STANLEY KUBRICK: A MYSTERY IN THE WORLD OF HOLLYWOOD

Is the title puzzling you? If it is, then let me tell you about one of the Hollywood’s maestro film-makers, Stanley Kubrick. Now, Stanley Kubrick is often associated with the word “mystery”, because be it his movies or he himself, you will always be left the question “what just happened?” It isn’t easy to cope with what he has to offer, his movies are a genre in itself! He was known to be a control freak which also made him a perfectionist. His movies were often based on novels which helped him understand the characters, the scenes, and even the minute elements easily. Here’s appreciating Stanley Kubrick’s direction in a few of his masterpieces:


1. The Shining

Stanley Kubrick is very hard on his actors. It's common for a Kubrick film to have long production schedules which extend over a year. The same stands true for a film belonging to the1980s - The Shining. Be it Danny riding the tricycle in the hallways with the symmetrical carpets or the alluring maze, everything was built by Kubrick himself including the hotel for the movie! The famous axe scene alone took about a 100 takes just to get it right. Jack Nicholson’s character as the professor and his iconic stare is something Stanley Kubrick uses in most of his movies. This one is a timeless flick that is on every horror-genre lovers’ list.


2. Full Metal Jacket

Two things that I recollect about this film are Private Pyle and Mickey Mouse! Private Pyle solely because he is bullied in the boot camp and ultimately his character’s liberation is iconic, something we can expect from a Kubrick movie. And you will also find a lot of Mickey Mouse references throughout the film. Kubrick went on to build Vietnam in Britain along with the other sets required for the movie. FMJ is nothing but a complicated surgical operation shown in the most enthralling way.


3. A Clockwork Orange

A mystery in itself, you may want to watch A Clockwork Orange more than once to understand exactly what is going on. Malcolm McDowell’s character Alex is clearly the villain in the movie but somehow you sympathize with him. He becomes a victim of the Government's experimental therapy in order to get bailed out sooner. The iconic stare with the questionable smile is unmissable in this movie.


4. Eyes Wide Shut

Given Kubrick’s attention to detail style of direction, the shooting schedule of this movie went on for 15 MONTHS. Similar to FMJ, he duplicated the city blocks of New York in London so that he didn’t have to fly to NY to shoot! It is believed that Kubrick “sent a designer to New York to measure the exact width of the streets and the distance between newspaper vending machines.” as reported by Vanity Fair. You cannot fail to notice the grandeur and the whole Christmas setting of the movie. The elite ritual is intriguing and something you may not have seen in any other movies made, ever. It is aesthetically pleasing, and hey! we have Tom Cruise in the movie, do you need any more reasons to watch it? Also, a little secret? Kubrick is believed to the reason for Cruise and Kidman’s separation.


5. 2001: Space Odyssey

The technology in the ‘60s was limited to a television set, radio sets, and phone lines, but here enters the genius, Stanley Kubrick, who gave us a movie way ahead of its time. He worked with almost nothing. The whole production of the film is called “organized chaos”. But what led to the movie being ahead of its time? It was Kubrick, who was constantly in touch with NASA officials, scientists, and technology companies all over the world. His perfectionist style of directing can be seen in all the elements of the movie, be it the music, the wardrobe or even the elements of the set. With minimal dialogues and brilliant background music, trust me, you will never believe that this film was actually made in 1968.

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