The devil must be making me do this, and honestly I’m not trying to upset people because I know there is beaucoup reverence for Stanley Kubrick — a kind of reverence which I happen to distrust.
I don’t love this guy or his movies. I’m wondering why so many other people do, and I’d really like to know. Personally, aesthetically — just not tautologically.
I should say I haven’t seen all his films. I start at Lolita, which I think has held up well because of the performances. Even then, I feel it’s an uneven film, hedging its bet on whether it should be funny or serious. The results are mixed for me. Plus, I don’t think Kubrick’s visual style has really kicked in yet. 2001: A Space Odyssey is what I think of as a good “training film,” like a training bike. It’s got a smidgen of serious ideas, a vigorous interest in what the movies “can do.” But it’s very boring intermittently, especially the space station scenes (set to Strauss). The daily life of the Jupiter mission is fascinating — the great empty space filled with frozen bodies, a space which manages to be both empty and claustrophobic — the tracking shot of Keir Dullea jogging, that’s perfect. But Hal is a set piece that seems less and less gripping every time I watch. And it’s unclear what the film is really saying. (Which is not an attractive ambiguity, imo, but just a sort of failing of insight.)
A Clockwork Orange is, I think, Kubrick’s best, because the characters are so broadly drawn that they work well as animated details in a visual scheme. Great visuals all through this film, which really does have a certain mystique and has a lot of disturbing ideas (Burgess’ ideas probably) about the fact that violence may not only be inevitable, it may be somehow necessary.
Barry Lyndon is a film I used to like, until I came to realize that I didn’t give a toss for the protagonist — hollow, shameless, crooked, he dies pretty much how he lives, and after two-and-some hours, I think that’s sort of an abuse of the viewer. I understand, he has a moment of conscience in the duel scene, and he’s destroyed by it, but I’ve seen that sort of irony play out in tons of other, less ambitious movies, with even more tragic results. This movie is, I think, decadent — sumptuous visuals and music with very little going on beneath.
The Shining — a deeply flawed film. It seems to exist only for the New Years’ Eve Party and the final chase through the snowy labyrinth. The rest of it is sort of variations on a one-note theme. Jack is frazzled, stormy, cracked. Shelley Duvall (whom I quite like) is racked up, terrified, screaming. It all goes on too long, and seems to fall apart every time it builds to something. The snapshots of ghosts are as absurd as they are frightening — i.e., the guy in the bear suit sitting on another guy’s knee. You expect them to say, “Close the door and leave us alone.” It tries too hard, I guess, overall. The best ghost stories are sort of oblique and minimal.
Full Metal Jacket — good but not great. It wears its ideas on its sleeve, and it tries too hard to be The Ultimate Vietnam Film. This is I guess getting at the heart of my problem with Kubrick, and it’s also what I suspect a lot of people like about him: every film announces itself as The Ultimate _______. You will never need another horror film, you will never need another war film, etc. Can it be that people are comforted by something that promises them they will never have to watch anything else and they don’t have to feel guilty about that? Just a thought.
Eyes Wide Shut — like A Clockwork Orange, this is my favorite Kubrick film. I don’t think I’ve ever liked Cruise and Kidman as much, because their mannerisms become part of an artistic statement about the essential unknowability of people. And because it’s delicious to think of them playing Cruise and Kidman, playing themselves — Cruise resentful at being of short stature, Kidman an impassive, unreadable snare for male desire. It taps into a slightly predictable paranoia, but even so, it works, both as a dream narrative or as an erotic “thriller.” It weaves its own slow hypnotic spell, heaving forward only to get mired in doubt and alienation again and again.
So, that’s my take. I apologize to the Kubrick fanatics. I’d really like to hear why this director is so god-like to you. I’m not going to comment any more on this thread — I turn it over to everyone else, pro and con, you know, whatever.
Well…I don’t think it’s right to say that every Kubrick film “announces” itself as “The Ultimate________” anything; if anything, a Kubrick film announces itself as a Kubrick film. And could you explain what you mean by FULL METAL JACKET wearing “its ideas on its sleeve”? I still think it has many secrets to reveal: I watched it for the sixth time last week, and only then did I realise that Hartmann says “What the hell are you two doing in my head?” in the latrine scene, and that it is certainly a more provocative line than I picked up on during previous viewings. It might not be the Ultimate Vietnam film, but I think it is one of Kubrick’s films that actually delivers exactly what it set out to deliver – in fact, along with PATHS OF GLORY, I consider it as close to flawless as Kubrick got. I used to think that PATHS was Kubrick’s best because of this, but now I’m putting 2001 at the top of the heap. Personal taste: no accounting for it. BARRY LYNDON is next for me – mesmerising film. How you can “not give a toss” for Redmond Barry is something, again, you will have to explain; yes, he’s terribly flawed, but we cannot help feeling empathy for him, having been there every step of the way with him. EYES WIDE SHUT is a film I can’t figure out yet – but I am endlessly fascinated by it; I find myself obsessing about that one quite a lot actually, often pondering it while doing something else (like work…). Must watch it again. Anyway, Kubrick is my favourite director – his intelligence is what gets me, and all of his films reflect it (and if you watch Vivian Kubrick’s documentary on THE SHINING, you can see he had a goodness in him too – hardly unique but enough for me).
Boy, you really have my mind racing with this one.
I wish LOLITA moved a bit faster.
I find A CLOCKWORK ORANGE shrill and frenetic.
What a drag to have Sydney Pollack tell us at the end of EYES WIDE SHUT that
nothing sinister—or even special—is going on. I think they call that a shaggy dog story.
FULL METAL JACKET is unconvincing on too many levels.
THE SHINING was undercut by its sprawl.
Having said that, DR. STRANGELOVE is a masterpiece of black comedy and satire.
I think, if you see LOLITA on a big screen with a theatre full of folks,
as I did in 1997, you will have a different view of its strengths.
2001 is just a place I like to go.
Then there is this:
Slim Pickens bronco-busting a nuclear warhead on its way to a Russian target;
bikini-clad Lolita Haze peering from behind sunglasses at a smitten Humbert Humbert;
hundreds of slaves rising behind Kirk Douglas and declaring “I’m Spartacus”;
Colonel Jack T. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) chomping a cigar and ruminating
on the Communist plot to sap our precious bodily fluids;
General Buck Turgidson’s concession to a war room panel that, yes, in a nuclear exchange we may get our hair mussed;
a clairvoyant young boy pedaling his Big Wheel through the dreadful corridors of the Overlook Hotel;
space craft silently whirring through the galaxy to the strains of Strauss;
young psychopaths in combat boots and bowler hats out on the town for a bit of “ultra-violence;”
the inimitable HAL 9000 computer calmly revealing his malevolent plans to astronaut Dave Bowman.
Those aren’t merely a selection of my favorite moments from SK’s pictures.
They are iconic images and dramatic/comedic moments that are indelibly
stamped onto the collective pop-culture psyche.
Those instantly recognizable moments are part of the cinema lexicon.
So even though I concur with your thoughts that much of Kubrick’s
work (taken as discrete films for analysis and critique) may not bear scrutiny,
it is difficult for me not to fully champion a director whose skills
rendered the aforementioned.
i havent seen all of kubrick’s films, but ive seen a clear majority of them. i’m no huge obsessive fan of his, but that doesnt mean much. because i love many of his films and definitely feel he is a heavyweight of a director. so i’ll follow your lead on the films mentioned, with just a few brief thoughts.
“lolita” is nothing special to me at all. rather forgettable. no great moments, and i’m not a fan of or knowledgable of the novel either, so it doesn’t hold any special status for me other than as a movie.
“2001” doesnt do anything for me either. i know thats practically cineaste blasphemy. i admire and respect its vision and scope, and its novelty. but “boring intermittently” is a gross understatement. the film’s borderline unwatchable for me. i mean, the entire running length in one sitting. tough sledding.
“clockwork orange” i really love. its a madcap, cartoony, nightmare of a film. very novel and unique. thats one of kubrick’s strengths. not that his films announce themselves as “the ultimate…”, but that his films are truly groundbreaking and progressive for each genre they work in. its not a case of them being the ultimate example of a genre, but profound transformative examples of genres.
“the shining” is great for me. a modern horror classic. i think the film’s practically beyond reporoach.
“full metal jacket” is great for me. its a compressed, almost minimalist, masterpiece of a film. its really just composed of two extended sequences. both executed perfectly.
“eyes wide shut” is also very unique. one of those mysterious, unclassifiable films that great directors leave you with after dying, to obsess over and study like a rare jewel.
one final thought. on “the killing”. there are very few works that can rightly be called a “perfect film”, whatever your definition of that may be. for me, this film is one of them.
I can see Justin’s point around Kubrick making “the ultimate” this, the “ultimate” that…given the (very) limited output during his last 30 years of film making. It certainly made each new film into something of an event.
After seeing the documentary about Kubrick’s files, I don’t think Kubrick thought he was making the next big thing…I think he was really frustrated trying to find something that he wanted to commit to…clearly he had issues on that front. I read an interview with Kubrick (circa 1970 or so)…it’s in the Stanley Kubrick Interviews book & he was talking that far back about making a movie out of the Schnitzler book that ultimately became Eyes Wide Shut…he just couldn’t get things together and then the Thackery book (Barry Lyndon) came up and then the chance to do The Shining with Jack Nicholson, and then….
and Justin, regarding Barry Lyndon…perhaps you find it decadent with nothing going on beneath because what IS going on beneath is exactly the reasons you didn’t care for it…the “hero” was an idiotic would-be rogue who’s ego (and stupidity) get the best of him.
Does that even make sense?
A friend of mine put it very well when he said, “Kubrick is like the Beatles. Anybody from any walk of life can enjoy his films; from a truck driver in Louisiana to a Harvard Professor”. I think this is one reason I have so much respect for him: his films work on so many different levels, from pure entertainment to food for thought. Anybody can get something out of them, from your average joe to a snooty cinephile. As a narrative filmmaker, that’s something that appeals to me and impresses me.
Other reasons I find him incredible: he has a way of constructing the mise-en-scene perfectly to mirror and accommodate the drama in the scene, he’s excellent at working with his actor’s strengths and weaknesses (and his casting is impeccable), oh and even if you’re not in love with him; it’s pretty impressive that he’s made a film in nearly every genre that has been incredibly well done (I would argue, brilliantly done without exception…okay, maybe Sparticus, that film was pretty lame).
For me, Kubrick is like an old friend. His films always reveal something new, and entertain the hell out of me. And the fact that I still can’t quite figure out what makes his films as amazing as they are is very attractive to me. As much as I adore and respect Bergman or Antonioni, their films are far more deconstructable than a Kubrick film is (not that that makes them any more or less brilliant). There are only a few people; Kubrick, Jodorowsky, Herzog that have that “je ne sais qua” that’s so intriguing.
I realize that might sound like a cop-out, but that’s how I feel about it.
Justin – Don’t want to get too involved in this one, but you left out 2001. Just wanted to know your thoughts on that one.
Do I actually agree with Justin?
Except about A Clockwork Orange being Kubrick’s best (it’s clearly Dr. Strangelove).
Not sure what separates “serious ideas” from ideas, but I’m not going to rant about seriousness here.
Surprised no one has yet mentioned the obvious absence of major female characters from his films, or even Kubrick’s apparent fear of women. There was a great piece on it in last month’s Sight & Sound, it made some excellent points.
One problem with Kubrick for me is that for a long career, he made so little. For some reason with film (though I guess this applies to all visual arts), volume is a real asset for an artist.
But, as I’ve stated elsewhere, I’m going to avoid arguments about Kubrick, 2001 especially. Hope you guys resolve this thread politely.
To be honest Justin, to main issue and flaw in your entire argument is the fact that you do not specify which Strauss. I am sure you are aware that “Also Sprach Zarathustra” is by Strauss and “On The Beautiful Danube” is by Strauss. What you may not be aware of, is that they are entirely different Strausses. Richard Strauss was a composer of power and drama “Also Sprach Zarathustra.” Whereas, Johann Strauss was a composer of grace and flow, most notably famous for his Viennese Waltz and of course “On the Beautiful Blue Danube.”
So by this unclear misconception you have in fact made your argument against Kubrick invalid because the topics are, of course, related directly.
On a less satirical note, I like Kubrick because his photographic drama. I think most of his films are driven by the camera, similar to Tarkovsky. You can feel the tension in that slow motion shot on the river in “A Clockwork Orange.” You can sense the turmoil with the opening shot. In “Full Metal Jacket” one can see the blatant explosivness in Pyle with just a plain shot of him standing. This can be seen most notably in his underrated masterwork “Eyes Wide Shut” when Cruise is walking through the streets the scene is just filled with this subconscious tension, when he enters the main room.
Thats why I respect him technically.
Narratively, I like how he tells a story, they are always interesting. He goes between genres. Also, his films end in just the most prosaic
way. Do they have a character really coming to a conclusion? Or does it seem that way? When Kubrick ends a film it is almost with a stroke of mystery.
Never the less, anyone can feel the way you do, hey, I don’t see why people love Hitchcock.
Well, let’s take this film by film. I have mixed feelings about Kubrick: I think A Clockwork Orange is actually an artistic failure based on a trite “philosophical” view of freedom-vs.-conditioning for a story that is supposed to be about youth gangs (about which Kubrick knows nothing).
But I will begin by defending a masterpiece, I think certainly the most ambitious film ever made: 2001.
Most people who dislike the film blame the slightness of the characters for their lack of interest. I find this prophetic: Kubrick’s starting point is the dire premise that the collective capabilities of our technology have vastly overshadowed the capabilities and relevance of individual humans. Kubrick’s answer is not to despair, but to call us to go beyond.
Heywood Floyd’s stiff, awkward dealings with Russians and with his fellow American researchers are meant to show how technology has thus far only succeeded in spreading ordinary human boredom out to the final frontier. Space, as far as we have thus far gone, is only more bureaucratic processes, brand names (the Pan Am space shuttle, the Howard Johnson’s space hotel), alienated phone calls home to our children, and trying to figure out how to use the toilet. The Blue Danube music underlines not only the grace of our technological culture, but also its teasing sense of being trifling and decadent. The culmination of this subtle comedy is when the researchers gather in front of the monolith for a group photo. At the very moment of this expression of human vanity and self-absorption, comes the deafening call from infinity.
Much of the film is about the absenting of the human form: so many of the shots are reduced to elemental contrasts: whites and reds; circular forms and angular forms; singular objects in a surrounding void. Abstract shapes are extremely important in the film, and carry conceptual force. It is of the utmost significance that the divinity manifests to the ape proto-humans as the black monolith: a shape. It is the origin of the one of the most fundamental concepts that separates man from animals: the moment at which A Thing stands out from the matrix of the messy rest of the world. Kubrick’s representation of the terrors of proto-human existence is brilliant, particularly the tiger, presiding on its mountaintop with its glowing eyes. That terror was the ancient origin of the idea of supernatural gods, and the idea of its frightening power is carried over in the glowing eye of HAL, the Jupiter mission’s domestic god.
There have been interpretations which find a homosexual undertone to HAL’s smarmy, condescending tone, but I think HAL’s breakdown has more to do with maternal psychosis: he would rather kill his wards than see them pass on to a dimension in which they will not be dependent upon him. It is crucial, and tragic, that HAL is the one who intuits the true meaning of the mission before any of the humans know for sure, and that HAL asserts that he is one who deserves pass through infinity; he is a pure rational construct, and believes humans to be fallible and unworthy. To survive, Dave Bowman will have to lose everything (his partner is killed, the crew he is protecting taken from him, and his computer and connection with the earth undergo breakdown), and he will have to literally pass through the void unprotected.
My favorite element of the film is how Kubrick concentrates on breathing in the spacewalks: it is not only technically accurate (pilots and certainly astronauts are rigorously trained to control their own bodily processes and keep their breathing slow, deep, and even, even in conditions of high-adrenaline, life-or-death situations), but it essentializes the human element in this film of high technology. The breathing epitomizes human fragility in a story about being drawn into the void, and taking the chance on faith that you will survive. The most desperate and singular act of the film is Dave’s attempt to enter through the airlock without his helmet: a foolhardy and irrational move that HAL could never have calculated. The gamble succeeds, and HAL is left to beg pitifully for his “life”, in one Cinema’s most enduringly strange and beautiful scenes. Bowman must kill the household god, putting out the light of HAL’s eye, and proceed alone to face the Infinity beyond Jupiter, transcending anything human and directly entering the void.
To be honest, Chopin, the main issue and flaw in your argument is that you completely misuse the word “satire.” Your comments were in no way satirical. They were snarky.
On a less snarky note, I’ve yet to see a good argument for Kubrick.
Oh boy I guess I have to post here considering Kubrick is quite possibly my favorite director and I have seen all 13 of his films and all 3 of his shorts.
People often criticize Kubrick saying is films are wooden or visually stunning but little on emotions. I disagree. I think his films are all beautiful, there is no doubt about that, but also are very powerful. It is true he has a lot to say with each film, but I don’t think he sacrifices the story for his ideas.
His films hit a certain part of me I can’t really explain. If it doesn’t affect you in the same way, o well, everyone can’t like him. I just know that his films take storytelling, emotions, meaning, and visuals and wrap it all into a perfect movie.
I know this was a terrible argument so I guess I’m proving RUS’s point. But just because his fans struggle to express their love doesn’t mean it isn’t sincere. I can’t express my emotions into writing as well as I can feel them. All I can say is each of his movies either made me cry, laugh, cower in fear, become breathless in amazement, and often a combination.
I admit that this aspect of Kubrick does bother me: later in his career he increasingly tends to deaden his actors performances by running them through so many takes their voices and mannerisms become flat. I find this to be a particular problem in Barry Lyndon, despite that film’s great beauty and excellent narrative structure.
Actually the flaw with your attack at me personally is that it is satire, in the category of parody, I am making fun of people who point out insignificant details in someone argument to attempt and discredit them completely. You should possibly consider some classes on the art before screaming at people for making jokes that you find “snarky.”
parody (pronounced [ˈpɛɹədiː] US, [ˈpaɹədiː] UK, also called send-up or spoof), in contemporary usage, is a work created to mock, comment on, or poke fun at an original work, its subject, or author, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation.
I consider him a legendary directory, but that is largely based upon 2001. To me, thats his only film that is absolutely essential. I have a lot of respect for Kubrick’s work, but hes not my favorite. Maybe some people just don’t get as much from his films as they do from others.
I’m scared of women also. Guess thats why I like Kubrick so much. Wow, interesting thought.
Kubrick is an important filmmaker but an acquired taste. There is nothing conventionaly “likeable” about his work. But its seriousness and thorougness demand srespect, if not love.
I think it all depends on “Where you came in.” I saw “The Killing” when it came out and was hooked on Kubrick with “Lolita.” “2001” was a key 60’s experience. These days my fave is “Barry Lyndon.” But “Eyes Wide Shut” is not without its dark delights.
Still I can quite understand not “getting” Kubrick at all.
I find it interesting how overlooked Dr. Strangelove is among Kubrick’s work. When I read discussions on Kubrick it seems The Killing, Eyes Wide Shut, and 2001 are always mentioned, but Strangelove is left with nary a mention. I consider it to be Kubrick’s best film since it takes his perceived woodenness and puts it firmly tongue-in-cheek, using his style to criticize the Cold War and play upon its anxieties.
Kubrick’s other films, though, have left me mostly bemused, Eyes Wide Shut I’ve warmed up to but Kidman just annoys me, and Barry Lyndon I enjoy for its luscious visuals but see nothing of value in its actual story.
2001 seems like Kubrick trying to tackle big ideas like transcendental human experience and religion, but failing since he is so overt in his symbolism and withdrawn from his characters – notice how HAL is the most identifiably “human” character in the film – that I’ve often left watching it feeling more indifferent than anything else. There’s a difference between delivering a revelation directly to the audience and delivering a revelation via a character: “I’m undergoing an unimaginable experience” rather than “that astronaut looks like he’s undergoing an unimaginable experience”.
Full Metal Jacket has already been criticized, all of which I agree with, so I’ll just say that it feels like Kubrick wasn’t trying to make anything new or interesting.
A Clockwork Orange is a film that I will never understand the appeal of outside of some greatly composed shots. The future as dystopia idea has become something that always leaves me cold since I’ve seen so many visions of dystopia that I’m sick to death of it. Not that this is a criticism of ACO per-say, just that Kubrick’s usual stylistic panache combined with tired sci-fi ideas didn’t leave a good impression.
Still haven’t seen Lolita however, although I’d rather just remember Nabokov’s story instead of any film adaptation.
Everything from Dr. Strangelove to Eyes Wide Shut is a masterpiece. I completely agree with Drews comments.
Also i have noticed through the years how many homosexuals do not like Kubrick very much. Kubrick is a mans director, so you need to be able to wear a jockstrap to appreciate his films.
Well that’s funny, J-P becsuse “Dr. Strangelove” was an enormous hit and made “2001” possible.
“Barry Lyndon” is a great story about social-climbing. And it sports one of my favorite of all movie endings,as it shows something that no one has dared ever show before — signing the checks!
I never meant to say “Strangelove” wasn’t a hit, just commenting on how it is something I rarely see discussed alongside EWS or 2001.
“Also i have noticed through the years how many homosexuals do not like Kubrick very much. Kubrick is a mans director, so you need to be able to wear a jockstrap to appreciate his films.”
Woooooooooooow. I’m not even touching this one since it implies so much obvious ignorance.
Use an approved dictionary next time:
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues
an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect : the movie is a parody of the horror genre | his provocative use of parody. See note at caricature .
• an imitation or a version of something that falls far short of the real thing; a travesty
-from The American Heritage College Dictionary
These words differ because they suggest different approaches and/or targets of the author’s/speaker’s mockery. Explain to me how you “satirized” his comment? If you want to change your wording to “parody” (as you did in your reply) do so, but don’t try to argue that satire means the same as parody, is in some way a specific form of parody, or vice/versa .
You just talked yourself into a word war with an English major and copyeditor, friendo.
Of course, there is no shame in admitting you made a mistake.
There is less shame in admitting that I am right.
Struggling to explain your love for Kubrick? That sounds like an abusive relationship. I suggest you leave it.
Actually I believe you totally misunderstood my joke. I was not satirizing him, I respect Justin a lot, read his post all the time. It was merely a joke, to satirize a type of person totally unrelated to anything in this thread. Parody is a subclass of satire, satire has classes. Sarcasm, imitation etc. Or at least that was the way I was taught.
satire: the use of humor, HUMOR
parody: -for comic effect
So, to explain further, parody is used to achieve a comic effect and satire is the use of humor. hmmm? In turn I was using satire in the form of parody.
“Frankly” it does not even matter, if you think there is some direct distinction between saying
On a less satirical note and On a less paradoxical note
then fine, you win.
And to return to your initial attack on my argument, how would me saying that flaw my argument?
Ironically, you totally fell into my joke which I did not intend at all, you are the person I am satirizing, a person who takes a detail like that and blows it out of proportion. Like I was with an insignificant detail like the name of a composer but I don’t think you are trying to commit comedy. Instead you are citing your major as some kind of evidence that you know what you are talking about and… well I don’t know what else, starting a pointless argument to prove you know some literary distinction?
If you did not get my joke then well, thats rather funny, I must fail as a satirist but don’t try to say my argument is flawed because you did not get my joke.
EDIT: and to add, I found this article on writing.com, notice the text “a parody is a form of satire-”
RUS, But why would I want to do that! Our relationship has brought me such an incredible amount of joy!
@ Chopin I’m probably on your side with the whole argument but I wouldn’t necessarily use Wikipedia as my reliable source for definitions.
Stanley only beats you because he loves you Drew ha!
“For some reason with film (though I guess this applies to all visual arts), volume is a real asset for an artist.”
Just, you know, to throw that out there.
RUS: “On a less snarky note, I’ve yet to see a good argument for Kubrick.”
From the post that I quoted you from, right above it are quite a few.
Who taught you those definitions? Ridiculous. I certainly hope you don’t take advice from writing.com, don’t you have any reliable sources? Preferably non-internet? I didn’t pick up on your humor because it is strikingly absent. But, to further my point, consider the words as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary:
satire (noun): A poem, or in modern use, sometimes a prose composition, in which prevailing vices or follies are held up to ridicule. Sometimes, less correctly, applied to a composition in verse or prose intended to ridicule a particular person or class of persons, a lampoon.
parody (noun): A composition in prose or verse in which the characteristic turns of thought and phrase in an author or class of authors are imitated in such a way as to make them appear ridiculous, especially by applying them to ludicrously inappropriate subjects; an imitation of a work more or less closely modelled on the original, but so turned as to produce a ridiculous effect.
Now, regardless of what you wish to argue and how “Melissa” may choose to define them, satire is not a class of parody, nor parody a class of satire (though both are used to ridicule). You are correct in saying you parodied something (though you failed to bring it to a “ridiculous extent”), but it was not satire. Note the difference: satire ridicules vice and foolishness, while parody ridicules style, tone, and, to an extent, attitude. If you can produce an accepted, reliable (i.e. non-internet) source that makes a reasonable claim otherwise, I would be very interested if you would make it known to me.
I cited my major merely to illustrate my doggishness on these issues. My work as a copyeditor takes that doggishness to an exponential degree.
So, you have two options. One, learn the definitions of certain words; or two, be funnier (option one will likely be easier).
I’m sorry the rest of you had to see this.
For those interested, please make an effort to refer to one of the following dictionaries/style manuals before arguing elements of language and grammar:
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English LanguageThe Chicago Manual of StyleThe Associated Press Style BookThe Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (also consult The New Oxford American Dictionary)The Elements of Style (be wary of its idiosyncrasies)The Copyeditor’s HandbookMerriam Webster’s Collegiate DictionaryThe MLA Handbook for Writers of Research PapersPublication Manual of the American Psychological AssociationUnderstanding English GrammarA Writer’s Reference
My apologies for not organizing that list.
Orpheus M: Great comments on 2001 – loved all your explanations and connections, such as tiger’s eye = HAL’s eye. Wonderful stuff that helps to increase my own fascination with this unique film. Your analysis of the ‘boring’ initial parts as an attempt to satirize commercial culture and then blow it away with the group shot in front of the monolith was very apt. I hadn’t seen any of these connections before, but your explanations all make perfect sense. I wish you would give us your take on the Room and the final shots of the star child sometime. This has made the thread all worthwhile for me. Kubrick is one of my favourite directors for reasons I have made clear many times on this site. I won’t repeat myself here.
Justin: You and Uncle Rich do make strange bedfellows…
While I do like most of his films and think he was a very good director I can see why some people simply don’t like Kubrick’s movies. They are long, the plot can seem disconnected and the undertow of “themes” or the philosophical aspects of the films can seem too far below the surface to matter. But they are usually well thought out and well directed, meaning that details of each shot underscore the story and philosophical stance of the film.
As mentioned the way that the breathing in 2001 acts as a reminder of the human in the situation while HAL’s voice, his language, is flat and false. The use of dutched angles for the general in Strangelove (although this was probably a cliche already by then). The scene in the Shining where Torrence is in the bathroom talking to Grady where Grady tells him: No, Mr. Torrence. You, sir, are the caretaker…"
He’s a good director and usually has an excellenct cast and excellent writers and he knows what lens to put where. That’s more than most directors know.