Locals and Crew Tell the Tale of Kubrick's Massive Production of 'Barry Lyndon' in Ireland

'Barry Lyndon'
'Barry Lyndon'
When Irish eyes are shining... they're doing it in 70mm. 

If you read NFS a lot, you know I am always looking for an angle to talk about Barry Lyndon. It's one of my favorite Stanley Kubrick films, and I think in line for the title for the most beautiful movie of all time. Every shot feels like a classical painting. 

Part of the draw of the film is its authentic and wondrous locations. 

The movie was shot in Ireland, and thanks to this amazing series called Hollywood in Éirinn, there's a really fun short doc describing Kubrick's adventures on the Emerald Isle.  

Check it out, and let's talk after the jump. 

The legend of Stanley Kubrick is alive within that doc. I love the descriptions of the massive Kubrick production rolling into town and making use of all that Waterford had to offer. 

To achieve the breathtaking painterly look, the director pushed the technology at the time, demanding specially ground lenses which enabled him to film on real locations, frequently using only available light and even, amazingly, to film by candlelight.

Ryan O’Neill with Pat Heavin on the set of ‘Barry Lyndon’ in 1973
Ryan O’Neill with Pat Heavin on the set of ‘Barry Lyndon’ in 1973Credit: Stanley Kubrick

As The Irish Times states, "When [Kubrick] came to Ireland in 1973 to make Barry Lyndon it was a very big deal for a country without an established film infrastructure."

I found the rest of the documentary inspiring to us as an industry. Ireland now has a booming film and TV business, and it's all thanks to the people who went there and worked. 

We, like Kubrick, should be okay exploring the world and bringing this industry to people. Movies and TV are unique in that we can leave an entire industry behind for people to have jobs and to create. 

What did you glean from the doc? Let us know in the comments.      

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I don't think this "industry" was "brought" to Ireland ––or "the world"–– by Hollywood or American productions. As much as I would have loved for Kubrick to have such power, the cultural atmospheres and traditions of a country need more than a man or a business to develop. And luckily, Americans no longer have to bring much anywhere; by the time of the release of Barry Lyndon, the cinemas of places like India, Cuba, or Senegal had produced some of the best movies of the century.

October 26, 2020 at 11:28AM