On Kubrick and Cinema Transcript


On Kubrick and Cinema

Transcript of an exceedingly long comment Chez Dylan, revised for commercial blogdom here:

Kubrick has the famed attraction of the cobra that supposedly hypnotizes its potential victims before striking.Some Kubrick movies I like, a lot--Paths of Glory, Spartacus, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, The first half of Full Metal Jacket. Others I find either unwatchable or just uninteresting--Lolita (objectionable, and I thought the same of its literary progenitor. I don't care what the reason the subject is deplorable), Barry Lyndon (dull beyond words), Eyes Wide Shut (a panoply of every one of his perverted obsessions trotted out one after another).

One thing I can say for all of them--they fail to inspire any emotion at all, except perhaps horror. I do not laugh at "Strangelove" though I know some who do. I am not worried or engaged by Cruise in "Eyes Wide Shut," Alex and his droogs largely leave me terrifyingly cold. Kubrick did not inhabit a normal emotional space--his points of confluence with normal emotional life as represented by his films are few and far between.

I don't know whether I would call him Nietzschean or simply sociopathic/misanthropist. He mocks everything because he values nothing and he values nothing because he is locked out of converse with the normal world. Even Hollywood threw him out, and given whom they have embraced, it's hard to figure what has driven them.

There are modern-day Capras. The director of a small film titled "The Spitfire Grill." There are other warm and engaging moments in Cinema--but they are admittedly intermittent and often decried by Hollywierd as they do not tend to make money.

Oh well, too much and too long. Suffice to say, largely in agreement--although I do see some profound merits in some of Kubrick's statements. The warnings of Spartacus and A Clockwork Orange are salutary reminders of where we head when we are in charge. I think of Kubrick as a cinematic T.H. White whose most remarkable statement concerning humanity I find true--90% are sheep, 9% are blackguards, and the 1% fit to lead know better. After all, we're talking the race that gave you the Crucifixion, Leopold X of Belgium, Armenia, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, and apparently blooming elsewhere in Africa--Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. If that is all that you look at, Kubrick's films begin to make a whole lot more sense. A man driven by despair is unlikely to see much of redemption.

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