(T)here’s always been a division in (Python) between the normal-sized people and the tall Cambridge people. There’s always a split there. At least Mike, Terry, and I stayed on good terms throughout the whole thing.
Monty Python nerds like myself will find this absolutely hysterical.
To me, Brits have always been able to laugh at themselves better than Americans can. And I thought that Americans always have been better at laughing at the other. For me, the Brits are a people that, you know, at the beginning of the last century had the biggest empire the world has ever known, and within a very short time it was gone.
I can’t wait for America to loose it’s empire; might solve some problems.
But those films, I don’t know what to make of them, because they’re becoming very repetitive. They’ve lost the edge of what comics should be about, it seems to me. They’ve all become very formulaic. Even though the costumes are different, I don’t see a great difference in many of them.
The man speaks the truth about comic book films. If only more fans could get over the obvious patronizing and see them for what they really are.
And I [had an idea] a couple years ago, which is to take some of the scripts that I’ve got that have never been made and make them into a comic book so Hollywood would then read the comic book and say, “Wow! We’ve gotta do this because comics are cool!” (…) Are the films beginning to dictate what comics are like at the moment?
(regarding John Carter) the BBC website they were going on about “the biggest flops of all time” and there was no mention of Munchausen! I’m off the list![Laughs maniacally.]
Thirteen years ago today I took my partner out on our first date. The subsequent time has been so good that I almost feel like an elaborate April Fools joke is being played on me because I have done nothing to deserve the happiness she has given me.
You made Clockwork Orange initially because you had to postpone your Napoleon project. How do you see the Napoleon film developing?
First of all, I start from the premise that there has never been a great historical film, and I say that with all apologies and respect to those who have made historical films, including myself [Kubrick had yet to select or to film “Barry Lyndon” at the time of this interview — Ed.]. I don’t think anyone has ever successfully solved the problem of dealing in an interesting way with the historical information that has to be conveyed, and at the same time getting a sense of reality about the daily life of the characters. You have to get a feeling of what it was like to be with Napoleon. At the same time, you have to convey enough historical information in an intelligent, interesting and concise way so that the audience understands what happened.
Would you include Abel Gance’s Napoleon in this verdict?
I think I would have to. I know that the film is a masterpiece of cinematic invention and it brought cinematic innovations to the screen which are still being called innovations whenever someone is bold enough to try them again. But on the other hand, as a film about Napoleon, I have to say I’ve always been disappointed in it.
Kubrick on Historical films and Gance’s Napoleon. I wonder what version of it he saw. I wonder more about what his Napoleon would have been.