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Kubrick Appreciation Thread Anonymous 10/30/2020 (Fri) 20:50:51 Id:caa326 No. 125
Stanley Kubrick easily makes everyone's top director lists. However, he's probably most famous for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Full Metal Jacket, both sensations in their time with a massive impact on pop culture despite Kubrick's supposed niche appeal. However, his less popular movies are easily my favorites, and among cinephiles I speak to these are not unpopular opinions. A Clockwork Orange is, of course, also well known but no longer mainstream. My personal favorites, however, are Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut. The latter performed poorly and was often criticized. Barry Lyndon is the epitome of "every frame a painting", and his research on the period (RIP his Napoleon film) combined with his lighting and framing imitate art from the period perfectly. Kubrick believed in telling stories with editing and visuals, which is the essence of film-making, and I can't think of a movie that encapsulates that better than Eyes Wide Shut. I can't help but feel it did poorly because it doesn't hold your hand through the narrative. There's almost no exposition in the entire film. Combined with his untimely death and rumors the final edit was tinkered with, I think this movie was unfairly criticized. I'd encourage any anons who have not seen his movies to do so. Including his earlier works, such as Spartacus and Paths of Glory. Kubrick never made a bad film. But I imagine most of you are also Kubrick fans. Which works are your favorite, and why?
>>125 The Shining, no question. While generally I prefer the book to the movie in cases of "based on a story by" movies, Kubrick's propensity for wide-angle shots and his absolutely brilliant camera work made The Shining a truly incredible piece of work. I like horror movies that simply make you uncomfortable as opposed to jumpscaring you, and this is probably the pinnacle of that subset of horror for me. The weird camera angles and echoing audio work to emphasize how empty the hotel is, the slow build of the horror, and the amazingly restrained use of special effects (the blood elevator and the top-down shot of the labyrinth stand out) are just perfect. I can think of maybe two other movies that I think are completely perfect and neither can hold a candle to The Shining, and it is 100% because of Kubrick's directorship.
>>126 Personally I couldn't stand the book. Stephen King is really hit or miss and I'd say The Shining is a hard miss. Movie is better by a mile. Kubrick never really sticks to the book, for better or worse, but Stephen King is continually unhappy with good adaptations and endorses/writes for the bad ones. What works in a book doesn't always work on screen.
>>125 Stanley Kubrick is certainly a high-achieving director. I find it difficult to choose my favourite Kubrick film because they really do switch genres so much. I haven't seen his first two films (which I heard weren't great) and never watched Spartacus (which he only directed). I've seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining a few times at this point. I've only seen Paths of Glory and Dr. Strangelove once each and Barry Lyndon, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut twice each. I'd have to give them a few more watches. What really makes his films for me, though, are his themes. I can't speak much for the ones I've only seen once or twice, but certainly The Shining with its child abuse (both physical and sexual) subtext, gold-reserve-abandonment, and showing the Native American genocide; A Clockwork Orange depicting a new-coming of the Third Reich through pleasure and a government which claims to be against it (Kubrick was Jewish after all); and 2001: A Space Odyssey indicating the space race as maybe not all it seems, plus these themes repeating themselves through most of his films and even smaller themes within each movie, they really are communicated in an entertaining way that isn't too overt and makes you think they're preaching to the choir. I don't necessarily agree with all his themes, but he certainly presents them in an interesting way. >My personal favorites, however, are Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut Definitely enjoyed Eyes Wide Shut, though more so the second time around. It definitely doesn't hold your hand and Kubrick's use of "dream sequences" without telling you when the dream starts makes things very convoluted. Barry Lyndon was certainly filmed beautifully, but I can't say it's my favourite. I appreciate showing that having money doesn't necessarily bring you happiness. I'd rewatch it again, though, so clearly it isn't bad.
>>215 Eyes Wide Shut is the culmination of an experiment Kubrick started at least as early as 2001 to tell the entire story by using imagery to make you feel. It's a wild ride, and it puts knots in my stomach every time, which is why I rarely watch it. But I applaud its accomplishment. Barry Lyndon does much of the same, but the realistic lighting, and how every frame looks like a period painting, is just masterful. Additionally, despite having a narrator to give some exposition and smooth over some gaps, which is normally a big red flag for me, Barry Lyndon limits it to specific cases, and provides a framing device in the form of the original book. It's a tale of ambition, not just that "money doesn't make you happy". Barry is Icarus, and he's ultimately taken down by his own pride and vanity. He forgot where he came from, and how his story began.
>>215 Holy fuck, this board is full of fucking pseuds. Why is it that I am always forced between anti-intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals if I want discussion on something?
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>>502 Since you're so much smarter than all of us, you're surely capable of posting an actual opinion instead of just telling everyone else theirs is shit.
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>>125 My favorite is 2001 by far. It's the first movie I ever watched and it continues to stick out in my mind as a near-perfect film. The effects, how it's shot, the editing, it just holds up so well and communicates its big ideas through experience rather than exposition, and I always feel like I've learned something new. I do mean to watch Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut at some point because they're the only ones I haven't seen yet, but I just never got around to them. I even made the mistake of watching AI. Spartacus was good, too, but Ben Hur did it better. I'm always amused by the Roman phase Hollywood went through in the 50s and 60s.
>>521 The "Roman Phase" was partially a result of Hollywood's attempt to compete with television. The best epics exists in this period because they realized the one place TV couldn't compete was on spectacle. There's plenty of non-Roman epics like Lawrence of Arabia and Cleopatra (I guess you could argue that one based on time period), but there was a wealth of Bible stories and mad Roman emperors, not to mention Shakespeare, ripe for adaptation. I still haven't seen Paths of Glory or The Killing, but I should get on with it. I can't imagine not liking them, but everyone focuses on his career post-2001, with some mentions of Lolita and Dr. Strangelove. Spartacus is almost never mentioned in the context of Kubrick himself. I think it's odd the rest are regarded as big, influential, important works directed by Kubrick and Spartacus seems to just be a big, influential, important work which happens to be directed by Kubrick. Haven't seen Ben Hur to compare, but it would be appropriate that it's better. Communists love Spartacus for some reason and love that it broke the Hollywood blacklist, but Charlton Heston is a true patriot.

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