IndieFlix releases Stanley Kubrick’s The SeafarersAugust 7th, 2013 | Posted by in IndieFlix in the Media | New Releases
IndieFlix is pleased to announce the release of Stanley Kubrick’s first film in color, The Seafarers. It’s a must-watch for film students, cinephiles and Kubrick fans!
Stanley Kubrick, legendary director
Film director Stanley Kubrick was an undeniably talented auteur. He was guarded, mysterious, and oddly short on titles over the span of his 48-year career. Nevertheless, and perhaps because of his painstaking process and perfectionism, the acclaimed filmmaker gave us some of the world’s greatest cinema classics. His body of work includes 2001: A Space Oddyssey, The Shining, Lolita, Spartacus, and A Clockwork Orange. It all started with a career in photography and a few short documentaries— including The Seafarers.
Originally from New York, Kubrick lived there and in California before moving to the U.K., where he would spend the rest of his life. He worked in a variety of styles, from science fiction to war epics, and often infused his films (especially Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) with a sense of absurdist humor. He was an odd fellow, and had the dual reputation of being both difficult to work with and likely to earn an Oscar for cinematographers and actors with whom he collaborated.
The Significance of The Seafarers
The Seafarers (1953) is a half-hour documentary on the Seafarers International Union, shot in 16MM. It was Kubrick’s third film and his first in color. Narrated by journalist Don Hollenbeck—the Edward R. Murrow colleague fatefully committed suicide only a year after working with Kubrick— The Seafarers is a fairly straightforward depiction of the day-to-day life of a union seafarer. Phil Hall at Film Threat writes, “The film occasionally dips into emotionalism – when a seafarer kisses his photogenic family goodbye before heading off to the ocean, and when a union representative visits elderly SIU members at a convalescent home to share some talk and provide their union pension payments.” There is a very Kubrickian dolly shot of the cafeteria that foretells the stylized films Kubrick was to make in years to come. The Seafarers enabled Kubrick to hone his craft and experiment with working in color for the first time, and proceeds from the film helped him to make his first feature, Fear and Desire (1953).
The films of Stanley Kubrick are hugely influential. We’ve included 3 IndieFlix titles that were inspired by or have some of the same chops as Stanley Kubrick’s body of work: Everday evokes the experimental sound design Kubrick employed in 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as the classic filmmaker’s absurdist sense of humor. The Arcadian employs a retro style and sci-fi theme evocative of Kubrick. And Half Moon, a conspiracy comedy about the 1969 moon landing, is a spoof featuring a virtuoso director character who directs the moon landing video on a sound stage.
What Kubrick traits do you notice in The Seafarers? Which film is your favorite of his important catalogue?