Happy Birthday, Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick’s birthday is a momentous occasion for myself. I not only allow myself to watch my favorite film ever made but revel in the inner workings of Kubrick, not only as a director but as the influential, unique human being he was in the world. His work on all his full-length feature films still speaks to me unlike any other piece of art.

In my eyes, Kubrick’s level of detail, his complex scripts that grabbed your attention during the film and on the way home, the special performances he ascertained out of both star-studded actors, and no-names, all contribute to his greatness. It’s a level of greatness that is unlikely to ever be matched. No director will ever receive the same amount of creative control over everything: the script, shooting schedule, money, etc. Kubrick made sure it was all under his control, that will never be replicated in today’s world.

Here’s the full-length feature that brought Kubrick into the spotlight, ‘Fear and Desire,’ a middling film, according to Kubrick himself, that displayed his craft and the stories he wants to tell without fully realizing the unlimited potential in Stanley Kubrick. Now, despite Kubrick’s own slander against his debut feature, I still find Fear and Desire to be one fantastic film and helps get a better understanding of Kubrick himself.

As I alluded to earlier, Kubrick is a huge fascination of mine, as an intellectual, a father, a filmmaker, and as a person existing in this world. His worldview was so counter-culture, pushing the boundaries of what’s allowed in society. These ideas spoke to me as a young college student, and the results of me sitting down to watch ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ for the first time as a pre-teen completely opened my eyes to the possibilities of film. It immediately sent me on a crazy obsession with the medium

 

Kubrick has made the biggest impression of any director on my life. I smile with glee at the thought of any of his films. He’s a very special person to me, and I love to celebrate his life. I even had four of his films in my top 10 of my annual top 100

 

Impromptu Kubrick film ranking

12. Fear and Desire

11. Spartacus

10. The Killing

9. Lolita

8. Full Metal Jacket

7. Eyes Wide Shut

6. Paths of Glory

5. The Shining

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey

3. Clockwork Orange

2. Dr. Strangelove: And How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

  1. Barry Lyndon

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