Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative and Stylistic Analysis

Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative and Stylistic Analysis

Mario Falsetto

Language: English

Pages: 248


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The second edition of Mario Falsetto's extensive analysis of Kubrick's films carefully examines the filmmaker's oeuvre in its entirety--from smaller, early films (The Killing) through mid-career masterpieces (Dr. Strangelove; 2001: A Space Odyssey; A Clockwork Orange), later films such as Full Metal Jacket, and his final work, 1999's Eyes Wide Shut. The author, offering close readings supported by precise shot descriptions, shows us how Kubrick's body of work represents a stylistically and thematically consistent cinematic vision, one that merges formal experimentation with great philosophical complexity.

Falsetto explores many of Kubrick's often-used devices, including the long-take aesthetic, voice-overs, and moving camera, and discusses the thematic uses to which these techniques are applied. Finally, he presents the very first formal analysis of Eyes Wide Shut, the director's final, very much underrated masterwork.




















oeuvre. Kubrick did not write any part of the screenplay, had no input in the film's casting, and has referred to himself as a "hired hand" on the film. Although he has complained of the experience, Spartacus is an intelligent, if somewhat conventional, epic and was generally well received. Perhaps more than any other experience, the making of Spar­ tacus highlighted to the director the importance of being involved in every stage of production. Spartacus was followed by Lolita ( 1962), the first

from the credit titles but they certainly made the picture as unfaithful to the original script as an American poet's translation from Rimbaud or Pasternak. I hasten to add that my present com­ ments should definitely not be construed as reflecting any belated grudge, any high­ pitched deprecation of Kubrick's creative approach. 9 As with most other Kubrick films, Lolita's status continues to rise with the passage of time. Lolita was followed by one of Kubrick's greatest commercial and critical

to the Parris Island scenes, which also contain many shots at variable speeds. The use of slow motion tends to poeticize the narrative and pushes it toward greater subjectivity. The slow-motion shots of soldiers receiving gunfire communi­ cate an intensity that the film might otherwise not have . This does not in it­ self bring the audience any closer to the individuals involved . The same distance and ironic view familiar from other Ku brick films prevails here as well. The film likewise does

nonfiction film­ maker and photographer. He, better than most, knew the extremes of manipulation inherent in both these forms. 7. Stanley Ku brick, quoted in Michel Ciment, Kubrick, trans. Gilbert Adair ( Lon­ don: Collins, 1 98 3 ) , 1 70-7 1 . 5 F i l m i c N a rrati o n : Pa rt 2 FILMIC SUBJECTIVITY There are many approaches to problems of cinematic point of view, some valuable, others less so. Film theory in this area has been influenced by several lines of inquiry outside the fi e ld.

of a detailed presentation. And, of course , the fact that this section presents only apes instead of human characters makes it an even more daring beginning. The aesthetic decision to eliminate the semidocumentary material and voice-over was correct, I believe . There are enough details in the visual pre­ sentation of the film to convince viewers of the accuracy of its presentation . It is the manipulation of details of reality that is one of the central tenets of the director's work. The

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