Friday, September 2, 2011

Spotlight On: Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick has directed some of the most interesting, original, controversial, and groundbreaking films in history. His films are all very memorable and unique and you often see other directors try to mimic his work. He has directed some of my favorite films and is one of my absolute favorite directors. It is a travesty that he has never won an academy award for best director!!! Here are my favorites of his films...

I was really surprised when I found out that this was a Stanley Kubrick film. Looking at his later films, this doesn't really seem like his type of movie. I do love this movie though. It features actors that I like, such as Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons, and of course the amazing Sir Laurence Olivier. It is a long movie that didn't seem very long because I was getting so into it. The first time I saw it I actually got really mad when the DVD started skipping!  (stupid Netflix...) There are tons of great scenes in this film, like when Spartacus has to fight the big guy with the triton, Laurence Olivier trying to seduce Tony Curtis (which was actually cut out of the original film), but the most memorable scene in the film is of course the "I am Spartacus scene." It is such a great scene because it shows how much he is beloved...

"How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?" Pedophilia is a touchy subject, and considering that this film was made under the production code, I think that it was done very well. It is definitely not as risque as the 90s version, but I like this one much better. What is interesting about films under the production code was that they had to be sneaky and suggestive instead of straight forward. Like in the scene at the hotel with Humbert and Lo, it doesn't show anything, but you know what happens next...

Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
While Kubrick utilized the great talents of Peter Sellars in Lolita, he uses it to greater extent in Dr. Strangelove. Here he plays several different characters, the most memorable one being the title character. My favorite thing about this movie, however, would have to be George C. Scott's performance. "He'll see the big board!"

2001: The Space Odyssey
This isn't the easiest movie in the world to watch. It goes on forever without any dialogue. This isn't really a sit at home and watch kind of movie, it is the type of film that is better to watch on a big screen. The first time I saw it I was watching it on my laptop, and although I hate to admit it, I was falling asleep. The best parts of this movie are with HAL. He has the creepiest voice...

A Clockwork Orange
This is my favorite film of Kubrick's and one of my favorite films of all time. I love every single scene in this movie! I love Malcolm McDowell's performance, the use of Singin in the Rain (twice!), the sped up sex scene, the montage sequence when he listens to Beethoven, Alex's daydream while reading the bible, just everything about this film. Annoyingly, there are no good embeddable videos on YouTube, but you can find my absolute favorite scene HERE.

The Shining
Another one of my personal favorites, The Shining is one of the greatest horror films of all time. It is just a classic. Just the camera going down the hallway is creepy as hell. I have never actually read Stephen King's The Shining, and I honestly don't know if I really want to after seeing this movie. I've heard that the book is better, but what could be better than this movie? Here is one of my favorite scenes...

Full Metal Jacket
Poor Private can't help but feel bad for him. In one of my film classes people had to show film clips from certain genres each week, and my week was war films, so naturally I showed a clip from Full Metal Jacket. Well, to be honest I wanted to show a clip from The Deer Hunter, but they said I couldn't so Full Metal Jacket was my second choice. So, I showed the Mickey Mouse scene from the end. Like all Kubrick films, this film is just loaded with brilliant scenes, one of the most memorable being right at the beginning.

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