Great Kubricks For Men

Some weeks ago (was this before or after the Elisa Lam mystery?) I accidentally chanced upon this guy’s videos on youtube.  First I saw (one of?) his stunning video essay on John Carpenter’s The Thing in which (spoiler-ish alert) he makes a strong argument about Childs’ fate at the end of the film [NB: let’s say we now know for certain one way or the other], and then gives us a further hard turn of the screw by suggesting (through some sharp-eyed viewing, a deeper insight into the bookending “checkmate” motifs, and, extra-filmically, testimony from Carpenter’s script– or was that a Carpenter interview?) that the resolution of our fate rests upon one final surprise move.

Then I watched some videos on Kubrick’s The Shining: a stunning pair about the geometric discontinuities of the film’s extraordinary sets, as well as a video essay dedicated to the Grady daughters.

After a late evening of frenzied ad hoc marathon viewing, as these things happen, I tucked this copious trove of argument and insight into the back of my mind, knowing that (as with Elisa Lam, and a thousand other matters of moment) I’d have to get back to it all later.

But then, tonight, over at heartiste, Woodrow Wilson came up, and somebody (wait, is that GBFM(TM)s sparring parter,  the DJ A King Matt King?) [UPDATE:  No, he’s not!  –Sorry, I guess I got a little too excited over the Roth-Hagar implications for world peace or something.  Tho I think GBFM would probably ask, like Camille Paglia, “Would Caruso go on stage with Tiny Tim?”  lozlzl] linked to a youtube video on The Shining, claiming it was incredible stuff and had to be seen to be believed, etc.  Well, I thought, I know there’s this one guy on youtube who has some incredible things to say about The Shining, but would that be–?

It is.

Four parts in all.  Pay careful attention to the Kubrick quote early in this first clip:  “Every face around Jack is an archetype of the period.”  The choice of words seems only to evoke period décor, nostalgia, Jazz Age “types”.  If Rob is correct, though, the word “archetype” is very knowing on Kubrick’s part, a wry acknowledgement of the extra-long con he’s played on us all.

Besides this four-part series and the others alluded to above, there appears to be even more (he has multiple accounts or “channels”, as he’s run into corporate problems over his educational use of film clips).  He’s worthily obsessed with The Shining.  Whether you finally are convinced by his many shocking but richly detailed arguments, you’ll  thrill to the keenness with which he amasses detail upon detail.  What he’s doing with The Shining and a small canon of other films is akin to how G. Wilson Knight constructed his exegeses on Shakespeare.  it’s a thrilling display of erudition, and certain to enthrall anyone who has ever submitted to this extraordinary Gothic-baroque horror film– even as, in “Kubrick’s Gold Story”, he takes us into intellectual territory that ranges well beyond the already  expansive web of familial, spatial, and supernatural archetypes everybody experiences in viewing the film.

Here’s the start of a series on A Clockwork Orange, which makes some more GreatBooksForMen(TM)-friendly arguments:

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8 comments

  1. King A is a different Matthew. I appreciate GBFM and have even written about the literary aspects of his work:

    http://eumaios.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/gbfm-code-the-symbology-and-terminology-of-great-books-for-men/

    1. My apologies! –I’d suspected there were two “Matt/hew”s, but I tend to lose track of the thread, literally as well as figuratively.

      In any event, no guilt by association is intended. King A is, within his circumscribed bounds, an interesting writer. Tho for those to whom many lozlzlozl are given, many lozlzlozl will be required . . . . lol

      1. I have no beef with King A, either. He’s in his element at the Chateau, but Vox was right to ban him from VP and Alpha Game Plan.

        1. Now that’s something I didn’t know about . . . I’ve only lately become a reader of Vox Day, and I’ve no intention of dragging my mud onto the mat (I have to keep some good reading unsoiled by my literalized presence), but I can’t imagine–

          King A’s an interesting, sometimes quote-worthy figure, but his butthurtedness about GBFM does conjure merriment. That, and there’s just a something too blustery about him to command confidence. I fear that, in one of those spiritual or temporal crises he’s always crying for, he’ll turn into Hudson from “Aliens”.

          –That, and the way he’s a bit too au fait about certain sexual delicacies, given his purported M.O.

          1. He’s a genius, or at least a triple-niner. His persona is merely that, a persona.

            1. King A? Well, he’s talented, lettered, with a prose that, in its best flights, has something of Matthew Arnold to it. He has his quotable, ponderable moments.

              Nonetheless, and even without the skirmishes with GBFM, I find him problematic. I suppose he knows what he’s about, but his very exhortations toward High Seriousness have the tinny clang of the middlebrow. There’s a whiff of something like the Southern Agrarian pricklishness and pomposity in the heft of his cadences, to say nothing of his heroic poses.

              Too, I note an unendearing tendency to address himself to the self-professed youngsters who pop up at heartiste. He comes off like the drunken Graham Greene dragging (as he was wont to do) the fan boy novices aboard his yacht off to their first whorehouse. I don’t really object to his flirting with Hothorne’s Harlot (excuse me, Rappacini’s Daughter– how does Damien spell his last name again?); he’s even amusing about it– but in all good conscience, if I thought I were addressing an eighteen year-old I’d be a bit more circumspect. I mean, he of all people!

              Entre nous, da GBFM(TM) is stratospherically gifted. It puzzles that Matt won’t see that.

              1. I don’t exactly like his persona, though it is amusing, but I do like the man I imagine behind it.

              2. “Entre nous, da GBFM(TM) is stratospherically gifted. It puzzles that Matt won’t see that.”

                Geniuses don’t get along with other geniuses. Cf. Newton vs. Leibniz.

                I’m special in that I get along with everybody.

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