Kubrick's Son/A Body in the World
by Tim Frank, 3.24am July 10th
- Hi. Who’s this? What do you want?
- I want to talk to Stanley.
- It’s Mr. Kubrick to you and how did you get this number?
- He gave it to me….
- Of course he didn’t, are you crazy? Of course he didn’t.
- How else could I have got it…?
- … whatever.
- I just want to ask Sta… Mr. Kubrick about some of the themes in his movies.
- What themes, there are no themes.
- The symbols, I mean. You know?
- You boffins are all the same.
- Listen to me, he was just having fun. There are no meanings, no messages, and definitely no
- That’s really not true. The movies are…and he’s given interviews about...
- Are you saying I don’t understand my dad’s movies? He’s my dad after all.
- But he was interested in dehumanization, the afterlife… Jung.
- Dad! Dad!...I’ve got some kid on the phone…he says he wants to talk to you about symbols….yeah, and meanings. I know….My dad says you’re barking up the wrong tree. He says if you want symbols Fellini’s your man.
- Kubrick’s better than Fellini.
- Jesus Christ! Are you insane! Dad, did you hear that?! Dad’s shaking his head right now.
- Please can I talk to him?
- Ok, if you want to get technical…my dad’s a surrealist. He took images, messed them up. That’s it. It amazes me, nerds like you, obsessing about toilets and plans and numbers. Waste of time.
- So, you do know some of his ideas then?
- No. Why?
- Because you just said! Is Stanley there? I’ve got to talk to him.
- Jesus… Don’t you know he’s dead? He was 70? He died in 1996?
- Oh… Yeah… Yeah, that’s true.
- Of course, it’s true. He’s my dad, right?
- But you said just now you were talking to him.
- Who is this? Who’s speaking?
- My name is Tim. And I mean… God, I just want to talk to Stanley Kubrick so bad I don’t know what to do with myself.
A Body in the World
The Body awakened, balled up, dirty on a dry patch of grass in a deserted heath. The Body was compact, with a delicate frame and was dressed in a torn vintage Armani suit and a crumpled red baseball cap.
It stood, lurched along snaking pathways on unsteady legs, and then slumped beside a bus stop and waited. It wheezed, out of breath. The Body had nowhere to go but had been alone for a while and was eager to travel and be with people.
On board a bus, The Body gripped the handrails and sniffed passengers’ perfumed necks, rubbed up against young dogs eager for attention. It smiled at an old lady who wore a black beret pulled down over one ear. She squinted back at It with suspicion. It garbled affably in the driver’s ear but the driver reacted furiously, waving his hands and shouting like a baseball umpire. The Body was shamed and broke out in a violent rash. Its bones shifted and Its muscles flexed, veins bulging like ripe fruit.
As the bus charged into town schoolchildren scrambled on board at every stop and snarled at It in disgust. The Body began to sob and shuddered with every sinew. The Body grew.
It stepped off the bus and something cracked against Its head. A schoolboy had hurled an apple at Its skull and was laughing with his friends. The Body pawed at Its sore ear with red bloated hands.
The Body wanted to confront the children but It could only groan inaudibly as the kids cupped their mouths with their hands in hysterics. Confused, The Body swelled in size, towering over everyone in the street, and It wrapped an arm around a lamppost to balance Itself. It searched for a place to hide.
When several children followed The Body down an alleyway and jumped on Its back, The Body shrugged Itself free with ease. A crowd gathered around a schoolboy who clutched his bleeding knee and a child wailed as he stroked his fractured arm.
The Body could only whimper as people pointed and shouted, “Tramp!”, “Creep!”. The Body grew bulbous spots across Its cheeks and a morbid tiredness spread throughout Its aching mind. It passed out.
When The Body woke, It was pinned face down by dozens of kids who chewed sweets in earnest contemplation, waiting for It to surface. As The Body looked around from Its prostrate position It saw a hundred motionless eyes gazing at It silently.
The pressure on The Body forced Its hip bones sharply into the dirt and the stench from toppled bins made It gag. And yet The Body didn’t care anymore. It realised that it could wrestle Itself free if It wanted and easily punish those who stared. But It had journeyed out to see people and to discover life. And It had. Flowers, new-born babies and skyscrapers; fast cars, panhandlers and funeral processions; gangs, pretty girls and the sweet aroma of pastries wafting out of cafés. It had succeeded and for now, It was where It wanted to be.