We’ve never been Kubrick fans, it is fair to say. Quite what all the fuss is about is rather beyond us. Does this make us artistic troglodytes? Probably, but there’s only so much allegory and symbolism we can take between monkeys eating their dinner and Nicole Kidman counting the cracks in the ceiling. Exceptions are Lolita because, because of Peter Sellers, The Shining, because of Scatman Crothers and Philip Stone and this masterful piece starring Kirk ‘snails’ Douglas. Of course, there’s always Spartacus as well, but by now we know that was pretty much Douglas’ show anyhow. This black and white number concerns Douglas and his attempts to come to grips with the slaughter of the trenches of the Great War, it’s sadistic commanders and their cruel actions not as an American but as a Frenchman. Atmospheric, bleak, stark, appalling and many other adjectives too numerous to mention make it a very great film, from a very great star and, okay, quite a good director.