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A Voix Nue: Stanley Kubrick (Rare Radio Interview)





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Published on Aug 13, 2013

Not my work, created by a fan for free distribution.

This is a customised audio file of a five-episode series of interviews from "A voix nue" (a programme from the France Culture radio station -- check their website and podcasts), taken from three interviews by Michel Ciment from 1975 to 1987. By the time you take out the intros, outros, music, and translation, each 28-minute episode only results in about 11 mins of The Kube actually speaking.

(keep reading so that you don't listen to this and then complain afterwards about clicks and blips throughout the audio)

Ciment interviewed Kubrick to get material for his wonderful book 'Kubrick', so the audio is not from a pristine studio but recorded much more casually in Kubrick's home, as evidenced by the phone ringing, cutlery clinking, etc. As the interviews were later broadcast for French audiences, a French voice-over was added throughout the entire audio in post-edit. This meant that you'd hear Kubrick talk for about 3 or 4 seconds and then have a translator jump in and repeat what he said in French at a louder volume. Usually the translator would step in and cut off the first or last words that Kubrick was saying, or sometimes just talk over the top of him, making it even more difficult to listen to. Maddeningly, the translator would sometimes interject after he said only three or four words! Ciment's English-language questions were spoken over in French simultaneously, often rendering them impossible to hear.

The bottom line is that this is a very demanding and irritating way to listen to the interviews, and involves a lot of concentration to filter out the interpreter and keep piecing together the flow of what Kubrick says. It's NOT fun. After listening to all five shows I wondered if it would be possible to edit out all the French and salvage a one hour-long English-only interview. I figured that I could make joins by cutting out the transitive phrases which kept getting narrated over (like "for instance", "it seems", "you could say", etc), manufacture fake pauses, and cheat a little by splicing half-sentences together to make new ones. In quite a few cases you could get the gist of Ciment's lengthy questions as he started them, before the voice-over kicked in.

Four weeks of audio editing and one semi-nervous breakdown later here is the result: a reconstructed hour of Kubrick talking about cinema, chess, ESP, art, writing, Vietnam, his cat, the 18th Century, and even 'Fear and Desire'. Many times it was plainly impossible to cut out the overlapping French, which is why you'll hear the cuts where there was just no way to disguise them (he was being interrupted every few seconds, remember), but surprisingly a lot of the joins are undetectable, and there is less overlapping as it goes on. To finish it off, I evened out the overall volume level and added musical cues for 'Barry Lyndon', 'The Shining', and 'Full Metal Jacket' to indicate the topic under discussion.

Download, enjoy, share. Let's get this out there for Kubrick fans everywhere on the Net. It's been long overdue.


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