“Paths of glory” (1957) by S. Kubrick – A remarcable opinion of Joanne Stang in “The New York Times Magazine”


(Our Cinema Association Rive Gauche-ArteCinema will proiect “Paths of Glory” in original version with Italian subtitles on October 29th, Wednesday, as second movie of the film festival called “Cinema histories about the first world war”. Proiection wil tak eplace in Florence, Tuscany, Italy at 21.00 h. , in Sala dei Marmi at Parterre, P.za della Libertà)

Kubrick is fiercely concerned with the accuracy of the small details that make up the backgrounds of his films because he feels this helps the audience to believe what they see on the screen.

In Paths of Glory there is a scene in which French company commander Kirk Douglas comes to plead with the general, played by Adolphe Menjou, for the lives of three of his men condemned to death. Just before this, Kubrick has clobbered orizzontidigloria9the audience with some of the most horrifyingly realistic soldiers-in-trenches shots since All Quiet on the Western Front.

Suddenly, the mud becomes snowy marble as far as the eye can see, and Douglas is confronting the nattily dressed and precisely spoken Menjou at “headquarters” – a gilt and brocade salon Kubrick has filled with spindle-legged chairs, crystal chandeliers and porcelain cherubs.

The contrast is clear. Although Douglas argues eloquently, he is a soldier submerged in a sea of gold inlay, and it becomes obvious that Menjou and Louis Quatorze will prevail.

From Film Fan to Film-Maker
by Joanne Stang
The New York Times Magazine, December 12, 1958