Video: A Look at Stanley Kubrick's Signature Themes from His Greatest Work
It has been fifteen years to the day since one of the greatest filmmakers to ever walk the planet unfortunately departed from it. Stanley Kubrick, who demonstrated his impeccable storytelling abilities in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and many others, died on this day back in 1999, and what better way to acknowledge the empty place the legendary auteur left in the cinematic world after his death than with a celebration of how he managed to give his films such presence during his life. Continue on to watch a video tribute to the late director that shines a light on his brilliant signature themes and cinematic techniques.
Quite honestly, we could talk about Kubrick's genius all day, from his sensibilities as a writer to his demand for perfection as a director. However, what he's really known for, at least to the general movie-goer, as well as his dedicated fans, are the incredible techniques he used in his cinematography. His visual style is recognized the world over -- inspiring generations of filmmakers to take risks in composition and staging, pushing the boundaries of the art form.
Kubrick uses several cinematic techniques in his films, including his one-point perspective shots that lean on symmetry and vanishing graphic vectors to give them their aesthetic edge. Check out this excellent video shared by Slate, which offers a selection of his most famous ones.
This video tribute, created by Alexandre Gasulla, compiles footage from Kubrick's films and demonstrates just how remarkable the artistry of the director really was. On a technical level, we see his hallmarks, like his use of extreme camera angles and close-ups, long tracking shots, and wide-angle lenses. But the way Kubrick manages to make these techniques work on an emotional level, however, is what makes him a master filmmaker.
We see how he captured the utter torment of his characters with close-ups, like in Alex's aversion therapy scene in A Clockwork Orange, their almost mindless and animalistic determination with long tracking shots, like when an axe-wielding Jack Torrance trudges through the snow in The Shining, and the madness of the general Kubrick universe with wide-angle shots.
Check out Gasulla's video tribute below.
What are your favorite Kubrickian cinematic techniques? Feel free to share and/or expound upon the topic in the comments below.