Friday, July 26, 2013

My Favorite 2 Kubrick Fans

Famous, enigmatic film director Stanley Kubrick was born on this day in history.  On his list of credits are Killer's Kiss, Dr. Strangelove, Spartacus, Lolita, Barry LyndonThe Shining, A Clockwork Orange and 2001:  A Space Odyssey.
I still recall high school classmates in study hall on Monday telling me that they'd gone from South Central L.A. to Hollywood to see 2001 again over the weekend.

After my VH1 contract expired, I did TV on-camera and voiceover commercial work.  Like a lot of performers do in New York City in between steady gigs, I got some part-time clerical temp work with flexible hours.  This was the early 1990s.  One temp job put me in an office near Macy's.  I had to do a lot of typing and often be the receptionist.  No problem.  There were two young women in my part of the office who made my heart glow.  One black, one Puerto Rican and both would occasionally wear what actor/comedian John Leguizamo would call "14th Street door knocker earrings."  Sometimes their festive earrings looked like Aztec dinner plates.  They gave me my office orientation the summer I booked that clerical gig.  Sharon and Rosa were most helpful.  They were cool.  They were just like my classmates back in South Central L.A.

One Monday afternoon, when we were eating our lunches at our desks, I heard Sharon and Rosa talking about movies.  Sharon told Rosa that she'd rented a good movie over the weekend and added "this one actor wore me out!"  Of course, Rosa asked her what the movie was.  Sharon answered, "Full Metal Jacket."

Sharon had rented a video of Stanley Kubrick's 1987 Vietnam war drama.

Those two young women who looked like they could've been in a Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam music video were discussing a film directed by Stanley Kubrick.  Sharon couldn't remember the actor's name but she raved about the new recruit called "Gomer Pyle" in the barracks.  He was the Marine who freaked out.  It was actor Vincent D'Onofrio.

Sharon imitated "the look" D'Onofrio gave as the freaked out Marine for Rosa.  She nailed it.  We laughed.  It gets better.  Rosa said, "I should rent that.  I like Kubrick movies.  Sharon replied, "Girl, it's no Paths of Glory but it is a good war drama."

I heard a choir of angels singing in my head.  There was a heavenly glow around my heart as it took wing.  These two young minority ladies, neither one a day over 30, were discussing a Stanley Kubrick film with an anti-war message.  In their lunchtime conversation, one had referenced a 1957 Kubrick classic -- Paths of Glory.

If Paths of Glory star Kirk Douglas had been sitting with me listening to Sharon and Rosa, he would've openly wept with joy.

When the famed director/writer died in 1999, a local New York all-news TV station had a piece on his death.  The reporter went out onto a street in midtown Manhattan and asked folks for their memories of Kubrick films.  I noticed that all the faces speaking looked quite Anglo and upscale.  No one black like Sharon and no one who looked Latino like Rosa.  But those two young ladies definitely would have had something specific to say in tribute to filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

That's why I keep pushing for television to add diversity to its field of film reviewers, film historians and movie hosts.  You have to admit, it is a mostly Caucasian field.  It was when I was a kid watching TV.  It's still mostly color-free today.  That's a point TV columnists rarely, if ever, report and investigate.  They should investigate it.  Film is art.  The arts need diversity.  Hollywood needs to know that people of color watch the classics too.  People of color will pay to see upscale, challenging new releases.

Tomorrow, Saturday July 27th,  Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory  airs at 1:30p ET/10:30a PT on TCM.  Sharon, Rosa and I highly recommend that you see it.

1 comment:

  1. I am also saw this movie. This really awesome. Thanks for sharing nice information..latest hollywood movies trailers


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