(Photos from the Kubrick exhibit at the LACMA in L.A.)
FEAR AND DESIRE(1953)
PATHS OF GLORY(1957)
2001:A SPACE ODYSSEY(1968)
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE(1971)
FULL METAL JACKET(1987)
EYES WIDE SHUT(1999)
Now some people might say 13 films in a career that lasted nearly 50 years doesn’t seem like much but if you look at just one of them you’ll quickly realize there’s a reason for that. Each and everyone of his movies were painstakingly researched and crafted from beginning to end. One viewing will not do a single one justice. I keep finding myself picking up on certain things I missed even after viewing them multiple times. What keeps me coming back to these films time and time again is the sense of open endedness I get when I watch them. Not everything is black and white and most of the time Stanley leaves it up to your own interpretation.
Here is an interesting video on the films of Kubrick’s that never came to be.
One experience I’ll never forget was seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. I had seen 70mm before but not like this. The soundtrack to 2001 will blow you out of your seat, and possibly leave you partially deaf in the process. Here is an artist’s rendering of what that was like…
Stanley’s movies were without a doubt an experience, an experience that would grab hold of you and make it incredibly hard to look away. I think Malcolm Mcdowell might know a thing or two about that.
His movies were most certainly not for everyone though. If you like movies that are easily consumed and will wrap everything up by the end in a neat little box then you’re probably better off looking elsewhere. Not only do these films stand the test of time they are true works of art. My favorite quote about Stanley comes from his long time assistant and personal friend Anthony Frewin…
“Stanley had a tough time keeping up with his interests, you know? It was a full time job being Stanley”
A full time job that he worked 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Stanley was truly one of a kind and there will never be another Kubrick film, but lucky enough for us he left 13 of them for us to enjoy while he’s kicking back somewhere laughing at all of us trying to make sense out of his films.