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Dean Cavanagh: Exclusive interview with the writer and director of ‘Kubricks’

Dean Cavanagh is that very rare breed – a maverick whose talents have been successfully proven over several different disciplines.

He is an award-winning artist; a screenwriter and playwright, writing the highly acclaimed Wedding Belles with Irvine Welsh and the forth-coming movie version of the hit on-line series Svengali. He has also been a journalist, with bylines in i-D, NME, Sabotage Times and the Guardian. Dean is also a documentary-maker, a film and TV producer and a musician, with along list of collaborators, including Robert Anton Wilson.

Now the multi-talented Cavanagh has written and directed (with his son Josh), his first movie - the much anticipated Kubricks.

In this exclusive interview with Dangerous Minds, Dean talks about the ideas and creative processes behind Kubricks. How he collaborated with Alan McGee, and developed the film with his son Josh, discussing his thoughts on cinema and synchronicity, and explaining howKubricks came to be filmed over 5 days, with a talented cast this summer.

Dean Cavanagh: ‘Stanley Kubrick has always fascinated me in that he was clearly trying to convey messages through symbols, codes and puzzles in his films.

‘For me his genius was in the way he presented the ‘regular’ audience with a clear narrative structure and for those who wanted to look deeper he constructed hidden layers of subjectivity. He was clearly a magician working with big budgets in such an idiosyncratic way that it’s hard not to be intrigued by him and his oeuvre.

‘I’ve been following Kubrick researchers like Rob Ager and Jay Weidner for the last few years and I really wanted to dramatize a story based around Kubrick as an inspirational enigma. There is a wealth of material about the esoteric side of Kubrick on the net and Ager and Weidner are great places to start the journey from.’

DM: How did you progress towards making ‘Kubricks’?

Dean Cavanagh: ‘I’ve been writing screenplays and theatre on my own and also with Irvine Welsh since the 1990’s. Up until last year, I never really had any desire to direct a film but Alan McGee encouraged me to have a go. He offered to produce a film if I would write and direct with the emphasis being on us having total control. This was music to my ears after having mainly dealt with people who are always looking for reasons not to make a film.  Alan’s credo was “just do it and let’s see what happens”. There’s a great freedom in working with him.’
Read more of Dean Cavanagh’s exclusive interview, plus free ‘Kubricks’ soundtrack download, after the jump…
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Alan McGee: Talks Magick, Music and his new Movie ‘Kubricks’


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kubrick’s Cover Story: the double narratives and hidden meanings of ‘2001’

Rob Ager is a Liverpool-based film theorist whose videos have been popping up on YouTube for the last few years. He tends to get lumped in with the usual conspiracy brigade, and while Ager’s work does approach material in the same analytical fashion his conclusions can be very different.

This close examination of Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Oddessy theorises that Kubrick was working on this film with a “double narrative” structure. Thus, the imagery, set design and camera shots created a complex story all of their own that was separate, and sometimes in direct opposition to, the commonly accepted themes of the Arthur C. Clarke screenplay.

Ager’s work falls on just the right side of conspiracy-culture to be of interest to skeptics and conspiracist’s alike, and with this particular film analysis he is careful to avoid any “tin foil hat” readings of the text, which can be a major downfall of “critical” videos of this kind. 

What Ager does posit is that Kubrick was working with a language of imagery that spoke directly to the subconscious and could be in contrast to the spoken words. This is more than a little believable when you take into account that Kubrick’s incredible talent and the huge amounts of time and effort that he spent on the various different aspects of his craft.

Kubrick’s Cover Story is in four parts, and comes in at just over an hour long. Not for everyone, perhaps, but definitely of interest to film students and the hardcore Stanley Kubrick fan (not to mention those who have a soft spot for a lilting Scouse accent):

Kubrick’s Cover Story part one:

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Kubrick’s Twisted Dimensions: why ‘The Shining’ is a masterful mindbender

Kubrick’s Cover Story part two to four after the jump…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Kubrick’s twisted dimensions: Why ‘The Shining’ is a masterful mindbender
11:39 pm


Stanley Kubrick
The Shining
Rob Ager

Rob Ager has no academic credentials in the realms of psychology or film making, but he clearly doesn’t need them. He has an incredible intuitive grasp of the links between celluloid and the subconscious mind. He’s not only a brilliant thinker, he’s a tenacious researcher. In this fascinating study of Stanley Kubrick’s disruption of spatial logic in order to create a sense of unease in his film The Shining, Ager gets at the heart of what makes the movie so spooky - the fact that it’s so fucking disorienting, an Escher-like maze of endless corridors drifting into infinity. A terrifying dream folding into itself. Jung would have loved this movie and Ager’s take on it.

Ager wrote, narrated and edited this outstanding analysis of Kubrick’s much-maligned vertiginous masterpiece.


Via Mister Honk

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment