“One of his films… is equivalent to ten of somebody else’s.
Watching a Kubrick film is like gazing up at a mountain top.
You look up and wonder,’How could anyone have climbed that high?'”
– Martin Scorsese
I count Stanley Kubrick as one of my favorite filmmakers to have ever lived, maybe even my most favorite, in general. I can watch his films over and over… and never lose my fascination with the details that he puts work in them (with his flaws and everything, no one is perfect). Although, I do own the Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition blu-ray Collection, I haven’t sat through “Barry Lyndon” and “Dr. Strangelove” completely. Otherwise, all his other films, I’ve seen at least 3 to 5 times each, “The Shining”, probably almost 20 times (one of the scariest films that will stand the test of time), despite Stephen King’s reservations with it. I recite lines from “Full Metal Jacket” like the way others quote Tarantino flicks. I still don’t know what “2001” is about, yet I still watch it over again, enjoying a sensation of evolution every time. And, I just get a hormonal kick seeing Nicole Kidman nekkid in “Eyes Wide Shut”… well, as shallow as I am, the movie is great too. His films are like books of still images laced together for about 2 to 3 hours each. I flip through them immersed in each scene, as if each held it’s own expansive story.
I won’t descend into a fanatical ranting of him being a “mad genius” of some sort. He’s just great at what he does. And, well, not too many people can do what he can do, most filmmakers will never leave a legacy that he left. It’s a matter of my opinion, and it’s not a bias influenced by a larger, cultured film community (although, it’s prob where I got started noticing Kubrick). I just love his films, and I learn much, feel much when I watch ’em. I’m intrigued every moment I experience his works, and they get me caring enough to ask,”What was he thinking when he did this?” And, I do find answers on repeat viewing. Although, they’re personal answers because I trusts that he had a plan, and because he’s honest. I don’t feel conned the way most Hollywood films do to audience members with their 3D IMAX selling points. (Not to rag on Hollywood movies, necessarily. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that I enjoyed “Iron Man 3” and “Pacific Rim”.). I just don’t care for most of the icing on the cake. Makes it too sweet sometimes. Bad for your health. Just show me a good story told with a camera.
If you watched the documentary “Room 237,” you would have seen examples of how others have delusions of grandeur when challenging and over-analyzing Kubrick’s (or anyone else’s) work, when labeled as “great” or a “genius”, to nurture their own empty insecurities. But, I’m not a fanatic nor defensive if others disagree, ’cause I appreciate Stanley Kubrick as an artist. That’s all it is. I do refer to him as a genius only compared to the rest of the lot of good filmmakers. And, I am hopeful of new renaissances of filmmakers in the forthcoming future. I may not live to see it, which saddens me at times, but this is how I am grounded being in awe of Kubrick’s existence in Man’s historical timeline. To inspire humans to achieve more greatness. I may put the guy on a pedestal, but it’s a pedestal that we can climb. Critics and conspiracy theorists who put themselves on a pedestal look down on the rest of humanity, and it’s not only the emperor, but the common man who lives in mediocrity, who has no clothes. Great art, is subjective to the interpretation of an individual’s relationship to its creator that adds to the value of one’s living, not tools to chain one’s mind to someone’s interpretations. Art can be honest, but it’s not facts.
So, it was natural I was ecstatic when someone had mentioned about there being a “Kubrick exhibit at an L.A. museum”. It was held at the LACMA museum, specifically, which I have never had the opportunity before to attend. And, also, found that it’s one of the few museums that showcases films and filmmakers as art. The Kubrick exhibit had ended last June 30, and being the procrastinator that I was, despite having heard about the exhibit last year, I was able to rush down and check this “shiet” out in time last month. I wasn’t gonna miss this, not for any Spielberg or Lucas exclusive screening in a secret Kevin Smith dungeon. Unless, Kevin Smith was holding a Kubrick marathon screening in that dungeon, I’m there with a gag ball in mouth with a leash in hand leading a couple of twin gimps. That didn’t mean anything, I just wanted to write that.
Enough of my pompous love of Kubrick…
You can find my album of pics from the museum in my Facebook photo titled
Stanley Kubrick Exhibit @ LACMA or on Flickr of the same name. While you do that, in the meantime, I’ll finally sit through “Barry Lyndon” and “Dr. Strangelove”. And, I’ll grow more obsessive as a Kubrick fan.