13 Times Steven Spielberg Channelled Stanley Kubrick in 'A.I.'

A.I. Artificial Intelligence might be the most Kubrickian Steven Spielberg movies of them all.

Have you ever watched Steven Spielberg's 2001 sci-fi drama A.I. Artificial Intelligence and noticed all the similarities in style to Stanley Kubrick's work? Well, there's a reason for that. A bit of cinematic history: A.I. was actually one of Kubrick's unrealized projects, which he handed over to Spielberg back in 1995, and in this video essay by Really Dim, we get to see all of the stylistic similarities between A.I. and Kubrick's films in a side-by-side comparison.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about drawing similarities between Spielberg and Kubrick is that the two directors couldn't be more different in terms of how they make films. However, they actually became friends after meeting back in 1980. Fast forward 15 years, and Kubrick decided to give Spielberg the opportunity to make A.I. a reality, in part because the technological advances in CGI weren't up to snuff for David's android character when Kubrick first started developing the film in the 70s, but also because he thought Spielberg could make a film that "embodied the joys of childhood."

A.I. will always be a strange collaboration between two filmmakers that, though they respected each other's work, had entirely different approaches to filmmaking. But in the end, they each gave something incredibly important and incredibly unique to the project, which is why A.I. will be remembered as quite an anomaly in cinematic history—the product of two cinematic geniuses forming an unlikely collaboration to make a pretty decent film with generally positive reviews.     

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This is absurd. The "similarities" in the shots are vague at best, and preposterous at worst. The most you could say is that they have similar basic subjects: kid at a table, people talking in a two shot, a boat, people in a car, headlamps in fog, a "vehicle" follow shot, a character dancing, etc. There is so much that goes into a good scene and shot than that. Just putting a child as a table doesn't make a scene "just like Kubrick".

October 16, 2016 at 7:24PM

Jacob Floyd
Writer / Videographer

"Have you ever watched Steven Spielberg's 2001 sci-fi drama A.I. Artificial Intelligence and noticed all the similarities in style to Stanley Kubrick's work? Well, there's a reason for that." Kubrick wrote the story. End of article.

October 16, 2016 at 10:28PM


What a nonsense article.
They spoke on the phone about it endlessly. It is both their film.

October 19, 2016 at 11:43AM


Watch AI featurette on Kubrick/Spielberg, it's on youtube and it's miles better than this "article".

October 17, 2016 at 12:46PM

Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor

This is a bit odd. I mean Spielberg definitely framed a lot of his shots in AI with Kubrick's style in mind, because they wrote the story together and both wanted the other to direct it. However, this is leaving out some very clear ones and including some very vague ones. For instance, not sure how this omitted the dinner scene shot over the round light which payed homage to the war room shot in Dr. Strangelove.

October 18, 2016 at 6:34AM, Edited October 18, 6:34AM