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by Richard Brookhiser

OK, I’ll defend 2001 too. It was the second, and second greatest music video. (Fantasia was the first.) Kubrick shone not only in picking the pieces he picked, but in picking the right conductors. For his Blue Danube Waltzes, he didn’t go with some Austrian–did Bruno Walter ever record them?–or with someone else who could have faked the schmaltz–Bernstein. Instead he picked the Prussian ice king, Von Karajan: the perfect choice for Kubrick, and for the sequence.

We’re supposed to pick movies that aren’t classics, yet that hold up. Here’s another: Way Out West, Buster Keaton. I’m not a cinema guy, and I’d never heard of this one until I saw it, and indeed the first hour or so is pretty lame. But I’ve never laughed as I did in the last twenty minutes. Hint: many cows.