Stan The Man Kubrick Essay Research Paper

Stan The Man Kubrick Essay, Research Paper

It is easy to look into the eyes of a motion picture and dissect it for its form, style, underlying meanings, and other characteristics that separate it from a film and a classic. There are concrete elements that can be found in all classics that make it such a powerful and remarkable work. One of these elements is undoubtedly the concept of the auteur theory. The Auteur theory is described as a filmmaker, usually a director, who exercises creative control over his or her works and has a strong personal style. Next to this definition should be the line “-for more help see Stanley Kubrick.” He exemplifies all the characteristics of not just a film director, but also a film auteur because of the intellect and genius that goes into each minute of each scene of each incredible film.

Since it is impossible to describe all of the details of Kubrick’s auteur theory here, it will be my goal to touch on one of them, arguably the most important, and explore it. The one to which I will concern myself with now, is that of Kubrick’s brilliant portrayal of the dark side of human nature. Hey accurately portrays in all of his movies the common element of people having unscrupulous traits. He shows through all of his characters the evil strand of badness that is inside all of us just waiting to come out. It is debated that not even one of Kubrick’s many characters in any of his many films possesses redeemable qualities. That is, all characters display, or has hidden inside them, qualities that make them bad and immoral. And although some characters are more bad than good, there is a certain trait that makes them not a truly good person. In considering the “more good than bad people, This argument suggest to say that Kubrick is outwardly telling his audiences that all human nature is in essence bad and that goodness is only a mask of what truly lies underneath. These qualities can be exemplified through the examination of two of Kubrick’s most brilliant works, Dr. Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange.

[okay, I don’t think it is this simple, that is, I don’t think it is just a matter of good vs evil, it goes much deeper than that; remember what we discussed in class, it is the system that constructs us, thus we are a reflection of that system; it is a system that we have created but that now controls us [so to speak]; it is a system that de-naturalizes, dehumanizes, in essence regresses or reconfigures human into something else, i.e. quasi-primal state (Alex, Jack, Pyle), hypermasculine monsters, machine, etc.; in fact thinking about it in these terms, I like the notion that in fact what is constructed is not primal man, but in the extreme cases is a primal machine so to speak, a fusion of humanity’s worst stages of development, roughly speaking; in any case, again, it is not simply a case of good/bad; if anything I think you could say that the system taps into our dark side and in some cases (for whatever unusual, particular cases you are focusing in on, i.e. hyper masculinity in Ripper’s case; an already dehumanized, artificial world {and apparently hyper masculinity and power if all the phallic symbols Alex is associated with is any indication, i.e. mask, car, Beethoven, etc.} and then the overt reconstruction by the system {science, the state} in Alex’s case) brings it to the surface, though even here, I think , it is more complicated than that]

Though it may at first appear to be a science fiction film, Dr. Strangelove’s true emphasis is not on science but rather on human nature. The entire apocalyptic scenario is nothing more than a clever analogy to make some very moving observations on certain aspects of human behavior. Not only does it provide an analysis of on screen characters but it gives a unique profile of the audience as well. The title alone has several deep implications for those who actually went to go see the movie when it was first released, and in a clever way Kubrick ridicules the audience rather harshly. [How so? Spell it out] The movie tells of the bizarre relationship man has with death, how he is horrified yet compelled [by] it at the same time, and how no matter what, there are simply some aspects of human behavior that remain unchanged. [What is that?]

It is as if man does indeed have a type of weird obsession towards death, as it repulses and stimulates him as few things can. The title of the film makes a clear case of this by stating the “strange-love” that exists between a terrified humanity and the threatening bomb that forever pressures to end all life on earth. It is a fear that has risen to the point of paranoia, but afraid as people may be they secretly continue to crave seeing and knowing more of their wonderful tormentor. Even though the movie is quite hilarious, it is difficult to laugh when realizing that such a thing as the one presented in the movie could very well occur, and if it did it would mean the end of civilization.

Through these and numerous other examples, Kubrick points out in a humorous and very sarcastic way, some of the more questionable idiosyncrasies of human nature. Be it thirst for blood, uncontrollable sexual desire, xenophobia or some other type of irrational behavior the movie shows that although man possesses the ability to reason his brain does not do much of the thinking most of the time.[what exactly does this mean?] Even though times may change, and society will improve and people will become more civilized, Kubrick stresses that in the end there are simply some things that will never change. [Vague]As the subtitle of the movie suggests, it is an attempt to poke fun at the absurdity of this whole situation and in fact it tries to teach the audience how to “stop worrying and love the bomb.” However, the way the film chooses to do so is one of the most sarcastic displays of all time.

[where does the good/bad and “free will” ideas fit in here? You are not spelling out/meshing your initial ideas very well here]

A Clockwork Orange explores another concept of human nature, that of “free will” and “moral choice” and does this by chronicling the life and evolution of an adolescent who falls into trouble. The main character and humble narrator is Alex, an extremely violent adolescent with numerous contradictory traits. After Alex spends almost two years in Prison for his wicked deeds, he hears of a new program that can reform a prisoner and have him out of the jail system in a week’s time. Eager to be back in the world and functioning as a citizen, Alex jumps to volunteer for this new treatment, having no idea what he is getting himself into. At first, the accommodations are much better than prison. The next day, the true treatment begins. Alex is brought into a movie screening room, which he likes very much, up until the point when he is bound in a straightjacket, tied to a chair, which allows him to only look at the screen, and his eyelids are forced open. The doctors administering the “Reclamation Treatment” begin playing many films that depict brutal violence, gore, and rape. Normally Alex wouldn’t have minded these films, but the shot he was given previously begins to kick in, and he starts feeling intense pain all over his body. Alex can only associate a sickening pain with the violent lifestyle he once led. Any sudden inclination he might have towards violence or lust is quickly met with a terrible feeling that swells up inside him. Thus, Alex’s free will is stripped away by these doctors forcing him to view and do exactly what they say.

A press conference is then held to demonstrate the effects of this fabulous new treatment. At the conclusion of the press conference, the prison chaplain stands up and says “Choice. He has no real choice, has he?” This quote is arguably the crux of the story, and one of Kubrick’s crucial points, asking us the question to what extent and at what cost will we go to reform people? The final scene in Stanley Kubrick’s movie is Alex’s thoughts of violence coming back with no painful repercussions. [except for the second to last line, which is itself wholly unsatisfactory, this whole section on A Clockwork Orange is basically summary/descriptive analysis; you have to go much farther than this to fit A Clockwork Orange into the equation you spelled out in the beginning; what is the thread that links these two films, and indeed, Kubrick’s work in its entirety, at least in part? And then convey how they are different]

The two movies differ greatly both in subject matter and in cinematic styling. One is an outwardly hilarious satire and the other an artful drama. Yet both movies tell the same saga about the human race and the violent darkness which lies within all of us. Whether it is the system trying to strip away our God-given right of free will to choose our life’s path or the dark reality of a global destruction, the human race is ultimately bad.[again not that simple] Kubrick uses completely different styles[vague] to show this point showing his giftedness as a filmmaker. He can show the dark side of humanity through both a comic and serious medium and do it in a way that makes us think they are completely different.[extraneous and basically redundant] This exemplifies the ideas that make up the definition of auteur theory perfectly as does the man himself, Stanley Kubrick.


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