Kubrick’s ravishing adaption of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel stars Ryan O’Neal as an unscrupulous chancer who gambles, duels, and seduces his way through the parlors, palaces, and battlefields of eighteenth-century Europe. Born into a poor, rural Irish family, Lyndon constantly transforms himself, donning different guises and personas as he drifts through the currents and courts of European gentry in constant pursuit of two prizes that prove most ephemeral: wealth and happiness. Though a stately period film might seem like an odd change of pace for a director best known at the time for A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick’s technical virtuosity makes for a film as immersive as its predecessors and every bit as audacious as the picaresque exploits of its (anti)hero. The film’s justly famous visual richness is the result of Kubrick’s meticulous attention to historical and technical detail, including wigs made of real hair courtesy of an Italian convent. The film’s exquisite outdoor scenes bathed in natural light and crisply registering shifts in air and sky were based on a careful study of the era’s landscape paintings. Likewise, a special lens—originally developed by NASA for use on satellites—was adapted for a film camera so that cinematographer John Alcott could shoot most of the film’s indoor scenes solely by candlelight.
“A profoundly emotional experience. The emotion is conveyed through the movement of the camera, the slowness of the pace, the way the characters move in relation to their surroundings. People didn’t get it when it came out. Many still don’t. Basically, in one exquisitely beautiful image after another, you’re watching the progress of a man as he moves from the purest innocence to the coldest sophistication, ending in absolute bitterness—and it’s all a matter of simple, elemental survival. It’s a terrifying film because all the candlelit beauty is nothing but a veil over the worst cruelty. But it’s real cruelty, the kind you see every day in polite society.”—Martin Scorsese.
Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members and Academy members with valid ID. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.
STANDBY ONLY: Tickets for this event are no longer available for purchase in advance. A standby line will form at 6:30 pm at the Hammer Building Ticket Office on the night of this event. Guests in the standby line will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis, though unfortunately there is no guarantee of tickets being made available to guests in this line.
Make a night of it! Learn more about the pop-up dinner before the screening and make a reservation.