THE GREAT­EST FILMS NEVER MADE

Stan­ley Kubrick’s BURN­ING SE­CRET, A.I. AR­TI­FI­CIAL IN­TEL­LI­GENCE, THE ARYAN PA­PERS AND NAPOLEON

Total Film - - Contents - WORDS kevin har­ley

Re­ally? Him? Di­rect­ing THAT? Maybe one day…

From evil dough­nut men to Cthul­hoid hor­rors, movie his­tory bris­tles with tan­ta­lis­ingly un­re­alised projects. Af­ter the dis­cov­ery of a long-lost Stan­ley Kubrick script, To­tal Film trawls the vaults to re­visit more un­made trea­sures, and pon­der their chances of res­ur­rec­tion.

This year, the mono­lith from 2001: A Space Odyssey re-man­i­fested in 70mm 50th an­niver­sary screen­ings. Mean­while, di­rec­tor Stan­ley Kubrick made head­lines for an­other dis­cov­ery. Co-writ­ten with Amer­i­can nov­el­ist Calder Willing­ham in 1956, the script for Burn­ing Se­cret was found by film scholar Nathan Abrams. Abrams was re­search­ing Eyes Wide Shut; just as that film of­fered a US re-imag­in­ing of a novella by an Aus­trian writer (Arthur Sch­nit­zler), so Se­cret of­fered a con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can makeover of Ste­fan Zweig’s 1913 novella.

Bear­ing slanted echoes of Lolita, The Shin­ing and Eyes Wide Shut, the story fo­cuses on a preda­tory man who be­friends a 10-year-old boy at a spa in or­der to get in­ti­mate with the lad’s mum. Abrams sug­gests the script might have been “too risqué” for stu­dios in 1956, “with sex­u­al­ity and child abuse churn­ing be­neath its sur­face”. Willing­ham went on to co-write Paths Of Glory with Kubrick, while Burn­ing Se­cret joined a list of well-pre­pared projects the di­rec­tor never man­aged to make, in­clud­ing his­tor­i­cal epic Napoleon, the Holo­caust-themed The Aryan Pa­pers, and A.I. Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence.

CHANCES OF HAP­PEN­ING?

If Spiel­berg could com­plete A.I., might Burn­ing Se­cret reignite? “It’s a full script,” says Abrams, en­cour­ag­ingly. Is Christo­pher Nolan busy?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.