Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: Poggle on April 29, 2006, 03:46:00 PM



Title: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Poggle on April 29, 2006, 03:46:00 PM
Wow, that movie is definately on the level of Leone's genius. The various elements in this film make it quite unique, like the way the music and Barry's appearance change during his travels and various roles. If there is one movie on the level of Leone's films I would definately say that Barry Lyndon is it. Kick ass movie!

Are there any other movies like this? It's obvious that films like Amadeus and Braveheart were inspired by it.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: The Firecracker on April 29, 2006, 03:48:09 PM
If there is one movie on the level of Leone's films I would definately say that Barry Lyndon is it. Kick ass movie!




I wouldnt go as far as to say "Lyndon" is on par with say..."Once Upon A time in the west" or "Giu La Testa" but yes it is a wonderful film.
I believe the second half  starts to drag for far too long though...


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: DJIMBO on April 29, 2006, 05:01:28 PM
Yeah this is one of my favourite films. i agree it does drag slightly and the acting isnt great in places, but as a spectacle its wonderful. interestingly, one of my dads friends was the costume designer (though if anyone had any illusions no my familys not part  of a trendy movie crowd!!).

The music is very Morricone, and the shootouts are good as well, tho not IMO on a par with Leone's (though the reviewer on this website thinks Lyndon's are better)..


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Banjo on April 30, 2006, 02:57:50 AM
Are there any other movies like this? It's obvious that films like Amadeus and Braveheart were inspired by it.
I was captivated until this comment!


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Poggle on April 30, 2006, 03:48:41 PM
I don't think their quality is anywhere near Barry Lyndon's but it is an obvious influence in those films. It's like Leone and the many Leone-wannabes. Some may suck and some might not but the Leone influence is still there. Amadeus and Braveheart aren't a zit on Barry Lyndon's Irish buttocks even if I did find them quite entertaining ;)


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: noodles_leone on April 30, 2006, 04:20:00 PM
I'm sorry to say I think that this movie has a lot of flaws.... including the persuasive use of zoom :-\ :-\ :-\

Anyway: concerning the music of the final duel (a very strange version of the movie theme, sarabande) was intentionaly "morricone-like". According to Mr Kubrick himself: "it was the closest to morricone thing we could manage to do".


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 30, 2006, 04:21:29 PM
BL was Kubrick's attempt at an SW. The big gundown motif runs throughout....


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 30, 2006, 04:29:08 PM
I'm sorry to say I think that this movie has a lot of flaws.... including the persuasive use of zoom :-\ :-\ :-\

But also the reverse zoom. His general technique is to begin with a tableau, recreating exactly the look of old paintings, then move in for details in medium shots and close-ups. He also does the opposite. Perhaps K can be faulted for wanting to include so many painting-like shots in the picture, but when you achieve such technical excellence it's hard to resist not showing off.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Poggle on May 02, 2006, 01:57:15 PM
But also the reverse zoom. His general technique is to begin with a tableau, recreating exactly the look of old paintings, then move in for details in medium shots and close-ups. He also does the opposite. Perhaps K can be faulted for wanting to include so many painting-like shots in the picture, but when you achieve such technical excellence it's hard to resist not showing off.

I like the fact that every shot looks like a painting. The zooms give it a "flat" look to have that painting quality.

I don't see anything wrong with him "trying to do a SW" kind of story with Lyndon. I think It blows many non-Leone SW's out of the water with the over-the-top storyline and quality.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: The Firecracker on May 02, 2006, 02:12:16 PM
I think It blows many non-Leone SW's out of the water with the over-the-top storyline and quality.

I dont see how that statment can be taken seriously. Lyndon is an entirly different movie from any spaghetti western. Yes it has the traditional final "duel" but ultimatly spaghetti westerns are mainly entertaining "throw away" action movies which Lyndon is not. There is just is no comparision except for the "duels". Any comparision would be un-fair.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Juan Miranda on May 02, 2006, 04:41:11 PM
I do love certain aspects of this film, the production design, the battle scenes and especially the cinematography. The last time I met Freddie Francis was at a screening of LYNDON at the NFT in London, and  when John Alcott's end credit appeared on the screen there was a huge burst of applause from the audience.

I'm surprised though that so far no one has pointed out how awful Ryan O'Neal is in the film. He's not a bad performer when properly used, but he is the kiss of death to this movie in so many ways. He seems to have been cast exclusivly due to his box office pull at the time, and maybe his Irish name blinded Kubrick to the fact that he looks like a Califonian surfer with a smart assed urban way of delivering dialogue? Could have been worse I guess, he could have hired Burt Reynolds.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Mw/NNrules on August 17, 2007, 07:22:37 PM
Are there any other movies like this? It's obvious that films like Amadeus and Braveheart were inspired by it.
Although a way different film, City of God struck me as very Leone like in essence. And I don't just mean the violence: the freezing frames, and the episode like format, all seem very Leone to me. Barry Lyndon and City of God are only the same in how they seem SW like.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: mike siegel on August 30, 2007, 03:59:44 AM
MASTERPIECE.

To compare Leone & Kubrick is a strange idea, I think. Just because they both made epic films? I love and collect
them both, they were both sticklers for detail, both among the most talented film makers ever.

Ryan O'Neal was perfect cast for the film. Kubrick said he choose him, because he looked absolutely perfect for
the role and that he thought O'Neal could do better acting jobs than his previous films demanded of him. Later he claimed
that O'Neal did not dissapoint him at all. The essence of the character of BARRY LYNDON is written all over O'Neal's face - that was a major point in casting him. He absolutely looks his part. KUbrick said he couldn't imagine any other leading
man in the part. Acting is not everything in casting - sure, Nicholson or Hoffman might have give the acting another
direction. But their looks didn't fit the emotional side of the character at all.

I saw the film quiet late as it was hard to catch it in cinemas after  76. And I always was a bit afraid of it, mainly because
of the period in which I don't have too much interest in. And O'Neal... I had all the mediocre films in mind he starred in (minus PAPERMOON of course). I was very surprised how good he was. And how good the film was. A unique film, maybe the only one that captures that period in mood, looks & music. Without any compromises at all. No Hollywood bullshit. Superb film. A real time machine.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: cigar joe on August 30, 2007, 06:00:54 AM
agreed great film Mike O0


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Rojo Ramone on August 30, 2007, 02:20:39 PM
Some people don't like O'neal in this film~not me... Same goes with Nicholson in THE SHINING ,you either love him or hate him, there doesn't seem to be any inbetweens (IMO.)
BARRY LYNDON is one of my favorite films of all time.
It's a shame that BL isn't getting the SE treatment other Kubrick films are getting this fall. >:( Can you imagine this film on Blu Ray or HD?..Wow!


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: cigar joe on August 30, 2007, 02:33:56 PM
yea its a cool film


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: PowerRR on August 31, 2007, 04:03:29 PM

I wouldnt go as far as to say "Lyndon" is on par with say..."Once Upon A time in the west" or "Giu La Testa" but yes it is a wonderful film.
I believe the second half  starts to drag for far too long though...
I agree with every word you just said.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: cigar joe on June 30, 2008, 10:56:20 PM
Watched my new DVD of this tonight, WOW what a feast for the eyes.  I forget how great this film is, everything is perfection, this time around I really gravitated on the candle lit sequences, damn there must be over 100 candels in some of those scenes and in a few of those chandeliers alone.

Anybody who hasn't seen this check it out, beautiful!!!!  O0

Now I got to find the best DVD release of Tom Jones as a period companion piece.

DJ you know which is the best DVD of Tom Jones?


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 30, 2008, 11:51:49 PM
I dunno. I have the standard R1 MGM release and I'm satisfied with it.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: cigar joe on July 01, 2008, 05:13:26 AM
I've read that some thought the transfer less than perfect, good to know.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 01, 2008, 11:15:10 PM
If I recall, it's not an anamorphic transfer, just letterboxed. A much better edition could certainly be made.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on December 02, 2008, 09:25:16 PM
There is a thread on this film! :o Let us reknew discussion of Marisa Berenson's gaze. :D


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: The Firecracker on December 02, 2008, 11:16:53 PM
There is a thread on this film! :o

I hate to be a forum nazi but...
we should also put this in the Off Topic section.

Better you hear it from me than some old grump like Jenkins...

...oh... and this film is the shitz! O0

10/10


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on December 02, 2008, 11:52:01 PM
This thread must be really, really old if it's in this section. Granted, its Leone-ish style probably warranted its being placed here.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 03, 2008, 06:04:59 AM
It's a disguised Western, anyway.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on December 03, 2008, 08:16:23 AM
You must have a very broad definiton of Western.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on December 03, 2008, 08:20:13 AM
Here's my blog comment on this film, to perhaps re-initiate discussion. A bit snarky no doubt, but given how much I disliked the film, you should expect nothing more (or less).

Quote
It's taken two weeks, but I'm finally getting around to bashing that much-beloved Stanley Kubrick "masterpiece" Barry Lyndon. It's very convenient for me that this film bears so much resemblance to the other entry in this, the equally tedious piece of drek Amadeus. Both films were set in the 18th Century, both visually stunning and ornate, with lots of great classical music, and both are stultifyingly, indescribably dull.

Stanley Kubrick is generally regarded as one of the greatest directors in cinema history - just ask the bloviating dweebs on IMDB. Perhaps the most misanthropic of the "great" directors, his movies tend to have a decidedly cynical view of humanity as a bunch of violent, selfish, amoral, pathetic and all-around horrible, with few redeeming features and worthy only of contempt. There's no small degree of truth to this characterization, and it's led to a number of great films, but Kubrick's apparent contempt for his characters occasionally gets a bit tiresome and grating, leading to a sense that the director is trying to convince us he's better than the slobs he's showing - and, by implication, us as well.

Of course, of the seven or eight Kubricks I've seen, I have a few I love. I have a great affection for Spartacus, even though it's not a "real" Kubrick film, and I find Full Metal Jacket and Dr. Strangelove to be masterpieces - movies where Kubrick's vision of the human race plays brilliantly with the material. Then there's The Killing, a dull and derivative formula crime caper, and Paths of Glory, a stiff, solemn and didactic (but well-made and occasionally powerful) anti-war sermon. There's A Clockwork Orange, a curious film that I enjoyed while watching it, but have no great desire to see again, perhaps due to its overweening, self-conscious smarminess (an IMDBer once called it "A smartass kid's vision of an adult book", and I think there's something to that). I'm not denying Kubrick's talent, or that he was a great director. (Nor am I claiming to be an expert on the issue; I'm merely commenting on what I've seen.) I'm merely pointing out that on occasion, his misantrhopy could be a bit much to swallow. Such is the case with Barry Lyndon.

Barry Lyndon tells the story of Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal), an ambitious but poor Irish lad who dreams of growing up rich and famous. After a duel with a British officer (Leonard Rossiter) over the affection of his cousin (Gay Hamilton), he flees, penniless, to Dublin, where he joins the British Army. He deserts during the Seven Years' War, only to be conscripted in the Prussian Army by Captain Potzdorf (Hardy Kruger). Cited for gallantry, Barry becomes an intelligence officer, spying on the gambler the Chevalier (Patrick Magee), and through him falls in love with Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson), the pretty wife of a dying aristocrat (Frank Middlemass). After his death, they marry, lead to soap operatic inter-family tensions, as Barry ignores his wife for the sake of his political connections and his son and stepson quarrel and bicker and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

It's pretty obvious that Kubrick wants to take the piss out of historical romance novels and stories with this film, by giving us a stately, handsome but empty with an amoral dullard as our protagonist. That may be fine and good on an intellectual level, as I've heard many praise the film for doing just that. It's not a bad idea in theory, but in practice, it makes for a dreadful bore of a movie.

What does the film get right? Everything technical, which is a very back-handed complement. Every single frame is composed like a painting, leading to some of the most beautiful images ever captured on film. The climactic duel, Lady Lyndon's dissent into isolation, Barry's travels through war-torn Europe, all utilize striking images and cinematography, creating. The art direction is without peer throughout, with fabulous costumes and set design. Kubrick makes fabulous use of music, too, collection an assortment of classical pieces by Handel, Schubert, Vivalid, Mozart and others and using them brilliantly. But what is the point of all this jabberwocky? What is it in service of?

The movie is simply excrutiating to sit through. It's slow, stately, and generally dull. It grows really old, really fast, and at 184 minutes it's nothing short of painful. The first half of the story has some interest, with its anti-heroic adventure gone awry, but the second half is absolutely dull, retreating to the most treachly, hackneyed soap opera narrative imaginable. How are pictures supposed to make this bearable? The film does have a few glimmers of humor which shine through - Arthur O'Sullivan's courteous Irish highwayman, Barry's short-lived affair with a German woman (Diana Koermer) who "has been stormed and occupied many times", Lord Lyndon's confrontation wtih Barry - but the satirical intent of the film is largely stultified by its overall dullness. How can you laugh when you're asleep? Everything is meticulously shot and carefully orchestrated, but the film generates no interest in the events on screen. The movie seems completely empty; there's very little point to much anything that goes on, beyond subverting the old cliches of the Romantic novel, which granted are done well - but not in an entertaining fashion. The story progression is also somewhat spotty and suspect; key moments like Barry's defection to the Chevalier seem to happen for no reason at all, the pacing is stilted, and the narrative flows like a squeeze. It's a handsome piece of work, but it would seem simply for the sake of being handsome. People criticize David Lean for being stiff and sacrificing characters for pretty pictures and spectacle? I guess they slept through Barry Lyndon and were thus unable to apply that criticism to Kubrick.

Perhaps the best way to criticize the film is to go after its protagonist. Barry isn't sympathetic, which isn't surprising - he's supposed to be the amoral mirror image of the romantic hero of Georgian literature, who engages in a variety of adventures while remaining a selfish rogue. But Barry isn't even an interesting character. He's completely passive, doing nothing but allowing himself to be manipulated by events around him, and as such he's a complete bore. His wife remains a non-entity, almost never speaking, remaining in the background, her face an empty, catatonic gaze which registers nothing and says even less. If we got to know her at all it might be effective, but as it is she's simply a wax dummy staring at us from the periphery of the story. The supporting characters are broad caricatures or pencil sketches, confirming it would seem my above suppositions about Mr. Kubrick. When your viewers don't care a pile of goose poop about the story or the characters, you have a problem, regardless of how artistic you are.

Casting Ryan O'Neal as our lead character is another huge mistake. Perhaps the worst big-name actor in cinema history (he's up there with Keanu Reeves and Orlando Bloom in my book), casting him as an Irishman-turned-aristocrat is laughable. It may serve a purpose and is appropriate for the dull stateliness of the affair, but O'Neal is simply dead weight. The rest of the cast barely even rates a mention, in my book; Harry Kruger, Frank Middlemass, Arthur O'Sullivan, and Marie Kean (the bigoted Irish couple in Ryan's Daughter) are the only cast members who contribute anything of value in my book. When all of the characters are cyphers, it's not surprising that the equivalent performances are weak.

So, is Barry Lyndon worth watching? Depends. Do you enjoy torturing yourself with three hours of boredom? Are you, like so many on IMDB, a Kubrick cultist who does nothing but grovel at the feet of Stanley and decapitates anyone who dares disagree? Maybe if you like pretty pictures, and want to hear some bitching classical music, you'll love this one. But the rest of you have been warned.

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2008/11/your-classic-movie-sucks-2-barry-lyndon.html (http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2008/11/your-classic-movie-sucks-2-barry-lyndon.html)

And here is an excellent, in-depth analysis of the movie that Jinkies and others may appreciate.

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0086.html (http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0086.html)


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 03, 2008, 09:25:28 AM
An amusing review, Groggy. Of course I disagree. By calling the film slow all you've done is admitted you've never seen anything by Tarkovsky. And how can you exclude Leonard Rossiter ("Capt. Quinn") from "the only cast members who contribute anything of value"? I think I came across something recently that suggested he would have been better casting for Barry--that may well be true, although the scenes as a young man might have proved a difficulty.

Anyway, Groggy, good review, you made me laugh. 8/10.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on December 03, 2008, 10:09:47 AM
Did you look at the article I linked at the end of it? That would be more up your alley I think.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 03, 2008, 11:40:18 AM
I think I've read it before (I've been to that Kubrick site a few times). That piece is not without merit, but the fact the guy doesn't know the novel hurts his analysis. He can't really talk about an "unreliable narrator" in the film without taking into account that the novel REALLY has an unreliable narrator, and that Kubrick went to great lengths to shed that approach when making his adaptation. And anyway, there's a difference between a narrator who is unreliable and one who is merely ironic.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on December 03, 2008, 05:49:41 PM
I checked out the novel from the library today. I'm not sure if I'll have time to read it, but we'll see - if I find it interesting enough I'll make the time.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: The Firecracker on December 03, 2008, 11:03:05 PM
Despite what you mentioned about Kubrick and his deranged fans, I couldn't agree with any of what you wrote about BL Groggy.





Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on December 04, 2008, 12:13:10 AM
Oh well.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on December 04, 2008, 05:34:38 AM
I checked out the novel from the library today. I'm not sure if I'll have time to read it, but we'll see - if I find it interesting enough I'll make the time.
It's pretty amusing as I remember.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Dust Devil on July 27, 2009, 09:23:15 AM
Well, to tell you the truth I (still) don't know what to think of Barry Lyndon. I re-watched it yesterday in one sip after relatively many years and... same thing as always: it has its moments (portraying the fucked-up Europe, mocking the aristocracy) and it's visually ravishing, but it's empty, there is no essence whatsoever, and no feeling of any kind in it. Paradoxically, Kubrick probably nailed what the dying Europe was at the time, except I don't see for what purpose; he wasn't doing a documentary. The final duel was ironically beautiful, definitely. As a scene in a movie it's overlong, anemic and boring as it is ingenious on paper. That's about it.


6.85 - 7.1 / 10


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on July 27, 2009, 09:26:13 AM
Interesting that you bump this thread. I have it coming from Netflix in the next day or so and I'll be interested to see if I would enjoy it more or still find it a pretty bore.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Atlas2112 on July 27, 2009, 09:34:19 AM
is this after you have read the book or has that not panned out?


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Dust Devil on July 27, 2009, 09:35:55 AM
I don't even know why I watched it, I have at least 10 other films I've never seen waiting near the DVD player, and no free time at hands. It's the heat, probably. I'm always testing myself.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on July 27, 2009, 01:57:12 PM
is this after you have read the book or has that not panned out?

I got about one hundred pages into it before I found I didn't have enough time to read the whole thing.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on July 27, 2009, 02:21:58 PM
Well, I took another trip to the Kubrick Well today. Despite my initial lukewarm reception of Barry Lyndon I've been persuaded to rewatch the film as it supposedly improves with repeat viewings. Sadly, this was not the case with me.

As before I really like the first half of the movie, at least through the Ireland and Seven Years' War scenes. They're full of caustic, dry humor, fine performances and great set-pieces (the duel, Arthur O'Sullivan as Captain Feeny, the battle scenes, Barry's encounter with Potzdorf, Barry's decoration, the intro to Lady Lyndon). The supporting cast is uniformly excellent, even those actors I overlooked last time I watched; it's too bad that the film's leads are a bewigged block of wood and a catatonic dress-up doll. The movie starts to slip a bit during the scenes with the Chevalier (the reason given for Barry's defection is horribly unconvincing), encountering narrative drift and the first of many well-composed but interminable scenes consisting of well-dressed people sitting around whilst beautiful music plays on the soundtrack, but it's still watchable, and the act ends on a high note with Frank Middlemass's great scene as Lord Lyndon. I'd give the first half a high 7/10; entertaining and interesting, not truly great perhaps, but worth my time.

The second half of the movie, however, is pretty much unbearable. It's like staring at a painting for seventy minutes and about as satisfying; the great music and visual splendor wears itself out before too long simply because there's nothing of interest going on. There's no emotional connection to the characters, no narrative drive, no interesting story (rather a treacly, insipid soap opera), none of the early parts' humor, no themes worth consideration (the aristocracy of Georgian England weren't nice people? Shocker), no reason at all to give a damn about what's going on onscreen really. Presumably we're supposed to be enraptured by the gorgeous art direction but this only works up to a point. Not to mention, I find the narrator insufferable in the later passages. I will grant I enjoy his snarky commentary on the early segments of the film, but as Barry's life falls apart it just seems cruel and mean-spirited to the extreme. This part of the film is perhaps the strongest argument for Kubrick as anti-humanist cynic. And even that wouldn't bother me that much (who says a filmmaker has to love the characters he portrays?) if something worthwhile were going on! But nothing is! It's redeemed a bit by the wonderful Barry-Bullingdon duel but it ends on as empty and uninteresting a note as it's been chugging along under for the past hour and a half or so.

I feel a need to raise a dissent on the issue of the film's cinematography and art direction. Certainly it's a beautiful film, but it's not a beauty I particularly like. It's an aesthetically distant type of beauty, flat, dull and uninteresting - very pretty, to be sure, but to what end? Kubrick shoots the film with rote camera movements of the sort that the likes of Fred Zinnemann get routinely criticized for. It certainly looks nice but it doesn't amount to much because, not only is much done with it beyond producing an endless series of pretty pictures, for much of the film there's rarely anything interesting going on within the shots themselves. Compared to Lean or Leone or Hitchcock's films, or even Kubrick's own 2001, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, the cinematography is empty and uninteresting, the kind of stuff that we're supposed to appreciate and admire rather than enjoy. If you enjoy it, power to you, but that does not apply to me. In my opinion, truly great films are both artistically sound and entertaining.

So yeah, I still don't like it. I gave it another shot, and it appealed to me roughly as it did the first time around. I might be generous enough to give the film a bump from a 5 to 6, but that's about it, I fear.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on July 27, 2009, 06:44:40 PM
In interest of fairness, here's a review one of my IMDB associates gave me.

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.bl.html (http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.bl.html)

A Leone-interested statement: Kubrick mentions the Handel piece used throughout the film reminded him of Ennio Morricone when played on a guitar.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: cigar joe on July 28, 2009, 03:42:47 AM
So you are rating Public Enemies as good or better than Barry Lyndon. OK.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on July 28, 2009, 05:56:40 AM
7 > 5. I'm impressed you can do basic math.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: noodles_leone on July 28, 2009, 10:02:25 AM
I don't love BL either... but at least, it has a script, a nice cinematography and a few great scenes... unlike Public Enemies.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on July 28, 2009, 11:28:06 AM
And nobody ran through a forest at night so that's always good.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 28, 2009, 12:45:35 PM
The second half of the movie, however, is pretty much unbearable. It's like staring at a painting for seventy minutes and about as satisfying; the great music and visual splendor wears itself out before too long simply because there's nothing of interest going on. There's no emotional connection to the characters, no narrative drive, no interesting story (rather a treacly, insipid soap opera), none of the early parts' humor, no themes worth consideration (the aristocracy of Georgian England weren't nice people? Shocker), no reason at all to give a damn about what's going on onscreen really. Presumably we're supposed to be enraptured by the gorgeous art direction but this only works up to a point. Not to mention, I find the narrator insufferable in the later passages. I will grant I enjoy his snarky commentary on the early segments of the film, but as Barry's life falls apart it just seems cruel and mean-spirited to the extreme. This part of the film is perhaps the strongest argument for Kubrick as anti-humanist cynic. And even that wouldn't bother me that much (who says a filmmaker has to love the characters he portrays?) if something worthwhile were going on! But nothing is! It's redeemed a bit by the wonderful Barry-Bullingdon duel but it ends on as empty and uninteresting a note as it's been chugging along under for the past hour and a half or so.
As you might expect, my take is entirely different. The irony that has been sitting lightly on the surface in Part 1 suddenly goes viral and heads straight into the bone. Barry, the somewhat charming adventurer in the first half, is revealed as an entirely callow and depraved individual. I remember the first time I saw the scene where he blows smoke in Lady Lyndon's face--I was shocked. We'd seen that he was something of an opportunist, but now he was shown to be an utter shit. He actually loves the child he has with his despised wife, however, so Barry is greatly affected when he loses him. Such a tragedy is often the occasion for redemption, and there is finally a sense that Barry and Lady Lyndon could reconcile. But by that time it is too late: Lord Bullingdon must have his revenge. The film does a good job of presenting a simple thesis: in 18th Century European society, vice is rewarded, virtue punished. Barry's rise is possible because of his emotional estrangement from those around him. His fall, on the other hand, is precipitated by his rediscovery of powerful feelings (culminating in his forgiveness of Bullingdon: by discharging his pistol harmlessly, he gives his enemy the means by which he is destroyed). No good deed shall go unpunished, so redemption is denied Barry, as it is for all the characters in the film. At the end we understand that Lady Lyndon, in spite of everything, had loved Barry, had squandered her emotions on an unworthy object. Ironies compound until the final epigraph renders Kubrick's final, extremely jaundiced, assessment. As a view of the world it is incredibly bleak and it's hard to believe that Kubrick felt that way about his characters (otherwise, why bother to make films?), or about the people in his life (otherwise, why bother to live?). But it is a very human response to the world, one that people have expressed from time to time and one the film communicates powerfully. I left the theater in 1976 devastated, and there are only a few other films that have engaged me so deeply since.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on July 28, 2009, 06:09:28 PM
Barry seems to be a callous asshole at the very beginning of Act II - presumably, as the narration states, still smarting over the rejection of his cousin Nora, and thus transferring his misogynist fury onto an innocent target in Lady Lydon. However, after Lady Lyndon and his son catch him philandering, he seems to reform to an extent and reconciles with her. This is a key point which I think is largely missing from your otherwise interesting analysis; he reforms fairly quickly, just in time to see the world fall apart around him.

I think the story is interesting, whether or not that was clear. I just think it's poorly done, with Kubrick putting more emphasis on art than narrative. I hope I have time to read the novel the whole way through at some point in the future.

I will note that the epigraph comes from the source novel. It's not original to Kubrick.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 28, 2009, 08:02:03 PM
I will note that the epigraph comes from the source novel. It's not original to Kubrick.
True, but it is used differently. The novel is told in the first person, the film, as it must be, the third person. That shift in perspective alters the meaning. Kim Newman makes this observation:
Quote
Even the celebrated epilogue is a lift from an early passage in the novel in which Barry smugly assesses the troubled times of ancestors whose errors he is about to repeat. Here, despite his reputed misanthropy, Kubrick is diffident and generous where Thackeray was merciless and unforgiving: "It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now."
(The whole Newman piece is well worth reading: http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/feature/49516 ).

I disagree with Newman's final assessment, however. When the sentiment was expressed by Lyndon, it could be dismissed as personal misanthropy. Kubrick's use, making it the objective, concluding epigraph of the whole film, renders it nearly a universal truth.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: twood on July 29, 2009, 12:39:09 PM
One of the greatest movies ever made.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Sonny on January 27, 2010, 07:46:27 PM
So I'm taking an Irish Film class at Florida International University where so far we've watched "The Quiet Man", "Michael Collins" and "Waking Ned Davine". We're in constant debate (as it is the purpose of the class) about what constitutes an "Irish Film". And beyond the general question about a film's nationality is the notion that an "Irish" film that depicts my professor's definition of "Irishness" is simply a film that delineates some aspect of Irish culture, meaning it doesn't need to be produced by an Irish production company or directed by an Irish filmmaker, since, in fact, it can be just as American as "The Quiet Man", starring John Wayne playing an Irish-American. So my idea of an Irish film based on these standards would be Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" and I'm prepared to argue my way into getting it shown in my class. Any thoughts on this? Just curious.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 27, 2010, 07:52:01 PM
Works for me. It does have some Chieftains on the soundtrack.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Dust Devil on January 27, 2010, 08:25:10 PM
Works for me. It does have some Chieftains on the soundtrack.

Hah, old wolf, those were all the excuses you needed, ha? I guess then every Western ever made is, by inertion, an American movie. :D


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: The Firecracker on January 27, 2010, 08:49:59 PM
Lets keep the discussion going on the original BL thread. O0

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=3333.0


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: cigar joe on January 28, 2010, 04:13:34 AM
Go for it Sonny O0. It will Blow them Away, lol  O0


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 28, 2010, 07:07:17 AM
I'm doubtful. The Groggy Generation can't abide that sort of thing.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 28, 2010, 10:51:35 AM
Quote
Hah, old wolf, those were all the excuses you needed, ha? I guess then every Western ever made is, by inertion, an American movie.
But you know, the pity of it is, I'm on record (in this very thread) as claiming that BL itself is a Western!


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2010, 11:00:25 AM
And nobody ran through a forest at night so that's always good.

Just noticed this line. Made me laugh.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Groggy on January 28, 2010, 11:33:40 AM
I'm doubtful. The Groggy Generation can't abide that sort of thing.

If *I* must suffah, humanity will suffawitme!


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Sonny on January 28, 2010, 08:18:33 PM
I'm sorry to say I think that this movie has a lot of flaws.... including the persuasive use of zoom :-\ :-\ :-\


What exactly do you mean?

Of course, I'm not saying the film is flawless but it is quite possibly the most physically gorgeous film I've ever seen. All of its shots are perfect photographs. No film director either preceeding or succeeding Kubrick has been able to create such a perfect effect of a style that so closely resembles a moving paining.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Sonny on January 28, 2010, 08:31:55 PM
Wow I just realized how old this thread is.... I'm sure some members have gotten to watch the film again (even if completely against their "better judgment") so I'm curious about whether any opinions have changed or become more radically inclined toward one-dimmensional critique. Not that views I've read here haven't raised interesting ideas, but I'm still not convinced about what makes the film even remotely mediocre in style, meaning, characterization, cinematography, sequence or anything else. But, as always, I'm interested in your ideas.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: cigar joe on January 28, 2010, 08:37:59 PM
Probably a few months ago I watched it recently. Its just a beautiful film I can watch it and get lost in the visuals every time.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Sonny on January 28, 2010, 08:53:37 PM
Yeah, it's very visually enjoyable to watch. I don't think that's all there is to it, since it does present an anti-heroic character who's own decision lead to his personal downfall and degeneration. Even so, I wouldn't be able to compare it with any Leone film. Comparing Leone with any director is fruitless, and saying that Kubrick was trying to make a SW with Barry Lyndon is intriguing, but not very accurate. BL is quite simply a period pieece with an anti-heroic character, as depicted in the novel.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: cigar joe on January 28, 2010, 09:06:40 PM
If you haven't try and watch Tom Jones as a companion piece, its a different style but very effective also.


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 17, 2017, 05:47:35 PM
Criterion:
Quote
•New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
•Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
•New documentary featuring cast and crew interviews as well as excerpts from a 1976 audio interview with director Stanley Kubrick
•New program about the film’s groundbreaking visuals, featuring focus puller Douglas Milsome and gaffer Lou Bogue, as well as excerpts from a 1980 interview with cinematographer John Alcott
•New program about Academy Award–winning production designer Ken Adam with historian Sir Christopher Frayling
•New interview with editor Anthony Lawson
•French television interview from 1976 with Oscar-winning costume designer Ulla-Britt Söderlund
•New interview with critic Michel Ciment
•New interview with actor Leon Vitali about the 5.1 surround soundtrack, which he cosupervised
•New piece analyzing the fine-art-inspired aesthetics of the film with art curator Adam Eaker
•PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and two pieces about the film from the March 1976 issue of American Cinematographer


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 19, 2017, 11:46:54 AM
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_reviews54/barry_lyndon_blu-ray.htm


Title: Re: Barry Lyndon (1975)
Post by: Novecento on September 19, 2017, 06:42:24 PM
Wow - this looks great. A beautifully shot film.

The interview with Tony Lawson might be interesting too - I remember reading an interview once where he described his role as being little more than "a pair of hands" for Kubrick.