1975 / UK / USA / 187 min. / Colour
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Ryan O’Neal, Michael Horden, Marisa Berenson,Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger, Diana Koerner
Of all Kubrick’s films, Barry Lyndon has taken the most time to establish its leading position in the canon and most would now agree with this reappraisal: “It has grown in stature over the years and is now widely regarded as one of the master’s best. It is certainly in every frame a Kubrick film: technically awesome, emotionally distant, remorseless in its doubt of human goodness.” There are two Georgian England’s – the carnal, rollocking roister-doister portrayed in Tom Jones and the callous, cynical, sharp-cutting and indifferent society inhabited by Barry Lyndon. Not surprisingly, it is Kubrick’s unsentimental country that is closest to history. As ever, he recreated a meticulously researched milieu, famously eschewing all lighting other than the sun and candles. The result is a gripping story beautifully told at just the right pace to keep in step with the twists and turns Lyndon experiences. Ryan O’Neal is a counter-intuitive piece of exemplary casting supported by an ensemble that bonds to create a tight society of friends, foes and lovers. And there is even a link to The Dish – after much consideration, Kubrick decided to shoot with Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 lenses that had been developed specifically to film the Apollo moon landings.