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Costume Party is a monthly column exploring fashion, personal style, and historical aesthetics in film. Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), has become a cinephile Christmas classic, playing in repertory theaters around the city and bringing little in the way of yuletide cheer. (You can catch it in 35mm at Moving Image, Lincoln Center and Metrograph this holiday season.) There’s much to explore regarding the film—the depiction of sexuality, its place in Kubrick’s...
Reel Brooklyn is a biweekly column chronicling the definitive history of Brooklyn on-screen, one film—and neighborhood—at a time. For decades before his death in 1999 the globe's reigning genius-director demigod, Stanley Kubrick, had always seemed like a man without a country—a despot in his own kingdom of weird dreams and mega-visions. But he was in fact a born-bred New Yorker, a child of Clinton Avenue in the Bronx, and if of all of his...
Laura (1944) Directed by Otto Preminger “Are the processes of the creative mind now under the jurisdiction of the police?” This is the first of many such pompous inquiries that define Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), one of cinema’s most iconic jilted lovers. The object of his affections is the eponymous Laura (Gene Tierney), represented by an ever-presiding portrait that inspires creative infatuation from the perpetually cool Preminger regular Dana Andrews, whose laid-back presence allows the Austrian...
Spartacus (1960) Directed by Stanley Kubrick Sure, Kubrick was technically a director-for-hire on Spartacus, and certainly there’s little evidence in it of the distinctive personality of the auteur that would later in the 1960s fashion an ironically lyrical montage out of mushroom clouds and send human beings through a light-show trip “beyond the infinite.” But if humanity—or, rather, the lack of it—could be said to be a consistent theme of Kubrick’s over the span of his...

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