The Films Of Stanley Kubrick Essay

3350 words - 13 pages

The Films of Stanley Kubrick The films of director Stanley Kubrick divert from any categorized
genre upon analysis. Instead they use themes that also expand into
cinematic concepts due to certain construction processes used in the
making of his films. This distinguishes Stanley Kubrick as a film
maker and also places his films in their own genre. Analysing the two
films 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971) the
production processes will be examined to determine how they bring
about the construction of a Kubrick film. The codes and conventions of
film making and their purpose will also be identified as well as
Kubricks mixed obedience to these and the distortion of classical
cinematic strategies. These will be used to illustrate the
distinguishing features of a Kubrick film and how they create the
effect that reinforces his themes and invites thematic interpretation.

Beginning this analysis with 2001 it is important to acknowledge that
Kubricks approach to cinema was literary. In his films his concepts
were inspired by works of literature which he described as “meaningful
fiction” and 2001 was based on the short story by Arthur C. Clarke “The
Sentinel” (1950). This supplied the notion of space exploration and
man’s first contact with aliens though Kubrick’s primary subject
matter was the evolution of intelligence in humans. In the pre
shooting phase Clarke was to develop his story into a novel entitled
2001: A Space Odyssey and then the screenplay written with Kubrick
during six months of pre-shooting where the package was bought by
distributor and production company MGM with a budget of six million
dollars escalating later to ten and a half million due to the special
effects techniques required after shooting with the cast.

2001 bases itself on the idea that superior intelligence watched over
man since ape hood, and leaps ahead to the year 2001 showing the
advances of technology and the link between man and machine. Machines
begin to assert themselves where astronauts Dave Bowman and Frank
Poole are at the mercy of computer HAL 9000 controlling the space
ship. This highlights a conflict between man and machine and later
ends with Bowman reclaiming the ship and ending with Bowman being
reborn as an enhanced being.

The shooting and filming stage took four and a half months. After the
opening of 2001 the first scene is titled “The Dawn of Man”. A series
of four fades mark the different phases of the Dawn of man. These
fades describe a cycle, beginning with signs of the ape men near
extinction on a dry landscape, followed by territorial conflicts
around a waterhole, unknown terrors...

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