Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative and Stylistic Analysis
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The second edition of Mario Falsetto's extensive analysis of Kubrick's films carefully examines the filmmaker's oeuvre in its entirety--from smaller, early films (The Killing) through mid-career masterpieces (Dr. Strangelove; 2001: A Space Odyssey; A Clockwork Orange), later films such as Full Metal Jacket, and his final work, 1999's Eyes Wide Shut. The author, offering close readings supported by precise shot descriptions, shows us how Kubrick's body of work represents a stylistically and thematically consistent cinematic vision, one that merges formal experimentation with great philosophical complexity.
Falsetto explores many of Kubrick's often-used devices, including the long-take aesthetic, voice-overs, and moving camera, and discusses the thematic uses to which these techniques are applied. Finally, he presents the very first formal analysis of Eyes Wide Shut, the director's final, very much underrated masterwork.
in any way with other actors or the audience. HAL, of course, is also immo bile . Nonetheless, the action must indicate clearly that HAL is responsible for the deaths of the three crew members and also maintain a high degree of sus pense . Thus, the narrative information and movement must be achieved pri- Time and Space: Part I 57 marily through editing. The narrative problem is solved in only eighteen shots and two minutes of screen time. Here is a breakdown of the sequence; all shot
goes up from the standing observers while the camera continues to circle the pro ceedings. The Ligeti piano extract ( Musica Ricercata II) is heard for the first time during this scene , punctuating the action with a menacing, disturbing quality that acts as a leitmotif in several other key sequences. The scene gen erally avoids perceptual point-of-view shots, and the swirling camera places the viewer in the position of the audience within the film watching the staged action . As the scene
the world in a very particular way that is at odds with the character's dramatized presentation. The character encountered through the commentary is, in many ways, a different person from the protagonist who populates the body of the film . Thus, the dramatization of Humbert's obses sion seems to be occurring without the knowledge of the character who sup plies the commentary's point of view. This difference between the generally 90 Stanley Kubrick characterless, uninvolved voice that the
to his earlier violent behavior. The self-conscious revelation is also a dramatic shock that Kubrick has in serted to make the viewer more aware of the narrative construction . Alex's references to the viewer as his "brother," "friend" and even his "only" friends, and his choice of adjectives to describe his role as narrator such as "humble," "long-suffering" and "faithful" emphasize the playful, ironic quality of the voice-over. They presume a relationship that cannot possibly exist. It is not
is also a movement from the more three dimensional , illusionistic presentation style of the film's first half, to the more abstract, flatter visual style of the Star-Gate sequence . The idea of abstraction continues into the final episode, which relies on a fractured, nonlinear narra tive structure and challenges traditional notions of time and space . The ab straction in this final episode relies more on upsetting conventional notions of editing than on the abstract, visual stylistics found