Kubrick Lives Essay

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Kubrick Lives

The theory of authorship as applied to film directors is a subject that is argued extensively throughout the film world. The auteur theory was first introduced in the French film journal Cahiers du Cinema. Andrew Sarris who suggested that there are a group of filmmakers who fit into this category brought the theory to America. It states that in order for a director to be considered an auteur, there must be a consistency of style and theme across a number of films. Very few contemporary filmmakers fit into this category. One filmmaker, however, expanded his filmography over four and a half decades, and created a consistent theme and style. That director was Stanley Kubrick.

Kubrick was known as a very stylistic
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He gives himself away by singing in the bathtub. Both of these films use popular music in unconventional ways, and this can be traced to other Kubrick films as well. Lolita and Dr. Strangelove are the most noteworthy.

Along with a distinctive style, Kubrick films tend to have some very definitive themes going on within them. One of the most prominent themes is his treatment of the protagonist. In conventional filmmaking, the protagonist tends to be the “good guy”. In Kubrick’s films, however, the main characters (always male) tend to be not very likeable. This theme can be seen in virtually every Kubrick film. In The Killing, the ensemble cast of characters is planning a heist, each with their own agenda. In Lolita, Humbert Humbert is an English “gentleman”, oh and also a pedophile. A Clockwork Orange’s Alex is a young, violent, uncaring product of society. The thing that Kubrick does, however, is play with the audience’s morals and emotions. He attempts, sometimes successfully, to get you to empathize and sympathize with these miscreants of society. We feel sorry at some point for poor Humbert as his Lolita, the love of his life, is taken away from him. And Alex, poor Alex, he is a victim of the system and is ruined by the unorthodox treatment. We eventually come to our senses, but for a brief moment or longer, we become victims of Kubrick’s manipulative filmmaking power.

Another theme that creates a thread throughout his body of work
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