The Boulder Public Library has been running a Stanley Kubrick retrospective since early May as part of its popular free summer movie series, and it's difficult to imagine a more welcome return to the big screen than Kubrick's gorgeous vision of eighteenth-century Europe, Barry Lyndon (1975). Adapted from William Makepeace Thackeray's mordant satire on manners and morals, Kubrick's grandiose 184-minute epic chronicles the adventures of an ambitious Irish rake (played by Ryan O'Neal, of all people) as he surveys the salons, boudoirs and battlefields of his time. Beautifully photographed by John Alcott (who won an Academy Award for his efforts, which included shooting entire scenes in candlelight), this is a meticulously detailed, if over-long, period piece that reveals Kubrick's famous perfectionism at its most extreme. Made between the controversial A Clockwork Orange and the biggest commercial hit of his career, The Shining (from a Stephen King horror novel), Barry Lyndon became an expensive box-office failure when released. But in recent years, filmmakers and filmgoers have increasingly appreciated it as a visual masterpiece that ranks, if not with Kubrick's best work, then with his most radical efforts. The supporting cast includes Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Steven Berkoff and Hardy Kruger.
Barry Lyndon screens at 7 p.m. Monday, July 7, at the library, 1000 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder. For more information, log on to www.boulder.lib.co.us/films.
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