Betsy Sharkey's film picks of the week: Kubrick at the Egyptian
If you're in the mood for a bit of Stanley Kubrick’s brilliance, you can find an eclectic collection of the iconic director’s meticulously crafted work at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood over the next few days.
Thursday's double-feature opens with his classic 1964 comic riff on war, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Peter Sellers is at his bumbling best, though George C. Scott's posturing general is priceless. From light-dark, things go dark-dark with his 1962 cut at sexual obsession in “Lolita,” featuring an unforgettable James Mason as the compromised professor in lust and in over his head, and Shelley Winters, who did "needy" better than just about anyone, achingly so here.
Friday lifts off with “2001: A Space Odyssey,” with its meditation on humanity and the hypnotic voice of Hal always a pleasure. And in typical ahead-of-his-time fashion, this 1968 treatise on the promise and peril of technology would prove so prescient.
But Saturday brings my favorite, 1987's “Full Metal Jacket." Kubrick's gritty vision and unsparing deconstruction of Vietnam and the cost of any war for the men on the ground never fails to shake me to the core. “Jacket” is the second half of a double-bill that begins with the mind games of 1971's “A Clockwork Orange,” which really might be a lesson in how best to watch a Kubrick film: never blink.
--Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times film critic
Photo: A scene from "2001: A Space Odyssey.