Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" On Blu-ray

Director Stanley Kubrick's 1975 feature "Barry Lyndon", the best period movie ever realized, based on the 1844 novel "The Luck of Barry Lyndon" by author William Makepeace Thackeray, is now available on Blu-ray.

Considered Kubrick's masterpiece, "Barry Lyndon" recounts the (satirical) exploits of an insincere, 18th century, fortune-hunting Irish rogue.

Director Martin Scorsese has said that "Barry Lyndon" is his favorite Kubrick film.

Although we love certain parts of "2001: A Space Odyssey", "The Shining" and "Full Metal Jacket", next to Kubrick's Oscar-nominated "Dr. Strangelove" and "A Clockwork Orange", we concur with Scorsese, delighted by one-note actor Ryan O'Neal's performance, perfectly cast as a wooden innocent, determined to maintain his standing as a 'gentleman', while evolving into a devious scoundrel, in order to survive the era's useless wars, thievery and debauchery.

Drawing inspiration from "the landscapes of Watteau and Gainsborough," Kubrick and cinematographer John Alcott also relied on the meticulous art direction of Ken Adam and Roy Walker, who would be among those who would win Oscars for their sumptuous, candle-lit work on the deliberately slow-paced film.

Critic Roger Ebert calls "Barry Lyndon" one of the most beautiful films ever made.

The film received Academy Awards for Best Art Direction (Adam, Walker, Vernon Dixon), Best Cinematography (Alcott), Best Costume Design (Milena Canonero, Ulla-Britt Söderlund) and Best Musical Score (Leonard Rosenman, "for his arrangements of Schubert and Handel"), with Kubrick also nominated for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Barry Lyndon"...