Stanley Kubrick Appreciation Thread

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  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,180
    I think 'The Chickening' may be more nightmare-inducing than 'The Shining' is...

    Re-watched FMJ last night. Wow, what a journey that movie is.
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,874
    @Birdleson, know what you mean - 1980 was the last great year of the 70s!
  • Posts: 14,753
    My favourite movie director. Incidentally it is the 44th anniversary of the release of A Clockwork Orange.
  • edited February 2016 Posts: 3,336
    He isn't my favourite director, but i do consider him to be one of the greatest directors of all time. He mastered so many different genres, quite impressive.
  • SuperintendentSuperintendent A separate pool. For sharks, no less.
    Posts: 870
    I want to enlist! Kubrick is my favourite director. The man was a genius.

    My favourite films are Barry Lyndon, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut. I know Eyes Wide Shut is not the most popular of his films, but I find it to be most captivating. I must have seen it at least 10 times.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,323
    One of the many reasons why I respect Kubrick as much as I do is that he was able to take some Stephen King material and actually turn it into a decent film. King's own version of The Shining was utter garbage.
  • Posts: 14,753
    A Clockwork Orange is THE film of my teenage and should be the coming of age film every teenager should watch. I'm serious.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,314
    I finally got around to seeing Kubrick's early films of the 1950's. Such a rewarding experience. It was fascinating to see how some elements that i was familiar with in his later work (war, ballroom dancing, someone going crazy etc...) were present right from the start. And while I wouldn't consider any of them to be a masterpiece, it was great to be able to see him master his craft as he went along.

    I can understand why he was dissatisfied with Fear And Desire but I think he overreacted by trying to destroy all copies of the film. It wasn't terrible. Everyone has to start somewhere. I guess the perfectionist in him is what made him great though. It's clearly the work of a beginner but still recognizable as his own through some of the camera angles and the great buildup of tension.

    Killer's Kiss was actually my favorite of the bunch. It's a simple story but a good one. I really enjoyed the performances and the New York setting. I thought the showdown near the end was very exciting. All those mannequin parts were suitably creepy. The feel good ending was pretty cliche, however.

    The Killing was decent. I suppose I felt like the setup was too long. Once the heist got going, things really got interesting. I did enjoy the complexity of some of the characters. The aftermath of the robbery and the ending (while predictable) were enthralling. All in all, I enjoyed it.

    I was probably the most curious about Paths Of Glory. Wow, some great performances in this one. This was certainly the best made film of the group. A compelling story about the brutality of war and its effect on us all. Kirk Douglas plays that courageous, underdog, against all odds role so well. Definitely a classic. I'm so glad I finally got to see all of them.
  • Posts: 613
    Kubrick faked the moon landing the evidence is in The Shining.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,180
    Kubrick faked the moon landing the evidence is in The Shining.

    Well the "evidence" isn't there, but many have brought that up when discussing the symbolism and whatnot in the film, including the clues/symbolism focusing on the Holocaust and the decimation of the Native Americans.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,323
    Kubrick faked the moon landing the evidence is in The Shining.

    I'm sure many people would love to believe this.

  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    My favourite director of the past is definitely Hitchcock. I own all his movies that were released on DVD and later Blu-ray.

    2001 and The Shining are my favourites of Kubrick.
    The Shining is a freaking masterpiece and in my Top 30 all time favourites list.
  • Posts: 157
    I am a Kubrick fan - probabley the greatest director ever. 2001: A Space Odyssey is simply my favorite movie. I love The Shining & Dr. Strangelove more and more. Barry Lyndon, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut are also masterpieces.
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 4,325
    Kubrick faked the moon landing the evidence is in The Shining.

    Yes, if you look closely at the footage you can see a big foetus floating in space.
  • SuperintendentSuperintendent A separate pool. For sharks, no less.
    Posts: 870
    Stanley Kubrick on Mortality, the Fear of Flying, and the Purpose of Existence: 1968 Playboy Interview


    Playboy: Thanks to those special effects, 2001 is undoubtedly the most graphic depiction of space flight in the history of films — and yet you have admitted that you yourself refuse to fly, even in a commercial jet liner. Why?

    Kubrick: I suppose it comes down to a rather awesome awareness of mortality. Our ability, unlike the other animals, to conceptualize our own end creates tremendous psychic strains within us; whether we like to admit it or not, in each man’s chest a tiny ferret of fear at this ultimate knowledge gnaws away at his ego and his sense of purpose. We’re fortunate, in a way, that our body, and the fulfillment of its needs and functions, plays such an imperative role in our lives; this physical shell creates a buffer between us and the mind-paralyzing realization that only a few years of existence separate birth from death. If man really sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space?

    Those of us who are forced by their own sensibilities to view their lives in this perspective — who recognize that there is no purpose they can comprehend and that amidst a countless myriad of stars their existence goes unknown and unchronicled — can fall prey all too easily to the ultimate anomie….But even for those who lack the sensitivity to more than vaguely comprehend their transience and their triviality, this inchoate awareness robs life of meaning and purpose; it’s why ‘the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,’ why so many of us find our lives as absent of meaning as our deaths.

    The world’s religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache; but as clergymen now pronounce the death of God and, to quote Arnold again, ‘the sea of faith’ recedes around the world with a ‘melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,’ man has no crutch left on which to lean—and no hope, however irrational, to give purpose to his existence. This shattering recognition of our mortality is at the root of far more mental illness than I suspect even psychiatrists are aware.

    Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel it’s worth living?

    Kubrick: The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism — and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong — and lucky — he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    @Superintendent, thanks for posting.
  • edited April 2016 Posts: 14,753
    I have read it before, but it is always a great read.

    And it strikes me again that Stanley Kubrick is very close to the French existentialists worldview.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,655
    Stanley Kubrick on Mortality, the Fear of Flying, and the Purpose of Existence: 1968 Playboy Interview


    Playboy: Thanks to those special effects, 2001 is undoubtedly the most graphic depiction of space flight in the history of films — and yet you have admitted that you yourself refuse to fly, even in a commercial jet liner. Why?

    Kubrick: I suppose it comes down to a rather awesome awareness of mortality. Our ability, unlike the other animals, to conceptualize our own end creates tremendous psychic strains within us; whether we like to admit it or not, in each man’s chest a tiny ferret of fear at this ultimate knowledge gnaws away at his ego and his sense of purpose. We’re fortunate, in a way, that our body, and the fulfillment of its needs and functions, plays such an imperative role in our lives; this physical shell creates a buffer between us and the mind-paralyzing realization that only a few years of existence separate birth from death. If man really sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space?

    Those of us who are forced by their own sensibilities to view their lives in this perspective — who recognize that there is no purpose they can comprehend and that amidst a countless myriad of stars their existence goes unknown and unchronicled — can fall prey all too easily to the ultimate anomie….But even for those who lack the sensitivity to more than vaguely comprehend their transience and their triviality, this inchoate awareness robs life of meaning and purpose; it’s why ‘the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,’ why so many of us find our lives as absent of meaning as our deaths.

    The world’s religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache; but as clergymen now pronounce the death of God and, to quote Arnold again, ‘the sea of faith’ recedes around the world with a ‘melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,’ man has no crutch left on which to lean—and no hope, however irrational, to give purpose to his existence. This shattering recognition of our mortality is at the root of far more mental illness than I suspect even psychiatrists are aware.

    Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel it’s worth living?

    Kubrick: The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism — and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong — and lucky — he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.


    Thanks for that, it was great.
  • Posts: 108
    At 16, while switching channels on the TV I fell into this movie and I saw apemen waggling about. I was so enthralled with what was happening on the screen that I didn't let it out of my sight for one second. After the movie had ended, I quickly looked in the TV-guide to know what I had been watching. The next day I told my family and friends I had seen this wonderful movie, that worked for me on a level I couldn't describe at the time.

    2001 was for me the beginning of the love for cinema. Not movies (I already watched movies as entertainment), but cinema. Film as art. Not merely looking at the images, but probing beyond. Not only looking at what's on the screen, but looking at how it's put in the frame, what it means. Every time 2001 is projected in a cinema nearby I go see it. I've stopped trying to drag people with me - in the end, it's more disappointing for me than for them I think.

    Of course, I discovered the other Kubrick-movies since and Dr. Strangelove is amongst my absolute favorites. When the Deutsche Kinemathek exhibition showed in Ghent, during and after the film festival, I leaped on the opportunity and applied as a guide. I guided it several times and bought the Taschen-publication with the earnings.

    And there is a link with Bond, as you will all know. For TSWLM, Ken Adam's set of the seatanker interior was so enormous that the camera crew didn't know how to light it out. So Ken Adam asked Kubrick for his advice, who came to the set and in about one hour gave the crew several valuable tips.

    The care and preparation this man took before actually starting to film is incredible. It may be the most important reason why some of his films never came to be - he was working on a Holocaust movie when Schindler's List came out, and abandoned the idea. And of course, his Napoleon-project is also well documented.

    Apparently, he is buried on his estate in the UK underneath a large black slab. Stanley Kubrick opened my eyes to the incredible world of cinema with his visionary approach of the medium, and I'll always be grateful for that.
  • ForYourEyesOnlyForYourEyesOnly In the untained cradle of the heavens
    Posts: 1,984
    I find 2001: A Space Odyssey to be overrated, to be honest, but I adore Dr. Strangelove, A Clockword Orange and The Shining.
  • Posts: 108
    I was blown away by 2001 at my first viewing, and still think it's one of the best movies ever. The pace of it, almost frustratingly slow and uneventful in the middle part. The visual choreography, the use (and absence!) of sound in space, the emotional dimension HAL gets just by giving him a voice ... But above all, it leaves you with many questions.

    Kubrick was a visionary with this movie, not just cinematographically (don't know if that's a word), but with regard to where society was heading. In a decade where the general conviction still was that science would conquer all and progress was a given from now on, Kubrick showed how science reveals much more questions than answers. And how science will never be able to answer that one question which has been troubling mankind since he was able to mentally differentiate himself from others. A great director!
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited July 2016 Posts: 23,323
    @ForYourEyesOnly

    2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is a peculiar film. Is it even a "normal movie"? One can debate that very thing right there, though I'm not in the mood for semantics right now. ;-) I myself am of the opinion that the film cannot be rated high enough, but with a caveat: I accept that 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is not for everyone. In fact, I think this movie is pretty "niche" and that it targets a specific audience that's willing to abandon formula and conventional narrative and to allow some "Clarkian" science fiction to defy our every expectation. At the same time, it offers a visual experience which, though preceding the technical marvels of TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY by nearly 25 years, is pristine and faultless yet done completely with practicals. Demanding some cerebral labour and a lot of patience whilst never rewarding us even once by actually providing a satisfying explanation for the larger cosmic mysteries brought up in the film, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is a place to start, not a place to end. You will contemplate the events of the film later on or read the follow-up novels by Clarke, or possibly watch the underrated Peter Hyams directed adaptation of 2010, for if not, the film will forever remain an unresolved philosophical puzzle, no matter how obvious some of the symbolism in the film is.

    Perhaps the biggest issue people usually have with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is its lack of obvious to-root-for human characters. This is not the story of Dr. Heywood Floyd or Frank Poole and barely even that of Dave Bowman. It's not even the story of HAL or the Discovery. Rather, this is the story of Mankind, starting out, in its evolutionary infancy, as an easy-to-overlook cosmic detail, coming of age with the aid of an elusive power too complicated for us to grasp - not God by the way but aliens! - and reaching the pinnacle of its potential, at least for one man only. At such a deep philosophical level, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY manages to confuse, anger and upset a lot of people who regret having ever spent 2.5 hours watching the film. I too, at first, was troubled by the film's weird overall deviation from established film grammar. But as a member of that Asimov / Clarke crowd, the people who still, in the 21st Century, worship at the altar of that hard sci-fi from the 50s, 60s and 70s, I swiftly found my 'in' for 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and that turned me into a huge fan who is not ashamed to call this his favourite movie of all time. That said, I will never recommend the film to anyone unless I'm sure the person in front of me will find that 'in' too. It's a monumental achievement on dozens of levels, but it remains a strange experience with a limited demographic.
  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,116
    Didn't Kubrick unofficially consult on the cinematography of the tanker scene in TSWLM?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,323
    He did because Renoir couldn't see very well anymore.
  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,116
    I didn't know that. Thanks.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,655
    I just wish 2001 had the original end where the Starchild detonated all the orbital nuclear warheads creating a common 'sunrise' all over the Earth....
    Still, the movie was phenomenal.
  • Posts: 613
  • Posts: 108
    mcdonbb wrote: »
    Didn't Kubrick unofficially consult on the cinematography of the tanker scene in TSWLM?

    Ken Adam, production designer on the film, asked him to come to the set - referring to my last post (before this one) a couple of posts up.

  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,116
    mcdonbb wrote: »
    Didn't Kubrick unofficially consult on the cinematography of the tanker scene in TSWLM?

    Ken Adam, production designer on the film, asked him to come to the set - referring to my last post (before this one) a couple of posts up.

    Ok thanks.
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