Why Stanley Kubrick Still Matters


I would say that about 50% of people don’t know the director before they watch a film. That annoys me. Actors are only a medium for the director’s creative genius. The shape and mould the artists like wet lumps of clay and make them extraordinary.

Kubrick is notorious for  taking books and transforming them into his own masterpieces. Stephen King has reportedy said that he hates the film adaptation of The Shining. Kubrick’s vision of  A Clockwork Orange  left an entirely different message than the book did. So why should we care about a man who  re-models other people’s hard work?

I admire Stanley Kubrick so much because he embraces that meaning is subjective. He takes a work of art and reads it, regardless of what the author deems as the intended meaning. Many people will take something at face value. Kubrick refuses.

Even though  A Clockwork Orange  is my favourite book of all time and is completely flawless in my eyes, I still regard the film adaptation as a masterpiece. He completely  captures Burgess’ vision of ultra-violence and the Ludovico Technique. The wonderful thing about Kubrick is his ability to create a polymerization of original and own vision, to create something extraordinary.

Kubrick never fails to mesmerise with his cinematography. 2001: A Space Odyssey remains as the most beautifully shot film I have ever seen. All of his films contain amazing camera shots. He is notorious for his use of one-point perspective; but it works beautifully. His amazing movies  span across many genres. Want an action film? Full Metal Jacket. Want a romance film? Lolita. Want a comedy? Dr. Strangelove.

I’ve always been interested in film and directing as I have mentioned before. Kubrick was probably the first person to inspire me to get into directing. He has been criticised for his number of takes in films. It took 97 takes before he was satisfied with Tom Cruise walking through a door in Eyes Wide Shut. It reportedly took 125 takes of Shelley Duvall climbing the stairs in The Overlook Hotel.

But for such a finicky, determined director, we are left with masterpieces. Films which have not been celebrated amongst those my age as much as they should be. Kubrick is one of my heroes, and always will be.

Perhaps it sounds ridiculous, but the best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.

– Stanley Kubrick


2 thoughts on “Why Stanley Kubrick Still Matters

  1. That always cracks me up when folks don’t know anything about the director.
    “Actors are only a medium for the director’s creative genius. The shape and mould the artists like wet lumps of clay and make them extraordinary.”

    Could not agree more.

    First time visitor to your blog just wanted to stop by and say hi.

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