Full Metal Jacket (1987, Stanley Kubrick)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2015 by kubrickblog

Slices of Cake


The eccentricity of Stanley Kubrick’s later career reaches what may be its confounding peak with Full Metal Jacket, his ambiguous Vietnam War film which is abstractly structured, only obtusely political, horrendously real yet disturbingly artificial (having been shot not deeply in Cambodian jungles but in an abandoned gas works in Great Britian), and overall a brief and throttling experiment. It’s overwhelming, and perversely beautiful in its awfulness. My stepdad served in Vietnam, was stationed at Phu Bai where much of this film takes place, and tells me it’s the only accurate movie about that war. The transition from first act to second remains jarring, but I’ve come around to it over the years — I realize now that it’s a cause-and-effect thing, that all the rhyming within what Private Joker sees and hears around him is how we mark the transition of men to machines, of sharpness…

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Telling, Not Showing!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2015 by kubrickblog

Bhdandme's Blog

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWriting on this blog a couple of weeks back, about the narrative voices of the book, and film of ‘Barry Lyndon,’ I asserted that the film was grimmer…

That was after reading the first few pages of the novel, having seen the whole film. Having read the whole novel, I find my first impressions have to be revised. Yet I cannot say simply that the novel is grimmer. Rather it’s that the comic element that I detected in Thackeray’s narrator, an element entirely missing from Kubrick’s film, has worn thin by the time we have worked our way into the book.

I’ve long been a fan of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, but he went up further in my estimation as I reached the end of Barry Lyndon. Lyndon is a first person narrator, and one that is used by the author in that most enjoyable of ways, for the reader, by…

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Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2014 by kubrickblog

Kubrick Links

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2014 by kubrickblog

A Look Back at Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” (Infographic) | Arthur C. Clarke | Space.com

Stanley Kubrick: 13 Films In 1 Minute on Vimeo

The Stanley Kubrick Handbook – Everything you need to know about Stanley Kubrick

Interview: Matthew Modine on Kubrick and His ‘Full Metal Jacket’ App | FirstShowing.net

Kubrick’s Hope: Discovering Optimism from 2001 to Eyes Wide Shut: Amazon.co.uk: Julian Rice: Books

2012 The Odyssey –Articles

Development Hell: Leon Vitali, Stanley Kubrick’s Right-Hand Man

Kubrick/Cinema – IdyllopusPress Presents

Stanley Kubrick: Visionary Filmmaker Collection Blu-ray 1962 Region Free: Amazon.co.uk: Malcolm McDowell, Jack Nicholson, Peter Sellers, James Mason, Ryan O’Neal, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Keir Dullea, Stanley Kubrick: Film & TV

Plumbing Stanley Kubrick | Ian Watson

Stanley Kubrick Visual essay on Vimeo

Stanley Kubrick Enters the Ring | Rope of Silicon

From Photography to Film: Stanley Kubrick Enters the Ring – LightBox

Photo Diary: Stanley Kubrick retrospective at LACMA. « C-MONSTER.net

VIDEO: Bill Gold on Stanley Kubrick – Hollywood Reporter

An Introduction to Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975) » Kinnemaniac

The Busybody: Stanley Kubrick: From Best to Worst

Flavorwire » The Banal and the Bizarre: A Kubrick Design Compendium





New Links

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2014 by kubrickblog

Kubrick’s Shining | Parallax View

The Shining minus Delbert Grady in 35 MM – A GROUP FOR CINEPHILES! on Vimeo

Naked Filmmaking | Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick : Todd Alcott

The Kubrick Site: Introducing Sociology by Tim Kreider

Can Analyze Kubrick blog: Eyes Wide Shut

Naked Filmmaking | Search Results | stanley Kubrick

The Vatic Project: (pt. 3 of 3) Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”

Archivio Kubrick: Vintage – Flip through

A Stanley Kubrick tumblr.

“To prevent the present heat from dissipating”: Stanley Kubrick and the Marketing of Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Kubrick’s Ulterior War

Look At All The Happy Creatures: History in Kubrick by Andras Jones

Can Analyze Kubrick blog

The Story of Stanley Kubrick and Legendary Zeiss F/0.7 Lens used on Barry Lyndon | FilmmakerIQ.com

Can Analyze Kubrick blog: 2001 analysis – part 43: More on Bowman’s assimilation of his shadow

Why Stanley Kubrick Banned A CLOCKWORK ORANGE | Badass Digest

Cinetropolis » Paths Of Glory: Kubrick’s “Monument To Barbarism”

The right-hand man: Jan Harlan on Stanley Kubrick | British Film Institute

The Hidden (And Not So Hidden) Messages in Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” (pt. II)

2013 CONvergence Panel – Kubrick’s “The Shining” In Depth – YouTube

Michel Ciment Interviews Stanley Kubrick – YouTube

Faster, Pussycat! Blog! Blog!: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

Analysis: Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita” | PluribusOne™

See What’s Really Behind Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ in New Documentary | WUTC

















The Undifferentiated Sense of the Present – The Shining

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2013 by kubrickblog

The Kubrick Site: Historicism in “The Shining”

Shining is about where to search for this “knowable community,” to which, even excluded, the fantasy of collective relations might attach itself? It only has one direction to go, into the past; and this is the moment at which Kubrick’s rewriting of his novelistic original takes on its power as an articulated and intelligible symbolic act.

Stand the unexamined models of Freudian psychoanalysis and of a confidence in the power of self-consciousness and reflexivity generally to transform, modify, or even “cure” the ideological tendencies and positions which have thereby been brought up into the light of consciousness. This confidence is at the least unseasonable in an atmosphere where nobody believes in the active capabilities of individual consciousness any more, and in which the very ideologues of “critical theory” – the Frankfurt School – have left behind them, in works like Negative Dialectics, testaments of despair about the possibility for “critical theory” in our time to do any more than to keep the negative and the critical (that is, critical theory itself) alive in the mind.

The very triviality of daily life in late capitalism is itself the desperate situation against which all the formal solutions, the strategies and subterfuges, of high culture as well as of mass culture, emerge: how to project the illusion that things still happen, that events exist, that there are still stories to tell, in a situation in which the uniqueness and the irrevocability of private destinies and of individuality itself seem to have evaporated? – We hasten to follow orders and passively/obediently invest these first alarming visions with the appropriate foreboding: the child’s powers (and his seeming possession by a preternatural alter ego) augur poorly for a restful winter in the empty months ahead. Only it turns out we were looking for it in the wrong place: not the little boy, “possessed” in some ominous way by his phantom playmate, but the alcoholic father whose weakness opens up a vacuum into which all kinds of baleful initially indeterminable impulses seep. Yet this is in itself another kind of generic misreading, which seizes on some of the signals and conventions of the new genre of “occult” film in order to project an anticipation of some properly diabolical possession to come. but the sequence of such “dying generations” is the scandal reawakened by the ghost story for a bourgeois culture which has triumphantly stamped out ancestor worship and the objective memory of the clan or extended family, thereby sentencing itself to the life span of the biological individual. No building more appropriate to express this than the grand hotel itself, with its successive seasons whose vaster rhythms mark the transformation of American leisure classes from the late 19th century down to the vacations of present-day consumer society. The Jack Nicholson of The Shining is possessed neither by evil as such nor by the “devil” or some analogous occult force, but rather simply by History, by the American past as it has left its sedimented traces in the corridors and dismembered suites of this monumental rabbit warren, which oddly projects its empty formal after-image in the maze outside (significantly, the maze is Kubrick’s own addition). Yet at this level the genre does not yet transmit a coherent ideological message, as Stephen King’s mediocre original testifies: Kubrick’s adaptation, indeed, transforms this vague and global domination by all the random voices of American history into a specific and articulated historical commentary.



Memory Room:

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2013 by kubrickblog

2001:space odyssey FINAL MESSAGE:

Here’s what happens on a very simple level during the final passage of “2001” (–there are lots of other deeper philosophical, mythological, scientific, and poetic concerns…but they are all best discovered on your own; but this can point you in the right direction):

After HAL is “shut down” (and we realize that his paranoia, egomania, and madness was the result of him being PROGRAMMED to lie –i.e., “keep the astounding secret of the mission to himself”); astronaut Bowman, who has proved himself “transcendent” as a Human (that is, superior to the mere superpowerful MACHINE MIND of HAL by “doing the impossible”: Specifically: by taking the crazy chance that he won’t survive and launching himself across the void…and into the unpressurized airlock to re-enter the ship, an action that is utterly beyond conception to HAL), continues his mission towards “the infinite”…and we see this:

Arriving at Jupiter orbit, Bowman finds ANOTHER monolith –this one massive. Checking it out in one of the pods, he discovers that it is “full of stars” –that is: IT’S A STARGATE. He enters/is drawn into this transgalactic portal, and we see the universe bend and explode and flare and be stretched into long lines of light before his astonished eyes as he moves at fantastic speeds that are beyond all Human science –and which burst the barriers of time and distance.

He arrives at the other side of the Stargate and is pulled along/guided across the surface of an alien world, which he perceives in a “mind-blown” and distorted frame of mind…a “shock” which doesn’t start to clear until he finds himself in “the classical white room.”

We see his blinking eyes finally “return to normal color,” and watch him “shuddering/trembling” as things finally start to settle-in, and he begins to grasp what’s happened to him…

Now he enters and “explores” the white room –which can be looked at as a perpetual “holding cell,” created by whatever super-advanced alien minds have let him draw close to their magnificent existence. This exploration is where Kubrick shows us how Editing, Mind, and Time are all interrelated…by creating a sequence that compresses the rest of Bowman’s life (perhaps a hundred or more years) down to just several minutes of observation…and this is done to show us how Bowman’s mind (and, one might say, his very “soul”) has been altered and “advanced” by having traveled through the Stargate Light Tunnel: He now sees “Time” as massive “leaps” of thought (just as the Ape’s bone being thrown into the sky presages a massive leap forward in intelligence and technology –with the millions-of-years edit that jumps from “murderbone weapon,” all the way to the “first orbital nuclear bomb”).

Now, here’s how Bowman’s “leaps of thought” progress: First, in “real time” (so to speak), the spacesuit-wearing astronaut finds himself IN the room, exploring it. The pod has vanished. He enters the elegant chamber’s bathroom and sees himself in the bathroom mirror, and for the first time realizes that he’s aged considerably –although he never noticed it during the Stargate travel. He suddenly hears something in the main room, and, frightened, looks around the doorway into the other room. What he sees is himself, even older, just as the older self “looks back towards” him. What Kubrick does in this shot is make PHYSICAL a “paired thought” that EVERY “REFLECTIVE” HUMAN BEING EXPERIENCES: It illustrates that moment when you think about yourself IN THE FUTURE, who you will be, what you will be doing (and in this case, it’s “younger Bowman” coming to grips with the thought that he’ll be living out his life in this magnificent Hotel-Room-like “cage,” as he sees himself as an old man still there, having a meal); then we leap across time –both metaphorically and ACTUALLY– and the second half of the Human thought occurs: That moment when we are older, and WE LOOK BACK ON OURSELVES AND REMEMBER THE TRANSCENDENT INSTANT when we saw that this future would play-out in a certain way –and now, in fact, ithas…for Bowman; and we see this “memory”/Reality come-to-be as the aged man walks, limping (showing us that he’s still “all too human”) to the bathroom, where he checks it out and finds it empty… –Literally, youth is gone; time has passed.

We are now ACTUALLY “with” the “old Bowman,” and watch a few moments of what his endless captivity/observation/”Monk like contemplative life” is like in the White Room, as he very precisely eats a fine meal and enjoys a glass of wine –all provided by his never-seen (and most-likely “bodiless”) alien captors/mentors.

His movements have become as graceful as possible, simple and without wasted motion…but he’s still just a frail human, a glorious mind trapped in a decaying body. And Kubrick shows us, once again, Man’s “limitations” through a casual act of clumsiness (like the moment Bowman “forgot his space helmet”) –Bowman knocks his wine glass over, breaking it. This takes us to the next “leap forward” moment, as Old Bowman, considering the broken glass and the pool of blood-like wine, realizes he’ll be in this room forever, his body growing as brittle as the wine glass until one day it must inevitably shatter –and in that instant, THIS thought once again “becomes flesh,” as Old Bowman looks across the room and sees “Ancient, Dying Bowman” —himself; the being he must ultimately become(as must we all, as we fly towards Death, turning into different older versions of ourselves along the way).

Then, again, we are ACTUALLY with this vastly old man, trapped with him as he breathes his last breaths, dying in a comfortable bed. As he begins to die, the Aliens perform their second miracle: They make another Monolith appear at the foot of his bed. (The “first miracle” was when the impossibly-ancient-and-wise aliens made a Monolith appear at the “Dawn of Man”: THAT time, we see that this “device” has the ability to super-accelerate the evolution of the ape’s minds, as we are shown how all of the small group of proto-humans who were first drawn to reach out and touch the perfect black creation INSTANTLY learn to use weapons and contemplate the Heavens –shown when one of them is seen looking up at the moon in wonder. This “miracle” of almost “God-like guidance” actually made Mankind possible –as these Monolith-Advanced ApeMen became the dominant force on the planet –illustrated when they drove the “lesser apes” away from the water hole).

Now, dying ancient Bowman receives the alien’s next “blessing,” as he proves himself truly WORTHY of being once-again given a superjump in Evolution by the Monolith device. Here’s what made him worthy: His endless desire to KNOW what is beyond himself –which Kubrick sees as Humanity’s greatest strength, and the key to our grandeur. That’s why the aliens buried A DIFFERENT SORT OF MONOLITH on the moon; because IT COULD ONLY BE UNCOVERED if Man continued to grow and improve as a species, becoming smart enough and questing enough to make it to the moon. Then, there, the Moon Monolith was programmed to give Humans the next “clue” to follow –if they were advanced and inquisitive enough: It fired a signal towards Jupiter. Following this signal is what took humanity to the Stargate.)

But “now,” in the White Room, as Bowman is dying, he PROVES what Humans really are: WE ARE THE QUESTING MINDS OF GODS TRAPPED IN FLESH THAT IS DOOMED TO DIE. But the Will to Know, the Need to Understand is so huge in us as a species that, even as we are dying, we still reach out to grasp that which stands “beyond us.” And THAT’S what we see Bowman embody, as he reaches out to touch the Monolith from his deathbed, mirroring the exquisitely Human gesture of those first Apes who showed they had minds that were beyond those of “mere animals” (and INTERESTS that extended beyond their bodies) in the movie’s first “chapter.” As Bowman has proved that he is still a glorious vessel of hope and desire-to-know…the Aliens give him the “next evolutionary leap forward.” Whereas the Apes in the “Dawn of Man” sequence only had their MENTAL ability improved…Bowman receives THAT, along with a shift in his actual physical being: He’s not quite the Invisible, Non-Corporeal Entities that is the apparent state-of-being to which the aliens have seemingly evolved…but he is, now, “a Star Child.”

And that’s what we see at the end of the film: Bowman, reborn as a “giant” fledgling superbeing, now able to exist in the Universe without the petty trappings of “technology” –and, in the film’s momentous crescendo, we observe as this near God-like being looks down upon our Earth…and, in the film’s final moments, gently contemplates HIS next move…and our astounding Future.