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The Natural Aristocrat captured a video tour of the Museum of the Moving Image’s ‘Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey’ Exhibition for those of you not local to the NYC area.

From the iconic Moon-Watcher ape featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey’s opening sequences to Stanley Kubrick’s 1969 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, there are countless set pieces, sketches, notes, and everything in-between at the MoMI. Even the infamous HAL 9000 artificial intelligence computer is on display.

The Natural Aristocrat did a walking video tour of the ‘Envisioning 2001’ exhibition at Queens based Museum of the Moving Image for those who can’t make the trip out… But it should be a necessary pilgrimage for every Stanley Kubrick fan to make a visit out to Astoria! The exhibit needs to be seen with one’s own eyes, similar to Dr. Dave Bowman’s Jovian Monolith Star Gate experience.


The Natural Aristocrat conducted an exclusive one-on-one interview with Stanley’s daughter Katharina Kubrick during the press day and she mentioned her favorite part of the exhibit was “seeing all the sketches and the artwork.”

“I like seeing all the sketches and the the artwork, actually. It’s good fun. It’s very interesting to see the process, the way people’s minds work in getting to the final result. There’s lots to see!”

On that same mindset, The Natural Aristocrat was fascinated to see Stanley’s extensive notes on Artificial Intelligence as a whole. Prompting not only thoughts of HAL 9000 but the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence and how long Stanley might have been visualizing A.I. as a general concept for film use over the years. The sketches Katharina Kubrick refers to are indeed inspiring, masterfully detailed, and highly complex.

Photos from ‘Envisioning 2001’ MoMI Exhibit:

Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) - Pod - Photo Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat

Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) – EVA pod – Extravehicular Activity pods – Photo Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat

Above: A beautiful sketch of the EVA Pod in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) - Space Station - Photo Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat

Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) – Space Station – Photo Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat

Above: Visionary sketch of 2001’s Space Station.

Stanley Kubrick and his family attend the 2001: A Space Odyssey New York City Premiere at the Loews Capital Theatre. From left to right: Stanley Kubrick, Anya Kubrick, Christiane Kubrick, Vivian Kubrick, and Katharina Kubrick. - Photo (of the photo at MoMI) Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat

Stanley Kubrick and his family attend the 2001: A Space Odyssey New York City Premiere at the Loews Capital Theatre. From left to right: Stanley Kubrick, Anya Kubrick, Christiane Kubrick, Vivian Kubrick, and Katharina Kubrick. – Photo (of the photo at MoMI) Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat

Above: Stanley Kubrick attending the 2001: A Space Odyssey New York City Premiere at Loews Capital Theatre with the whole family! From left to right: Stanley Kubrick, Anya Kubrick, Christiane Kubrick, Vivian Kubrick, and Katharina Kubrick.

The Museum of the Moving Image’s ‘Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey’ Exhibit is running now through July 19 and is located in 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria, New York.

* The ‘Envisioning 2001’ Walking Tour Video and Photos from the exhibit were captured during the official MoMI Press Preview on January 14, 2020 (before the exhibition was fully installed).

Be sure to check out the full MoMI Envisioning 2001 Exhibit Press Presentation and The Natural Aristocrat’s tribute article to Barry Lyndon’s use of Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ as a prominent piece overlaying the film.

Learn more about the Museum of Moving Image’s ‘Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey’ Exhibit at this link and book a visit today!

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Interviews

Katharina Kubrick talks Stanley Kubrick, 2001 MoMI Exhibit, A.I. (Interview)

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Katharina Kubrick - exclusive interview with The Natural Aristocrat at 'Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey Exhibit' at New York's Museum of the Moving Image - Photo Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat
Photo Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat

Katharina Kubrick spoke to The Natural Aristocrat about the timeless nature of her father Stanley Kubrick’s films, the new ‘Envisioning 2001’ Exhibit at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), Stanley choosing Steven Spielberg to direct A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the Barry Lyndon threats, The Irishman’s de-aging tech, and much more.

It was a great honor for The Natural Aristocrat to interview Katharina Kubrick, daughter of Stanley Kubrick, about her late father’s lifetime of contributions to cinema at the Astoria, Queens based Museum of the Moving Image. New York City’s MoMI will be home of the Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey Exhibition open now until July 19, 2020. Rarely does The Natural Aristocrat get sentimental but to be personally connected to Stanley Kubrick’s family and history in any fashion is truly surreal.

Katharina Kubrick discussed film as an art form, why her father’s work connects seamlessly with generation after generation, her favorite part of MoMI’s Envisioning 2001 Exhibit, Stanley as a family man, and questions film aficionados may be wondering about. Including: Would Stanley have embraced The Irishman’s de-aging technology? What ultimately made Stanley decide to hand directing of A.I. Artificial Intelligence to friend Steven Spielberg? The details of the threats made during production of Barry Lyndon, and the tragedy that made Stanley abandon flying.

Watch the full interview with Katharina Kubrick above or read the transcript below:

Interview with Katharina Kubrick:

The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: You mentioned earlier at the ‘Envisioning 2001’ presentation that younger fans have come up to you and said, ‘this film is G.O.A.T!’

Katharina Kubrick: (laughs) I’ve only just learned that phrase!

It really makes Stanley’s work timeless. What does it mean to you to have multiple generations always returning to these films no matter how many decades pass?

You know, why do people still listen to Bach? Why do people still look at Van Gogh’s paintings? I think if the art, whatever it is, whatever form it takes, whether it’s a painting or music or film is honest and speaks to people, then it will last. I think a lot of people think that film is a sort of a one view consumer project.

I mean obviously a lot of films are. But if you’ve put a lot of heart and soul, thought and effort, and money into making a movie, to my way of thinking, you should be wanting to make a film that lasts. Why would you make something that you just think, ‘Oh, people are going to forget it by the time they’ve walked out of the cinema’?

Film is one of the great art forms, it involves story and music and acting and design. And it is so all encompassing of all the arts. You have a lot of different artistic disciplines that come into making a film. It’s new, in terms of world art but I think good films make a great contribution to the quality of our lives. But I would say that, wouldn’t I? (smiles)

Were you were heavily impacted by your mother Christiane in pursuing art as well?

Yes, my mother is an artist. She’s a very good painter and has a very good website, ChristianeKubrick.com. Stanley found her when he was in Germany making a film called Paths of Glory, and wanted an actress for the last scene. He was watching television and saw her in a play, called her agent, asked for an interview. And you know the rest as they say, is history.

She had been acting for a living but didn’t really want to be an actress, she always wanted to be an artist. Being with Stanley meant that she didn’t have to act anymore and she could be a painter. So there were two artists living in the same environment and encouraging each other. They were a great team those two. (smiles)

I’ve noticed while listening to you earlier and in general that Stanley always wanted to make his work a family affair. He’d feature you and your sisters in film cameos, utilize family-made paintings and music. Essentially, want all of the family involved in some fashion.

I think if Stanley had his way we would all have worked in the film industry because as far as he was concerned… Why wouldn’t you want to work in the film industry? He was very pleased that I went into the art department and films and had my own career apart from working for him. My late sister Anya was an opera singer, so obviously the film business wasn’t for her. And then my youngest sister [Vivian Kubrick] made a documentary on The Shining.

So, he was very keen for us to be involved because he thought it was the best business to be in. He would involve us whenever he could. We were always together as a family. We always traveled everywhere together. Everything was based from home. And so we were all if not directly involved, we were all there and he would show us drawings or concepts or talk to us about ideas he had. “What do you think about this, and what you think about that?” We were always a team.

One of my favorite movies personally is Barry Lyndon. I’ve read that Stanley received threats for having British soldiers essentially on Irish soil?

No, they were Irish soldiers. Well, what we had is a British film crew and we were in Waterford (city in Ireland) and the soldiers were all Irish soldiers and a lot of the crew were also Irish. But the main film unit was British. We were renting a house and there was a cleaning lady and she said some guys came to clean the windows or paint the house. I can’t remember which way it was. And they said, ‘Oh you know, these people are not who they say they are. We know who these people are.’

There were difficult times in Ireland at the time. And then I think there was a phone call received and it was made very obvious that we needed to not be there anymore. That there was a potential threat against the crew, if not us directly.

I was actually not in Ireland, I was back in England at the time when it happened. They just had to hightail it out of there. Stanley said it’s just a movie, it’s not worth anybody getting hurt for. So he was very pragmatic from that point of view. They moved to England, the whole unit move to England. I went back on the picture and we all started looking for locations again, and we set up the production offices in Salisbury (city in Wiltshire, England).

I’ve always been curious about A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a film that Stanley started being interested in making all the way back in the 70s. From what I’ve read over the years, Stanley really wanted to make this film and it seemed stuck in development limbo. Eventually he asked Steven Spielberg if he would direct the picture.

Why did Stanley feel the technology was never quite good enough prior? I’ve read Jurassic Park had a considerable impact on Stanley decidedly pushing for Spielberg to direct, although Spielberg still wanted Stanley to direct the film. Would Stanley have directed the film after Eyes Wide Shut had he not passed?

No, there were certain sequences in A.I. that CGI hadn’t caught up to at that point. They weren’t very good at doing fur and water. Stanley was very impressed with Jurassic Park. When he approached Steven and said, “I really think you should direct this and I’ll produce,” Steven was surprised obviously. But then I think very encouraged and he didn’t give it back. Stanley was going to do it, after Eyes Wide Shut it was fully his intention to work on A.I.

He told me that he thought he would make it too dark and that it was more Steven’s subject matter. That the two of them would collaborate very successfully. They were really good friends and they talked about it a lot. I think it probably would have been a very good collaboration. I feel is already a really dark film and Stanley thought that Steven’s sensibilities were more appropriate for the subject matter.

I think they more or less agreed that Steven would direct it and Stanley would produce it. I’m very pleased that Steven made it.

How do you feel Stanley would have looked at the de-aging technology recently used in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman?

I haven’t seen The Irishman but Stanley would have loved all the new technology for sure! I think he would have just been finding ways that he could incorporate all the new stuff into a new story. He never knew what film he was going to be making next. Stanley was a voracious reader and he said that finding a good story that he wanted to make and fallen in love with was the most difficult thing for him.

It took him years to decide what to make or to find a good story that would sustain him throughout the filmmaking process. Because you have to really love it and believe in it and trust in your instincts. And then you have to do all the research, which was part of the thing that he liked doing a great deal, was the research. It’s like he cut filmmaking into thirds first third was research, second third was filming it, and then the last third was editing. That was his favorite process of the whole thing, the editing.

Did you personally watch Doctor Sleep?

Yeah, I’ve seen it. Well, I haven’t seen it finished. I saw it a couple of months before it came out.

You mentioned earlier how much Stanley loved New York. I’ve read that after Stanley got his pilot license, he felt that commercial airlines weren’t safe and didn’t really like traveling by flying anymore. Do you feel the choice affected his life in any way?

He did have a pilot’s license and he flew a very small plane himself. What happened was that his good friend was killed in an air accident. Stanley, being his close friend was sent all his personal effects and I think it just freaked him out completely. He just couldn’t cope with it. He just didn’t fly, didn’t have to fly. We always went everywhere by ship.

What’s your favorite part of the ‘Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey’ Exhibit here at the Museum of the Moving Image?

I like seeing all the sketches and the the artwork, actually. It’s good fun. It’s very interesting to see the process, the way people’s minds work in getting to the final result. There’s lots to see!

Thanks Katharina!

Thank you!

Be sure to check out the full MoMI Envisioning 2001 Exhibit Press Presentation and The Natural Aristocrat’s tribute article to Barry Lyndon’s use of Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ as a prominent piece overlaying the film.

Follow Katharina Kubrick on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about the Museum of Moving Image’s ‘Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey’ Exhibit at this link and book a visit today!

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Watch MoMI ‘Envisioning 2001’ Presentation with Katharina Kubrick

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Katharina Kubrick speaks at 'Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey Exhibit' Press Presentation at New York's Museum of the Moving Image - Photo Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat
Photo Credit: Nir Regev / The Natural Aristocrat

Katharina Kubrick was a featured speaker at the Museum of Moving Image’s ‘Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey’ Exhibit Press Presentation.

Stanley Kubrick’s daughter Katharina Kubrick took part in a Q & A with media attendees during a full fledged presentation of the MoMI’s prized exhibit. Kubrick, discussed Stanley’s legacy, the timeless nature of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and a desire to open more such exhibitions around the world. Barbara Miller (MoMI Director of Curatorial Affairs), Ellen M. Harrington (Director of Deutsches FilmInstitut Filmmuseum), Tomoko Kawamoto (MoMI Director of Public Information), and Eric Hynes (MoMI Curator of Film) all introduced the esteemed new addition to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York.

Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey will take over MoMI’s Changing Exhibitions Gallery from January 18 – July 19, 2020. A special exhibit Introductory Discussion with Katharina Kubrick takes place tonight (Jan. 17th) to lucky ticket holders at 7 pm sharp.

Katharina Kubrick answers The Natural Aristocrat’s question at 28:50 (timestamp) about Stanley Kubrick’s brave choice to drop composer Alex North’s already completed 2001 soundtrack in favor of classical pieces he’d used as temporary music. Katharina discussed Stanley’s deep connection to music as a whole, and a certain Waltz he listened in the editing room of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

“If you think about the film, everything is spinning and whirling and very slow and graceful. So a Waltz worked perfectly.”

Katharina elaborated further on just how vital the use of music is to a film, naming Spartacus‘ soundtrack as one she wasn’t highly fond of.

“Music is terribly important, and very emotional. I think a lot of people use music badly. I watched Spartacus recently and I thought the music was appalling! And completely overwhelming and in the way of the movie. Stanley’s films used music to enhance the scene or to be the scene.”

Be sure to check out The Natural Aristocrat’s tribute article to Barry Lyndon’s use of Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ as a prominent piece overlaying the film.

Follow Katharina Kubrick on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more about the Museum of Moving Image’s ‘Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey’ Exhibit at this link and book a visit today!

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Barry Lyndon week: Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ duel music demands satisfaction

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Barry Lyndon - Directed by Stanley Kubrick - Lord-Bullingdon's Duel Challenge - Pictured (From left to right) Leon Vitali and Ryan O'Neal - Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Barry Lyndon’s iconic duel adaption of George Frideric Handel’s “Sarabande” by the National Philharmonic Orchestra is Kubrick artistry at its purist form.

The thumping beat of Barry Lyndon’s “Sarabande” duel music drapes over every part of the soul as your body tenses for challenge instinctively. There’s no fight or flight option to be found in the brick-by-brick tension of the theme, just fight. No placing the car on reverse, no hightailing to safer ground to better plan another day, no exit door. Barry Lyndon’s duel iteration of “Sarabande” represents one’s baser impulses when push comes to shove, inspiring focus and precision on the rival at hand. A situation without diplomatic resolution but demanding satisfaction.

“Sarabande” shares parallels with Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, in physically latching onto intangible, animalistic senses without touch. Except unlike Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart driving its protagonist mad with guilt, Redmond Barry’s mind could not hold more clarity in the moment “Sarabande” plays. The film’s audience on the other side of the telly or in 1975’s debut on the silver screen merging with the protagonist as one. The nurturing buildup of a crescendo spelling demise for the fallen and greatness for the victor.

“Sarabande” Duel #1: Redmond Barry vs. John Quin

Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon – Redmond Barry’s Duel with John Quin – Pictured Ryan O’Neal – Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

An instinctual wave of urgency envelops the viewer universally the first time Handel’s “Sarabande” plays in a slow burn. A duel on the horizon as universally relatable young upstart Redmond Barry challenges elder British army captain John Quin over his pilfering of Nora Brady’s hand in romance. The apple of Redmond Barry’s eye being taken by a higher status, richer male of the pack as he’s asked by family and friends to keep his protest under wraps. Yet, the dissent only grows until viewers arrive at the stage of no return for Redmond.

Surreally enough, the thought crosses your mind Redmond might actually meet his maker at the conclusion of the duel. Despite the fact the scene occurs fairly into the onset of Barry Lyndon… The plausibility of the scenario rains before your eyes. George Frideric Handel and the National Philharmonic Orchestra’s auditory wonder keeping you channeled into the moment. Fully immersed in what’s unfolding in front of you, on the edge of your seat. A Stanley Kubrick masterpiece.

“Sarabande” Duel #2: Barry Lyndon vs. Lord Bullingdon

Ryan O'Neal as Barry Lyndon – Photo Credit: WB Entertainment Inc.

The modern Shakespeare-like tragedy comes full circle when Barry’s step-son Lord Bullingdon arrives back on his mother’s estate demanding satisfaction. When Lord Bullingdon descends on the Lyndon estate and spots a disheveled half-asleep, presumably drunk Barry post-death of son Bryan Patrick Lyndon. “Sarabande” duel edition ominously plays as the true heir walks toward his rival. Lord Bullingdon prods Lyndon awake with an aristocratic cane, and speaks of the great shame no gentlemen experienced during Barry’s tyranny of his mother’s estate. The two soon become players in a duel standoff akin to a Ennio Morricone composed western.

Barry subtly finds himself in Quin’s position as the elder but when Bullingdon makes a hasty mistake with his first shot, he takes mercy on him. Shooting his pistol to the side, intentionally missing his step-son. Perhaps, expecting humbled respect in return or being unable to hurt Lady Lyndon further emotionally after countless acts of infidelity. Instead, Lord Bullingdon takes the second shot, forever crippling Barry and soon seeing him off the Lyndon estate. From riches back to the destitute streets he once emerged from.

Lord Bullingdon vs. Barry Lyndon – Screenshot Attribution: Warner Bros. Entertainment

All through the thumping, imminent danger and challenge of “Sarabande” and its conclusive Harpsichord themed irrevocable sorrow. The natural order reasserting itself despite all of Redmond Barry’s perseverance, chapter after chapter. No escape. The man known as Barry Lyndon, a flirtation of a life of eternal fortune… Gone. Only Redmond remaining in Lyndon’s place.

The Barry Lyndon official soundtrack is available for purchase on Amazon. Track #11, “Sarabande-Duel – National Philharmonic Orchestra” is the George Frideric Handel adapted track featured in this article.

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