Stanley Kubrick has never really been considered a friendly filmmaker. Famously a perfectionist, Kubrick, in each of his films, crafted marvelous, meticulous scenes, put together with the utmost care. And he demanded the same of everyone he worked with. The result, many filmgoers complain, are cold, calculated films that are difficult to crack. Many of the characters that populate his films are enigmas, emotionless, and unfamiliar, nearly unrelatable. This distance kept many viewers on the outside, despite the fact that his films (which, for the most part, are perfect) have only continued to grow in reputation and status.
Now, a new 9-minute video, “Stanley Kubrick: Observing Humanity,” is here to argue the value of the distanced perspective of Kubrick’s films. Posted by Back To Formula, the short essay proposes that Kubrick was using the alienation effect, a technique created by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht. The distance between us, the viewers, and the content and characters, gives us a vantage from which we can critique the state of humanity — which Kubrick mostly saw as being in shambles.
It’s an interesting theory, and frankly we’ll support anyone giving us reason to rewatch Kubrick. But no matter what you think, it’s a sharply cut together video that highlights some of revolutionary cinematography that abounded in his films. Give the video a watch, and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below.