Friday, July 26, 2013

Stanley Kubrick: Life in Pictures

I've talked about my passion for cinema frequently. Well, maybe I just think it's frequently and it really has just been an off-shoot of so many other things I have talked about. Don't get me wrong, I have a raging hard-on for all things cinema, but I went flaccid as I moved away from my doctoral dissertation and erected a renewed passion for teaching. Now and again, something film related hits me and I go into a massive geekgasm ecstasy! I can't help it. It's the thing that I still carry on an almost secret love affair with. I even sneak off to the Redbox to grab a movie and practically force it on my husband when I can get away with it.

Today, as I was twitting away, waiting for our epic game night to happen, I saw a trending tag related to Stanley Kubrick. Now, I have a very tenuous relationship and love for Kubrick as a director. My all time favorite film is Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. I could say it was my film geek gateway drug. I loved it. I saw film differently after watching that movie. And everyone raved about Kubrick the auteur. He's a genius. The natural progression for me was to move to The Shining. I started to feel conflicted with this film and I wasn't sure what to do with Kubrick. I felt the film was a bit too Hollywood, despite all of these reviews and views that the film was an epic artistic creation. As I watched several pieces of his filmography, I couldn't seem to make heads or tails of where I stood on my attitude towards him. I wanted to like him, but I struggled to like him. I respected and appreciated him, but I just fought so much of what he represented. I felt sometimes that he was too busy attempting to create art for art's sake, but as I developed as a academic I realized how thin that line of thinking was. I couldn't help but still sprew such ignorance. Maybe in an attempt to secretly garner attention for being different.

You're probably still just dying to know why he was trending! Well, today is Kubrick's birthday. As I scrolled through the trend, I saw a documentary that had been posted. Stanley Kubrick: Life in Pictures. I cannot explain why, but I felt compelled to hit play. It had a 141 minute runtime and I was waiting for our friend to get off of work. So why not?

Immediately I was drawn in. I started to realize just how little I knew about Kubrick, despite my research and my personal attempts to understand him as a director. I recommend watching it. My mind was blown by so many interesting things I learned about this amazing director. Sadly, I feel compelled to rewatch his films, but I almost don't want to destroy the beatific image I have in my mind of Kubrick and his body of work after watching this. Was that not the point in the first place?

Let's end it now, then... so my grand illusion is not spoiled with the harsh reality of mediocrity tainted with the tarnish of greatness. Happy Birthday, Stanley Kubrick.

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