Painted cinema #1


 Baroque Cinema Kubrick Painting

I was pretty young when I watched Stanley Kubrik's Barry Lyndon for the first time. At the time, I couldn't find the words to describe what I had just witnessed, and even today, several years later, I still have trouble expressing it. The only thing I could say was: beautiful; extremely beautiful! Now, I know that this is due to the fact that the movie has its own language, that cannot be translated into words, a mix of images, sounds and other complex signals that are only made possible by cinema and the director's genious.

To direct his only period piece, Kubrik - who made only one movie from each genre - picked the Baroque period, a time of great music and of great painting, and made it the subject of his movie. The entire story is told precisely through these means, scene after scene, image after image, in a sequence of stills of exasperating intensity... Kubrick's cinematic language at its best.

 Baroque Cinema Kubrick Painting

 Baroque Cinema Kubrick Painting

 Baroque Cinema Kubrick Painting

 Baroque Cinema Kubrick Painting

In fact, in this movie the dialogues are kept to a minimal, and the narration - only the strictly necessary to the understanding of the plot - is done in off. Actually, the plot isn't really important, for it seems the movie would've worked as well with any equally ordinary story. The same could be said for the lead characters: Redmond Barry and Lady Lyndon pale by comparison with the snobbish Lord Ludd, the excessive Chevalier de Balibari or the genial Captain John Quin...

They are all puppets that move in idyllic sets, strokes of bucolic paintings in a succession that resembles a parade of paintings in a gallery.This movie communicates almost exclusively through these images, an unbelievable but enchanting language, strengthened by the music. It's easy to picture the landscapes of Watteau or of Poussin, the interiors of Vermeer, the candlelights of Latour, the theatrical compositions of Lorrain, the portraits of van Dick, Rubens or Rembrandt. Painted cinema...


Haendel, Sarabande


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