Exclusive behind-the-scenes images showing Stanley Kubrick in production on his lavish 18th-century period masterpiece Barry Lyndon. Still photographer: Keith Hamshere. Credit: With thanks to the SK Film Archives LLC, Warner Bros. and University of the Arts London. Courtesy of British Film Institute.
Barry Lyndon was shot in Waterford in October 1973. The set was closed to the press, but local man Pat Heavin managed to get on to it as they were filming near his house. […] During a break in filming Heavin approached O’Neal for a photograph. “I was a member of the Waterford Camera Club at the time. I was conscious that no press were allowed on set so I kept it very low key. I asked Ryan O’Neal if I could take his picture. He was extremely friendly to me.” Then he spotted Stanley Kubrick, taking a break. “I said ‘To hell with it. I’ll go for broke.’ I asked if I could take his picture and with a bit of encouragement from Ryan O’Neal, Stanley smiled and I had my picture.” […] Heavin says he respected the circumstances in which he was allowed to take the photographs and has never released them publicly before now. However, when he heard Ryan O’Neal and producer Jan Harlan were coming to Dublin for a 40th anniversary screening of Barry Lyndon, he decided to release them. “It was a moment of trust and I never showed the picture to anyone except family. I want the photographs passed on to him [O’Neal] to thank him for his kindness on the day,” he says.
“I’m not sure if I can say that I have a favourite Kubrick picture, but somehow I keep coming back to Barry Lyndon. I think that’s because it’s such a profoundly emotional experience. The emotion is conveyed through the movement of the camera, the slowness of the pace, the way the characters move in relation to their surroundings. People didn’t get it when it came out. Many still don’t. Basically, in one exquisitely beautiful image after another, you’re watching the progress of a man as he moves from the purest innocence to the coldest sophistication, ending in absolute bitterness – and it’s all a matter of simple, elemental survival. It’s a terrifying film because all the candlelit beauty is nothing but a veil over the worst cruelty. But it’s real cruelty, the kind you see every day in polite society."
Stanley Kubrick is known for his innovative camera work and attention to detail in his films. Barry Lyndon is no exception. Kubrick researched the 18th Century in great detail, and all props, costumes, sets and lighting were made to look as realistic as possible.
Francis Wilson is attributed with the creation of the various bonnets and hats for the production, and this beautiful piece, accented with lace, yellow ribbon and an ostrich feather has been used twice - both times in films in which Milena Canonero was costume designer. It is very likely that Francis Wilson and Milena Canonero had to work closely together to create specific hats for each costume. The hat was first worn by Marisa Berenson as Lady Honoria Lyndon in the 1975 Barry Lyndon, and then it was seen again in 2006 on Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette in Sophia Coppola’s film of the same name. It should be noted that both Marie Antoinette and Barry Lydon won Academy Awards for Best Costume Design.