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The films of director Stanley Kubrick

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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 ...read more.


Later we are shown HAL focalising internally through the computers point of view shots which displays wide angle shots of the men, this represent a distorted view of its circular eye. These cut sequences make it clear to the audience HAL is an entity though also as a machine has the ability to be inside and outside of itself represented in these external shots and can work to deceive the crew externally such as withholding information from Bowman after he asks the computer questions. In the scene where Poole works to replace the AE-35 and the ships link with earth, the space pod moves towards him with its arms outstretched and an empty eye intercut with a zoom shot of HALs eye inside the ship shown to indicate HALs involvement in the attack. Prior to the final release, Kubrick removed a ten minute prologue of scientific material and a narrator's voice over in The Dawn of Man section. This reinforced his aim in the construction of 2001, turning it into a "mythological documentary" rather than a more conventional blend of science-fact and film-fiction. This is due to 2001 being less dependant on a narrative description than the novel was but more concerned with developing its ideas through sound and image. This distinguishes the film from traditional conventions of Hollywood narrative filmmaking where the sequence of events spans infinity rather than days or years. The idea for A Clockwork Orange was from the same titled novel written by Anthony Burgess, published in 1962. ...read more.


Reverse shots are used later in the post production of the film showing on the road near misses with other vehicles where Alex and his droogs narrowly avoid a crash in their rampage on the road. This works to qualify the scene as a nightmare with a constant sense of danger. At the end of the film the camera movement and colours of this sequence suggest Alex's eventual restoration to a state of psychological and physiological normality. A long fast moving dolly shot brings a female psychiatrist into his hospital room and is greeted with Alex's old violent personality. This sequence shows the audience a hospitalized environment and suggests that Alex is undergoing treatment. The use of soft, complacent earthly colours such as brown on the wall and white suggest a sense of normality. The lighting fixtures for this interior scene differ from the backlighting in the night scenes shot earlier in the movie. Light is photographed through an ultra fast lens giving a normal feel rather than the eerie photographic style previously. Subjective shots of Alex with a handheld camera gets the sympathy of the audience as they identify with him and see that he is a sufferer from social injustice. The films of Stanley Kubrick particularly 2001 and A Clockwork Orange throughout the production process are conveying varied themes to their audiences. These are achieved through cinema techniques which occasionally defy Hollywood conventions and rearrange their audience's expectations of the film. This makes them resistant to any simple categorizing theme and also make them distinguished cinematic achievements with the ways in which Stanley Kubrick brought together all production processes within the time and budget available for his films. ...read more.

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