Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kubrick's Odyssey:Hidden Secrets in the films of Stanley Kubrick. Part One Kubrick and Apollo (2011)

DB here. One of the films getting the big buzz going into Sundance is a feature documentary called Room 237. From what I read it covers the same material as this film. Where Room 237 is getting all the buzz, Kubrick's Odyessy was there first.

Off the deep end documentary that speculates that Stanley Kubrick sold his soul to the devil in a deal that had him faking the video of the moon landing (though we did go to the moon) and then revealing the con in various films he made after 2001.

The story told says that after people in the Pentagon saw Dr Strangelove they hired Kubrick to shoot footage of the moon landings so that the Soviets wouldn't see the technology that we were really using on the moon. This allowed Kubrick to make any movie he ever wanted, but it also troubled him deeply and that he started to hide clues as to what was really going on in his later films.

Its an insane story that seems to be based purely on the fact that Kubrick had help in making 2001 from NASA and various corporations involved in the moon shots. There is no hard evidence for any of it, just speculation. Any real evidence is a comparison of shots from 2001 where front projection was used (and genuinely visible) with photographs and video footage from the moon flights where director Jay Weidner says a similar technique was used (which it clearly wasn't).

The problem with the story during the first half of the film is that the evidence isn't there. Director Weidner shows footage of the moon landing where he's drawn in a line in the sand and said that past this line nothing is real. He said it's because the ground is different (often smooth compared to where the ground where the astronauts walked is full of footprints) and because he used techniques similar to those of Richard Hogaland who says that there are hidden buildings on the moon. It doesn't hold up especially since the real differences in the back and fore grounds in2001 are not in the moon photos, and you really have to be deluding yourself to believe otherwise.

Even more damning is that there is no other physical evidence for the theory, not a suggestion of where it was done or when or how, nor is there any explanation of where this idea came from, Its simply something that came from from the ether based on a too close reading of the films of Kubrick.

Okay you're wondering if the physical evidence isn't there, why am I bothering to write this film up?

Because once you get pass the BS attempt at physical evidence and you look at films it becomes an over intellectual, absolutely not provable, but damn interesting tale.

The main thrust of the second half of the film is that chomping on the bit that Kubrick was chaffing at keeping his secret from everyone and he started to reveal the real story,that the world is actually controlled by a secret organization who paid him to shoot fake footage and that the one person he actually told about this was killed, and that there is a chance that Kubrick's death may have been in response to revelations in Eyes Wide Shut.

While the film hints at great revelation the majority of this film is about how The Shining is a code key to understanding what the deal is with America and the moon flights. I'm assuming that since this film is Part One, that later films will go on about the secret organization and death stories in greater detail.

Frankly how Weidner reads The Shining is absolutely fascinating. He sees it as a look at America and at revealing some big secret. Weidner sells his theory so well that many of the doubts that I had at the start of the film were disappearing during the second. Basically not bothered by reality or science or any real facts the story is wonderful.

Of course the clues that he uses to unlock these secrets are often so esoteric as to be laughable. I mean how many people would actually know what a certain launch site looked like from above? Other bits about numbers are possibly better known but there is no context that we'd ever catch them.

It gets so esoteric that Weidner says that a change in Jack Torrence's car was a signal sent to Stephen King that he had to change the novel, a fact reinforced by the fact we see right color car under a tractor trailer later in the film.

I don't buy any of it...on the other hand it is a damn good intellectual exercise that is fun to noodle around...assuming you don't actually let the mind stretching of the blind tunnels become you're reality.

I am looking forward to the second part. I am dying to find out about how a friend of Kubrick's may have been killed for knowing too much or how even Kubrick may have been silenced for making Eyes Wide Shut.

If you can go with the illogical logic of it all and see it as a goof and not real then I highly recommend you give this film a go; though rent it since the whole long section on the photographs is wrong headed and dull as dirt (the evidence isn't there).

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