Stanley Kubrick

The Shining – Stanley Kubrick (1980)

I noticed “The Shining” on Netflix and my girlfriend said she never saw it, so we watched the classic. Apparently it has been a while since I saw it myself, as I did not remember much of it.

I am sure you all know the film inside out, so I do not have to say much about it. For the exceptions to this…
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) will take care of an hotel that lays very remote in the Rocky Mountains. It is so remote, that it closes for the winter season and somebody has to take care of the building in that period. Torrance, his wife Wendy and their son Danny will be those.

Previous caretakers have gone mad due to the solitude and as you can see on the cover, it is Jack that does so this time.

The camera work of the film is great. During the long car drive to the hotel, the surroundings are shot from (I think) a helicopter in beautiful shots. The very 1980’ies colorful hotel is used brilliantly in symmetric shots and bright colors. The endless halls of the hotel give a great feeling of isolation. The music typically shows when a scene is (supposed to be) scary.

I find the film mostly ‘filmographically’ interesting. The atmosphere is good too and Nicholson is even scary when he tries to look friendly. I find the acting of Shelly (Wendy) and Danny (Danny) less convincing, but all in all the film remains at a high level.

Truly a classic!

Barry Lyndon – Stanley Kubrick (1975)

This lengthy film has been on my wishlist for quite some time. For some reason ‘my usual film dealer’ does not have it.

Barry Lyndon is a young Irishman who lives in the 18th century upper class. He does not appear to be too fit for that upper class so, so he is forced to leave. Joining the army and travelling to the continent to fight Napoleon and his troops, Barry soon starts to find ways to get away from his duties tumbling into different adventures. When he finally works himself back into the upper class, Barry does not really prove himself to be a gentleman.

Compared to “A Clockwork Orange” (1971) “Barry Lyndon” is a very normal film, a costume drama. Kubrick appears to like to try different types of film. “Barry Lyndon” is not boring, but not a must-see either.

Killer’s Kiss * Stanley Kubrick (1955)

This classic Kubrick is a classic crime film in black and white. A boxer who is over his top meets a beautiful woman with a boyfriend with loose hands. The story is not surprising, Kubrick did not (yet) make an out-of-the-ordinary film, so “Killer’s Kiss” is just an entertaining oldie.

Dr. Strangelove * Stanley Kubrick (1964)

In a bit of a James Bond style Kubrick warns us about the dangers of nuclear armory. Some high ranking military officer goes berzerk and sends all B52’s with A-bombs to targets in Russia. The president of the USA calls his Russian colleague in trying to prevent their doomsday machine that will erase every living creature on earth from going off. “Dr. Strangelove” is a film with a slightly absurdistic style of humour like we know from other films of Kubrick. It is an enjoying film, especially for its age.