Kubrick’s Universe - The Stanley Kubrick Podcast

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The Seafarers with Alexander Pietrzak

March 23, 2021


Episode 44 : The Seafarers with Alexander Pietrzak

In 1953, twenty-five-year-old Stanley Kubrick shot his first colour film, The Seafarers. In doing so, he also scored an early payday as a young independent filmmaker. Lost to the public for decades, Kubrick’s industrial short film for the SIU was ultimately brought to the attention of Kubrick scholars and fans by an intrepid young enthusiast and filmworker himself named Alexander Pietrzak. Quite a ways back Alexander set out on a mission to see if a copy existed. He did so for one reason — to help ensure Kubrick’s first colour film might see the light of day; as necessary preservation of a historical document.

In 1997 he received a VHS copy from the Seafarers International Union itself, he learned that the original production company had long gone out of business with all its assets liquidated. It turns out that the short film had been "discovered" by a man during an inventory screening in 1972.

Alexander remained tireless in his efforts. After engaging in a ton of correspondence and meeting with disappointment along the way, Alexander persevered. And we fans of all things Stanley are grateful.

This episode takes us back a bit into our own vaults, as Alexander was kind enough to be an early guest on Kubrick’s Universe. Among other stories, in this episode, we’ll hear Alexander share his tale of why it was important to him personally to be given the blessing of the Kubrick Estate to release the short film to how The Seafarers went from near-total obscurity to finally being made available by the U.S. Library Of Congress through archival restoration. Indiana Jones himself would be proud. We’ll also hear excerpts from the rare audio commentary track on The Seafarers DVD, provided by actor/director Keith Gordon and Roger Avery, of Pulp Fiction screenwriting fame. There might even be a personal connection from Alexander’s childhood to a film Kubrick would make twenty years later. Did young Alexander cross paths with Stanley on the set of Barry Lyndon? Well, you’re gonna have to stay tuned to find out. So let’s get into it, shall we?

Production Credits :

Hosted by Jason Furlong / Researched and written by Stephen Rigg and Jason Furlong  / Theme written and performed by Jason Furlong / Produced and edited by Stephen Rigg / Contributions by Mark Lentz & James Marinaccio