The Lost Script Jul 16, 2018 6:58:45 GMT
Post by paislene on Jul 16, 2018 6:58:45 GMT
A “lost” screenplay by director Stanley Kubrick has been discovered and it is so close to completion that it could be developed by film-makers .
Entitled: Burning Secret , the script is an adaptation of the 1913 novella by the Viennese writer Stefan Zweig . In Kubrick’s adaptation of the story of adultery and passion set in a spa resort , a suave and predatory man befriends a 10-year-old boy , using him to seduce the child’s married mother .
He wrote it in 1956 with the novelist Calder Willingham , with whom he went on to collaborate on Paths of Glory the following year .
The screenplay was found by Nathan Abrams , professor in film at Bangor University and a leading Kubrick expert , who said “I couldn’t believe it . It’s so exciting . It was believed to have been lost” .
He added “Kubrick aficionados know he wanted to do it , [but] no one ever thought it was completed . We now have a copy and this proves that he had done a full screenplay” .
Kubrick made only 13 feature films , but he is revered as a master film-maker and supreme visual stylist with a painstaking approach to meticulous detail His sci-fi epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey pushed the boundaries of special effects and was at No 6 in the most recent Sight and Sound critics poll of the greatest films of all time .
Kubrick , an American who lived most of his life in Britain , died in 1999 , months after completing Eyes Wide Shut , the controversial psychosexual thriller starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman .
His Burning Secret screenplay bears the stamp of the script department of MGM . It is dated 24 October 1956 , when Kubrick was still relatively unknown , having just made his crime heist film , The Killing .
MGM is thought to have cancelled the commissioned project after learning that Kubrick was also working on Paths of Glory , putting him in breach of contract . Another account suggests that MGM told Kubrick’s producing partner James B Harris that it did not see the screenplay’s potential as a movie .
But Abrams said that “the adultery storyline” involving a child as a go-between might have been considered too risque” in the era of Hollywood’s production code , which then governed morality in film-making: “The child acts as an unwitting go-between for his mother and her would-be lover , making for a disturbing story with sexuality and child abuse churning beneath its surface” .
He described Burning Secret as “the inverse of Lolita” , Kubrick’s adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial story of love and lechery . “In Burning Secret , the main character befriends the son to get to the mother . In Lolita , he marries the mother to get to the daughter . I think that with the 1956 production code , that would be a tricky one to get by . But he managed with Lolita in 1962 – only just” .
In the Burning Secret screenplay , Kubrick and Willingham wrote of the child: “A young boy of about 10 stands on the veranda , hands clasped behind him in an almost adult manner ... Lonely , bored , he plays with a yo-yo …”
Abrams said that the screenplay extends to well over 100 typed pages. “It’s a full screenplay so could be completed by film-makers today”
Steven Spielberg reworked another unrealised Kubrick project – A.I., the 2001 sci-fi film , two years after Kubrick’s death .
Abrams’s book: Stanley Kubrick: New York Jewish Intellectual , was published in March by Rutgers University Press . He said that the Burning Secret screenplay shows that Kubrick took a Viennese Jewish novel and translated it into a contemporary American idiom , just as he was to do with Eyes Wide Shut , which was based on another Viennese novella , Arthur Schnitzler’s 1926 Dream Story .
In Zweig’s original , the woman and her son are Jewish and the story is set in Austria . Abrams said: “Kubrick rewrites it and it’s contemporary American with American names” .
The boy is called Eddie rather than Edgar .
A version of Zweig’s novella , based on a different screenplay , was made in 1988 by Kubrick’s former assistant Andrew Birkin .