Unpublished Playboy interview with Stanley Kubrick/Bernard Knowles.
Interview by Anonymous.
Early in 1968, Playboy magazine contacted me about the possibility of interviewing Stanley Kubrick. It was an offer I eagerly accepted. 2001: A Space Odyssey had just opened, and critics, whether they loved the film or hated it, were united on one point: nothing like it had ever been seen on a movie screen before.
But were they right?
In 1965, with little or no fanfare, a movie containing many of the same elements as 2001 had been released. I was in complete ignorance of this film, but by the end of my interview with “Mr. Kubrick,” I would learn more about it and the film’s director, Bernard Knowles, than I ever cared to know.
For reasons that will soon become apparent, the interview was never published. One editor at Playboy explained the situation to me this way: “The god damned interview isn’t even with Stanley Kubrick! And, oh yeah, if we publish it, he’s going to fucking sue us!”
It’s been many years since the interview took place, and, sadly, Mr. Kubrick is no longer with us. The time seems right, however, to finally share this bit of cinematic history with the general public. If nothing else, the interview might help explain Mr. Kubrick’s reclusive habits in later years.
An expanse of flat, snow-covered land bisected by a two-lane highway. A car has veered off the road and plowed into the snow. The police inspect the area, looking for clues that might explain the accident. This is either (a) a scene from early in Fargo or (b) toward the end of X-Files: I Want to Believe. If you chose (a) and (b), you’re correct!
The two films are remarkably similar, except for small differences like Fargo is funny and has surprising, interesting characters, while X-Files: I Want to Believe is deadly serious, with an established cast that’s dull and predictable. The two films also feature female characters in law enforcement. And there’s lots of snow . . . in both films. Actually, that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Surprising absence of aliens in X-Files: I Want to Believe.
But forget about Fargo. X-Files: I Want to Believe doesn’t even have that much in common with X-Files: The TV Series or X-Files: The Previous Movie. If you’re looking for government cover-ups, ETs, implants, and alien hybrids—you know, X-Files kinds of stuff—this might not be the movie for you.
The TV series featured two kinds of stories: mythology and stand-alone. The ongoing mythology stories involved sinister aliens, and the stand-alones could be about anything from bionic werewolves to government AI programs run amuck. It’s disappointing the alien invasion isn’t wrapped up or even advanced in X-Files: I Want to Believe, but since a karmic vampire or sentient virus are always only a clue or unexpected revelation away, the absence of an extraterrestrial threat can be forgiven. Continue reading