Wednesday, March 13, 2013

History in Kubrick by Andras Jones

As some of you already know, my life has been a bit hectic lately (moving a few hours south and trying to wrap up writing the Suicide Kings book, among other things) so that's why there hasn't been a new blog post here in a while. Regardless, I'm happy to offer you something brand new and unique today, a special guest post from Andras Jones. You see, while talking to Andras about Suicide Kings and Kubrick and whatever else we were yapping about, we started talking about a strange little feature of Kubrick release dates. In the book I'm documenting 3 Kubrick movies whose releases coincided with King-Kills (DrStrangelove=JFK, 2001:ASO=MLK, EyesWideShut=JFKjr). When I told this to Andras, he started to wonder what else happened on the days that Kubrick films came out. A damn good question, and the man has done some damn good digging to find out. I'm presenting this material as Andras wrote it, and have only tossed in a few notes and additions in green text.

We will be discussing this list and many tangents (to be sure) on tomorrow's Always Record with 
Bill Klaus, David Plate, Andras Jones, John Fell Ryan, Mark LeClair and myself.

I want to thank Andras for presenting this idea because, among other fascinating tidbits, I think it offers us a new way to compare the films. Bill Klaus has of course created the "Kubrick Transformer" and I posited the movie poster angle on the Mask of God blog. But, with Andras' info, we can now take two films that had similar events coinciding with their releases (such as the films with Yankees/RedSox games), and ponder what that tells us about the way the two movies sync.

Here we go:


History in Kubrick
By Andras Jones

In a conversation with Alan Abbadessa-Green, regarding the deaths and assassinations associated with the release dates of certain Stanley Kubrick films (a subject Alan explores in his book "Suicide Kings") it struck me that looking into the release dates for all of Kubrick’s films might reveal more interesting data. It does.

Just a few things before I give you the facts…

First, I explored these dates with simple Google and Wiki searches. It is by no means comprehensive and I invite others to add to it.

Second, I was struck by the way Kubrick’s earliest films, the ones he had the least control over (in terms of scheduling) had the most exciting syncs. Of course, it is possible that not enough history has accrued around the latter dates, and we may only be aware of the synchronistic resonance of June 26, 1987 (Full Metal Jacket) in a few decades.

What’s pretty clear as we view these dates is a strong correlation between Kubrick and rockets (missiles & spaceships) and the visual mediums (TV, satellites, celebrity) as well as strains of the Kennedy assassination, natural disasters, the twin Holocausts (US & Germany) and the Yankees v. Red Sox rivalry in baseball.

Yanks vs Reds (Prop cover from 2010:YWMC)

What is most interesting about this list is its apparent lack of intentionality. If we rule out a conspiracy on the part of the author as a factor here, we can simply take measure of the historic barnacles that attach themselves to the hull of a great artist’s vessel as it passes through consciousness. And just because we’ve taken the author’s intention out of the equation doesn’t mean our exploration won’t reveal something unique about the artist. In fact, I think we can learn just as much from the unintended consequences of Kubrick’s (or any artist’s work) as we can from knowing what they were trying to do. Of course, Kubrick, because of his longevity, the multi-leveled complexity of his films, and the amount of control he was able to exert over his productions, lends himself particularly well to this kind of exploration.
That said, and with all due respect to Mr. Kubrick, I see this list as an exquisite demonstration of the authorship of sync expressing itself through the constellation of action, documentation, time and the synchromystic witness (that’s us).

We begin with Kubrick’s first film, a documentary called “Day of The Fight”.

Day Of The Fight
April 26, 1951

IMDB-description: “Based on Kubrick's pictorial for Look Magazine (January 18, 1949*) entitled "Prizefighter," "Day Of The Fight" tells of a day in the life of a middleweight Irish boxer named Walter Cartier, particularly the day of his bout with black middleweight Bobby James. This 16-minute short opens with a short (about 4 minutes) study of boxing's history, narrated by veteran newscaster Douglas Edwards in a no-nonsense, noir tone of voice. After this, we follow Walter (and his twin brother Vincent) through his day as he prepares for his 10:00 P.M. bout. After eating breakfast, going to early mass and eating lunch, he starts arranging his things for the fight at 4:00 P.M. By 8:00, he is waiting in his dressing room, where he undergoes a mental transformation, turning into the fighting machine the crowd clamors for. At 10:00, he faces James, and soon, he comes out victorious in a short match which was filmed live on April 17th, 1950**.”

* January 18, 1949 - KING Vidor’s film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead was released (without irony):

** April 17, 1950 - (The day, “Day of The Fight” was shot ) Soviet Union Shoots Down US Plane: America accuses the “Reds” of shooting down a US Plane over the Baltic Sea in an unprovoked attack.

April 17, 1950

April 17, 1950

#1 Song: “How High The Moon” – Les Paul & Mary Ford

Sync Events:
- 5 Tornadoes strike near Liberal, Kansas on the borders of Colorado, New Mexico & Oklahoma. No human fatalities. 

- Red Sox beat The Yankees at Fenway – 13 to 7 – in a game that features brothers Joe & Dom DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Yogi Berra and a young Mickey Mantle in his 9th major league game.

Fear & Desire
March 31, 1953


#1 Song: “Doggie In The Window” – Patti Page

Sync Events:
Funeral of England’s Queen Mary

The Seafarers
October 15, 1953

#1 Song: “St. George & the Dragonet” – Stan Freberg (Parody of The Myth of St. George & The Dragon in the style of Dragnet”)

(*See also: Saint George [Horus] and the Dragon at 9/11

Sync Events:
- John Patrick’s “Teahouse of The Red Moon” premiers in NYC

- First televised weather report (not verified)

- British test their first nuclear bomb “Totem 1” at Emu Field in South Australia:

Killer’s Kiss
September 28, 1955 

#1 Song: “The Yellow Rose of Texas” – Mitch Miller

Sync Events:
- First color broadcast of The World Series (Brooklyn Dodgers beat The Yankees):

- “Brave Eagle” premiers on CBS (The first TV show with a Native American lead character – played by Keith Larsen – of Norwegian descent).

The Killing
May 20, 1956

#1 Song: Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel”

Sync Events:
- In “Operation Red Wing” (shot Cherokee) US detonates hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll. This successful test indicated that hydrogen bombs were viable airborne weapons and that the arms race had taken another giant leap forward.

- The death of Hitler’s half-brother Alois Jr.
Paths Of Glory
December 25, 1957

#1 Song: Pat Boone “April Love” (From the movie of that title starring Pat Boone & Shirley Jones)

Sync Events:
- Ed Gein found guilty of murder and declared insane
October 7, 1960

#1 Song:
“My Heart Has A Mind Of It’s Own” – Connie Francis (Video not available)
“Mr. Custer” - Larry Verne

Sync Events:
- 2nd Kennedy/Nixon debate (The sweaty/shifty-eyed debate) – 30 million viewers – Focus: Cold War (Begins with Nixon discussing Cuba) -
- CIA prepares poison cigars for Castro (delivered 2/13/61) -
- Premier of “Route 66” -
(*See how "Route 66" plays into the JFK assassination here: )
- Nigeria admitted as the 99th member of the UN

- Typhoon Kit kills 51 in Phillipines

(Kubrick's first film in UK)
June 13, 1962

#1 Song: “I Can’t Stop Loving You” – Ray Charles

Sync Events:
- Lee Harvey Oswald returns to the US with his wife and daughter on the U.S. Maasdam after 2 years in the USSR. The family was greeted by Mr. Spas T. Rankin

- Just five weeks after pitching a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth game of his pro career, LA Angels rookie pitcher Robert “Bo” Belinskey gets busted for assaulting a nightclub attendant during a night of carousing with Eddie Fisher, Dean Martin & Henry Fonda.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
Release date: Complicated:
January 29, 1964

On Nov. 22, 1963, Stanley Kubrick was supposed to present his new film, Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, to the press. Shortly before the screening, word arrived that President Kennedy had been assassinated that day. The screening was canceled and, because the film treats a U.S. President character with less than the utmost respect, changes were made before the film’s release. The character of Major Kong had a line describing how “a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Dallas”—but because the President had been killed in Dallas, the line was changed to “in Vegas.” A pie-throwing sequence that Kubrick found too silly was also cut; it would have included the line “our beloved President has been struck down in his prime.” The film’s planned London premiere, scheduled for Dec. 12 that year, was also cancelled. Dr. Strangelove eventually opened in the U.S. on Jan. 29, 1964.
#1 Song: “There! I’ve Said It Again” – Bobby Vinton

(Followed on Feb 1 by the Beatles invasion – From Feb 1 to May 2 – “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “She Loves You”, “Can’t Buy Me Love” occupy the number one spot in the charts.)

Sync Events:
- Beatles record “Komm, Gib Mir Diene Hand” & “Sie Leibt Dich” -
- Unmanned Apollo 1 Saturn launcher test attains Earth orbit -

2001: A Space Odyssey
April 4, 1968

#1 Song: “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” – Otis Redding

Sync Events:
- NASA launches Apollo 6 (second, and last unmanned test-flight – Saturn V) -

A Clockwork Orange
December 19, 1971

#1 Song: “Family Affair” – Sly & The Family Stone

Sync Events:
- Commercial satellite, Intelstat IV (F3), is launched. From Wikipedia regarding Intelstat: The network in its early years was not as robust as it is now. A failure of the Atlantic satellite in the spring of 1969[when?] threatened to stop the Apollo 11 mission; a replacement satellite went into a bad orbit and could not be recovered in time; NASA had to resort to using undersea cable telephone circuits to bring Apollo's communications to NASA during the mission.Fortunately, during the Apollo 11 moonwalk, the moon was over the Pacific Ocean, and so other antennas were used, as well as INTELSAT III, which was in geostationary orbit of the Pacific.

Barry Lyndon
December 18, 1975

#1 Song: “That’s The Way I Like It” – KC and the Sunshine Band

Sync Events:
- Nothing obviously interesting happened on this date (Blame it on Ryan O’Neal).

The Shining
May 23, 1980

#1 Song: “Call Me” – Blondie

Sync Events:
- Mt. St. Helens (which erupted on the 18th) experiences a “steam explosion in debris flow southwest of Spirit Lake”. - 

Full Metal Jacket
June 26, 1987

#1 Song: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” – Whitney Houston*

*See how Whitney Houston syncs with MLK and 9/11 and such here:

Sync Events:
- Losing 9-0 to Red Sox, the Yankees score 11 in 3rd & win 12-11 in 10th inning.
Eyes Wide Shut
July 16, 1999

#1 Song: “Bills, Bills, Bills” – Destiny’s Child
Sync Events:
- JFK Jr. dies in a plane crash at sea 

Be sure to check out episode 41 of Always Record where Bill Klaus, David Plate and I discuss this list with Andras Jones, Mark LeClair, and John Fell Ryan.
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