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[9] In 1952, Kubrick (then at the start of his career) worked as a second unit director on Mr Lincoln, a five-part TV bio-documentary, written by James Agee, on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Stephen Mamber offers a set of overlapping spatial categories which he suggests are central to understanding what defines the ‘Kubrickian’ at both an aesthetic and textual level. The skill and the precision of the lighting, set design, camerawork, and composition is juxtaposed with the barrenness of (recognizable) human emotion and dramatic coherence, the often mannered acting and stilted dialogue, and the fragmented and oddly lacklustre storytelling. Mamber’s critical study provides a useful and original lens for this discussion, through which we may note certain spatial parallels between the works of the two directors. Ardrey and Kubrick both attribute this belief to Rousseau, who, in Ardrey's words, "Fathered the romantic fallacy". He seemed to dis-identify with their content, even while being heavily identified with them. 2001: A Space Odyssey – New Essays, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 58 Referring back to criteria (2) and (3) of the earlier outlined post-Kubrick definitions it is useful to note how Spielberg not only references this type of spatial engineering and architecture but also adapts and repurposes it (literally in the case of The Terminal) into a recognisably ‘comforting’ Spielbergian space. Spielberg’s account of Lincoln’s (here played by Daniel Day-Lewis) struggle with the House of Representatives over the 13th amendment clearly also signalled a contemporary resonance with Barack Obama’s own struggles with the House and as a supposed an upholder of liberalism and democracy during a time of political, economic and social crisis. Spielberg ultimately softens Monica’s character when she tells David “I wish I could have told you about the world” before leaving him behind. This intervention shows that while Kubrick anchored his text to Colodi’s Pinocchio, Spielberg seems to have Disney in mind. Herr recalls that Kubrick was sometimes akin to a 19th-century liberal-humanist, that he distrusted almost all authority, that he once alluded to Irving Kristol's definition of a neoconservative ("a liberal who has been mugged by reality") in a favorable way, and that he was "seemingly" a social Darwinist. [32]. —Stanley Kubrick. [12] Stephen Mamber, “Kubrick in Space” in Robert Kolker (ed.) In the opening credits of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the celestial bodies roll into alignment, the magisterial tones of 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' reach a crescendo and the words “A Stanley Kubrick Production” appear on the screen, the planets and sun all lined up behind them. Allowing that it was more than just the deluded bid for immortality of a cosmically inflated ego, what might the end game be here? What they don't understand, they call "god"... Everything we know about the universe reveals that there is no god. To find out more, click here. However, there are a number of significant similarities and discrepancies worth highlighting. [30] Stanley Kubrick Archive, London: A.I. Artificial Intelligence was the product of two seemingly opposite sensibilities: Stanley Kubrick, who promoted the project and Steven Spielberg’s inspired replicant. Vivian Kubrick offers the commentary track. “The book can also be a hat.” This mysteriously missing centre — the incoherence of Kubrick’s films, the lack of integrity between text and subtext — creates fascination in many viewers (especially the more intellectual ones). When it was released in the UK, A Clockwork Orange was blamed for a series of alleged 'copycat crimes.' More delicately put, the widespread belief in Kubrick as a great filmmaker is essential to how his films are viewed (or at least talked about). With Catch Me If You Can Spielberg reaches for a similar visual immediacy and spectatorial experience which adopts and appropriates the visual language and commercial styles of the American mid-twentieth century, immersing the viewer. It is the epitome of Kubrickian man-made institutional-official space: a cavernous, purpose built, techno-space of surveillance, containment, order, control and movement, hermetically sealed from the outside space of Manhattan. In A.I. What may be suggested from these annotations is that Spielberg’s approach to the story was to streamline it and create a more economical narrative, as well as to tailor it to his familiar ‘family’ audience sensibility. The Stanley Kubrick Archives (London: Taschen, 2008) p. 505 For example, in A Clockwork Orange, the police are as violent and vulgar as the droogs, and Kubrick depicts both the subversive liberal writer Mr. Alexander and the authoritarian status quo Minister of the Interior as manipulative and sinister. In a 1969 interview to American Cinematographer, Kubrick expressed his atheism when asked if there was an unseen cosmic intelligence or god behind the events in 2001:[20]. Challenging the assumption that the work of eighteenth and nineteenth century British artists like Constable, Hogarth, and Gainsborough dominate the frame, Ljujić offers a roster of European visual sources based on evidence found in the Kubrick Archive which include (among others) the nineteenth century realist painter Adolph Menzel, the French landscape artist Camille Corot and the Russian realist painter Nikolai Ge. In A.I. The plain white attire that David wears when first introduced, and which we see later in the film worn by the other ‘Davids’ (for which he was the prototype), recalls the white costume of Alex and his Droogs. (Call this memetic engineering: it’s probably what all movies are about if you scratch the celluloid deep enough.) While early films like Paths of Glory (1957) seem to reflect an overtly progressive ideology, later films such as Dr. Strangelove (1964) and A Clockwork Orange (1971) can be construed as equally critical of the political left and right. In Catch Me if You Can the cat-and-mouse game between Abignale Jr (Leonardo DiCaprio) and FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) plays out like a meticulously calculated game of chess with each one manoeuvring the other across a varied set of constructed and global spaces and environments until finally a détente, or stalemate, is reached between the two. Following Hutcheon (cited in Brokenshire), I will consider Spielberg’s film as a product “both similar and a departure from the ‘original’”. Let’s suppose that the reason there’s only the semblance of coherent narrative in Kubrick’s movies is that they are artifacts that attempt to imitate the structure of the Universe. For expediency and efficiency’s sake I have chosen to draw from across a range of these films, those which I believe best exemplify and most clearly support my argument. I think the danger is not that authority will collapse, but that, finally, in order to preserve itself, it will become very repressive... Law and order is not a phony issue, not just an excuse for the Right to go further right. offers a contrasting range of overlapping spaces, from the institutional to the parodic and postmodern to the dream space (which dominates the final act of the film as David meets ‘The Blue Fairy’ and finally goes ‘to the place where dreams are made’). Similarly in Full Metal Jacket Kubrick transformed previously recognisable parts of East London (complete with palm trees) and Kent into war-torn Vietnam. I don't know exactly what he believed, he probably would have said that no-one can really ever know for sure, and that it would be rather arrogant to assume that one could know. I think he believed in something, if you understand my meaning. We always celebrated Christmas and had huge Christmas trees. Written down in black and white, the idea sounds pretty crazy. For example, the division of East and West Berlin occurs early and throughout in the film by the arrangement of opposing characters, facing each other from the left and right of the screen, reminiscent of 2001’s Bowman and Pool in the escape Pod being covertly watched by Hal. [1] Mark Brokenshire, “Adaptation”, Chicago School of Media Theory, University of Chicago, [https://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/mediatheory/keywords/adaptation/] Furthermore, as David’s surrogate human mother, Monica (Frances O’Connor), drives away abandoning him, we view David receding into the distance in the circular wing mirror of the car. Suppose they are designed mathematically, according to ancient principals that recognize the equivalency of the major scientific disciplines, the correspondence between the musical scale, the colour spectrum, geometry, planetary arrangements, and so forth. Similarly, Spielberg’s production is the only version of the film and the final gestation of a long, evolutionary process which has, inbuilt into its artistic DNA, the legacy of Kubrick’s many previous collaborations with a series of writers: Brian Aldiss, Ian Watson, Bob Shaw and Sara Maitland as well as concept artists such as Chris Cunningham and Fangorn (Chris Baker). [14] Ritzenhoff reproduces two letters from the Kubrick Archive, one detailing Kubrick’s request to North Thames Gas to film at Beckton Gasworks [15] and a response from NTG offering their permission. The movie poses two extremes: it shows Alex in his precivilized state, and society committing a worse evil in attempting to cure him.". Raphael was equally puzzled by Kubrick's trashing of Schindler's List. [20] Ibid, p. 63 Instead he made E.T.. [27], A.I. I will say that the God concept is at the heart of 2001 but not any traditional, anthropomorphic image of God. The film presents Kubrick as source of adaptation and had a complex developmental and production history, well documented by both Krämer (and elsewhere by Alison Castle [5]) and it stands as a pivotal moment in the Kubrick/Spielberg relationship, the definitive post-Kubrick text. Artificial Intelligence, suggesting that the Kubrick-Spielberg dynamic did not flow simply from only one direction. Obviously, social institutions faced with the law-and-order problem might choose to become grotesquely oppressive. [11]. [29] Alison Castle, “Stanley Kubrick’s A.I.” in Alison Castle (ed.). Kubrick appeared to believe that freedom and social libertarianism is still worth pursuing even if mankind is ultimately ignoble, and that evil on the part of the individual—however undesirable—is still preferable in contrast to the evil of a totalitarian society. Whatever the case, what seemed at first like a minor scene has since been identified as a significant turning point in the film’s storyline, the first moment when HAL is seen to act autonomously — i.e., unreliably. [1], Herr further wrote that Kubrick owned guns and did not think that war was an entirely bad thing. —Stanley Kubrick, What I want to argue (knowing I risk the ire of a legion of exegetists) is that Stanley Kubrick’s last few movies (from 2001 to Eyes Wide Shut) do not work as conventional dramatic narratives; that this is deliberate; and that it is for two primary reasons. This scene also reflects the film’s historical, cold war and geographical context, a period rife with covert observation and surveillance. (I don’t use the word 'obsessive' casually: Kubrick’s involvement with his films’ marketing went as far as measuring the size of the newspaper ads to make sure they precisely fit his specifications.)

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