bresson for TAXI DRIVER, which seemed entirely
> > appropriate and justified...
>
> I agree this sounds strange. It's not as though Japanese films haven't
> found their way to American shores before. I'm also thinking how Sergio
> Leone took Kurosawa's "Yojimbo" verbatim when he made "A Fistful of
> Dollars." Of course, in Leone's case, he did acknowlege Kurosawa. Even
> George Lucas cited portions of Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress" as a
> major influence for "Star Wars." So this makes Kubrick's lack of
> acknowledgement curiouser and curioser. Did he think that in lifting a
> few shots no one would notice?

I don't know... Lucas and Scorsese borrowing from THE SEARCHERS, for
example, seems to be part of their agenda of "myth-making"... certainly
they never thought they were pulling the wool over anyone's eyes. If
anything, their "homages" would seem to stem not just from their
admiration of the earlier films, but also an insecurity (maybe not the
best word?) or their wanting to belong to a certain strand of film
history?

Kubrick wasn't immune from similar behavior, obviously, but I think his
approach was a little more complex... whether outright satirizing past
films or utilizing references in totally new contexts, he's clearly a
more thoughtful (and refreshingly irreverent) filmmaker. But his use of
scenes/ideas from FPOR is his most overt; I can only assume he was very
impressed with the film (or particular aspects of it) but beyond
that...

> Thanks for the information. It's funny that it hasn't gotten picked up
> by DVD companies such as Criterion or Kino, both of which will
> distribute little known foreign films, including from Japan.
>
> By the way, how is the quality of the bootleg copies?

There have been serious rumors of Criterion starting a new cult line
which would be perfect for Matsumoto's films (as well as Jodorowsky,
etc.) but as of yet nothing has been announced. I don't know why a film
of this quality (though its quality is - and should be - debatable)
hasn't yet been released in the west... probably the same reasons so
many countless other films (well-known and otherwise) are still not
seen here. Any number of DVD labels would fit the bill: Blue
Underground, Synapse, Fantoma, Anchor Bay, etc.

I've heard bad things about the 5MTL version of FPOR, and the other
films I've seen from 5MTL have not necessarily been very good... I've
ordered a few titles (though not specifically the Matsumoto films) from
Super Happy Fun and have been pleased with their quality, prices and
service... but obviously these are still bootlegs and you take your
chances. If I had a burner I would gladly trade copies...

> The more you have written about it, the more I definitely have to see
> this film -- even if it had no influence on Kubrick at all. I've tried
> the usual video store venues, even Virgin, which stocks multi-region
> DVDs and hard-to-find foreign releases, as well as cult movies very few
> people have ever seen at all; they didn't have it (at least not the
> store I went to). I may venture down to Little Tokyo the next weekend
> and see what is there in their video stores. In the mean time I will
> bug some of my friends around here and ask if they have ever heard of
> this movie.
>
> Thank you again, Jerry.

And you.

Mikko Pihkoluoma

unread,
Jul 28, 2005, 5:37:35 PM7/28/05
to
jerrythenerdswahili wrote:
>>Thanks for the information. It's funny that it hasn't gotten picked up
>>by DVD companies such as Criterion or Kino, both of which will
>>distribute little known foreign films, including from Japan.
>>
>>By the way, how is the quality of the bootleg copies?
>
>
> There have been serious rumors of Criterion starting a new cult line
> which would be perfect for Matsumoto's films (as well as Jodorowsky,
> etc.) but as of yet nothing has been announced. I don't know why a film
> of this quality (though its quality is - and should be - debatable)
> hasn't yet been released in the west... probably the same reasons so
> many countless other films (well-known and otherwise) are still not
> seen here. Any number of DVD labels would fit the bill: Blue
> Underground, Synapse, Fantoma, Anchor Bay, etc.
>
> I've heard bad things about the 5MTL version of FPOR, and the other
> films I've seen from 5MTL have not necessarily been very good... I've
> ordered a few titles (though not specifically the Matsumoto films) from
> Super Happy Fun and have been pleased with their quality, prices and
> service... but obviously these are still bootlegs and you take your
> chances. If I had a burner I would gladly trade copies...

Would you consider ripping the dvd onto your hard drive and compressing
it into a file people could download? Too much trouble? I could help you
find the right applications to do this.

DS

unread,
Jul 28, 2005, 8:34:50 PM7/28/05
to
Forgive me if posting P2P information is inappropriate at AMK, but
since you asked ...

For people who know how to use eMule, use these links:
ed2k://|file|Funeral.Parade.of.Roses.avi|726374312|BF05C86731F7F225519BF45F7A1C5023|h=FS5CFKPLISVMQ6SIPMCR3EBYXCXLJGQI|/
ed2k://|file|Funeral.Parade.of.Roses.srt|40706|243E43430FBD050862398EA1FE7C37DD|h=4FS42DO737RDNY3U3MZTARNBEHXLVT4J|/

The quality is great, but I get heavy pixelization during fast movement
(I may have an out of date codec). The first file is the movie itself,
the second is the English subtitles.

Specs:
Filesize.....: 692 MB (or 709,349 KB or 726,374,312 bytes)
Runtime......: 01:44:23 (150,163 fr)
Video Codec..: DivX 4 (OpenDivX)
Video Bitrate: 791 kb/s
Audio Codec..: 0x0055(MP3) ID'd as MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s (64/ch, stereo) CBR
Frame Size...: 640x448 (1.43:1) [=10:7]

mpihk...@hotmail.com

unread,
Aug 7, 2005, 6:04:04 PM8/7/05
to

Thanks for this. I still haven't found the time to actually watch the
film, but I have it now.

Mikko

Mikko Pihkoluoma

unread,
Aug 8, 2005, 6:20:54 PM8/8/05
to
jerrythenerdswahili wrote:
> Seeing the other thread about Warhol's VINYL prompted me to mention one
> of my favorite recently seen films: FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES by Toshio
> Matsumoto, which Kubrick *undoubtedly* saw and emulated in CLOCKWORK
> ORANGE...
>
> I counted no less than three specific scenes/tecniques that he lifted:
> Alex's march through the circular shopping center, the girls with the
> popsicles, the 3-way in alex's bedroom with sped-up music, the
> straight-ahead shot of the Droogs walking beside the pool in the plaza,
> the subsequent fight, the strange electronic music, etc.
>
> This is beyond coincidence and very disorienting (and more than a
> little disappointing) to see... it makes me wonder what other
> little-known films he might have cribbed from? I remember reading
> somewhere that he stole parts of FULL METAL JACKET from another
> japanese film, but I cannot recall the name (?)
>
> For what it's worth, FPOR is an amazing film on its own merits, truly
> one of the best Japanese films of the 60s and worth looking at if you
> can find it (and maybe other filmmakers don't want you to see it? I
> also noticed specific scenes ripped off by Van Zant for PRIVATE IDAHO
> and Lynch for ELEPHANT MAN).


I didn't notice any similarities to Elephant Man, but maybe you can
explain me what you mean. FWIW, Lynch is not the type of artist who
watches a lot of films. I'd be more than surprised to find out he's
seen Matsumoto's film.

As for what comes to the influences... I'm pretty sure it's not a mere
coincidence and K really did seek out this film, and yeah it is a
little weird to be making a "homage" to an unknown filmmaker. That's
what disappoints me about this, and the Russian technician K was
inspired by in 2001. That he goes specifically to films no one has seen
and uses elements pretty straightforwardly.

At the end of the day, I think you were hyping the film quite a bit.
The "lifts" are not as direct as you make them sound. In fact some of
them could be coincidences. But given the similarities in tone and
music, I think it would be weirder, if K hadn't seen the film. Overall,
I think the inspirations are fair, and not as direct as I was afraid
of.

Anyway, I'm glad I saw the film. It's a visual trip. (Not much
happening content-wise though.)

Mikko

jerrythenerdswahili

unread,
Aug 10, 2005, 7:57:37 AM8/10/05
to
Mikko Pihkoluoma wrote:
> I didn't notice any similarities to Elephant Man, but maybe you can
> explain me what you mean. FWIW, Lynch is not the type of artist who
> watches a lot of films. I'd be more than surprised to find out he's
> seen Matsumoto's film.

I already mentioned the specific scene from both FPOR and EM.

As for Lynch not watching or being aware of certain films, that's
malarkey. He may try to pass himself off as a gee-shucks yokel, but he
went to several prominent art schools and eventually was in the first
class at the AFI (with Terence Malick, among others) so at the very
least he had the opportunity (if not the inclination) to see many
classic and underground films.

> As for what comes to the influences... I'm pretty sure it's not a mere
> coincidence and K really did seek out this film, and yeah it is a
> little weird to be making a "homage" to an unknown filmmaker. That's
> what disappoints me about this, and the Russian technician K was
> inspired by in 2001. That he goes specifically to films no one has seen
> and uses elements pretty straightforwardly.
>
> At the end of the day, I think you were hyping the film quite a bit.
> The "lifts" are not as direct as you make them sound. In fact some of
> them could be coincidences. But given the similarities in tone and
> music, I think it would be weirder, if K hadn't seen the film. Overall,
> I think the inspirations are fair, and not as direct as I was afraid
> of.

First you say the similarities are "not a mere coincidence" and one
paragraph later you say they "could be coincidences"... No offense, but
is English not your first language? Because I don't understand the
points you might be trying to make.

And yes, I was hyping FPOR. It's a great film because of its own
merits, as well as for the fact that it influenced a specific Kubrick
film.

> Anyway, I'm glad I saw the film. It's a visual trip. (Not much
> happening content-wise though.)

Are you saying that the classic myth this story is based on is lacking
in content? The unusual milieu may suggest such an emptiness, but even
that becomes part of the film's message... the main character's search
for identity ends in a tragic revelation.

Zip

unread,
Aug 10, 2005, 11:23:38 AM8/10/05
to
"jerrythenerdswahili" <jerrythen...@mail.com> wrote...

> The main character's search for identity ends in a tragic revelation.

Oooh... Empire Strikes Back!

No but seriously folks... I will grab a copy of FPOR sometime, as it sounds
interesting.

-Paul.


Mikko Pihkoluoma

unread,
Aug 11, 2005, 10:51:34 AM8/11/05
to
jerrythenerdswahili wrote:
> Mikko Pihkoluoma wrote:
>
>>I didn't notice any similarities to Elephant Man, but maybe you can
>>explain me what you mean. FWIW, Lynch is not the type of artist who
>>watches a lot of films. I'd be more than surprised to find out he's
>>seen Matsumoto's film.
>
>
> I already mentioned the specific scene from both FPOR and EM.

In that case, can you copy paste it here, because I can't find it.

> As for Lynch not watching or being aware of certain films, that's
> malarkey. He may try to pass himself off as a gee-shucks yokel, but he
> went to several prominent art schools and eventually was in the first
> class at the AFI (with Terence Malick, among others) so at the very
> least he had the opportunity (if not the inclination) to see many
> classic and underground films.

Do you suppose they screened twenty years old unknown Japanese films at
AFI in the seventies? What I know about film schools, I doubt they would
show him experimental films beyond Un Chien Andalou or other films by
European auteurs.

And yeah Lynch has probably had the opportunity, but he's stated in
interviews that he's not much of a film-viewer.

>>As for what comes to the influences... I'm pretty sure it's not a mere
>>coincidence and K really did seek out this film, and yeah it is a
>>little weird to be making a "homage" to an unknown filmmaker. That's
>>what disappoints me about this, and the Russian technician K was
>>inspired by in 2001. That he goes specifically to films no one has seen
>>and uses elements pretty straightforwardly.
>>
>>At the end of the day, I think you were hyping the film quite a bit.
>>The "lifts" are not as direct as you make them sound. In fact some of
>>them could be coincidences. But given the similarities in tone and
>>music, I think it would be weirder, if K hadn't seen the film. Overall,
>>I think the inspirations are fair, and not as direct as I was afraid
>>of.
>
>
> First you say the similarities are "not a mere coincidence" and one
> paragraph later you say they "could be coincidences"... No offense, but
> is English not your first language? Because I don't understand the
> points you might be trying to make.

No, it is not my first language, as I have stated in this thread before.
I've learned all my English in school and through speaking with
foreigners who are my friends. Also posting in newsgroups has helped a
lot, but my command of English comes and goes...

The point I was trying to hint at, was that most influences are rather
difficult to prove, unless the directors admit it themselves. And I
think that "objectively" speaking some of the similarities that I
noticed between the two films could be just mere coincidences, but
*personally* I think it is perhaps even weirder if they were mere
coincidences. So while I wouldn't be writing a thesis about the
similarities, yeah I think the film is worth lifting up and being seen
by people who love Kubrick and ACO.

> And yes, I was hyping FPOR. It's a great film because of its own
> merits, as well as for the fact that it influenced a specific Kubrick
> film.

Yeah I get that. I was only trying to give my reaction to your reaction.
I appreciate that you posted the discovery of this film here, since I
can't remember it being mentioned before. But I personally don't find it
such a great revelation that you make it sound... But often similarities
I've noticed between two films feel stronger if I haven't heard about
them before and I think I'm the first to know...

>>Anyway, I'm glad I saw the film. It's a visual trip. (Not much
>>happening content-wise though.)
>
>
> Are you saying that the classic myth this story is based on is lacking
> in content? The unusual milieu may suggest such an emptiness, but even
> that becomes part of the film's message... the main character's search
> for identity ends in a tragic revelation.

I'm saying that picking up a classic myth and twisting it around a bit,
doesn't actually constitute content in itself. Overall, I found the
movie more form than content, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's just
different kind of cinema, which I'm interested in, but some AMKers might
not be.

--
mikko dot pihkoluoma at helsinki dot fi

http://trulio.vuodatus.net

Boaz

unread,
Aug 11, 2005, 7:39:53 PM8/11/05
to
> > As for Lynch not watching or being aware of certain films, that's
> > malarkey. He may try to pass himself off as a gee-shucks yokel, but he
> > went to several prominent art schools and eventually was in the first
> > class at the AFI (with Terence Malick, among others) so at the very
> > least he had the opportunity (if not the inclination) to see many
> > classic and underground films.

Actually, Lynch was with the fourth class at AFI, beginning in 1972.
Malick, Deschanel, Kagan and Schrader (who only actually audited) were
part of the first class, which was in 1969. Also, Lynch spent five
years working on "Eraserhead," which was his Masters Thesis film.

> Do you suppose they screened twenty years old unknown Japanese films at
> AFI in the seventies? What I know about film schools, I doubt they would
> show him experimental films beyond Un Chien Andalou or other films by
> European auteurs.

I attended AFI in the early '80s, and we did not see very many
experimental films during that time -- at least not on campus. (We
usually ventured to UCLA, or any one of the several revival house
theaters that still existed then, or maybe LACMA, or venues like that.)
The closest was when we saw Lynch's "The Grandmother," which he made in
1969 on an AFI grant. That film later got him into AFI's Center For
Advanced Film Studies. We got to see it, along with "Eraserhead" and
"The Elephant Man," when Lynch came back for a brief seminar, mostly a
Q&A session. He was in pre-production on "Dune," so he didn't have much
time to spend with us. But it was great to have him share some of his
stories with us, especially the story of how he got to direct "The
Elephant Man."

> And yeah Lynch has probably had the opportunity, but he's stated in
> interviews that he's not much of a film-viewer.

He doesn't care that much for conventional studio films, that's for
sure, and I think that's more than likely what was meant by that
statement. He has said that such off-beat works as Tod Browning's
"Freaks" was a big influence on him. Getting "The Elephant Man" was a
fluke, as was "Dune." He never thought of himself as a conventional
filmmaker, and he never had ambitions to do any commercial film work
for a studio, despite his education at AFI. He has tried to treat film
in the same way he has treated his paintings and music, in an
experimental and personal way. He knows he is fortunate to be in a
position now to do the kind of stuff he wants to do, without worrying
about money. However, Lynch has also said (much later in interviews)
that due to his experiences on TEM, "Dune" and "Blue Velvet" that he
could not go back to his earlier scripts, such as "Ronnie Rocket,"
because he felt he had grown too much as an artist to handle the
subject in a way he could have back in his "Eraserhead" days."

Boaz
("This is one of my best pictures.")

goofb...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 24, 2005, 3:24:24 PM8/24/05
to
More on recent Matsumoto news here:

http://www.mastersofcinema.org/

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