Free Press Journal

Birthday special: The best of Stanley Kubrick, the eccentric genius


Stanley Kubrick is frequently cited as one of the greatest and most influential directors in cinematic history. His films, have opened us to the world beyond our reach, make us reconsider and think more deeply about the world we do inhabit, and, above all, rarely fail to stretch our imaginations to new and richer lengths. In the honour of filmmaker’s 90th birth anniversary, we bring you some of his best movies of all time.

Spartacus (1960)

His “Spartacus” is still a heroic humbug—a vast, panoramic display of synthetic Rome and Romans, slaves and patricians, men and maids, at the time of the great slave rebellion in the first century B.C. The most courageous thing about it, from today’s standards, is that it closes without an obligatory happy ending, and an audience that has watched for 187 minutes doesn’t get a tidy, mindless conclusion.

Lolita (1962)

This film exemplifies what Bollywood glorifies, older men have often pined for younger females. It must be said that Mr Kubrick has got a lot of fun and frolic in his film. He has also got a bit of pathos and irony toward the end. The glorious thing about this film is the way Kubric has approached it. Kubric made a film that made people “stop and look” at the possibilities at what American cinema would become.

The Shinning (1980)

The tale of a man so isolated within a void of his own making that even bloody madness seems an escape. Unlike Kubrick’s previous works, which developed audiences gradually through word-of-mouth, The Shining was released as a mass-market film, initially opening in two U.S. cities on Memorial Day, then nationwide within a month. It is now widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

It employs disturbing, violent images to comment on psychiatry, juvenile delinquency, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopian near-future Britain. One of the great criticisms heaped against A Clockwork Orange is that Stanley Kubrick glorifies a certain kind of amoral violence, presenting it to the viewer in a spectacular, operatic, colourful and exquisitely photographed manner.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The movie initially received mixed reactions from critics and audiences, but it garnered a cult following and slowly became the highest-grossing North American film of 1968. It has become customary to place 2001 in a challenging or dark or dystopian sci-fi tradition as opposed to the all-conqueringly sucrose Star Wars. Kubrick leaves usual considerations behind with his readiness to imagine a post-human future.