Stanley Kubrick--Intellectual showman

Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits

In 1997, Stanley Kubrick made a rare public appearance to accept the D.W. Griffith Award from the Directors Guild of America — not in the flesh, but in his preferred format, on screen. Speaking from London on videotape, he graciously thanked his colleagues and dutifully delivered the nostrums demanded of the occasion. Although directing a film, he said, "can be like trying to write War and Peace in a bumper car at an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not many joys in life that can equal the feeling."

Belying the warm sentiments, the performance was oddly mechanical, but also familiar. The flat tonality, the affectless immobility, and the oracular manner of the bearded old man with the bald dome might have been a computer-generated talking head — were not computer animation more expressive and lifelike in the age of digital graphics. The thought calls up the obvious association: HAL 9000, an older computer model from 2001 (the movie, not the year).

Stanley Kubrick always did come off as a cold fish — sterile, analytical, reclusive, an artist drawn to icy prehistoric worlds. "The last of the cold modernists," quipped the film scholar James Naremore during a panel devoted to Kubrick at this year's annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. "A cold bastard," said the actor-producer Kirk Douglas. Even the name for his acolytes — Kubrickians — sounds hard-edged....
Read entire article at Thomas Doherty at the website of the Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE)

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Randll Reese Besch - 8/5/2007

From the description Mr. Kubrick may have suffered from Asperger's Syndrome which in the more drastic types produce people who are "cold,analytical and distant." even to a mechanical type of inflectionless speech. Without proper emotional responces the Asperger person comes off as unemotional,and strange. Mental capabilities are normal or enhanced. They have few friends.