Dec 30, 2008

4th Jan 2008; Screening of SPARTACUS

A film by Stanley Kubrik
Year : 1960
English with English subtitles
Run time :196 minutes
4th Jan 2009 ; 5.45 pm
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium
Call 94430 39630

The film tells the story of the Roman slave Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), who toils for the Roman Empire while dreaming, the narrator assures us, "of the death of slavery - which would not come until 2,000 years later." He is sentenced to death after biting a Roman guard, but spared by Peter Ustinov, as Batiatus, a broker of gladiators. Spartacus is trained in the arts of combat at Batiatus' gladiatorial academy, where one day two powerful men and their wives arrive from Rome. The spoiled women ask to be entertained by the sight of two fights to the death, and Spartacus is matched with a skilled black gladiator (Woody Strode), who spares him and is killed.

The notion of being forced to fight for the entertainment of spoiled women enrages Spartacus, who leads a slave revolt that eventually spreads over half of Italy. Leading his men into battle against weak and badly led Roman legions, Spartacus stands on the brink of victory before his troops are finally caught between two armies and outnumbered.

All of this takes place against a backdrop of Roman decadence, and we become familiar with the backstage power plays of the senate, where Crassus (Laurence Olivier) hopes to become a dictator at the expense of the more permissive and gentler old man Gracchus (Charles Laughton). There are also sexual intrigues; Gracchus is a womanizer, and Crassus a bisexual who is attracted to a handsome young slave (Tony Curtis) but is also driven by the desire to win the love of the slave woman Varinia (Jean Simmons), who is the wife of Spartacus.

The movie was inspired by a best seller by Howard Fast, and adapted to the screen by the blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo. Kirk Douglas, who produced the film, effectively broke the blacklist by giving Trumbo screen credit instead of making him hide behind a pseudonym. The direction is by the 31-year-old Stanley Kubrick, who realizes the ideas of Douglas, Fast and Trumbo .

 The movie is about revolution, and clearly reflects the decadence of the parasitical upper classes and the superior moral fiber of the slaves

Stanley Kubrik

July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999

Stanley Kubrick was an influential and acclaimed American master of cinema and producer considered among the greatest of the 20th Century. He directed a number of highly acclaimed and sometimes controversial films. Kubrick was noted for the scrupulous care with which he chose his subjects, his slow method of working, the variety of genres in his movies and his reclusive personality about his films and personal life.

Stanley Kubrick was born on July 26, 1928 in the Bronx, New York City. By age 13 he had developed passions for jazz drumming, chess, and photography. At 17 years of age he landed a job at Look magazine as a photographer. Worked there for several years, traveling all over America. He enrolled as a non-matriculating student at Columbia University and attended the Museum of Modern Art film showings as often as they changed the program.

In 1951 at 23 years of age, Kubrick used his savings to finance his first film, a 13 minute documentary . After short films like Flying Padre and The Seafarers , in 1953 he raised $13,000 from his relatives to finance his first feature length film Fear & Desire and in 1955 he raised $40,000 from friends and relatives and shot his second feature Killer’s Kiss. After that with the release of Killing & Paths Of Glory, Kubrick never looked back. 

Till the day he died . Kubrick was involved in his films and gave the world nothing but masterpieces - Spartacus (1960) , Lolita (1962) ,Dr. Strangelove (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) , A Clockwork Orange (1971) , Barry Lyndon (1975) , The Shining (1980) , Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999) .

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