After all, it's just a ride….

RIP Michael Herr (1940 – 2016)

Perhaps a little parochial considering wider global events, but here is another sad loss for the neurotic holocaust of 2016. Funnily enough as I was unpacking all my stuff when moving into my new place I alighted on his Kubrick book, published shortly after Stan’s passing, thinking that it deserves another digestion. I always considered this as one of the most enlightening and measured reportages on the collaborative experience with Kubrick, exploding the Salingeresque myth which was being slowly deconstructed around the release of Eyes Wide Shut, moving between genuine awe and frustrated insurrection at his perfectionist practices and incredible talent – Kubrick was a great, if sometimes exceptionally difficult colleague. His Dispatches book is one of the all time great examinations of the insanity, exhilaration and horror of combat and warfare, exactly the difficult position that Kubrick yearned to express through his medium;

Like Terry Southern you can see how they both gravitated to the disconnection between language and distortion of our alleged humanist discourse, the dark humour sniggering amongst the horror. Now, let’s not get started on the collaborative relationship with Gustav Hasford, the other contributor to Full Metal Jacket as that is somewhat…difficult – look it up. Not that I need any excuse to post this again but for my money this is one of the finest closing scenes of any Kubrick film, the chaotic camaraderie as the world burns, and the slow march into a repeated history of our species insect instincts;


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