He was born in NY at the end of 1920s. Although he was an intelligent child he did not get good grades at school. As a teenager he got interested of chess and photography. He used chess for training his intellectual skills and photographhy for his artistic characteristics. These two teenager hobbies are noticeable from his films as motifs. For example in ‘2001: the Space Odyssey’: the Jupiter explorer’s crew is playing chess against HAL and in ‘Dr. Strangelove’ the president of USA is having a chessgame against the head of Soviet Union.
In ‘Full Metal Jacket’ the main character Joker is working as a photojournalist for the TheLook-magazine just like Kubick was earlier in his life. He also became highly interested of movies and used to watch films very enthusiasticly during his teenyears. He made some documentaries before entering into the world of Hollywood. Film Noir classic ‘The Killing’ is Kubrick’s the first remarkable film. After that fillm he made ‘Paths of Glory’ and ‘Spartacus’ with Kirk Douglas.
Soon finishing those films he moved permanently to England because he got frustrated with Hollywood.
After this point he made his best films starting with ‘Lolita’ and ending to the ‘Full Metal Jacket’. Kubrick finished his last film, ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ just before he passed away while sleeping. A Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was an auteur because throughout his films there were repeating elements of theme and style. Kubrick was known as a perfeonistic filmmaker who didn’t hesitate taking severial retakes during shooting.
Kubrick usually worked with filmprojects for many years before even the actual shootings. He worked with 2001 for four years before it was released.
Kubrick managed to make only sixteen films during his lifetime, including masterpieces like ‘Dr. Strangelove’ , ‘2001’ , ‘Clockwork Orange’, ‘The Shining’ and ‘Full Metall Jacket’. His films are usually loved or hated. He has made controversial films which have beed widely debated and criticized, for example ‘Clockwork Orange’ because of the violence within the film or ‘Lolita’ where an older man, Humbert is dreaming and lusting a young teenager girl Lolita. Like his film’s characters he was also an obsessive personality.
He concentrated on the dark side of human and generally his films are considered cold and pessimistic with. Stanley Kubrick worked with different genres, for example science-fiction, war and even (dark) comedy. He was an experimental filmmaker, for example in ‘Barry Lyndon’ he used only natural light. In his every film he associates with errors of emotions and the futility of intelligence and thinking. 2001 is great example for this, in that movie the achievement of intelligence, HAL tries to kill the crew and human presented by Bowman needs to leave techonoly behind for the rehumanization.
Themes Kubrick’s main themes were 1) imaginary worlds, 2) dehumanization, 3) death (homicide-suicide-murder), 4) obsessive main character and 5) a journey of film’s character. He’s charecters are living in their own imaginary world with their own thougths more or less isolated without any connection to reality. In ‘Dr. Strangelove’ perhaps the best examples are Ripper with the fear of communists and Major Kong with his doomsdaymission to drop the bombs which will cause the destroyment of the whole mankind. In 2001 HAL and the whole crew is somehow living in a illusion.
The HAL’s fatal thougths killing the humans and the crew for trusting on HAL with the price of their lives. Dehumazation is noticeable very obviously in 2001, where HAL seems to be more human than the machinelike humans themselves. Kubrick makes viewer symphatize for HAL when Bowman is switching it (him? ) off. Also in Strangelove a (doomsday) machine is in control. Kubrick’s films have involve death quite a lot. In 2001 HAL kills almost the whole crew before he is “killled” by Bowman. There is either homicide, suicide or murder aspects in his films. Characters with strong obsession are also part of Kubrick’s movies.
Bowman has a obsession in first place to survive and secondly to get into the stargate. There’s also the last theme – the journey of Bowman, the main character. From a cold machinelike human into rehumanization and rebirth. Styles Kubrick uses symmetric image composition and shots down the length of tall paraller walls. In 2001 especially the computer room in the shutting-down-HAL sequence and the whole Jupiter explorer’s inside itself. In Kubrick’s films action usually takes place in isolated places. For example the Jupiter explorer or in ‘The Shining’ the Overlook hotel.
There is narration or titles in every film of Kubrick. In 2001 there is minimum innertitles. Long and slow zooming in/out is often used by Kubrick. In the ‘Space Odyssey’ a zoom in was used when Bowman and Poole were having a dangerous chat inside the pod when HAL was reading from their lips. Zooming out was used in ‘Barry Lyndon’ at the beginning of every sequence. Stanley Kubrick preferred already composed music because then he know exectly how’s it going be wrok. 2001 contained Strauss, ‘Clockwork Orange’ included Beethoven and ‘Dr. Strangelove’ featured “We’ll meet again” at the end’s mushroom cloud sequence.
Close ups of intensively emotional/distorted faces belonged to his films. For example Bowman’s faces during the podtrip in the stargate or in The Shining when Jack Torrance came through the door by an axe. The Shining and 2001 have incommon also the tracking shots, for example Danny cycling around the hotel and Bowman and Poole wondering around the explorer. Dr. Strangelove had also tracking shots inside the bomber following the crew going up and down the fuselage of the plane. Signature The most legendary signature of Kubrick is the Glare which shows the emotional meltdown of a character.
It’s a close up of the actor with his head slightly down, but eyes looking up directly into the camera. Best example of this is Alex in the milkbar at the beginning of Clockwork Orange. It has suggested that even the HAL has it in the 2001. Bathrooms and toilets are used in key roles in his films. In 2001 there were instructions to zero-gravity toilet on the wall of space craft. Ripper committed a suicide in bathroom in the Dr. Strangelove. 114 was the number of Jupiter explorer in 2001 and in Dr. Strangelove it was the number of the decoder which served quite important role in the movie.