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Stanley Kubrick: filmmaking genius, or overrated control freak? (1 Viewer)

OcieB

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Feb 15, 2003
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I would like to start off by saying Stanley Kubrick is my idol. Watching his films made me realize how much i love making and studying films. He is and always will be my favorite director.

Talking to various people, i have gathered that one usually loves or hates Kubricks films. I haven't talked to many people about this, mostly my friend john (who will respond right away, most likely). Basically, i was wondering what people on this site think of him.

*note* i searched for previous posts about Kubrick, but found none. this is an preemptive sorry to the admins if this thread has to be re-directed.
 

John^Lal

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Here i am responding right away.
I guess i am one who you can classify more closely to Hates Kubrick than Loves Kubrick.
I used to hate his movies because of the slow arduous pacing. Now i have come to respect his movies, liking some of them very much (Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange) but others i still think are overrated (2001, Barry Lyndon, the Shining)
2001: A Space Odyssey, which i finally watched in it's entirety just a few weeks ago engrossed me for the first half of the movie. After the intermission i lost my interest.
The Shining i did not like because of the some of the same reasons i did not like Eyes Wide Shut. Some of the scenes are so long, that the actors seem to run out of things to do on screen...they looked uncomfortable because they were in front of the camera:thumbsdown:
Barry Lyndon, it was fun to watch, it had great cinematography but the dialouge/plot was just too cheesy. Sure it may be a satire, but it doesn't quite jive with me
One reason that may get in the way of my liking Stanely Kubrick, may be because of his Philosophy may differ to much from mine. I am religious and have very set values, morals, beliefs. Seeing something different may be viewed with a sense of pure entertainment but i don't think his films are meant to be seen like that.
I do believe there is much to learn from the way Kubrick made his movies. I believe he was a genius behind the camera and that is the reason why i have watched all his movies except a few (paths of glory, spartacus)
A Philosophy is that of one mind and when making a movie dealing with so much (kubrick's) it makes sense for him to have so much control if he is to be labeled as a control freak
I find Kubrick's movies are very loose ended. he hopes to provoke thought from a lost people, those who are not clear about what life here on earth really is about.
He asks questions in his movies. he does not answer them.
 

Francois_T

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Mar 11, 2003
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"I am religious and have very set values, morals, beliefs."

Your priest should whack you on the hand for watching movies ! Didn't you know most movies are Satanic, at least according to Christian Spotlight on the Movies ?! Now go back to watching "The Gospel According to Matthew" for the 126th time and leave good directors like Kubrick alone
 

Arman

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He was a filmmaking genius & one of the greatest film directors of all-time. I love Dr. Strangelove (A+), 2001: A Space Odyssey (A+), Barry Lyndon (A+) & Eyes Wide Shut (A+). They are all masterpieces.

I also (love or) like (and/or hate) his other works like Full Metal Jacket (A), A Clockwork Orange (A-) & even The Shining (B+), & Spartacus (B-), they are all good to excellent films as well. I have various feelings each (or the first) time I watch the above films, at times I'd feel like giving them A+ because there are evidences (& moments in these films) of Kubrick's filmmaking genius but then if he only had these films under his filmamaking resume, I will not come in here in defense of him (or probably I will one of those who will claim that he was a control freak).

I can't wait to see his other works that I have'nt seen.
 

BarryS

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He was a filmmaking genius & one of the greatest film directors of all-time.
Agreed. Kubrick was, I think, the closest director America had to a Luis Bunuel or an Ingmar Bergman. Genius of a filmmaker. Almost every film he made was great, and all are noteworth and memorable. Several are even bona fide classic, great films. Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange all easily qualify as that. Seems to me that anyone who really wants to seriously get into film starts with Stanley Kubrick. His films are required viewing for anyone with even a remote interest in film as art. He was, in my opinion, the most important American director of the latter half of the 20th century.
 

Ricardo C

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Your priest should whack you on the hand for watching movies ! Didn't you know most movies are Satanic, at least according to Christian Spotlight on the Movies ?! Now go back to watching "The Gospel According to Matthew" for the 126th time and leave good directors like Kubrick alone
1. He never stated whether he's a Christian or not, so the references to priests and Christian Spotlight on the Movies (which not all Christians approve of, anyway) are unnecessary.

2. Why be so disrespectful towards him for making mention of his belief system (whichever it may be) when discussing his approach to Kubrick's work?
 
C

Chris*Liberti

Also Paths of Glory, one of the greatest anti-war movies of all time. I like all of his movies except Barry Lyndon. The directing and cinemotography are awesome in Barry Lyndon but the pace is too slow and the story is too cheesy, the most unlucky guy on earth.
 

MikeRS

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THE KILLING, PATHS OF GLORY, LOLITA, SPARTACUS, DR. STRANGELOVE, 2001, CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BARRY LYNDON, THE SHINING, FULL METAL JACKET, EYES WIDE SHUT



Are you kidding me? :D


He is the most thought-provoking, philosophical, and daring of American filmmakers. To watch Stanley Kubrick cinema is to bask in the glow of tales detailing mankind's fallibility, arrogance, and limitations. THEME is definitely king in his films, with an oeuvre marked by rigid *God-like* perspectives, which ferociously contain his thematic expression. This manifests itself as strikingly deliberate narratives, which allow the viewer to be self-reflexive and ponder, while experiencing some of the most audacious, wondrous, and flat-out cinematic storytelling ever concieved. You either go with his distinct flow, or don't. I definitely always have.


Although I consider him a pessimist about the human condition, from time to time he finds it within himself to acknowledge and actually celebrate man's natural instincts. I like this aspect of his art. ;)


So yeah, I have a special place in my *cineaste* heart and mind, for Stanley Kubrick.
 

Angelo.M

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I also think the man was a genius, but, like most directors, I'm not enthralled with every film he made. For my money, the only Kubrick film that didn't do it at all for me was eyes wide shut, which I felt needed more substance and a clearer vision.
 

Holadem

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Calling Jack Briggs as chief defense witness for Stanley Kubrick.
God is Kubrick and nothing you mere mortal say will ever change that and if you disagree you're an ignorant and it's Spielberg, Lucas and MTV's fault? No thanks, we've heard enough of those :D

--
Holadem
 

Mark Zimmer

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Genius + control freak, but not overrated. :D

2001 and Clockwork Orange are among the very best movies ever made, Barry Lyndon is gorgeous, Full Metal Jacket is highly disturbing and Eyes Wide Shut among the most thought-provoking films of recent years. The ending to The Shining is a bit weaker than if he'd actually used the book's ending, but beyond that single misstep I have trouble finding any serious fault with ANYTHING in his catalog (and other than the short suppressed films, I have seen them all--most of them many times).
 

JonZ

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"He was a filmmaking genius & one of the greatest film directors of all-time"

IMHO he was the greatest director EVER.

Kurosawa and Hitchcock,as great as they were,come in second and third.
 

TheLongshot

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I think both statements are true of Kubrick. I do think he was a genius. Also, with most "genius" filmmakers, they tend to be quirky and iconoclastic, and Kubrick was no exception. I even think Overrated also applies to a certain extent, since one who is so highly touted is likely to be overrated. For example, I think 2001 is overrated. It is a technically beautiful film, but the storyline does not engross me. It leaves me scratching my head at the end, wondering if the journey went anywhere.

Jason
 

Lew Crippen

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I can only suppose that the reason you did not find a similar thread, is that it has not occurred to anyone, that he is anything other than a cinematic genius.
 

Jack Briggs

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Yeah, I like the guy's stuff.

One cautionary note about using the word "overrated": Please remember that what one doesn't like personally may still be great anyway. The film in question simply may not be to your preferences.

Also, can't find anything after running a search on "Stanley Kubrick"? Few directors are more discussed in HTF's Movies section that Mr. Kubrick. (Until HTF's new servers are installed, the search function is shut down during the midday peak traffic hours.)
 

Seth_S

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Great filmmaker, made some superb films, but I think his filmography is more uneven than some people make it out to be. For instance, Lolita is a dreadfully bad adaption. Because of societal taboos, I doubt it can ever be properly adapted. The Shining has a lot of great stuff going on in it, but the direction is quite poor. Kubrick turned it into a 2+ hour advertisment for steady-cam. Then there is Full Metal Jacket which has an amazinig first half, but the second half slips into Vietnam cliches because Kubrick ran out of things to talk about lastly. And finally there is Eyes Wide Shut which sharply split viewers.



Eh, I think that John Ford, Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen are all more thought provoking American born directors. What's really impressive about Allen is that he deals with very large philosophical questions, like is murder ever justifiable, turns it into a comedy, and has a mix of both high and low brow jokes.
 

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