Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative and Stylistic Analysis

Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative and Stylistic Analysis

Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative and Stylistic Analysis

Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative and Stylistic Analysis

Synopsis

This volume offers a detailed analysis of Stanley Kubrick's major films beginning with The Killing (1956) and ending with Full Metal Jacket (1987). Students of film as well as the general public should be interested in learning new strategies for watching these films, since there are few instructive books on this master filmmaker.

Excerpt

There is a telling moment in Full Metal Jacket (1987), Stanley Kubrick's recent film that is set during the Vietnam conflict. Private Joker (Matthew Modine) tries to explain to an aggressive officer why he wears a peace-symbol button and has the words "Born to Kill" scrawled on his helmet. Joker tells him that "it's something about the duality of man, sir!" The notion that opposite traits make up human nature is not an insight original to either Kubrick or the character, but it is central to Kubrick's world view.

My contention throughout this study is that Kubrick's work revolves around particular dualities of meaning. Most narrative, stylistic or thematic issues in Kubrick's films relate, in some way, to the following polarities: subjective/objective, classical/ modernist, rational/irrational, empathy/distance, clarity/ambiguity, order/chaos, symmetry/asymmetry, conventional/subversive and surface/depth.

The manner in which an artist creates art and communicates ideas is often complex, and it involves many individuals. If I choose to present Kubrick as the author of the films that bear his name, it is only in the sense that these works somehow represent the artist's vision and being in the world. Kubrick is unquestionably the individual with the greatest input into the final form of the films. His involvement in most aspects of the making of his films is well known. He chooses the property to be adapted or written directly for the screen. He is always involved in the writing of the screenplay, either alone or with others. Additionally, Kubrick is involved in the pre-production process, the film's shooting, its post-production and many of the . . .

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