the colonial theatre marquee

Illuminating Cinema: Barry Lyndon

Directed by Stanley Kubrick. UK. 1975. PG. 3 hours 4 minutes. Warner. Digital.
Sun., January 13, 2019
January 13, 2019
1:00 pm

Director Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Thackeray’s classic novel covers the rise and fall of a likeable young Irishman (Ryan O’Neal) who, through a series of misadventures, transforms into a conniving, manipulative rogue. Shot on location in Ireland, England and Germany, the film also showcases the groundbreaking cinematography of John Alcott (who won an Oscar for his work) who shot interior scenes entirely in candlelight.

About the Talk & Conversation

This episode of Illuminating Cinema examines the use of the historical narrative within filmmaking, with especial consideration of Kubrick’s, Barry Lyndon (1975).

As a screenwriter, Kubrick radically transformed the source material (William Makepeace Thackeray’s, The Luck of Barry Lyndon, 1844), omitting at least half of the original narrative, and installing a third person omniscient narrator, forcing the audience to take a more removed, and therefore detached, examination of Redmond Barrie’s (alias “Barry Lyndon’s”) life.

Kubrick is less interested in presenting a personal or psychological narrative, akin to that of “Humbert Humbert” in, Lolita (1962), utilizing the historical setting of the 18th century to examine, and comment on, aspects of late 20th century society, especially the areas of colonialism, militarization, Libertine philosophy, and capitalism.

Consequently, the discussion will explore Kubrick’s use of the period drama to comment on social concerns relating to the relationship between Ireland and England, especially in context to the escalating ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland beginning in the late 1960s; the rapid militarization of countries, fueled by the increasing paranoia of the Cold War and U.S. involvement in Vietnam; as well as revolutionary movements and organizations, characterized by the Beat Generation, U.S. counter-culture, and Britain’s, so-called, promiscuous society.

Finally, we will examine the film’s portrayal of capitalism; an economic system that promises all individuals can achieve higher status through personal endeavor, no matter the social class they were born into. Woven into the narrative of Barry Lyndon is an exploration of the revolutionary roots of this economic system, as well as an analysis of its implications on future social stability.

About the Speaker

Andrew Owen received an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Bangor University, Great Britain, and was a fulltime faculty member at Cabrini University. Andrew is also a house manager here at the Colonial.

Andrew’s main areas of interest relate to the social history of censorship within popular culture; analyzing areas related to propaganda, horror, and the societal and cultural dynamics of censorship discourse and practice. Andrew is also interested in the study of humor, especially as it pertains to its usage by subordinated social groups to attack, challenge, or draw attention to the oppressive ideologies and practices of the dominant social group.


1:00PM – Pre-Show Talk in the Garden Suite
1:30PM – Film Screening in the 1903 Theatre
4:30PM – Post-Show Conversation in the Garden Suite


Adults: $25
Members, Seniors & Students: $20
Click HERE to purchase a ticket to the Barry Lyndon film screening only.

In addition to admission to the film screening and the pre- and post-film discussions, your Illuminating Cinema ticket includes a free small popcorn, a free small soda, a complimentary theatre cup. Plus $5 beer or wine (at this event only).

A limited number of tickets are available for each Illuminating Cinema presentation so we encourage advance purchases.

Discounts are available when you purchase tickets for all current Illuminating Cinema selections during the same transaction.

Member Passes are not accepted for this program.

About Illuminating Cinema

When the credits end that’s when the conversation begins!

Illuminating Cinema connects you with film fans of all ages for fun, refreshments and engaging conversation. Each presentation begins in our beautiful Garden Suite with a pre-show introduction from a guest speaker who offers insight and observation to help sharpen your focus on the respective film. After the lights go up in the historic 1903 auditorium, we’ll gather in the Garden Suite for a convivial post-film conversation with the speaker and each other.

In addition to admission to the film screening and the pre- and post-film discussions, your Illuminating Cinema ticket includes a free small popcorn, a free small soda, a complimentary theatre cup. Plus $5 beer or wine (at the Illuminating Cinema event only).

Focus your appreciation for film with Illuminating Cinema!