From prior experience, I know that that phrase tends to prompt nasty stares, dropped jaws and thrown furniture. I’ve spent my entire adult life in the NYC filmmaking world and have learned that if anyone’s body of work is sacred, it’s Kubrick’s. About ten years ago, I asked a friend when he was going to see some of the Kubrick retrospective at Film Forum—when, mind you, NOT if—and he said, “Y’know, I’m not so crazy about his films.” This was a liberating moment for me. I gave it some genuine, soul-searching thought and came to these kind of simple conclusions: A Clockwork Orange is visually stunning but packs no where near the wallop it did when I was a teenager; The Shining is not very scary and actually quite silly; Full Metal Jacket is twice as long as it should be; and 2001 is just plain boring. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not a sourpuss hater who just wants to antagonize people by pushing my opinions. I love films and love being positive about them. I think the heart of this is: Kubrick’s color films are overrated and his B&W films are under-discussed (Dr. Strangelove aside). I guess I’m bored of the one-sided conversations about his body of work from the second half of his career. When I first saw Paths of Glory—a decade after I saw Full Metal Jacket—I freaked. Equally powerful as his 1986 film, but half the length! And Lolita regularly gets derided by the Nabokov junkies, but time has borne out James Mason’s performance as perhaps his strongest. And The Killing has structural ideas and edits that still draw blood. And yet I don’t hear these films discussed or lauded half as much as his color output. (Mind you, I’m only using B&W vs color as a casual dividing point, not as a strict line of demarcation.) Anyway, in the midst of the abundance of press for the new Kubrick box (which doesn’t focus on his color films but more succinctly his most popular films), I thought it might be a good time to toss this notion out and see what you guys think.