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Doogan on the late Stanley Kubrick

One of the silver screen's greatest artists has died, yes. If you haven't already heard, Mr. Stanley Kubrick has passed away of natural causes. Although it saddens our hearts, it can't help but be noticed, all of the over-dramatic and silly essays and obituaries that are floating around on the Net. Judging by some of them, there will be a couple hundred suicides by the day's end. "I have nothing to live for -- Kubrick's gone!" People -- grow up, he was a genius, yes, but he was a man.

I mean... I, for one, am indebted to Kubrick for giving me some truly great films to admire. I've studied film for a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time, and every turn I take in this vast world holds a moment when I'm staring at a Kubrick film. You like gritty crime noir? Watch The Killing or Killer's Kiss. Thought Saving Private Ryan knocked you on your ass? Check out Paths Of Glory or Full Metal Jacket. You afraid of Scream or "I Know Jennifer Love Hewitt's Bra Size"? Then you will marvel at The Shining.

I love the man's work. He hasn't had a misstep yet... well, outside of freaking his actors out. But I can tell you from experience, sometimes actors need to be shaken up -- that's the only way you'll get some of the stuff you need out of them.

There is nothing that makes me more sad, than the passing of a great artist. When Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed, I wore my Misfits arm band with a sad heart. When I found out that William S. Burroughs passed to the Interzone in the sky, I felt like my perverted gramps left me alone. I even railed the press when River Phoenix got more press for dying than Fellini did -- that was sick, in my humble opinion.

But people die. Better people than Kubrick die everyday. Some in their sleep, some from horrible diseases and more others from random violence -- and I don't see these immature webbers shout to the heavens -- "Why him, take me!!"

The best way to remember an artist is to look at their art. As a man, Kubrick was misunderstood and perceived as a jerk. He really wasn't - he was a business man and an artist, trying to protect his investments and his vision. As an artist, Kubrick was unparalleled. He dedicated himself 165 percent to what he was doing, and he expected no less from anyone else. You have to admire that.

So tonight, before you take a knife to your wrist, think about the legacy of work Kubrick left behind for us. Find yourself a copy of The Killing, and watch a truly great heist flick unfold. Pop in your DVD of Spartacus, and try and find a better use for widescreen than in that film. This summer, we will be treated to a film that many (who have seen it) are already calling Kubrick's masterstroke - Eyes Wide Shut. And I can't wait. But we, the people who have DVD, will soon also be treated to remastered Kubrick films. Full Metal Jacket (in widescreen for the first time since theaters), The Shining and A Clockwork Orange should all come out this summer. If you end your life now, you'll be missing out big-time.

Mr. Kubrick, we hardly knew ya... but we've known your work for years. Thank you. God's movie theaters are gonna have some killer double features...

Doogan

Editor's Note: Write Doogan at todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com, if you have any ideas for future inside looks, interviews, or you just want to find out how great / crappy a DVD is. He'll write ya back, and if he doesn't -- he's probably dead.


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