Stanley Kubrick’s Letter to Canon Collins

This letter seems funny until you read Canon Collins’ Wikipedia entry. Not a good look, Stanley. Then again, there was no Wikipedia when Kubrick dictated this letter, and he seemed pretty focused on his own work (like having every doorway in London photographed). I did enjoy the acerbic use of quotes around ‘Sunday Pictorial.’ 

March 23, 1961
Canon, John Collins
Chairman, Christian Action
2 Amen Court
London, R.C.

Dear Canon Collins,

Regarding your letters of the 1st and 15th of March, I appreciate your concern about the making of ‘LOLITA’ into a film, because of the sensational publicity which has been attached to the novel. Knowing the sincerity of your intentions, I can only register a certain degree of surprise at your willingness to pre-judge a motion picture (which, by the way, has already been filmed) before you see it. The air of sensationalism which has surrounded ‘LOLITA’ from the beginning has been completely beyond our control, and we have done everything possible to avoid it and to detach ourselves from its implications. Wouldn’t you say that it gives some cause for thought on your part, when you consider the calibre and reputations of the people involved in the picture, notably James Mason, Peter Sellers and Shelly Winters. I hesitate to add (but your letter enforces me to), that a quick look at the films I have made in the past, might also imply a certain dedication to film making, rather than to the exploitation of ‘unwholesome’ subjects. I must say, that I do not think that you will find the motion picture in any way deleterious to the morals of any segment of society.

By the way, the photographs you referred to in the ‘Sunday Pictorial’ were stolen from the laboratory and mis-captioned, and, as a result, gave a completely distorted impression.

Very truly yours,
Stanley Kubrick,
Director, ‘LOLITA'”

Getting Anoushka to the Youth American Grand Prix

“Hi I’m Anoushka and I’m twelve years old, I live in Rio and I’m training to be a classical ballerina.

This year was an exciting for me! In September I passed the semi-finals of the regional Youth American Grand Prix competition in São Paulo and I was chosen to be amongst the finalists from Brazil going to NYC next April for the finals!

The Youth American Grand Prix is the biggest international student ballet competition in the world. There are regional semi-finals in eight countries around the world; Asia, Europe North America and South America. The finals are in NYC and they bring together talented young dancers with the top schools, companies, directors and teachers from around the world. It’s an honour and an excellent opportunity to get scouted, win a scholarship and train with other talents from around the world.

I hope to be able to join my colleagues in NYC next April which is why I am asking for help. The cost of the trip is expensive and the Brazilian currency is worth 4 times less than the US dollar.

I am trying to raise this money as soon as possible so that I can purchase the tickets and reserve my spot.

The cost includes plane tickets from Rio to NYC and accommodation and transportation ( ten days) for me and my coach in Westchester and Manhattan plus registration fees. If you are in the New York area please let me know and you can come and see me dance!

I will keep everyone posted with my trip and the competition!

Thank you for watching my video and helping me get to NYC and please share with family, friends and ballet lovers !!

Muito Obrigada!


Jennifer Arcuri’s Text to Boris Johnson

“Is this the price of loyalty? To be hung up on, ignored and blocked. Why would I remain silent if you can’t even speak to me, and I’ve been nothing but loyal to you?”

Text sent to Boris Johnson, read aloud by Jennifer Arcuri on the BBC’s morning show during the 2019 election campaign. 

“Why are you loyal to him?” the host Victoria Derbyshire asked, after Arcuri had read the text and participated in an hour-long ITV interview about their affair.

“Because outside of what the press are seeing right now, this man who is acting like he is as shallow as a padding [sic] pool. Outside of this personified fake puppet I see. And I don’t mean to discredit him as much as just lay out the fact that I am very upset that he could not man up and pick up the phone and call me.”

I’m not going to be ignored, Dan!

Welcome to London!

On the back: “Greetings from London! Present home of human rights Defender Julian Assange.
Julian Assange: Award-winning journalist and publisher, founder of Wikileaks, helped expose corruption and war crimes committed by our Governments.
Tortured for years in central London, then illegally dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy and sent to Belmarsh prison, also known as the ‘Guantanamo of the UK.’ Now, the UK may extradite him to the U.S. where he could face the death penalty! Though strongly condemned by the UN his situation is getting worse.
To find out more about this outrageous human rights violation by the British justice system in the centre of London, just scan the QR code or visit the links below.
Stand up for Julian and a FREE PRESS!”

Postcards distributed by outside Julian Assange’s court appearances.

Howard Hughes’ Memos to Robert Maheu

The investigative journalist James Phelan spent twenty years covering Howard Hughes. Two Hughes aides were the primary sources for Phelan’s book The Hidden Years. Published the same year as Elvis: What Happened?, it confirmed the rumours about Hughes’ agoraphobia, opiate addiction, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Like Presley, Hughes’ compulsions were facilitated by a team of men who arranged his hidden passages between hotels in Las Vegas, Managua, Acapulco, Vancouver, London, and Paradise Island in the Bahamas. 

Robert Maheu served as the CEO of the Nevada operations. He never met Hughes face-to-face, but they were in constant contact through letters and telephone calls. Phelan noted that Hughes’ complete identification with his functionary ran like a leitmotif through the handwritten memos. “The billionaire wrote entire scripts for Maheu-Hughes to play out for him in the exciting but fearsome world. ” Hughes often referred to Maheu as “I” and himself in the third person, like in this memo, which outlined his instructions for Maheu’s negotiation with a man named William Harrah over the purchase of a casino.

“Try something like this. Bill, I have to go to Los Angeles for a very important medical exam. I had postponed it to be free to come to Reno and meet with you. But if you are not ready, I will go on to L.A. and re-establish my plans.

Now look Bill, I don’t mind waiting another week at all and I am sure this is OK with Mr. Hughes. What has him upset is the fact that he is a man, like many you have met, who just cannot stand uncertainty. He has a number of other projects which depend upon this one. So, you see, his upsetment is not because of the delay, only the uncertainty.

Now, you said this afternoon, Bill, that you wanted to present this proposal at a figure that will be immediately acceptable to Howard. Well, I think that is fine, and it occurred to me that you know in a general way what Howard considers fair.  May I say to Howard before I go, that if he will just be patient for another week and quit fretting over this deal I am confident that when I return from L.A. in a week I will make one call and you will invite me to Reno.”

Howard Hughes: The Hidden Years, James Phelan, William Collins Sons & Co Ltd, 1977.