Le mémoire de maîtrise de Fabrice JAUMONT ne doit pas être copié dans un autre travail universitaire ou toute autre publication sans que le nom de leur auteur ne soit explicitement cité.
La mise en forme et l'intégralité du texte d'origine n'ont pu être conservées.
Note de Recherche présentée en
vue de l'obtention de la Maîtrise par
Directeur de Recherche :
Mr Daniel Becquemont
Session de Septembre 1995
Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III
59650 Villeneuve d'Ascq
Introduction: the Minstrel of the Modern Times
Chapter One: The Return of Odysseus
Chapter Two: The Odyssey of Moonwatcher
List of Illustrations:
Front cover : 2001, a Space Odyssey
Page 7: Stanley Kubrick on Barry Lyndon
Page 14: 2001
Page 23: Jack in The Shining
Page 28: Jack
Page 30: Humbert, Charlotte and Lo,Lolita
Page 30: the war room, Dr Strangelove
Page 36-37: Humbert and Lo, Lolita
Page 40: Alex, Clockwork Orange
Page 41: the XVIIIth century room, 2001
Page 48: Alex
Page 50: the tramp and the droogs, Clockwork Orange
Page 53: Kubrick on The Shining
Page 54: Bowman and Poole, 2001
Page 58: Bowman in HAL's brain, 2001
Page 79: the Star-Child, 2001
Les illustrations ont été supprimées de la version électronique disponible sur ce site :
Vous pouvez consulter loriginal de ce mémoire à la Bibliothèque Angellier
"Heureux qui comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage,
Ou comme cestuy là qui conquit la toison,
Et puis est retourné, plein d'usage et raison,
Vivre entre ses parents le reste de son âge."
Joachim Du Bellay
The Minstrel of the Modern Times
Though there exist pre-Homeric Ulysses, the Ur-Odyssey is unquestionably to be found in Homer's The Odyssey, which engendered a proper literary genre: epic in structure, poetic in surface, and philosophic in depth. The Odyssey theme has been utilised, expanded and reshaped by a myriad of poets, playwrights, novelists, painters and other artists, who contributed to the mythopoeic inscription of the Homeric tale in the Western traditions. Many were to be influenced by the Odyssean-Ulyssean narrative; within the most talented: Virgil, Dante, Chapman, Shakespeare, Calderón, Goethe, Joyce, Kazantzakis, Giraudoux... Each adaptation moved discrepantly away from the original version - and from each version, to eventually produce contradictory - sometimes anti-Odyssean - stories: Dante, for instance, substituted a personification of centrifugal force, in place of the centripetal, homeward-bound figure. Joyce dislocated or telescoped the Odyssean order, though he kept the parallelism constantly in mind, both as structural model and as a symbolical undertone. Kazantzakis adopted the non-Homeric hypothesis that Ulysses was an incurable wanderer who, after his return, set out from home to seek further adventures : a romantic conception of the Odyssean hero owing something to Byron and Nietzsche.
The constant fluctuations of the theme may be explained by its definition: "a long, adventurous journey, marked by many changes of fortune; an extensive intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest", thus inferring that changeability achieves an essential position within the Odyssean periple, the theme revealing throughout the centuries a parallel need for self-evolution and self-improvement within and without the narrative, in matter and form. To illustrate the conceptual versatility of the theme and the metamorphic propensities of Odysseus-Ulysses, W. B. Stanford writes:
"Turn by turn this man of many turns, as Homer calls him in the first lign of the Odyssey,will appear as a sixth-century opportunist, a fifth-century sophist or demagogue, a fourth-century Stoic, in the middle-age he will become a bold baron or a learned clerk or a pre-Columbian explorer, in the seventeenth century a prince or a politician, in the eighteenth a philosophe or a Primal Man, in the nineteenth a Byronic wanderer or a disillusioned aesthete, in the twentieth a proto-Fascist or a humble citizen of a modern Megalopolis."
A similar variability may be observed on the representations of the Odyssean theme in the visual arts. For instance, in the sixth century, grotesquely comic representations of Ulysses's Odyssean adventures became popular on vases in Greece and Italy. There are also many widely-scattered representations of Ulysses in sculpture, wall-paintings, engraved gems and coins. Cinema has inherited from all these re-manipulations - whether verbal or visual - and has innovated the theme thanks to its multi-dimensional possibilities. In 1954 Dino de Laurentiis adapted Homer's version in Ulysses, in 1967 Joseph Strick attempted to transcribe Joyce's Ulysses into a cinematographic language. Very recently,Théo Angelopoulos treated the theme in Le regard d'Ulysse. Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey has reached a paradigmatic position as regards the Odyssean representation in the visual arts - equalling the works of Homer and Joyce by its originality - and is undeniably one of the best achievement in Cinematography's short history.
One aspect of the Odyssean theme, probably the most important, is the Return of Odysseus to Ithaca, his island, and to Penelope, this possibility having been ungranted by the resentful Gods of Olympia: the source of his motivations and hopes being found in his craving for home, his desire to round off his peregrinations, to "loop the loop" of his Odyssey. A circular, centripetal inclination is, therefore, noticeable in the layout of Odysseus's journey, even if - when observing Victor Bérard's tracing - sinuosity is more salient than circularity. But, as we shall see with Kubrick's approach to the Odyssean theme, the "marriage of the sinuous lign and the circle is aesthetically fortunate".
Stanley Kubrick's Odyssey, as Michel Ciment labels it, followed a sinuous path which began in New York in 1928. When young, Kubrick was very fond of chess, Jazz and photography, three hobbies which, a posteriori, have been of relative importance in the treatment of his films: e g, the fact that chessboards and chessboard-like floors are found in almost every film, the musical soundness of each momentous scene, the exceptional picturalism of a great number of shots might be sufficient justifications. He devoured movies and always does, now in the private projection room of his Londonian residence, and avowed his adoration for Eisenstein, Chaplin and Ophuls, his filmic enthusiasm and knowledge being herculean. His gluttony for information when on a project, plus the years of preparation taken between each film, his obsession with controlling every moment of the production, direction, promotion and his exigency with his actors, scriptwriters, assistants have allowed him to reach the Olympian spheres of cinematographic fame.
Minstrel of the modern times, lyric poet and virulent polemist, this humanist possesses the powers of a visionary, and those of a strictly realist narrator. Original, in the sense of unique, independant: Kubrick, like Griffith, Murnau or Welles, is one of the directors who escaped Hollywood's demiurgic domination thanks to their very genius so as to accomplish their cinematographic Odyssey on their own .
For Kubrick resisted the Odyssean ordeals of film making, and conquered the Golden fleece of filmic independance: Fear and Desire (1953), Killer's Kiss (1955), The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962) made his freedom, the others: Dr Strangelove (1964), 2001, A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1986) made his reknown.
Morphologically - considering the function & characterization of each protagonist, the interaction between each as well as the various contingencies and terminations of the films - each Kubrickian creation reflects an Odyssean construction and logic, Odysseanity recurring in Kubrick's work, as Jean-Paul Dupuy writes:
"Beyond their peculiarity, Kubrick's films seem to be connected together by a strange similarity at the level of their formal treatment as well as the one of the stories involved. Each film depicts the Odyssey of a man who, from a world to another in an ascending movement towards knowledge, traverses the Power and the Glory to decline afterwards and end his fall on a recovery or death bed. Only at that moment a shot in slow or no motion emerges, suggesting a kind of backward return or circularity."
Kubrick's exploitation and transcription of the Odyssean archetype and of its implied circularity into a cinematographic language allows him, simultanously, to question the possibilities of cinematic spatio-temporality and movement. For the circular stylization and narration revolving around mythical heroes - used at each level of the twelve motion pictures, turns Odysseanity into the author's technique as well as his signature. As Gilles Deleuze writes:
"Some large movements may be considered as being an author's own signature, which characterizes the whole film or even his entire work but which also refers to the relative movement of such signed frame or such detail in the frame... A large movement, turned towards a changing whole, can also be decomposed in relative movements, in local forms turned towards the respective parts of a whole, the attributions to the persons and objects, the distribution between elements."
Kubrick's Odyssean quest/questionning of spatio-temporality and movement equates his deconstructive analysis of forms, vision, meaning and language: spectatorial receptivity and idiosyncracies being central to the Odyssean experience or experimentation - the "eye's odyssey" as Sandro Bernardi labels it. Each of Kubrick's filmic particles - his miniature Odysseys - are united through a referential interlacement to form an Odyssean craft which transports the spectator beyond his spectatorship, beyond the limits of cinematography. As Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke declared:
"When man journeys far enough into time and space, he will find things he has no right to see. But this is not the end of an Ahab-like quest on the part of men driven to seek the outer reaches of the universe. Bowman is led into the time warp by the monolith that guides him toward transcendent experience."
Ulysses: "Nor fondness for my son, nor reverence
Of my old father, nor return of love,
That should have crown'd Penelope with joy,
Could overcome in me the zeal I had
T' explore the world, and search the ways of life,
Man's evil and his virtue. Forth I sail'd
Into the deep illimitable main,
With but one bark, and the small faithful band
That yet cleav'd to me."
The Divine Comedy, Inferno
THE RETURN OF ODYSSEUS
On the several principles required to produce an Odyssey, the Return movement is among the most important: it completes the hero's journey, conforming hencefoth to the traditional epic cycle, and to the cyclical interpretation the Greeks professed for Nature's mysteries, Time, Space or Divinities, and infers a subsequent circularity to the hero's destiny as well as to the Odyssey's morphology. Throughout the centuries of Odyssean composition, this conventional prerequisite had been adjoined - as regards its artifactual configuration - a consequent sub-principle: most illustrations of the theme were to be effected on spherical ornaments, a structural juxtaposition and an aesthetics of the circle being therefore observed between contents and containers.
The same correlation may be drawn between Stanley Kubrick's movies and characters, the latter being points on the circonference of the former, entrapped within their sphericity as circular motion pictures, but also submitted to the ellipsoidal logic of the Kubrickian invention: turning them into Odysseus-like weathercocks rotating around the axle of the scenario and the demiurgic eye of the director. The Return movement in Kubrick acquires a philosophical, strategical, aesthetical meaning, as Pierre Giuliani writes:
"What is obsessional with Kubrick - the Return movement, the degradation movement - is not an artist's haunting thought but the strict obligation of the narration of the world."
For, whether it is: Davy Gordon, the declining boxer of Killer's Kiss pacing up and down, round and round, the station; Johnny Clay, the stratagemical hoodlum of The Killing, obsessed with time's ticking; Colonel Dax of Paths of Glory, a pawn in his generals' self-promotive schemes; Spartacus, the rebellious slave and his fight for freedom, Humbert Humbert, the nympholept of Lolita and his secret affair with a teenage girl; Dr Strangelove's presidents and generals, inefficient in front of the nuclear conflict activated by Jack D. Ripper, the deranged general; Dave Bowman, the Odyssean astronaut of 2001, and his mythical return; Alex, the juvenile delinquent, brainwashed, manipulated and rendered to his normal state after his missed suicide; Barry Lyndon, the Irish opportunist, reaching the high spheres of nobility to fall back to his former state of poverty; Jack, the caretaker-writer of The Shining and his murderous frenzy; or, finally, Joker, the Marine of Full Metal Jacket, and his journey through the military ordeals and Hell-like Vietnam: the Kubrickian characters have, in one way or another, to face the Odyssean circularity. But, the same is true for the deuteragonists and antagonists, like Quilty, in Lolita, Antoninus in Spartacus, or Poole, in 2001, or for the characters I call Telemachus, following their fathers' same circular path, as they themselves did after their own fathers - in Homer, Telemachus follows Odysseus who followed Laertes - achieving somehow a filially perpetuated Odyssey - Brian imitates Barry Lyndon who imitated his father, the duel proving a family legacy in Barry Lyndon. As Pierre Giuliani writes:
"Barry Lyndon, from Ireland to Prussia and Prussia to Ireland, the Return of a downgraded opportunist. Alex, in Clockwork Orange, following his own footsteps, repeating prosaically the stages of his progress. Following his own footsteps, this is very concretely - in backward motion - the exercice Danny Torrance is engaged in to escape his father's murderous insanity in The Shining. Jack himself, who followed the former caretaker's footsteps, the very one who murdered his wife and twin daughters. The Return once again, for Dave Bowman, the mythologically changed astronaut of 2001; for the liberal officer of Paths of Glory; for the rebelling slaves of Spartacus too, in a way, prompt to re-enact in an impossible, ultimate dispersal, their heterogeneity of the commencement."
Spartacus's sole wish is to never return to slavery. In vain, for his last appearance on the cross, nailed to his fate, echoes his first appearance, chained on a rock, in the Greek conquered province of Thrace, and viceversa. However, his will for rebirth and vita nuova is indirectly accomplished in his son's birth and life which has been granted freedom, Spartacus's Odyssey continuing in his son's.
The little mechanical swimmer turning round and round again in a circular basin in Killer's Kiss remains for me the truest symbolization of the Return movement, however infinitesimal it might appear in Kubrick's lifework. It fully corresponds to the mechanical Odysseus-Alex, who is clockworkly tossed by the capricious winds of the Poseidon-like figures of authority that are the Minister of Defense, the Droog-like policemen and the subversive politicians, to eventually end up his unbearable crawling by committing suicide:
"But Youth is only being in a way like it might be an animal. No, it is not just like being an animal so much as being like one of those malenky toys you viddy being sold in the streets, like little chellovecks made out of tin and with a spring inside and then in a winding handle on the outside... Being young is like being like one of these malenky machines."
After his suicidal descent he accomplishes an ironic rebirth into a post-Ludovico world, returning from the dead - from Hades- to begin his vita nuova re-incarnated in a narrator-traveller:
"I jumped, O my brothers, and I fell hard but I did not snuff it, oh no. If I had snuffed it, I would not be here to tell what I have told. I came back to life, after a long, black, black gap of what might have been a million years... As the music came to its climax, I could viddy myself very clear, running and running on like very light and mysterious feet, carving the whole face of the creeching world with my cut throat britva. I was cured all right."
The image of the mechanical swimmer is appropriate to the Marines of Full Metal Jacket, whose turning round at the obstinately robotized pace of Drill Officer Hartman inside the dormitory equates their repeating - one after the other - the series of military excercices on Parris Island, like clockwork oranges pressed by a dehumanizing system, like microscopic Odysseus training for a Troy-like Vietnam, their longing for home being sensed in their nostalgic rendering of the Mickey Club's song during the final scene.
It is also applicable to Frank Poole, and his jogging in the large centrifuge of the spaceship Discovery, or the space hostess or David Bowman, the epitome of automated man, who spacetravels on his futuristic version of Odysseus's craft or off, floating in space and being carried away beyond the Infinite after his deadly combat against Hal 9000, the Cyclop, inside its computerized cave. He eventually swallows a mouthfull of hyperspace and drowns, to be revived for ever in the eternally returning Star-Child.
The evolutionary ascension of Bowman - the representative of bow/Man - from his australopithecine to his robotized-dehumanized state and his absolute position within the Star-Child's celestial sphere coincide with his allegorical surpassing of the animal stage by means of his technology, from prehistoric bone to lunar shuttle, and his reaching the Superman - Übermensch - by delivering himself from this very same technology. As Michel Ciment writes, "Bowman is the abstract man, in the Nietzschean sense, a bridge and not a goal, a rope drawn over an abyss between the animal and the superman."
The correlation between evolutionism and surpassing, Darwin and Nietzsche, is to be found in Thus Spake Zarathoustra, when Zarathoustra addresses the villagers:
"I teach you the Superman. Man is something that is to be surpassed. What have you done to surpass man? All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and you want to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the beast than surpass man? What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame.You have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is still worm. Once were you apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than any of the apes."
an interesting association which Kubrick utilizes in 2001 so as to amplify the conceptual impact of the film, but, before all, to multiply interpretations and cover the tracks of his creation. The meaning of 2001 seems to be situated beyond both the evolutionist and the Nietzschean explanation.
The symmetry of the film does enhance the similitudes between the anthropoids of the Pleistocene era and the humanoids of the third millenary: the evolutionary ellipsis of the bone-spaceship achieves a spatio-temporal fusion; the first touch of the monolith, similar for Moonwatcher and Dr Heywood Floyd, magnifies the atavistic equation between both chieftains; the gibberish exchanges during the fight between bellicose tribes around the pond echo the scientific jargon and the orbital banalities interchanged between Russians and Americans, around the circular table of the Hilton space station, the unappetizing food of the simians is equivalent to the baby's gruel of the astronautical homo sapiens. But, more to the point, the catalyst intervention of the monolith in man's evolutionary process reveals his unchanged incapacity to evolve without exterior assistance: Moonwatcher activates the progressus in finitum of Man by turning a bone into a tool after the revelatory apparition of the arbitrary, missing-link-like monolith and throwing it consequently "upwards", but by also using it as a weapon in his conflict over the pond, henceforth linking the progress of man to war, destruction and death - consequently the bone goes downwards. Similarly, the American scientists' intentions are destructive instead of instructive: by concealing the lunar monolith to the world, they conceal it to the Russians - a tactical revenge on the Russians' Doomsday weapon in Dr Strangelove - to preserve their hegemonic position over their pond-like universe, a secretive policy which will cause the murder of Poole and of the hibernating astronauts. This also reveals two aspects related to the Odyssey of man: on the one hand, man's chances for improvement are always given - a fact which makes me think of Homer, and the constant interference with the intervenient gods; on the second hand, the unaided man is unable to accomplish his Odyssey without gallopping towards failure or death - as is the case with Barry Lyndon.
Circularly beginning and ending 2001, Richard Strauss's Thus spake Zarathoustra - known as the World-riddle theme - introduced by an ascending line of three notes: C-G-C, connects Nietzsche's threefold evolution to Kubrick's. Zarathoustra, the wanderer-philosopher - who incessantly returns to his cave - uses a threefold parable to explain the Superman, which is "the meaning of the earth to be found behind the thoughts and feelings, where the body is, as well as the self in the body : the Terra Incognita":
"To you I am stating the three metamorphoses of the spirit: how the spirit transforms into the camel, the camel into the lion and, then, the lion into the child... The child is innocence and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a wheel turning on itself, a first movement, a sacred 'yes'."
Another filiation is apparently to be found in the Kubricko-Nietzchean Star-Child, the Odyssey being a constant "new beginning", "a wheel turning on itself" indefinitly. But, more to the point is the passing from the domesticated, manipulated camel to the rebellious, powerful lion in a moment of self-assertion and self-liberation, a theme recurring in most of Kubrick's films and central to the Odyssey - in Homer, the Odysseys of Odysseus and Telemachus are symbolical of self-assertion and self-knowledge.
The journey beyond the stars of David Bowman - the archer - equates Zarathoustra's Odyssey beyond his self, his walking stick being his spaceship, his intergalactic visions finding an interesting correlate in Zarathoustra's commentary:
" Shuddering I would then fly like an arrow through the rapture exhilerated by the sun; far from the distant futures that no dream has ever seen, towards zeniths more burning than what any painter ever imagined, towards places where some dancing gods are ashamed of all clothes ... towards places where all becomingness seemed to me a dance of gods and a divine whim, where the world appeared unbridled and filled with liveliness and where it turned on itself; like an eternal flight in front of oneself and a new quest of oneself in many gods...; towards places where time itself seemed the happy mockery of instants.. There did I pick up the word 'superman' near the edge of the path, and there did I learn that man was something to be surpassed."
Sharing similitudes with the Freudian theories, Nietzsche's abstraction corroborates the thesis that any Odyssey is, before all, a journey in the Self. As Gilles Deleuze writes:
"If Kubrick renews the theme of the initiatory journey, this is because any journey in the world is an exploration of the brain"
thus concurring with Michel Ciment's assertion:
"Like any true odyssey, 2001 is a voyage in the exterior world which becomes a self-discovery. From objectivity the narrative moves to subjectivity, and when penetrating the memorial center of HAL 9000, Bowman embarks on a journey inside the maze of his own conscience. The spaceship "Discovery", therefore, leads him to the revelation of his destiny, and if Kubrick's film rejoins the Homeric myths as the title suggests, it is, like the Greek epic, the epitome of the interior exploration."
The XVIIIth century room, in which Bowman terminates his "hallucinatory trip", resembles Zarathoustra's place, the topos where "time itself seemed the mockery of moments" - for years are seconds in the room, growth is elliptic. But the room could be alloted a plethora of interpretations: the room of Bowman's consciousness, a projection of his own personality; a cage or a cradle, man's last motel stop on the journey towards disembodiment and renascence, an extraterrestrial observatory according to Arthur C. Clarke, a laboratory where man's readiness is tested for a further, transcendental progression, where he is practiced a spectacular alchemy upon, man's limits in his comprehension of infinity, man's nothingness and void. Interpretations are endless.
Is the room Heaven, one may ask. Is the Star-Child the Messiah of this millenarist, eschatological parable, the absolute sphere: Deus est sphaera cujus centrum ubique, circumferentia nusquam? Rather a Deus ex machina to me. Agnosticism seems to be Kubrick's argumentative position against any religious interpretations:
"The God concept is at the heart of 2001 but not any traditional, anthropomorphic image of God. I don't believe in any of Earth's monotheistic religions, but I do believe that one can construct an intriguing scientific definition of God."
But "God is dead" and the parallelepipedal monolith acts as a divine ersatz. As Nietzsche would write: the monolith is a New Table, for Tabula Rasa is effected upon man's conceptions of spatio-temporal infinity and on his hegemonic position in the universe: man has no control over his destiny. A pessimistic undertone infiltrates Kubrick's scanty commentaries:
"If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad,or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even love someone, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space."
The room is also the end of Bowman's Odyssey, it is situated in an atemporal nowhere, and Bow/man's first reaction - like ours - is to say to himself : "where am I?" A consequent anguish emanates from this "where am I", echoing Kubrick's "what am I": an existential anguish already treated in Fear and Desire . Strangely enough Kubrick's words are very close to Blaise Pascal's, Kubrick's anguish sounding Pascalian:
"When I look at the blindness and misery of man, when I look at the silent universe, and man without light, abandoned to himself and like lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who put him there, what his purpose is, what he will become at his death, incapable of any knowledge I fear like a man who would have been carried asleep on a desert and dreadful island, and who would wake up without knowing where he is, and with no means to get out."
Man's universe is insularly microscopic in Pascal and claustrophobically anguishing in Kubrick, in both cases: man suddenly realizes how infinitesimal he is in the universe losing in one instant all reference points in the immensity of space, to the point of losing himself and his identity: Bowman becoming just man. To know who I am, I have to know where I am Georges Poulet writes:
"To know who I am I must leave from the place in which I am, and stretch myself indefinitly in spaces by my thinking, so that having possessed these spaces I could still determine with assurance, by the proportion that I have with the universe - when returning to myself, strengthened by my universal knowledge - where I am and what I am."
But the XVIIIth century room is a Nowhere - a place to grow in and die, within seconds, as life on earth. 2001 is a pessimistic, intriguing, disturbing movie indeed and soon becomes a circular odyssey of the thought in spatial nothingness, a cosmogonic anguish, a mythopoeic dereliction of the modern Odysseus. Anguish, as Michel Ciment writes:
"is at the center of Kubrick's lifework, it is also the propeller of his creative activity... The world of 2001 is on the verge of death and destruction, as is suggested by Khatchaturian's immensely melancholy music which accompanies the monotonous, empty existence of the astronauts."
We seem to lose ourselves in 2001 and man lose his hegemony in the universe once again, or to use Alexandre Koyré's words:
"He lost the very world that formed the frame of his existence and the object of his knowledge, and had to transform and replace not only his fundamental conceptions but as far as the very structures of his thought "
The XVIIIth century room appears to be Bowman's need for referential, geometrical points: an extremely, square, symmetrical frame dating from a bygone century in replacement of his computerized frame of existence. But what does the circular foetus mean therefore? 2001 does raise incalculable questions? A mythical explanation seems more likely to encompass a field of answers larger than an evolutionist or metaphysical one, similitudes emerging from these conceptual juxtapositions.
There is a genuine analysis of myths and general consciousness in the Kubrickian representation; like Joyce, Kubrick adopted integrative art, that is to say, a compiling of a wide variety of myths that are integrated into super-myths which encompass the others. 2001, for instance, is profoundly Promethean: man's wish to elevate to the rank of God - in replacing men by HAL-like machines or in competing with the gods- eventually leads him to his unplanned metamorphosis in a celestial, eternal sphere: an anodyne to man's anguish and his microbic position? The desire to be God would therefore result from a refusal of anguishing reality as well as a denial of mortality. As Philippe Sellier writes:
"The structure of the heroic myth implies a refusal of ordinary life, a wish for heroism, for superiority over the rest of the world, for a dazzling self-realization, for an elevation to a quasi-divine condition: the epic, which is the hero's progressive elevation until his eternal rebirth."
Correspondingly to this definition, the Kubrickian hero follows a progressive elevation, in quest of an eternal rebirth: his solar elevation conforming to the Sun's Dawn-Zenith-Twilight course. Bowman is undoubtedly a solar hero as his dawn-like pre-historical stage is "enlightened" by an ellipsis over the monolith. Present at each stage of the hero's evolution, the Sun introduces 2OO1 and accompanies Dr Floyd's travel and Bowman's episode. The Sun's rising is a birth, its setting is but an apparent death. Bowman, Alex and Barry acquire this solarity, their Odyssey following the mythical pattern: ascent-apogee-decline - or Christ's Ascension-Apotheosis-Resurrection, if one considers 2001 as a Christian or anti-Christian movie. Besides, in accordance with the epic paradigm, this solarity is marked by certain physical traits among which the eyes are prominent: the look discloses the hero's solar majesty - Heracles's eyes shot flames. An over-emphasis of his solarity may also raise monstrous traits, his eyes would hence shoot flames. The eyes are omnipresent in Kubrick, a voyeuristic relation occurs in most movies: Humbert's peeking at Lolita's body, HAL's observing every movement of the spaceship's inhabitants with his one-eyed omnipresence or the Star-Child's sphere-like eyes, Barry's piercing Lady Lyndon with a loving, poisoned arrow. But, more to the point, the monstrosity of the solar hero is certainly to be detected in the closed-up, glaring eyes of Alex, Jack, private Pyle, Bowman, all glancing at the screen - at us - in a moment of uncontrolled, alienated, fury.
Along the myth of the solar hero in quest of Eternity is the myth of the Eternal Return, also developped by Nietzsche. The return of Odysseus tends towards the Eternal Return, which is a questionning of time, and a refusal of death common to most heroic myths. The Eternal Return, as George Poulet writes, is a circle:
"one of which the only points inscribed on the circonference matter. Not the totality of cyclical time but simply the fact that, thanks to the movement of the cycle, each moment, which it is composed of, return an infinite number of times in the field of consciousness. Each moment of time is peripherical and central at the same time. Peripherical, since it is only a point situated at the circonference; central, since this point, returning an infinity of times to the same place, makes of this place a fixed and eternal point."
The Kubrickian Odysseus is, in a certain way, captured within the movement of the Eternal Return, his fate being sealed off to a circular logic of time ticking and urgency, as in The Killing. The film builds on an involuted structure of simultaneity and repetition, decomposing and recomposing its figures almost harmoniously, forming what Paul Valéry calls "an ornament of time" as the repetition of motifs, or their symmetry, would form an ornament of space." The Eternal Return is also an involuted structure of recollections, which links past and present through the medium of memory. It is observable in Killer's Kiss with Davy Gordon, the boxer-narrator, whose narration flashes back and forth between his past and present as narrator and the past and present of his characters, his memory's movements in time rotating like his round pacing in the train station. The Eternal Return of the hero is also attained through a process of fixation, like the photogrammic permanence which immobilizes one point of Barry Lyndon's circular Odyssey, after he has stepped into a coach for ever, or Jack's double fixation in time and space frozen in the maze and on the 1921 photograph. Both examples project the heroes out of their story's temporality, their return - to Ireland or to 1921 - being halted, fixed, rendered unchangeable: the atemporal return of Kubrick's Odysseus. By becoming a rotative sphere, Bowman achieves atemporality, for a sphere has no beginning and no end. By turning on itself for ever, the Star-Child reproduces the constantly turning mechanical wheel of the space station as well as Nietzsche's wheel:
"Everything passes and everything returns, the wheel of the Being never stops. Everything dies, everything blossoms again, the year of the Being is eternal. Everything breaks, everything is repaired, the house of the Being is rebuilt eternally. Everything parts, everything rejoins, the ring of the Being remains true to itself everlastingly. The Being commences at each instant; for each Here the ball rolls to a There. The middle is everywhere. The way of eternity is curved."
The Eternal Return engenders a paradoxical tug of war between centripetal and centrifugal forces, for Kubrick's Odysseus is enclosed within a superior spatial and temporal mechanism which activates his misunderstood rotation: Spartacus's conflict is symbolized by his chained revolution around/against the pole of slavery that he has always known; Humbert is chained to his life-long chimera, Alex is chained to his Ludovico conditioning which pushes in backward in time, Barry to his original roguery and to his place of birth, Jack is for ever chained to the Overlook Hotel, Joker rotates in "a world of shit" without his knowing why. Any attempt at disrupting the mechanism seems doomed to failure, Kubrick's Odysseus having little control over his Odyssey. Fatality is linked to the Eternal Return of Odysseus, or as Otto Weininger writes:
"To turn round in spite of oneself like Robinson is absurd; to live a new situation exactly the same way one has already lived is terrifying; to waltz round in the circle of a Viennese waltz expresses a fatalistic indifference; for an adult the brain game is harrowing; it is immoral to say twice the same thing, to repeat oneself... No ens metaphysicum wants the turning movement. What man - in so far as he is a man - wants is immortality in total freedom, but a state of being alive eternally which is a process of the world. Counter to this, the idea of the voyager and even of the pleasure of voyaging are founded on a genuine metaphysic theme which honours the time's unique sense of the man willing to be himself."
This recalls the Vienese waltz of Johan Straus's The Blue Danube and the mechanical ballet of the Prater-like big wheel of 2001, past and future reunited in the Eternal Return of the circle. This also evokes Alex and the Eternal Return he accomplishes in re-living his situation counterclockwisely, till his renascent stage is reached after his missed suicide, which paradoxically, counterclockworkly, disrupts the superior mechanism which controls him. The Eternal Return for Jack and Danny who, by previewing their future situation by means of premonitory dreams or "shining" visions fuse their present with their future and their future with their past, both being proposed eternity in the Calypso's cave-like hotel. Moreover, Jack's typing indefinitely "all work and no play made Jack a dull boy" conduces him to the limits of time which are also his own. As Pierre Giuliani writes:
"to the infinite of a right lign without end, to the infinite of a vicious circle, to the infinite of a maze into which Jack disappears."
Eternity might therefore be central to the Kubrickian meditation: the Kubrickian Odysseus reaches - in the ascending movement of Kubrick's imagination - a sattellitic position, orbitting around the director's omniscient, birth-giving camera. Eternity is absolutely circular in Kubrick and the narrative circularity inherent to the Odyssean theme has become a film rhetoric, a stylization which occurs at each level of the filmic creation. Conceptual and mythical circles are given a circular configuration, the Odyssean structural juxtaposition between contents and containers is respected, Kubrick's circular aestheticization encompassing every detail: from the image treatment to the setting, costumes and props. Clockwork Orange, for instance, as Jean-Loup Bourget noticed:
" proposes all the avatars of the circle: round hat on round head, moth or billiard balls, the prisoners' round, the women's breasts, Mrs Alexander's in particular, which are peeled like an orange."
In 2001, the circle figure is the true representation of absoluteness and durability - as opposed to the instable, destructive, Oedipian triangle of the Hamlet-like Barry Lyndon or The Shining. It is also the symbol of procreation and gestation, circles and corridors converting the interior of Discovery into a well-lit-womb, which rejoins A.C. Clarke's favourite theme namely, the qualitative mutation in human development and the notion of a kind of childhood's end for human history. As Michel Ciment writes:
"2001 is rich in sexual images - uterins, ovulars or phallic, from Orion, the arrow-shaped spaceship settling in the celestial wheel to Aries's sphere moon landing in a circular base. The Space Odyssey - the film of metamorphoses, fecondations and births - terminates with a self-reproduction."
In The Shining, the Navajo circle in which Danny's Big Wheels rests is the very spot where Hallorann, the black cook, is murdered. The circle is symbolical of the superior mechanism acting in, on or under the hotel, and controlling, confining the residents to its circonference: the superimposition of circles - the Navajo's, the Overlook Hotel's, Jack's brain - transforming three-dimensionality into multi-dimensionality. The bi-dimensionality of the 1921 photograph, which concludes the film, the three-dimensionality of the characters, the zero-dimensionality or fourth-dimension/ality of the poltergeists' space. Jack angrily throws a yellow tennis ball against a sand painting which, uncharacteristically, delineates a totally masculine world; within its enclosed design, which includes the traditional opening to the East, four male stand erect within the painting's circle. It is as if Jack were knocking on the door of time, which is the door of his consciousness if one accepts the idea that the hotel is the extension of Jack's mind. This could also be the door to the underworld - Hades - the Navajo circle being a protection against poltergeists. As Louis Hautecoeur writes:
"The circle is a defense against the spirits that might attack the magician. It is also a way of helping him preserve his strength in isolation, without exterior loss... circular liturgies destined to exorcise the demons and purify the faithful... circular pentacles... The circle appears on the ground surface and imposes a limit, a frontier to the underground divinities, but they are even more stronger in their lairs, caves, crack."
In The Shining, the voyagers cross the frontier both ways until the fusion of both spaces (the spaces of the Over/look Hotel and of the Under/look hotel - which is a no-space) and both times (the times of Jack's family and of the ghosts - which is a no-time) becomes total when Grady, the unreal, opens the very real door of Jack's jail, thus announcing Jack's Eternal Return among his fellow creatures.
The surfacy of the circular image is also correlative with the metaphysical iceberg-like undertones of the Odyssean process. In Spartacus, for instance, the circle figures are extensions of the characters' situation: the arena and the prisons are the slaves' universe - as opposed to the verticality of the Roman columns, until the roles are reversed. Moreover, as a sign of separation between the two worlds, the bars of the gladiators' jail come to cover the whole screen. The double curvature of the agora-shaped senate room and its seats seem to be the center of the Roman spherical empire, the senators performing as Olympian masters of all destinies when associated with the chessboard-floor of the room. The circle is once again combined with a chessboard in the chateau of Paths of Glory. During the court martial, the three soldiers, who are tried for cowardice and for the example, stand in a circle during the trial. Their judges are facing them. Separating the prosecution, Mireau and Roget, from the defence, Dax, the chessboard floor is the scene of a military game of chess: the stake being the accused whose life has shrunk to the circonference of the circle aforementioned. Circularity is once more associated with chess-like calculation as the generals circle a round settee in Mireau's lounge, followed by a camera movement which captures the circular, scheming logic of Mireau and Broulard, both spinning their webs around the Ant Hill's promotional possibilities.
In Lolita, Kubrick creates a cinematic chess game central to the sexual battles opposing Charlotte Haze to Lolita, her daughter - Humbert being at stake; Humbert to Charlotte and to Clare Quilty, the lustful playwright - Lolita being at stake this time. As T. A. Nelson writes:
" Kubrick creates a cinematic chess game, reminiscent of both his earlier films and Nabokov's novel, that opposes Humbert's White to Quilty's Black. Chess, of course, superbly objectifies a state of paranoia and the themes of deception and entrapment; it demands from each player a constant vigilance lest he become the butt of an opponent's malicious joke. In Lolita, Kubrick allows his audience to watch the game from his vantage point by providing both privileged glimpses of Quilty's moves and, long before it dawns on Humbert, the knowledge that Lolita longs to be Quilty's Black Queen rather than Humbert's White."
A circular strategics is noticeable in Kubrick's movies, the circle is the scene of a fight between two opponents, circularity being automatically fatal to one of them: whether it is Davy's Boxing match in Killer's Kiss, or Spartacus's combat against Draba, the Ethiopian giant executed for the entertainment of two Roman couples, Alex's assault of the Cat Lady in Clockwork Orange, Redmond's brawl with Toole at Dun Laoghaire's camp in Barry Lyndon. Circularity seals fate: Alex walks around the circle lign of the square prison yard, not clockwisely but clockworkly; Bowman and Poole are observed by HAL 9000, which reduces their space to the circle of its eye; space is reduced by Dax's binoculars focusing on the impossible target that is the Ant Hill, in Paths of Glory; the killer's kiss is accomplished with a rotative move of bodies in Killer's Kiss; the war room foreshadows the Doomsday shroud of the atomic mushroom in Dr Strangelove; the razor's curve on the marines' heads anticipates the scythe-sweeping of the Vietnam war in Full Metal Jacket; Mrs Haze's seduction rumba in her panther dress in front of Humbert discloses her hysteria; and, of course, the Kafkaian, Xanaduesque Overlook Hotel in The Shining, which Danny's round wheels drive pass, closely followed by the camera, to stop at room 237, the room of horrors.
The circular Odyssey of Kubrick's characters is complemented with another parametre: the maze of their exterior or interior universe, which equates in many aspects the circle figure, as Pierre Giuliani writes:
"The world is a circle, the absolute circle... The circular form, which the labyrinth attempts to merge with, is both the most and the least obsolete of models: it refers to its own re-beginning and its own extinction, both are never complete, ceaselessly receding. What moves apart repeats, what moves away return. The circular labyrinth dominates the movement or the agitation of the Kubrickian character, on the moral as well as geographical and social levels. Everything concurs in an ontology of fixedness, fatality and powerlessness. This is due to the crane shots, the pan shots and the conflictual dolly in and dolly out which the eye memorizes as the Kubrickian signature and which outline the journey and its stagnation. Humbert Humbert, lost on the roads, on his hobbyhorse, returning incessantly to his starting point."
Jack's chimera in The Shining, his obstination with writing, and the awareness of his incapacity to become the writer he has always wanted, open the door to his personal maze, within which he loses himself to never return - at least as a living entity. Even if Danny returns as a new Theseus from the maze chase with his father, Daedalus-Jack is killed by his own Minotaur: his monstruous derangement, as Humbert, Jack D. Ripper or even HAL 9000 are. Most of them lose their way in the labyrinth of their own conscience, transforming their Odyssey in a whirling, bewildering, impossible journey. As Michel Ciment writes:
"The labyrinth, both a spatial and temporal expression, seems to be the ideal place of completion of every Kubrickian voyage. If it is too - as Paolo Santarcangeli noticed - the symbol of the mother's womb, the intestines, it continues the objective correlate that the Overlook hotel already was in relation to Jack's psyche. Finally, combining two motifs linked to the infinite, but the first one: the closed, maleficient, pessimistic interlace - this the Eternal Return linked to Jack - the second: the open, positive, optimistic spiral - the perpetual becomingness linked to Danny."
The Eternal Return which is once again related to the Odyssean theme, is supplemented with the labyrinthical aspect of the Kubrickian Odysseus's peregrination, as Freddy Buache observed:
"The voyage's principal stages clearly draw this trajectory which runs from interstellar navigation to to the horizon of Psyche. Eternal Return, one may say. Yes, but it is not just circular: it is rather an helicoidal movement seen from a rear-view mirror in motion."
But the intricacy of the maze's representation inaugurates a new dimension to the Kubrickian circular stylization, Buache's helicoidal movement being cinematographically reproducible on rare occasions but closely related to a spiraling recurrence observable in the director's aestheticization of the Odyssean intermeshing. Circle perfection for Kubrick seems unsatisfying if not too rigid in the depiction of Odysseus's journey: the sinuous lign is a better achievement. The spiral is not a complete lign nor a perfect circonference but a group of ever moving incomplete circonferences ascending towards perfection without turning away from it. It is the "je ne sais quoi" which, Georges Poulet writes, has no fixed form:
"It is the contrary of the circle, though it starts from the circle, returns to the circle, pretends to be not just a circle but an infinity of circles. It is conceivable as a movement of both escape and return, as a capricious faithfulness to a model always loved and always forgotten. It is variety within unity and unity within variety."
The sinuous lign is before all, William Hogarth's creation, the S-shaped serpentine lign that he describes in The Analysis of Beauty:
"The serpentine line, by its waving and winding at the same time different ways, leads the eye in a pleasing manner along the continuity of its variety, if I may be allowed the expression."
Kubrick's rendering of Hogarth is prevalent in most of his motion pictures: in Barry Lyndon, Hogarth's technique is not only used with the truest fashion but his paintings have deeply inspired the director-photographer. From the zigzagging trenches of Paths of Glory to the sinuous roads of Lolita, from Alex's serpentine serpent in Clockwork Orange to the convoluting paths of Barry Lyndon, the Lign of Beauty, as David Bindman writes, seizes Nature in its variety:
"The chief source of delight in nature is variety and this applies equally to a work of art. Intricacy of effect is particularly pleasing, for it "leads the eye's limited field of vision and the empathy between the eye's movement and the movement in nature; in Hogarth's simile an eye observing a dancing woman "was dancing with her all the time". Hogarth reduces these notions of variety and empathy to a basic line, a serpentine curve which can be observed equally in art and nature and is at the basis of all beautiful forms."
To transcribe the S undulating motion in a cinematic language Kubrick follows or precedes his characters' advance with a tracking movement for which he is the most reknown: in Paths of Glory, the camera dollies out on General Mireau and Lieutenant Roget, revealing the reality of the trenches and the tortuous closeness to death of their temporal inhabitants, for as Thomas Gray writes:
"The Boast of Heraldry, the pomp of Power,
And all the beauty, all that Wealth e'er gave
Awaits alike th'inevitable Hour.
The Paths of Glory lead but to the Grave."
The Paths of Glory are sinuous indeed, and the battleground shot by Kubrick presents a crooked, meandrine topography - a surrealist graveyard - which is opposed to the perpendicular geometry of the chateau. The soldiers are captured within the meandrousness of the trenches as well as in the maze of the generals' personal ambition, their rotative movements when hit by a bullet lugubriously coinciding with the waltz of the officers during General Broulard's reception.
In Clockwork Orange, Alex's majestic zigzagging in the drugstore, accompanied by a winding movement of the camera, depicts the conquering personality of the character and his appropriation of space, though an impression of narrowingness and confinement foreshadows the prison episode. But more intriguing is the fabulous correspondence between this shot and Lord Bullingdon's as-majestic-entrance in Barry Lyndon's club, a temporal juxtaposition emerging from the flexuous connection, the dolly movement capturing in space and time the meandrian Odysseus. As Sandro Bernardi writes:
"The dolly movement follows a character in his progress and maintains him at the centre of the frame. The movement is abolished/preserved; it is the shot of the absolute and decontextualized movement, the movement tends to immobility... Space stretches along a narrow, dark corridor, a tortuous path, a road which has - once run over again in the opposite way - neither destination nor direction, twisted and deviated to inevitably open out onto a reversed perspective, within a series by Hogarth - The Rake's Progress (1735)."
Barry Lyndon's sinuous Odyssey - prototypical of the picaresque Odyssey - terminates with a failure - appearing like the tragic flaw, the hamartia of the Kubrickian hero, like Jack's or Humbert's, leading them to their grave - not because of the non-obtaining of the goal, as Georges Poulet writes, but because of the absence of any goal:
"The sinuous lign goes nowhere. It is a hieroglyphic without meaning, a scribble, an elaborate but futile gesture. Unfaithful to the circle, erratic, supremely eccentric, it hampers itself in its own network, exhausted by the multiplicity of its tours and detours, it finishes by bisecting like a fatigued river to numb in some delta."
Fatigued by his meandrousness Jack numbs for ever in the terminus of the Overlook Hotel's past. In The Shining, moreover, the use of the Steadycam allows spatial and motional prowess, especially in the Overlook Hotel's kitchen, where the camera dollies out in an undulating motion between the ovens, or during the maze chase. The handycam is also used masterfully in the capturing of sinuous eccentricities and disordered atmospheres: harmonious, symmetrical, rigorously framed shots are suddenly unbalanced by the movements of the handycam. Bullingdon's interruption of the concert activates his fight with Barry on the ground. The order of Mr Alexander's flat - the symmetry established by the mirrors and the checked ground - in Clockwork Orange is followed by Alex's beating him and raping his wife. The handycam expresses the confusion of a mortal combat like no other camera, and seizes movement in its most uncontrolled and uncontrollable aspect.
The Serpentine lign is also the lign of uncontrollable freedom, which consists in following one's whim and opting for the changing routes proposed by one's fancy, as is the case for Humbert, Alex, Barry, Jack and Joker. But Kubrick seems to infer that the character's freedom is fatal to him: an unconscious or exterior factor - which, paradoxically, procurred freedom - has associated it with madness, deperdition and self-delusion. As Georges Poulet writes:
"If I am free to follow the curve of my fancy, this very fancy is predetermined by a whole mechanism of external and internal laws. The sinuosity of my thought depends of the exterior conditions which surround me, the sensitive experiences which modify me and finally, the law of association of my ideas... which insidiously constrain it to pass from one idea to the other as one passes from a concave to a convex curve at the point of coincidence."
The sinuous lign is the symbol of Nature and life, but it is also the symbol of feminity: the lign of beauty for Humbert Humbert is certainly Lolita's wavy shape, which waves incessantly in his fantasy and conducts his straight Odyssey into a tortuous and torturous periple. For women are always mediative within the masculine Odyssey: Eve, Dalila, Circe, Penelope. In Killer's Kiss, Davy falls in love with Gloria and enters the underworld of Rappalo, Gloria's crooked lover, which he has to kill. In The Killing, most male characters are implicate in a hold-up for the love of their wives or mistresses. The best example is Sherry, for whom George risks his job, freedom and life. She sabotages the plan by involving her young lover, Val, into it and causes the loss of all, even of her own life. In Barry Lyndon, Redmond challenges Captain Quin to a duel - thus activating his Odyssey - because of Nora, his beloved cousin, who accepted Quin's proposal of marriage. Another woman - Lady Lyndon - induces his ascent as well as his descent. In Spartacus, Varinia is coveted by the rivals Crassus and Gracchus, but remains faithful to Spartacus, like Penelope to Odysseus. In Paths of Glory, a young German woman brings tears to the eyes of the ruthless French soldiers by singing a German song. So does a young Viet Cong woman to the ruthless Marines, but by shooting them, in Full Metal Jacket. In Clockwork Orange, the Catlady alerts the Police before Alex kills her and is arrested. Moreover, the Ludovico technique he is submitted to annihilates his masculine attraction towards the sinuous silhouette of women. And, finally, Wendy, Jack's Penelope, whom he truly, madly, cannibalistically loves to the point of wanting to cut her into pieces. The lign of beauty in Kubrick reveals the hero's incapacity to master his destiny, parallel to his captivity within the circular mechanism of the Odyssey.
Kubrick's Odysseus appears to be a prisoner of his own fate, however free his sinuous Odyssey might appear. As for the Eternal Return, superior forces are at work on him, like Poseidon's whimsical blowing on the girouette-like Odysseus. In Kubrick, the Return of Odysseus turns the man of many turns in an ever-turning top. Unsurprisingly, therefore, each of Kubrick's characters are confronted with dizziness, as each film is faced with topsy-turvidom, proposing a new, reversed, returned angle of view to the spectator, however constraining it might be. The return of Odysseus equates Kubrick's returning cinema as well as his torsion of our vision.
Cariddi: "Thou look but see not."
Ulysses: "Between looking and seeing what is the difference?"
Cariddi: " What beauty is that of looking. What peril is that of seeing."
El Golfo de las sirenas
THE ODYSSEY OF MOONWATCHER
From the caves of the Pleisthocene era to the intergalactic expanses of the third millenary, from a closed world to an infinite universe, the Odyssey of Moonwatcher is also our own. From our cavernous movie theatres to the Kubrickian universe, our Odyssey as watchers-spectators accomplishes a similar metamorphic ascent towards cinematographic infinity, the quadrilateral screen-shaped monolith being a catalyst agent vectorially intervening in our cinematic evolution, as it did for Moonwatcher. As the monolith works within the subconscious of Moonwatcher so as to activate his first steps towards progress, so does the monolith-screen within ours, especially with 2001, which is, as Kubrick declared, "a visual experience":
"one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content. The film is an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness. You are free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film - and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level."
Strangely enough, Clockwork Orange, which succeeds 2001, discusses the theme of mental conditioning through pictures - the Ludovico technique, Alex being like a Platonician caveman chained to his seat, watching the shadows of reality projected on the cave's wall. The Kubrick technique - through its work on inner consciousness and its use of slow pacing, hypnotic, songs-of-sirens-like soundtracks - seems to mesmerize its patient and prepare him for an Odyssey beyond Jupiter, beyond the bonds of cinema, beyond his own perceptive bonds. As Dudley Andrew writes:
"Beneath such concepts as the limitation of perception and the integrity of space lies a belief in the signifying power of nature. When a film-maker puts a situation under the pressure of a controlled gaze, he forces it to reveal its structural depth, to bring out the preexisting relations."
A journey through the Kubrickian universe is inevitably traumatizing for the Moonwatcher-spectator, who is submitted to a kinesthetic, psychological manipulation which increases his passivity, to be suddenly launched in an interpretational vacuum, in which he plounges in quest for the sense, an active - and retroactive - combat against the semantic aphasia, the significative hiatus which results from the iconographic void expressed by the "ambush-shots": the XVIIIth century room, the Star-Child, the monolith, the 1921 picture of The Shining, the opening of Jack's food-safe jail, Jack's look over - if not Over-look - the miniature maze, the Victorian love scene concluding Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon's photogrammic immobilization, all issued from Kubrick's entrapping symbolization destined to act and react upon the active Moonwatcher. As Thierry Cazals writes:
"Systematically organizing the space of the seeing, the director manipulates signs rather than bodies. This work on the seeing, this explosion-implosion of the referentials, makes cinema no longer a primitive art but a refllective."
Our unanswered, multiconceptual, multidirectional questionning of Chapter One already helped us examplify the reflective scope of 2001, the resulting conclusion being that the meaning of the film stood over the multiple interpretations. To analyse the Kubrickian technique in depth, the screen-like monolith is here the perfect example. For if one examines the constellation of possible explanations, one may feel in front of a Kubrickian amphibology: a simple, black stone can become: the plinths of Stonehenge; the Cyclopean statuary of Easter Island; the black stone of the Mecca; Ernst Fuchs's creations; the symbol of the unknowable; of supreme wisdom; of knowledge, the Tree of Knowledge; the symbol of mathematical purity; of God, of course, but God, as Freddy Buache writes, is an all-purpose word turning eventually into a trap or a mask; the Mosaic tablets; a druidical stone; the manifest sentinel of the extraterrestrial intelligence that existed four million years ago; a place of perdition; a divine gift; a cosmic and cerebral ruler, as Gilles Deleuze writes; an emblem, more than an artifact, of the Mystery Beyond; a mirror; a door; a Rorschach test, a closed window on the world, Magritte's windows which, as Sandro Bernardi writes, only opens on another image:
"Kubrick is the director who introduced the largest symbolical manifestation in movie making, by condensing and over-determining in a single object all the possibilities contained in the visible. The image of the black monolith, the mirror-object which engenders so many questionings but transforms the spectators into interpreters, the image of the pure possibility of the illimited opening of the sense."
Metamorphosize his Moonwatchers into hermeneuts, but also establish the new frontiers of cinema, these are Kubrick's cinematographic objectives. But to reach these stages, Kubrick has to lure his audiences into allegorical ambushes, leading them into an Odyssey of the sign - but without a map, as Sandro Bernardi writes:
"How can we cross this field riddled with metaphorical traps, hidden circularities, tautological discoveries? A field looking like Miss Scudéry's "map of Tendre" drawn a long time ago, in which the directions were missing: the metaphorical traveller, when he did not lose himself in the different forms of passion could only arrive at his starting point."
This Odyssey, however, can soon become our maze, within which our receptivity - like Jack's - freezes and dies of analytical exhaustion, but the exit is to be found within our decoding methods and automatisms which confine ourselves, more often than not, to our interpretative caves - "inside a film artist's cave". As T.A. Nelson noticed about The Shining:
"Kubrick deliberately - some say perversely - gives and takes away at the same time. But, aesthetically, the maze concept requires that an audience be tested and challenged, even to the point of confusion if it fails to shine and remember not only how it got into the film (i.e., the guided tours of narrative exposition) but how it got lost. In retracing those steps, the viewer might discover that it wasn't Kubrick's The Shining that betrayed him but all those false expectations that tyrannize audiences into believing that filmic understandings should follow straight paths into a center of meaning."
Moreover, his technique seems to lobotomize our spectatorial idiosyncracies, like Bowman in HAL's mechanical brain - Kubrick seems to be combatting the one-eyed, cyclop-like spectator. Similarly, he seems to be dislocating our musical apprehension by using Ligetti's dissonant, disturbing melodies, the experience being visual and auditory, destructive and constructive. Kubrick's technique cultivates our stereotyping propensities, by proposing us déjà vu films, dealing with broadly adapted stories: Vietnam war, haunted house, E.T. encounter, hold-up, to systematically dynamite the narrative structure of the subject treated. As Thierry Cazals writes:
" Starting from the structures of classical narration - succession of adventures, of epochs, of dramatic ascent and denouement - he then abandons his movies to their deprogrammation and incompletion. Rigid frames dynamited from inside, continuations as scale model."
There is in Kubrick a constant reference to the cinematographic memory, along a permanent borrowing to genre movies and literature. As Pierre Giuliani writes, newness is engendered by the destruction of ancientness. An extrareferential system seems to connect Kubrick's films to their cinematographic antecedents, the spectator's Odyssey passing through a series of familiar pictures before returning to the film and the new texture it proposes. For instance, The Killing, is a voyage through film noir and gangster literature - the scenario being an adaptation of Lionel White's Clean Break - directly connected with John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (in which Sterling Hayden plays) also centered around hoodlums and horseraces and Howard Hawks's The Big Sleep (in which Elisha Cook plays a miserable hood manipulated by a vicious woman) or again Huston's The Maltese Falcon (still with Elisha Cook). By utilizing this referential package Kubrick maps a route for the spectator which he inevitably re-configurates after the exposition scenes. The Killing introduces a horizontal, typical development which is soon questioned, regulated and, subsequently, elaborated within an involuted, rhapsodical formula, which invigorates the former structure and conducts the genre and the traveller-spectators towards new possibilities. Idem for science-fiction or historical movies, horror or war movies. This iconoclastic approach has become Kubrick's modus operandi resulting in deep innovations which have had a momentous influence on the succeeding generations of directors. 2001's multidirectional departure, for instance, revolutionized Science-Fiction movies, there was to be a "before" and a "after" 2001.
The Shining is the implosive criticism of occult films, that is to say, an internal analysis of the genre as well as its literature - Stephen King's best-seller being "passed through the screen". References to former creations are also effected, a whole fantastic "historicism" taking place in The Shining: The Exorcist for Danny and his posessed finger; Psyco for Arbogast-Jack and his axe; Cassavetes's A woman under the influence for Wendy's hysteria; Kafka's style and castle for the Overlook Hotel - twin brother to Charles Foster Kane's; plus an indirect reference to Murnau; but, more to the point, a direct reference to the 1970's fondness for trashy, grade B, zombiesque movies, which Kubrick wants to exterminate. Kubrick, once again, starts from the classical structures of his subject, which he subtly disconnects: the Kubrickian ellipsis is in function quite early in the movie - Danny's premonitions and hallucinations - rapidly perforating the spectator's normative decoding process. It has been said that Kubrick is unwilling to spill blood - gore is not always funny - and the non sequiturs of dark verbal slapstick suffice. He concentrates his energy on the mystery effect - dear to King:
"The only law of the genre is that you must not try to explain or find clear explanations to what happens, the whole meaning is to produce an impression of strangeness on the audience. H. P. Lovecraft said that you should never try and explain what happens as long as it stimulates the people's imagination and their sense of strangeness, of anxiety and of fear."
Kubrick introduced new dimensions to the genre, not only by exploring the field of strangeness in depth, but by associating it with Freud's essay on The Uncanny - the film's psychological basis: especially when the symbolical fusion between Jack's madness and the Overlook Hotel is attained. Moreover, his co-writing of the script with Diane Jonhson, a professor in Gothic literature permitted him to introduce a mythical inscription inferred by the labyrinth - which do not figurate in King's novel.Applying his deconstructive - if not deconstructionist - formula to his new object of study: war film, Kubrick - in Full Metal Jacket - concentrates his energy in attempting to exorcize Vietnam's possession over the American audience, in accordance, somehow, with Coppola's Apocalypse now. He declared in Newsweek that he wanted to make the narrative structure of Full Metal Jacket burst, which is also true for the Vietnam war stereotypes and clichés or any other propagandist pictures which have conditioned the spectator to a point of no return, all established by a list stretching from John Wayne's The Green Berets to Cosmatos's Rambo and Cimino's The Deer Hunter. Repelling the traditional, Hollywoodian manicheism of war and the American myth of the indestructible hero, fighting against the evil forces "to protect freedom and democracy", Kubrick focused on antiheroes either vaguely intellectual and stubborn or bulimic and simple-minded, mostly torn between the crushing mechanism of war and a basic incomprehension of the situation they are in. The subject is not new to Kubrick, and its content is rather situated in the continuity of his early reflections: the dualism of Fear and Desire, the pamphletary pacifism of Paths of Glory, the satirical catastrophism of Dr Strangelove, the irony of Barry Lyndon, and the general anti-militarism and anti-Americanism of most of his films. Full Metal Jacket is a criticism of war pictures and consequently boycotts war pictures: the only fight appearing to be against an invisible enemy, a monolith-like, Overlook-like building on which marines are thrown and crushed like clockwork oranges. The apex of irony: the invisible enemy is a woman - the spitting image of Wendy - which is executed like an animal. Absence being a modality of presence, the absence of war pictures in the film has for only purpose to underline the global, real censure effected on Vietnam. Besides, the second part of the film is more concerned with the image of war than war itself, Lieutenant Lockart, of Stars and Stripes, the army's paper, symbolizing the controlled filtering of information and images. Kubrick's camera - shooting the army's camera shooting the boys - penetrates a Kubrickian fourth dimension equating the XVIIIth century room or the 1921 photograph, it is the dimension of reality and fiction, as Pierre Giuliani writes:
"When the film's cameras shoot the television's, war is suddenly sandwiched between the pictures made by war - through television - and those invented by war - through cinema. An absolutely disconforting situation which only a moral rearmament movie could contest if not contradict."
The extrareferential factor is omnipresent in Kubrick and participates in the repulsing of cinema's as well as the spectator's limits. It is present in Clockwork Orange , and Alex's visions, which are, as Michel Ciment writes, fed by the Hollywoodian cinema: Alex projects himself into Dracula, in a centurion whipping Christ, in an oriental prince enjoying the pleasures of the flesh, as in Cecil B De Mille 's ancient movies or even Kubrick's Spartacus. Alex is also conditioned by American action movies and Nazi propagandist pictures, violence being somehow engendered and abolished through pictures. The referential factor is also present in Lolita's disrupting of the American moral codes which succeeds very closely Buñuel's La niña.
There is a persistant questioning of forms in Kubrick, a criticism of filmic production but, above all, a quest - Odyssean perhaps - for improvement issued from the confrontation of ancient and modernist styles which inscribes his work at the borderline of classic and contemporary creations, thus allowing him a broader audience. As Sandro Bernardi writes:
" Kubrick's lifework - always torn between a classical narrative tendency (which makes it pleasant and acceptable for the traditional spectator used to a anthropocentric representation) and avant-gard, experimental cinema (which tends to shatter representation) is ideal to underline the double tendency of cinema to use pictures as instruments of discourse and narration and, inversely, forget the meaning, in reporting on the picture all the representative activity. Divided between the poetical tendency of modern cinema - Antonioni, Wenders, Tarkovsky, Godard - and the reverse tendency of narrative cinema - with this cinematographic conscience which is found in Coppola, Scorsese, Demme."
Responding symmetrically to this extrareferential system projected on the unconscious screen of the spectator-traveller, the intrareferential organisation renders him all the more active in his Odyssey through the Kubrickian universe. For if there exists a complex network of correspondence between the Kubrickian body and the others, there is an even more complex, organismic connection between each cellular, microcosmic creation which composes the body of his lifework. As T.A. Nelson writes:
"Kubrick's film universe before 2001 thrives on associations and connections, no matter how paradoxical or surreal, and the workings of separate elements within larger and more ambiguous wholes."
The Kubrickian Odyssey is based on an involutional structure which refers - returns - constantly to its components, each microcosmic Odyssey continuing the preceding Odysseys - through a filial perpetuation - or being continued by the succeeding, in a unifying, dynamic, vivacious process. Similarly to the extrareferential system, there are two types of intrareferences: direct references which explicitly connect one film to another and indirect, implicit references, in other words, stylistic recurrences which establish a global cohesion. Direct references are usually found in the chronologically dovetailing films, as may be observed between: Alex's look- during Clockwork Orange's first shot - and the Star-Child's - during 2001's last; Dr Strangelove's atomic mushroom accompanied by the song "We'll meet again ... some sunny day" and 2001's first shot on the sun plus its desertic, post-Apocalyptic landscape; Jack's grim on the picture and the marines' when being skinheaded. References may also appear almost inadvertantly during the film's development: in Lolita, Quilty, covered with a toga-like sheet, declares to Humbert: "I am Spartacus", Barry Lyndon buys a painting by Ludovico, recalling Alex's Ludovico technique in Clockwork Orange. Linking Clockwork Orange to 2001, the tramp, being beaten by Alex and his droogs, declares that:
"It's a stinking world...Men on the moon and men spinning around the earth and there's not no attention paid to earthly law and order no more."
The implicit references are multiple and may be gathered under common factors: first, the close-up on the eyes: Moonwatcher in the cave, Bowman in the spacepod, the Starchild, Alex in the Korova Milkbar, frozen Jack, telepathic Danny, Pyle before his suicide in Full Metal Jacket - all underlying the character's rage or fear. Then, the scene of the beating up: Spartacus and the slave on a Roman senator, Moonwatcher and his clan, using the bone-weapon for the first time, Alex and his droogs on the tramp, Joker and the marines, using the toweled-soap-weapon on Pyle, with a peculiar thudding common to all and a sense of unchanged brutality in man.The high and low angles on the stairs: Davy and Gloria climbing the stairs to Rapallo's club and the ominous inscription - watch your step; Humbert's climbing after Quilty, Jack's climbing after Wendy, the last two underlying the analogy between Humbert's derangement and Jack's madness. The axe: Jack's and Rapallo's. The boxing, the duels, the wheelchairs, the chessboards, the bathrooms...All these elements are of importance, they cultivate the spectator's associationist tendency and unify the parts to the whole. Other correlations also contribute to this unification and allow us to encircle Kubrick's themes of predilection. Victims and victimisers, for instance, are obsessionally recurrent: Spartacus and Batianus, Colonel Dax and General Mireau, Humbert and Quilty, Bowman and HAL, Alex and the warder in chief, Barry and Captain Potzdorf, Private Pyle and Sergeant Hartman, the Kubrickian universe seems to be constituted of two types of individuals, the oppressor and the oppressed, the relationship between the two introducing tensions, conflicts or rebellions. In addition, the various topics appear to respond to one another: the technique used to kill the criminal reflex in Clockwork Orange is counterbalanced by the method employed to raise the killing instincts in Full Metal Jacket's, Alex's concluding words: "I was cured all right" and Joker's "I am alive and I am not afraid" accentuating the parallelism; Marcellus in Spartacus "likes to kill for the example", like General Mireau in Paths of Glory; Gracchus and Crassus use people like pawns for their own promotion, like Broulard and Mireau; dreaming Alex sees himself as an Oriental lover conquering the hearts of his wife's servants, as Barry does with Lady Lyndon's servants; Alex is "reformed" as Bowman is transformed. The correspondences are innumerable in Kubrick, a unificationist inclination resulting from the referential bridges projected between each movie. The spectator-traveller - when watching a Kubrick film - is actually watching several, he is even taking part in a thematic dialectics which associates and dissociates concepts and forms, which questions, answers and questions again, follows a thesis-antithesis process, proposes films and their contraries: opting for sex and ultra-violence in Clockwork Orange, and a more decent lign of conduct as in Barry Lyndon, in which the XVIIIth century's libertine atmosphere is only whispered, or the society's producing of killing machine in Full Metal Jacket opposing the subject of violence control in Clockwork Orange once again through mechanism, treating outer space in 2001 and inner in The Shining.
But these apparent, thematic contradictions represent the artist's attempt to seize the world's, his alternating between past and future, Earth or space, Europe or United States has for only function to comment on the present fractures of modern society, which splits man in two, dualism equating schizophrenia in Kubrick, the modern Odysseus looking like a dissoluted being, oppressed by exterior mechanisms, lost in the maze of dehumanizing modernity. The structural unity of his filmic universe might therefore appear like the artist's quest for self-preservation, his Zarathoustresque cave, similar to his Londonian residence which he barely ever leaves, his XVIIIth century room. One may speak of a protective womb that he established against the immensity of the universe, a meaningful attempt to recreate harmony against the meaninglessness of the outside world, a harmonious universe replacing the celestial spheres by musical, circular films. Not with a view to creating a superior - ellitist - race of spectators, like Dr Strangelove's eugenic plan under the mines' shaft, but the need to transport as many spectators as possible through the cathartic depiction of a contingent universe.
His lifework is a mirror-monolith which transcends Moonwatcher into a child-like spectator, cleansed of his conditioning and prejudices. The Odyssey beyond Jupiter, beyond the spectators' possibilities, is achieved through reflexion and reflection, mirrors being present at every stage of the Kubrickian journey as well as reflexions, doubles and symmetries. They reveal, as Pierre Giuliani writes, the duality of the world and the way to death.
In Killer's Kiss, for instance, mirrors exhibit Gloria and show Davy's voyeurism simultanously as the camera - placed in a strategic position in which both front and rear can be seen - captures both scenes in the same shot. Mirrors also unveil Rappalo's gnawing jealousy as he burst in anger at his own reflexion and throws his glass on it. In Dr Strangelove, the mirror doubles the space of General Buck Turgidson's civil room, as opposed to the three military places of the movie. In The Shining, the mirror betrays Jack's distress - like M in a shopwindow. In Clockwork Orange, it symmetrizes space, as in Mr Alexander's entrance hall - similarly to the plot's symmetry: Alexander is also Alex's double but, more interesting is Thomas Allen Nelson's remark:
"Alex falls victim to an institutional monolith - state, church, science - that would deprive him of his visions - of violence and beauty - by transforming him into the ultimate Clockwork-Man, a two-way-mirror, at once an object for others to contemplate and a voyeur."
In Barry Lyndon, Lady Lyndon's servant reads a French poem describing the reflexion of light on loving beings, in Lolita, Quilty acts as Humbert Humbert's Doppelgänger, Humbert being already double by his name; in 2001, Poole and Bowman represent mirror twins more than true doubles, especially after it becomes apparent that a computer, not Poole, will play Quilty to Bowman's Humbert. Not only does Kubrick choose two actors with significant physical resemblances, but he repeatedly places them in visual or comparative contexts that create a mirroring effect. In most two-shots Bowman occupies screen right and Poole screen left, while in one-shots an empty space or chair recalls the missing twin. In Fear and Desire, the theme of the double is already treated, as two characters are played by the same actor, a fact which obviously recalls Peter Sellers and his multiple characters in Lolita and Dr Strangelove. But the theme was also present in Day of the Fight , which shares twenty-four hours with Walter Cartier, the boxer, before his match. As Sandro Bernardi noticed, Cartier is shot with his twin brother who never leaves him. In Spartacus, a hundred slaves stand up to the name of Spartacus; HAL is confronted to his double on earth in 2001; Danny's psychological need is to create an internal double so as to protect himself against the unexplained visions he has and also against his father, who maltreated him when he was three, his schizophrenia leading him to mirror writing and "redrum".
2001, moreover, is the philosophical mirror of Dr Strangelove, as T.A. Nelson infers: a Kubrickian mirror that reflects a positive harmony of form and substance rather than a madness in the disguise of beauty. Each film seems to be a mirror plate fitting in the frame of Kubrick's lifework, held at the world: a distorted mirror which, instead of being truly reflexive, is doubtlessly reflective, if not introspective on the audience. In distortion, reality is observable, as Kubrick's new amphibology seems to infer. The distortion of pictures, as in 2001 or even in Killer's Kiss, in which pictures are deformed to return to an original flashing form of light and of negatives, or in Clockwork Orange, in which images are accelerated or slowed down ad libitum, and in which colours attack the eye barbarously, deliberately; or again in Barry Lyndon, where pictures tend to picturalism and a return to painting and fixity: in Kubrick distorted pictures and mirrors reveal the hidden face of the world.
Distortion in Kubrick is adjacent to dissolution, dissolution of meaning and of forms, as we have seen, but also of beings or groups of beings, cells which are eliminated or rejected from the body. Full Metal Jacket shows a cellular universe which is soon disrupted, as is the case in the cell-like American family of The Shining, or in Barry Lyndon's XVIIIth century on the verge of destruction. As Michel Ciment writes:
"Each of his movies is the story of a disintegration, a breaking apart. Most of times, a group slowly dissolve, loses each of its members - Fear and Desire, The Killing, Paths of Glory, Spartacus, 2001, Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket - or the familial cell, or even the couple, disintegrate - Lolita, Barry Lyndon, Shining - without omitting the very body of these characters which are mutilated, amputated, wounded."
Inevitable fragmentation of the body, the corpse, the Marines' corpse, in which the cells are promised a simulacre of immortality, as Sergeant Hartman yells: "the marines die, the corpse lives for ever." Fragmentation is omnipresent in Clockwork Orange as Alex's dystopian society seems morselled into clans, which either integrate, desintegrate or reject: the droogs, Alex's family, the police, the church, the politicians, the scientists, all ruled by proper social, moral, even linguistic codes. Alex and his droogs, for instance, speak a jargon, the Nadsat which is a mixture of English and Slavic of Burgessian origin and which protects the group and differentiates it from the others. The general discrepancies and the problematic incommunicability separating each antagonist cell are generative of tensions and cellular frictions and, consequently, of violence or ultra-violence. This attritive interaction of autarcic cells, clans, groups, corpses seems to be issued from a problem of communication and language, this being made paroxysmal by Kubrick and his underlying the point that language is used both as a tool and as a weapon. The subject is not new to him, Dr Strangelove and 2001 show characters living in closed worlds, isolated in alveoles which do not communicate, using a language proper to the cell: the simians' gibberish was their only weapon until they replaced it by a bone, HAL's "technish" is associated with his hypnotic, ominous tone, the monolith's shrills destabilize the boastful scientists, the same scientist's strangulating jargon is counterbalanced by banalities, the Russians' politely repetitive questions are offered a politely repetitive, robotic answer from Dr Floyd: "this is top secret". In Dr Strangelove, Ambassador de Sadesky's russian opposes the military codification, the "code prefix plan R" engages the nuclear mechanism, General Jack D. Ripper's disconnected speech about "precious bodily fluids" turns the Army to ridicule. These linguistic incoherent incohesions are enhanced by the generalized interferences and uncommunicative relations that 2001's and Dr Strangelove's universe are submitted to: silence is what HAL produces when Bowman asks for the opening of the airlock's door, the only possible access when knowing his situation outside in space, Bowman penetrates HAL's brain to disconnect it, HAL's speech slowly regressing to its robotic childhood as the song he renders proves,
HAL lipreads Bowman and Poole's silent discussion in the pod, silence is Bowman's due in the white room. In Dr Strangelove, transmissions are cut between the B52 and the base, communications are dead between the war room and the base, from his bathroom General Turgidson is shouted the content of the warroom's message by his playmate-secretary, the shutters are down in Ripper's office as the base is made insular. Insular is also the russian nuclear base of Laputa, which recalls Swift's Gulliver's Travells, where Laputa is a flying island visited by Gulliver after his periple in the Giant's country : this island is peopled by astronoms who only communicate through geometric or musical relationships and who are addicted to visionary projects. Insular again is Parris Island in Full Metal Jacket, which is organised, as Bill Krohn writes:
"like a brain composed of human cells which think and react the same way, until its functionning disintegrates: from inside, when a single cell - Pyle - begins to put the killer instinct directives into execution, then from outside, by the Têt onslaught which is the exteriorized representation of an identical force."
In Full Metal Jacket, language is submitted to a military codification which intensifies the soldiers' cellularity, their extraneousness culminating in their dehumanized nicknaming one another, a new identity which is soon to be pounded over by Sergeant Hartman's barbarous, scurrilous, scatological delivery. Cellularity is also observable in The Shining, in which three specimens of a same civilization are on board of a ghost ship, as the astronauts of 2001 were, and in which communication has become telepathic, spiritist, or disjointed, surpassing language, interfering beyond language and its verbal correlatives, invocative rather than evocative, as Jack's decontextualized parody of three little pigs, or his "here's Johnny": as signs of his crossing the lign, his trespassing the line space separating his repeated "all work and no play", his disarticulate manipulating of language which disarticulates him. There is a language regression in most of Kubrick's films, as Thierry Cazals writes:
"In Kubrick, there is explicitly this will to return to a pre-verbal cinema, thus to go beyond or under the psychological subject, to rediscover our unvoiced animality, find our cosmic roots, the Kubrickian anti-hero are before all traversed by forces which are beyond them or by silent impulses. Twelve films, twelve regressions of speech, implacable deprogramation of language: HAL's return to childhood, Hartman's rude delivery, Quilty's incoherent monologues, Alex's tribal codes, the apes' cries or Bowman's breathing."
Language in Kubrick is also concerned with sexuality, Lolita and Dr Strangelove emblematizing the subtle manipulation of connotative speech, risqué puns, double entendres, pushing language to the limits of a sexual entanglement, a necessary subterfuge against the pressures from the Production Code and the Catholic Legion of Decency. More flagrant is the denomination of places or people: Mr Swine is the receptionist of the Enchanted Hunters Hotel, Lolita is sent to camp climax for the summer, a Rabelaisian technique developped to unimagined limits in Dr Strangelove : General Jack D. Ripper - after the famous ripper; Ambassador de Sadesky - after the Marquis; the Russian premier Kissoff; President Merkin Muffley; the bombs, which Major T.J. "King" Kong strides, are gargantuan phallus, which have been given sexually suggestive salutations: "Hi, there", "Dear, John"; the Russian base of Laputa; General Buck Turgidson's turning simple sentences into sexual poetry: destroying the Russians becomes "catching them with their pants down." In Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket, sex is verbally ritualized as Alex's "old in-out, in-out" and decontextualized as the Marines' making love with their rifles ("this is my rifle, this is my gun"), weapons being associated with women, Alex killing the CatLady with an enormous phallus.
Language is negated in Kubrick, first by the narrator, and then by the director. The Kubrickian narrator is omniscient: Davy in Killer's Kiss, Johnny Clay in The Killing, Humbert, Alex, Joker, all relating their adventures with detachment, and reducing explanatory dialogues or heavy introduction to the essentials. Voice over narrators are also present as in Spartacus, Dr Strangelove and Barry Lyndon, the latter being in conflict with his own narrative, as he ironically anticipates and reveals the action to come as little Brian's death, for instance, a revelation which intensifies the tragic scene. Similarly, the black boards introducing both parts of the film and concluding it inform the spectator of what he is going to see or what he has seen, a device borrowed from silent movies used in 2001 and The Shining. Silence, absence of language or drastic diminution of words, these are signs of Kubrick's absolute negation of language and his genuine wish to return to silent films. In Barry Lyndon, the seduction scene between Barry and Lady Lyndon is only visual and brilliantly shot, emotions being conveyed without wastage when words are surpassed by images. As in 2001, in which language negation reduces dialogues to one fourth of the running time. A meaningful look is what Bowman leaves us, and what Kubrick tells us. "Words, words, words", Hamlet said. Words are unnecessary, silent films are emotionally, interpretatively, visually unlimited. The vision is everything. A return to silent films? Would this be the meaning of Kubrick's Odyssey, a return to the primal, nascent form of cinema after an Odyssey through colours, sounds and innovations?
Ulysses: "O Daughter of Zeus... I think I have
lighted on some foreign land, and you are telling
me it is Ithaca only in mockery, to cheat my soul.
If in very deed this is my native land, assure me of it."
Kubrick's unweaving and re-weaving of the cinematographic tapestry reflect his attachment to the changeability implied in the Odyssean theme, which has become the theme of questionning, the perpetual questionning of one's possibilities. The camera's shuttling back and forth in time, round and round in space, through the means of dolly movements, shots and reverse shots, circular and spiraling recurrences, equates the director's shuttling between classical and avant-garde techniques, between painting and photography, between musical intensity and spatial silence. A chassé-croisé which the pluricephal director utilizes with a view to producing new angles of view and new parallaxes: a constant Kubrickian experimentation of the cinematographic language.
Kubrick's attempt to delineate the modern Odysseus and the revolutions he effectuates in his universe inevitably leads him to seize the tensions and frictions of the modern environment. Kubrick's contemporary Odysseus is a fractured man scattering in a distorted world, and losing himself in the labyrinth of his meaningless and misunderstood Odyssey, turning and turning like a mechanical swimmer in a dehumanizing system.
But hope is to be found in the catharthic effect of cinema, in the metamorphoses occasionned by the Kubrickian Odyssey, which carries the spectator away from his cave of visual conditioning and prejudices and transports him through a field of flashing lights, "over an abyss, a dangerous crossing, a dangerous path, a dangerous looking back, a dangerous shudder and stop", to return him/her as a Star-Child, to "innocence and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a wheel turning on itself, a first movement, a sacred yes", to Ithaca, the renascent state of cinema, in an Odyssey through film making, an Odyssey through film watching, the Odysseys of Stanley Kubrick.
1951 Day of the Fight
Director/Photography/Editor/Sound: Stanley Kubrick
Commentary: Douglas Edwards
Documentary short on Walter Cartier, middleweight prize fighter
Running Time: 16 minutes
Distributor: RKO Radio
1951 Flying Padre
Director/Photograohy/Editor/Sound: Stanley Kubrick
Documentary short on the Reverend Fred Stadmueller, Roman Catholic missionary of a New Mexico parish that covers 400 square miles.
Running Time: 9 minutes
Distributor: RKO Radio
1953 The Seafarers
Director/Photography/Editor: Stanley Kubrick
Script: Will Chasen
Producer: Lester Cooper
Narrator: Don Hollenbeck
Documentary short in color about the Seafarers International Union
Running Time: 30 minutes
1953 Fear and Desire
The film shows a jejune fondness for exploring states of fear and desire within loosely conceived and allegorical structures... Visually, it shows Kubrick's talent for creating mental landscapes that alternate between grotesquerie and surrealistic beauty.
Production Company: Stanley Kubrick Productions
Producer: Stanley Kubrick
Associate Producer: Martin Perveler
Director/Photography/Editor: Stanley Kubrick
Script: Howard O. Sackler
Dialogue Director: Toba Kubrick
Music: Gerald Fried
Cast: Frank Silvera (Mac), Kenneth Harp (Corby), Virginia Leith (The Girl), Paul Mazursky (Sydney), Steve Coit (Fletcher), David Allen (Narrator)
Running Time: 68 Minutes
Distributor: Joseph Burstyn
1955 Killer's Kiss (Le baiser du tueur)
Davy Gordon, a young boxer waiting in the Grand Central station, takes stoke of his situation after a three-day Odyssey in New York's hoodlum world trying to save Gloria, an attractive dancer, from the thuggish hands of her manager-lover and his men.
Production Company: Minotaur
Producers: Stanley Kubrick, Morris Bousel
Director/Photography/Editor: Stanley Kubrick
Script: Stanley Kubrick, Howard O. Sackler
Music: Gerald Fried
Choreographer: David Vaughan
Cast: Frank Silvera (Vincent Rapallo), Jamie Smith (Davy Gordon), Irene Kane (Gloria Price), Jerry Jarret (Albert), Ruth Sobotka (Iris), Mike Dana, Felice Orlandi, Ralph Roberts, Phil Stevenson (Hoodlums), Julius Adelman (Mannequin Factory Owner), David Vaughan, Alec Rubins (Conventioneers)
Running Time: 64 Minutes
Distributor: United Artists, United Artists/16
1956 The Killing (L'ultime razzia)
Former prisoner Johnny Clay sets up the two million dollars hold-up of a racetrack's cash desk which eventually turns out to be a deadly failure because of the disruption of his not-so-perfectly organized plan by an exterior, insignificant element.
Production Company: Harris-Kubrick Productions
Producer: James B. Harris
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel Clean Break, by Lionel White
Additional dialogue: Jim Thompson
Photography: Lucien Ballard
Editor: Betty Steinberg
Art Director: Ruth Sobotka Kubrick
Music: Gerald Fried
Sound: Earl Snyder
Cast: Sterling Hayden (Johnny Clay), Jack C. Flippen (Marvin Unger), Marie Windsor (Sherry Peatty), Elisha Cook Jr. (George Peatty), Coleen Gray (Fay), Vince Edwards (Val Cannon), Ted de Corsia (Randy Kennan), Joe Sawyer (Mike O'Reilly), Tim Carey (Nikki), Kola Kwariana (Maurice), James Edwards (Parking Lot Attendant), Jay Adler (Leo), Joseph Turkel (Tiny)
Running Time: 83 minutes
Distributor: United Artists, United Artists/16
1957 Paths of Glory (Les sentiers de la gloire)
During First World War, French generals searching for promotion command their soldiers to attack an unseizable german position. The soldiers eventually withdraw to their trenches after a deadly attempt: an insubordination which will meet with a court-martial and an execution for the example.
Production Company: Harris-Kubrick Productions
Producer: James B. Harris
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham, Jim Thompson, based on the novel by Humphrey Cobb
Photography: George Krause
Editor: Eva Kroll
Art Director: Ludwig Reiber
Music: Gerlad Fried
Sound: Martin Muller
Cast: Kirk Douglas (Colonel Dax), Ralph Meeker (Corporal Paris), Adolphe Menjou (General Broulard), George Macready (General Mireau),Wayne Morris (Lieutenant Roget), Richard Anderson (Major Saint-Auban), Joseph Turkel (Private Arnaud), Timothy Carey (Private Ferol), Peter Capel (Colonel Judge), Suzanne Christian (German Girl), Bert Freed
(Sergeant Boulanger), Emile Meyer (Priest), John Stein (Captain Rousseau), Ken Dibbs (Private Lejeune), Jerry Hausner (Tavern Owner), Harold Benedict (Captain Nichols)
Running Time: 86 minutes
Distributor: United Artists (presented by Byrna Productions), United
The story of a Thracian slave recruted to become a gladiator for the Roman Games and of his rebelling quest for freedom.
Production Company: Byrna
Executive Producer: Kirk Douglas
Producer: Edward Lewis
Director: Anthony Mann, Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay: Dlaton Trumbo, based on the book by Howard Fast
Photography: Russel Metty
Additional Photography: Clifford Stine
Screen Process: Super Technirama-70
Editors: Robert Lawrence, Robert Schultz, fred Chulack
Production Designer: Alexander Golitzen
Art Director: Eric Orbom
Set Decoration: Russel A. Gausman, Julia Heron
Titles: Saul Bass
Technical Advisor: Vittorio Nino Novarese
Costumes: Peruzzi, Valles, Bill Thomas
Music: Alex North
Music Director: Joseph Gershenson
Sound: Waldo O. Watson, Joe Lapis, Murray Spivack, Ronald Pierce
Assistant Director: Marshal Green
Cast: Kirk Douglas (Spartacus), Laurence Olivier (Marcus Crassus), Jean Simmons (Varinia), Charles Laughton (Gracchus), Peter Ustinov (Batiatus), John Gavin (Julius Caesar), Tony Curtis (Antoninus), Nina Foch (Helena), Herbert Lom (Tigranes), John Ireland (Crixus), Joh Dall (Glabrus), Charles McGraw (Marcellus), Joanna Barnes (Claudia), Harold J. Stone (David), Woody Strode (Draba), Peter Brocco (Ramon), Paul
Lambert (Gannicus), Robert J. Wilke (Captain of Guard), Nicholas Dennis (Dionysius), John Hoyt (Roman Officer), Fred Worlock (Laelius), Dayton Lummis (Symmachus)
Original Running Time: 196 Minutes
Original Released Running Time: 184 Minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures, Univeral/16
Humbert Humbert, a mature professor of poetry relates his gnawing passion for Lolita, a teenage girl and their secret Odyssey through America, obsession and double entendres.
Production Company: Seven Arts/Anya/Transworld
Producer: James B. Harris
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay: Vladimir Nabokov, based on his novel
Photography: Oswald Morris
Editor: Anthony Harvey
Art Director: William Andrews
Set Design: Andrew Low
Music: Nelson Riddle
Lolita's Theme: Bob Harris
Sound: H. L. Bird, Len Shilton
Assistant Directors: Roy Millichip, John Danischewsky
Cast: James Mason (Humbert Humbert), Sue Lyon (Lolita Haze), Shelley Winters (Charlotte Haze), Peter Sellers (Clare Quilty), Diana Decker (Jean Farlow), Jerry Stovin (John Farlow), Suzanne Gibbs (Mona Farlow), Gary Cockrell (Dick Schiller), Marianne Stone (Vivian Darkbloom), Cec Linder (Physician), Lois Maxwell (Nurse Mary Lord), William Greene (Mr.Swine), C. Denier Warren (Mr. Potts), Isobel Lucas (Louise), Maxine
Holden (Hospital Receptionist), James Dyrenforth (Mr. Beale), Roberta Shore (Lorna), Eric Lane (Roy), Shirley Douglas (Mr. Starch), Roland Brand (Bill), Colin Maitland (Charlie Holmes), Irvin Allen (Hospital Attendant), Marion Mathie (Miss Lebone), Craig Sams (Rex), John Harrison (Tom)
Running Time: 153 Minutes
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Films Incorporated/16
1964 Dr Srangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Docteur Folamour)
Dark satire about the nuclear dangers and the cold war tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union with the sarcastic depiction of the political and military spheres.
Production Company: Hawk Films
Producer/Director: Stanley Kubrick
Associate Producer: Victor Lyndon
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George, based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George
Photography: Gilbert Taylor
Editor: Anthony Harvey
Production Design: Ken Adam
Art Direction: Peter Murton
Special Effects: Wally Veevers
Music: Laurie Johnson
Aviation Advisor: Captain John Crewdson
Sound: John Cox
Cast: Peter Sellers (Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Muffley, Dr. Strangelove), George C. Scott (Buck Turgidson), Sterling Hayden (General Jack D. Ripper), Keenan Wynn (Colonel Bat Guano), Slim Pickens (Major T. J. "King" Kong) Peter Bull (Ambassador de Sadesky), Tracy Reed (Miss Scott), James Earl Jones (Lieutenant H. HR. Dietrich, D.S.O.), Glenn Beck (Lieutenant W. D. Kivel, Navigator), Shane Rimmer (Captain G.A. "Ace" Owens, Co-pilot), Paul Tamarin (Lieutenant B. Goldberg, Radio Operator), Gordon Tanner (General Faceman), Robert O'Neil (Admiral Randolph), Roy Stephens (Frank), Laurence Herder, John McCarthy, Hal Galili (Memebers of Burpleson Base Defense Corps)
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Swank/16
1968 2001: A Space Odyssey (L'odyssée de l'espace)
Visual experience representing Man's evolution and meaning on Earth and in the Cosmos, with metaphysical, poetical, and theological undertones, a major achievement in movie making.
Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Producer: Stanley Kubrick
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clark, based on Clarke's short story "The Sentinel"
Photography: Geoffrey Unsworth
Screen Process: Super Panavision, presented in Cinerama
Additional Photography: John Alcott
Special Photographic Effects Designer and Director: Stanley Kubrick
Editor: Ray Lovejoy
Production Design: Tony Masters, Harry Lange, Ernie Archer
Art Direction: John Hoesli
Special Photographic Effects Supervisors: Wally Veevers, Douglas Trumbull, Con Pedereson, Tom Howard
Music: Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss, Aram Khachaturian, Gyorgy Ligeti
Costumes: Hardy Amies
Sound: Winston Ryder
Cast: Keir Dullea (David Bowman), Gary Lockwood (Frank Poole), William Sylvester (Dr. Heywood Floyd), Daniel Richter (Moon-Watcher), Douglas Rain (HAL's Voice), Leonard Rossiter (Smyslov), Margaret Tyzack (Elena), Robert Beatty (Halvorsen), Sean Sullivan (Michaels), Frank Miller (Mission Control), Penny Edwina Carroll, Mike Lovell, Peter Delman, Danny Grover, Brian Hawley
Running Time: 141 Minutes
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Films Incorporated/16
1971 A Clockwork Orange (orange mécanique)
Alex, a teenager fond of ultra-violence, rapes and Beethoven, narrates his story and the one of his droogs - his gang friends; plus his passing through jail and the experimental brain-washing he is submitted to.
Production Company: Warner Brothers/Hawk Films
Producer/Director: Stanley Kubrick
Executive Producers: Max L. Raab, Si Litvinoff
Associate Producer: Bernard Williams
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by Anthony Burgess
Photography: John Alcott
Editor: Bill Butler
Production Design: John Barry
Art Direction: Russell Hagg, Peter Shields
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven, Edward Elgar, Gioacchino Rossini, Terry Tucker, Henry Purcell, James Yorkston, Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown, Rimsky-Korsakov, Erika Eigen
Original Electronic Music: Walter Carlos
Songs: Gene Kelly, Erika Eigen
Costumes: Milena Canonero
Special Paintings and Sculpture: Herman Makkink, Cornelius Makkink, Liz Moore, Christiane Kubrick
Production Assistant: Andros Epaminondas
Sound: Brian Blamey
Assistant to Producer: Jan Harlan
Cast: Malcolm McDowell (Alex), Patrick Magee (Mr. Alexander), Michael Bates (Chief Guard), Warren Clark (Dim), John Clive (Stage Actor), Adrienne Corri (Mrs. Alexander), Carl Duering (Dr. Brodsky), Paul Farrel (Tramp), Clive Francis (Joe, the Lodger), Michael Gover (Prison Governor), Miriam Karlin (Miss Weber, the Cat Lady), James Marcus
(Georgie), Aubrey Morris (Mr. Deltoid), Godfrey Quigley (Prison Chaplain), Sheila Raynour (Mum), Madge Ryan (Dr. Branom), John Savident (Conspirator), Anthony Sharp (Minister of the Interior), Philip Stone (Dad), Pauline Taylor (Dr. Taylor, Psychiatrist), Margaret Tyzack (Conspirator), Steven Berkoff (Constable), Lindsay Campbell (Inspector), Michael Tarn (Pete), David Prowse (Julian), Jan Adair, Vivienne Chandler, Prudence Drage (Handmaidens), John J. Carney (CID Man), Richard Connaught (Billyboy), Carol Drinkwater (Nurse Feeley), Cheryl Grunwald (Rape Girl), Gillian Hills (Sonietta), Barbara Scott (Marty), Virginia Wetherell (Stage Actress), Katya Wyeth (Girl), Barrie Cookson, Gaye Brown, Peter Burton, Lee Fox, Craig Hunter, Shirley Jaffe, Neil Wilson
Running Time: 137 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers, Swank/16
1975 Barry Lyndon
Rise and fall of Barry Lyndon, a young Irish in quest of adventure and promotion in 18th century Europe; one of the best cinematographic studies of Romantic painting.
Production Company: Warner Brothers/Hawk Films
Producer/Director: Stanley Kubrick
Associate Producer: Jan Harlan
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
Photography: John Alcott
Editor: Tony Lawson
Production Design: Ken Adam
Art Direction: Roy Walker
Music: J.S. Bach, Frederick the Great, G. F. Handel, W. A. Mozart, Giovanni Paisiello, Franz Schubert, Antonio Vivaldi
Music Adaptation: Leonard Rosenman
Costumes: Ulla-Britt Soderlund, Milena Cannonero
Screen Process: Panavision
Sound: Rodney Holland
Assistant Director: Brian Cook
Cast: Ryan O'Neal (Barry Lyndon), Marisa Berenson (Lady Lyndon), Patrick Magee (The Chevalier), Hardy Kruger (Captain Potzdorf), Marie Kean (Mrs. Barry), Gay Hamilton (Nora Brady), Melvin Murray (Reverend Runt), Godfrey Quigley (Captain George), Leonard Rossiter (Captain Quin), Leon Vitali (Lord Bullington), Diana Koerner (Lischen), Frank Middlemass (Sir Charles Lyndon), Andre Morell (Lord Wendover), Arthur O'Sullivan (Captain Freny), Philip Stone (Graham), Steven Berkoff (Lord Ludd), Anthony Sharp (Lord Hallum), Michael Hordern (the narrator)
Running Time: 185 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers, Swank/16
1980 The Shining
The gradual alienation of Jack, a writer and caretaker of the Overlook hotel, on top of a snowy, desertic mountain, and his wife and son, all secluded in an hermetic, fantastic world.
Production Company Warner Brothers/Hawk Films
Produced in association with: The Producer Circle Company Robert Fryer, Martin Richards, Mary Lea Johnson
Producer/Director: Stanley Kubrick
Executive Producer: Jan Harlan
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson, based on the novel by Stephen King
Photography: John Alcott
Editor: Ray Lovejoy
Production Design: Roy Walker
Music: Bela Bartok, Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkin, Gyorgy Ligeti, Krzystof Penderecki
Costumes: Milena Canonera
2nd Unit Photography: Douglas Milsome, Gregg Macgillivray
Steadicam Operator: Garrett Brown
Art Direction: Les Tomkins
Assistant Director: Brian Cook
Assistant to Producer: Andros Epaminondas
Personal Assistant to Director: Leon Vitali
Cast: Jack Nicholson (Jack Torrance), Shelley Duvall (Wendy Torrance), Danny Lloyd (Danny Torrance), Scatman Crothers (Halloran), Barry Nelson (Stuart Ullman), Philip Stone (Delbert Grady), Joe Turkel (Lloyd), Anne Jackson (Doctor), Tony Burton (Larry Durkin), Lia Beldam (Young Woman in Bath), Billie Gibson (Old Woman in Bath), Barry Dennen (Watson), David Baxter (Forest Ranger1), Manning Redwood (Forest Ranger 2), Lisa Burns, Louise Burns (The Grady Girls), Alison Coleridge (Ullman's Secretary), Jana Sheldon (Stewardess), Kate Phelps (Overlook Receptionist), Norman Gay (Injured Guest with Head-Wound)
Running Time: 145 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers
1986 Full Metal Jacket
From the training camp to Vietnam's battle fields, the odyssey of US Marines narrated by Joker, a young soldier later to be a journalist for the army's newspaper.
Production Company: Warner Brother
Producer /Director: Stanley Kubrick
Executive Producer: Jan Harlan
Co-Producer: Philip Hobbs
Associate Producer: Michael Herr
Screenplay: Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr, Gustav Hasford, based on the novel by Gustav Hasford
Production Design: Anton Furst
Editor: Martin Hunter
Assistant to Director: Leon Vitali
Cast: Mathew Modine (Pvt. Joker), Adam Baldwin (Animal Mother), Vincent D'onofrio (Pvt. Pile), Lee Ermey (Gnn. Sgt. Hartman), Dorian Harewood (Eightball), Arliss Howard (Pvt. Cowboy), Kevyn Major Howard (Rapterman), Ed O'Ross (Lt. Touchdown), John Terry (Lt. Lockhart),Kieron Jechinis (Crazy Earl), Bruce Boa, Kirk Taylor, John Stafford,
Tim Colceri, Ian Tyler, Gary Landon Mills, Sal Lopez, Papillon Soo Soo, Ngoc Le, Peter Edmund, Tan Hung Francione, Leanne Hong, Marcus D'amico, Costas Dino Chimona, Gil Kopel, Keith Hodiak, Peter Merrill, Herbert Norville, Nguyen Hue Phong
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers
# filmographic details from T. A. Nelson
1. Comprehensive Studies, Essays & Interviews on Stanley Kubrick
a) comprehensive studies
BERNARDI Sandro, Le regard esthétique ou la visibilité selon Kubrick, translated from the italian by Laure Raffaeli-Fournier, Saint-Denis, Presse Universitaire de Vincennes, 1994, 162p, (l'esthétique hors cadre)
BUACHE Freddy, Autour de Kubrick et Losey, Lausanne, éditions l'âge d'or, 1978, 327p, (Histoire et théorie du cinéma)
CIMENT Michel, Kubrick, Paris, Calmann-Lévy, 1980, reviewed editions of 1984 & 1988 255p
GIULIANI Pierre, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Bordat, Paris, Rivages, 1990, 201p
NELSON Thomas Allen, Kubrick: Inside a Film's Artist's Maze, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1982, 268p
b) essays & interviews
DUPUY Jean Paul, En mal du père, Positif, October 1987, n° 320, p59-62
DOMECQ Jean Philippe, Un voyage dans l'espace de Kubrick, Positif, February 1981, n° 239, p45-46
LE CINEMA, Stanley Kubrick, Editions Atlas, Paris, 1983, n°81, p1610-1615
MOLINA-FOIX, Entretien avec Stanley Kubrick, Cahiers du cinéma, January 1981, n° 319 p5-13
SINEUX Michel, La symphonie Kubrick, Positif, February 1981, n° 239, p34-36
VACHAUD Laurent, En attendant Kubrick, Positif, November 1987,n° 314 p2-9
2. Film studies
a) On the early films
APPEL Alfred, Nabokov's Dark Cinema, New York, Oxford University Press, 1974
MILON Colette, Kubrick-Douglas, je t'aime moi non plus, les sentiers de la gloire, VDN Magasine, 1994
NABOKOV Vladimir, Lolita, translated from the english by E.H. Kahane, Paris, Gallimard, 1993, 502p
TOBIN Yann, Autopsie d'un genre, sur l'Ultime Razzia, Positif, October 1987, n° 320, p63-64
b) On 2001
ALLEN John, The Christian Science Monitor (Internet)
BRION Patrick, Le cinéma fantastique, du monde perdu à 2001, Editions de Martinière, 1994, p348-359
CLARKE Artur C., The Sentinel
CLARKE Artur C., 2001, based on the screenplay by S. Kubrick & A.C. Clarke, London, Hutchinson, 1968, 224p
EISENSCHITZ Bernard, La marge,2001, Cahiers du cinéma,n° 209, February 1969,p56-57
GILLIAT Penelope, After Man, The New Yorker (Internet)
GREENBERG Harvey, The Movies on your mind, p257-62 (Internet Kubrick server)
HUNTER Tim, 2001, A Space Odyssey, (with Stephen Kaplan & Peter Jasziis) The Harvard Crimson, 1968 (Internet)
KAUFFMANN Stanley, Lost in the Stars, The New Republic (Internet Kubrick server)
c) On Clockwork Orange
BURGESS Anthony, L'orange mécanique, translated from the english by Georges Belmont & Hortense Chabrier, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1962, 221p
COHEN Alexander J., Clockwork Orange and the Aestheticization of Violence, Garnet Berqueley, Internet Kubrick Server, 5p
KUBRICK Stanley, A Clockwork Orange, London, Hollywood Scripts, 1970, 107p
OUDART Jean-Pierre, A propos d'Orange Mécanique, Kubrick, Kramer et quelques autres, Cahiers du cinéma, n°293, Octobre 1978, p55-61
d) On Barry Lyndon
CIMENT Michel, Entretien avec Ken Adam, De James Bond à Barry Lyndon, Positif, March 1977, p26-39
OUDART Jean-Pierre, Barry Lyndon, Cahiers du Cinéma, 1976, n° 271, p62
PILARD Philippe, Barry Lyndon, Paris, Synopsis Nathan, 1990, 127p
THACKERAY William Makepeace, Mémoires de Barry Lyndon du royaume d'Irlande, translated from the english by Léon de Wailly, Paris, Flammarion, 1990, 444p
e) On Shining
BARBIER Denis, Entretien avec Diane Johnson (Shining) Positif, January 1981,n° 238, p20-25
BROWN Garret, Shining et la steadycam, Positif, February 1981, n° 239, p37-44
CAZALS Thierry, L'homme-Labyrinthe, Cahiers du cinéma, November 1980, n° 317,
GARSAULT Alain, Shining sous deux angles, 2) les deux visages du fantastique Positif, January 1981,n° 238, p17-19
JAMESON Fredric, Signatures of the Visible, Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 1990, p82-98
MASSON Alain, Shining sous deux angles, 1) l'indifférence et le goût, Positif, January
1981,n° 238, p15-17
OUDART Jean-Pierre, Les inconnus dans la maison, Cahiers du Cinéma, Nov 1980, n° 317
f) On Full Metal Jacket
CIEUTAT Michel, Hollywood et le Viêt-nam, Positif, October 1987, n° 320, p50-58
HENRY Michael, "Paint it Black", à propos de Full Metal Jacket, Positif, October 1987, n°320, p40-42
KROHN Bill, Le film-cerveau,Full Metal Jacket, Cahiers du cinéma,Oct 1987,n°400, p9-11
VIRILIO Paul, Permis de détruire, Full Metal Jacket, Cahiers du cinéma, October 1987, n°400, p29-31
BOURGET Jean-Loup, Le cinéma américain, 1895-1980, Presse Universitaire de France
BUACHE Freddy, Le cinéma américain, 1955-1970, Editions l'âge d'homme, 1974
CIEUTAT Michel, Les grands thèmes du cinéma américain,Tome 1: le rêve et le cauchemar, Paris, Les Editions du Cerf, 1988, 354p
CIMENT Michel, Entretien avec Michael Herr, scénariste, Positif, October 1987, n° 320, p43-49
NICHOLLS Peter, Fantastic cinema, London, Ebury press, 1984
PUISEUX Hélène, L'apocalypse nucléaire et son cinéma, Paris, Les Editions du Cerf, 1988, 235p
SINEUX Michel, Bye, Bye, Birdie-num-num (on Peter Sellers) Positif, February 1981, n° 239, p47-51
TARNOWSKI Jean-François, Approche et définition(s) du fantastique et de la science-fiction cinématographiques [II], Positif, 208-9, July 1978, p54-69
3. Thematic bibliography
BERARD Victor, Dans le sillage d'Ulysse, Paris, 1924
HOMER, l'Odyssée, poésie Homérique, text etablished and translated by Victor Bérard, les belles lettres, 1924
HOMER, The Odyssey, translated by T.E. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, Wordsworth Editions, 1992, 327p
STANFORD W.B., The Ulysses Theme, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 2nd edition, 1963, 340p
b) Nietzschean notions
DELHOMME Jeanne, Nietzsche ou le voyageur et son ombre, Paris, Seghers, 1969, 187p (Philosophes de tous les temps)
GRANIER Jean, Nietzsche, 1st edition, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1982, 127p
LÖWITH Karl, Nietzsche et la philosophie de l'éternel retour, Paris, Calmann-Lévy, 1991, 316p (collection liberté de l'esprit)
NIETZSCHE Friedrich, Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra, translated from the german by Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt, Paris, Librairie Générale Française, 1983, 530p
c) circles, spheres & sinuous ligns
BINDMAN David, Hogarth, New York, Thames and Hudson, 1981 (reprinted edition of 1988), 216p
HAUTECOEUR Louis, symbolisme du cercle et de la coupole, Picard & co, 1954
KOYRE Alexandre, Du monde clos à l'univers infini,(translated from the english by Raissa Tarr), Baltimore, Editions Gallimard for the French translation, 1957, 1972 edition, 350p
POULET Georges, Les métamorphoses du cercle, Paris, Plon, 1961, 527p
d) movie theories
DELEUZE Gilles, L'image-temps, Paris, Edition de Minuit, 1985, 378p
DELEUZE Gilles, L'image-mouvement, Paris, Edition de Minuit, 1983, 298p
JOST François, L'oeil-caméra, entre film et roman, Lyon, Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 2nd edition 1989, 177p
LOTMAN Iouri, Sémiotique et esthétique du cinéma (trad du russe par Sabine Breuillard), Ouvertures, 1973
MONACO James, How to read a film, New York, Oxford University Press, 1977
PROPP Vladimir, Morphologie du conte, (trad. du russe par M.Derrida, T. Todorov, C. Cahn), Paris, Le Seuil, 1970, 254 p
SELLIER Philippe, Le mythe du héros ou le désir d'être Dieu, Paris-Montréal, Bordas, 1970, 208p
1) Connection address to the Internet Kubrick Server
CARDIFF'S MOVIE BROWSER http://www.msstate.edu/Movies/
A great collection of quotes, cast members, and other miscellaneous information, all hot-linked.
KUBRICK ON THE WEB http://www.automatrix.com/~bak/kubrick.html
Updates to the FAQ stored here, as well as pointers to other Kubrick sites on the Web.
The following people have contributed to the Frequently Asked Questions:
Geoffrey Alexander, Jules N. Binoculas, Stephen Clark, Sean Cole, Michael Gaughn, Tim Gould, Ari Kahan, Barry Krusch, Joel Kuntonen, Hari G. Nair, Thomas Nelson, Roman Polanski, C. Powers, Brian Siano, Jirawat Uttayaya, Mike Weston and Jerome Agel (from Making of Kubrick's 2001), Penelope Gilliat.
The FAQ is currently being maintained by Barry Krusch (email@example.com) e-mail address.
The FAQ is currently archived at http://www.automatrix.com/~bak/kubrick.html
3) Cohen on Clockwork Orange
Clockwork Orange and the Aestheticization of Violence firstname.lastname@example.org
This dissertation is part of a Master degree in English Civilization and Literature. It is available on paper in the Angellier Library of Lille III, France, and on the Internet Kubrick Server, where a letter box is expecting all suggestions, criticisms, questions to which I will answer with the best of pleasure. Any information, ideas, images taken were done so without any due authorization from the authors. Accept my apologies. This work is free of use and reproduction to all Kubrick fans.
Villeneuve d'Ascq, France, Septembre 1995