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by Indiewire
October 22, 2012 11:04 AM
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Project of the Day: A Documentary Analysis of Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory'

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

"Anatomy of a Film"

Tweetable Logline:

A Documentary Analysis of Stanley Kubrick's anti-war drama Paths of Glory
Elevator Pitch:
A study of Stanley Kubrick’s early anti-war masterpiece, Paths of Glory, planned as the first in a series of films about film-making itself, how cinema informs and influences society and the importance of film preservation.
Production Team:

Executive Producers: J. Scott Scheel, Erica Mariani, David Rivitz, Mike Altmann
Producers: David Spodak, Charles Moore
Commentary: Kirk Douglas, James B. Harris, Richard Anderson, Mike Altmann
Camera & Lighting: Marc Levy

About the Production:

"Anatomy of a Film is the result of five years of research and production, including on-camera interviews with Kirk Douglas, Paths of Glory’s star, the film’s producer, James B. Harris, Richard Anderson, one of it’s principal actors and Kubrick’s widow Christiane , who also appeared in the film and married the director shortly after production. The editorial approach is to let the film play with full visual and aural continuity so that its story line can be followed. Narration and commentary intervene to illustrate artistry and technique or to put the film in historical and social context." -- David Spodak

Current Status:
Just completed, searching for distribution funds.
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  • Not exactly | October 22, 2012 11:16 AMReply

    "Paths of Glory" isn't an anti-war masterpiece.

    It is an anti-authoritarian masterpiece.

    The distinction is not one that I alone am making. Kurbrick himself made the distinction repeatedly in interviews. He said he had not made an anti-war film, correcting the interviewer. His film is an attack on institutional authoritarianism.

  • David Spodak | October 23, 2012 10:45 PM

    I totally agree with you, but the nuanced perception that you're expressing does not work in a fund-raising pitch since most people consider POG strictly an anti-war film. Here is a passage from my film's narration in discussing the scene where the officers sit around the palace deciding on the court-martial:

    "We have been given a seat at this table but can only watch in mute bewilderment as a matter of life and death is decided in a tone not much different than a business conference in the civilian world. Though the film certainly depicts war as an abomination, to simply label it an anti-war statement oversimplifies its full import. War seems to be accepted by everyone as an unavoidable, even normal condition. No character ever speaks against war in general or the utterly senseless WWI in particular. Even the attack is mounted with a certain bloodless grandeur. The film’s very judgmental stance is grounded rather, in its acute depiction of authority and power abused. The savage bargain struck in this most civilized of settings highlights the gulf between the classes as well as the cruel absurdity of war."

    I hope you will consider supporting this project, which I can assure does justice to its magnificent subject. In any case, thank you for your thoughtful comment.