Towards the end of his life, the great Stanley Kubrick told his wife: “I’m still fooling them!”
Stanley Kubrick has been the subject of serious study for cinephiles for the last 50 years, where the master auteur’s work has been thoroughly examined for a better understanding of his creative idiosyncrasies and artistic vision. To delve deeper into the Kubrickian oeuvre, video essayist and filmmaker, Cameron Beyl’s initiative ‘The Directors Series’ has released an exhaustive and detailed exploration of his career in a three-hour-long essay divided into five different sub-parts.
A ‘recluse’ and an eccentric visionary, Kubrick’s films were often heavily laden with political commentaries, complex and unsettling characters and quintessential Kubrickian horror. His films were aesthetically pleasing yet terrifying. Every filmmaker dreams of attaining this maestro’s level of excellence where they would have the creative freedom to create something unique to the individual.
Kubrick’s films transcend the traditional art of filmmaking. He not only believed in making his dreams a reality but also blended in the sinister and uncanny essence that lay within it. Kubrick’s work leaves an indelible mark on his viewers. One of his most well-known films, The Shining, is rich in details, clouded by looming ambiguity. He creates a world that extends beyond the frames and manifests in spirit and the physical place. A clever craftsman, Kubrick wastes no space and makes intricate use of inanimate objects to add to the growing unease and horror, without using conventional scare tropes.
Jarring and explicit, Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange is an artful depiction of oppression that rules the mood of the film. The audience is intrigued yet repulsed by the brutal scenes of physical, sexual and emotional violence; using Beethoven as the background score. The heightened anxiety and abolishment of desires induce a moral revulsion. Absurd and claustrophobic, the film is a social satire that raises thought-provoking questions as to whether the government’s use of behavioural psychology and psychological conditioning is ethical.
As Beyl revealed in his narration, Kubrick is perhaps one of the most influential filmmakers; other directors exist as his shadows. A brilliant career that spanned 45 years left behind a legacy of fourteen features, and paved the path for a new plethora of ideas to challenge the classical art of filmmaking. Faithful to his dream of altering ‘cinema’ itself, Kubrick discovered disruptive ways of story-telling, introducing novel and revolutionary ideas to the world of filmmaking.
To find out more about this genius’ extraordinary contribution to the development of his beloved craft, watch Beyl’s wonderfully informative documentation and analysis of Kubrick’s career, which have been carefully divided into certain blocks. His early independent features include Fear & Desire, Killer’s Kiss, The Killing; the Kirk Douglas years comprise Paths of Glory and Spartacus; the Peter Sellers comedies include Lolita and Dr. Strangelove; the longest documentary contains an analysis of his incredible masterworks like 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining; the final features include Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut.
The three-hour-long video essay does a comprehensive study of this prolific auteur’s genius and mastery, including details about his meticulous pre-film research, tedious shooting procedures, eye for detail, and compulsive need to attain perfection with every shot. Inarguably the most influential directors of all time, Kubrick was way ahead of his time—he would always be on the lookout to employ new production technology; he was a bit of a tease who gained immense pleasure from genre subversion. Before cinephiles can lament over the absence of a next Stanley Kubrick, Beyl is quick to claim that David Fincher, the eminent director of mind-boggling films like Fight Club, The Social Network, Se7en etc., who is also the subject of the next Directors Series documentaries, can be crowned his immediate successor.
See the film, below.