A Critical Companion to Stanley Kubrick offers a thorough and detailed study of the films of the legendary director. Labeled a recluse, a provocateur, and a perfectionist, Kubrick revolutionized filmmaking, from the use of music in film, narrative pacing and structure, to depictions of war and violence. An unparalleled visionary, his work continues to influence contemporary cinema and visual culture. This book delves into the complexities of his work and examines the wide range of topics and the multiple interpretations that his films inspire. The eighteen chapters in this book use a wide range of methodologies and explore new trends of research in film studies, providing a series of unique and novel perspectives on all of Kubrick’s thirteen feature films, from Fear and Desire (1953) to Eyes Wide Shut (1999), as well as his work on A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001).
Elsa Colombani received her PhD from the University of Paris Nanterre and currently works as an independent scholar.
Part I. Bending Genres
1. Mental Landscapes and Subdued Bodies in Killer’s Kiss – Vincent Jaunas
2. Burning Down the House in Kubrick’s The Shining – Anne-Marie Paquet-Deyris
3. Kubrick’s Gangster Artistry: Contradiction and Hybridity in The Killing – Carol Donelan
4. Adapting Lolita: Hybridizing and Subverting Genre Conventions – Gilles Menegaldo
5. History by Candlelight: How Stanley Kubrick Revolutionized Depictions of the Past on Film – Sean O’Reilly
6. Intertextuality, Distortion and Echoes of World War II in Stanley Kubrick’s War Films – Guillaume Mouleux
Part II. Master of Chaos and Transgression
7. The Philosophy of War in Dr. Strangelove – Jerold J. Abrams
8. Stanley Kubrick and the Cinema of Chaos: The Theater of War – William Gombash
9. Joker’s Ideological Becoming: The Limits of Irony in Full Metal Jacket – James R. Britton
10. “Violence is a Very Horrible Thing”: Brechtian Alienation Effect in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange – Madison Mae Williams
11. Reading Reality in A Clockwork Orange: Film Censorship, Metalepsis and “Media Effects” – Rachel Cole
12. Through a Glass, Darkly: The Slow Rise of Women in Barry Lyndon, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut – Elsa Colombani
Part III. The Visionary Auteur
13. Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick: Reconsidering a Creative and Business Partnership – James Fenwick
14. Auteur vs. Author: Kubrick’s Relationship with Literary Writers – Annie Nissen
15. “May I have the password?”: Heterotopic Space in Eyes Wide Shut – Carl Sweeney
16. The Spectacle of Time, (Slow) motion and Stillness in the Films of Stanley Kubrick – Paul Johnson
17. 2001: A Space Odyssey: Kubrick’s Allegory of Melancholia – Maurizia Natali
18. The Everlasting Moment: Enchantment and Myth in A.I. and 2001: A Space Odyssey – Joshua Sikora
It is a testament to the enigmatic cinema of Stanley Kubrick and to the editorial wisdom of Elsa Colombani that this anthology brings so many new and crucial insights to the fore. A Critical Companion to Stanley Kubrick features an array of international scholars interpreting films that we know well, but that—thanks to this book—we learn how much we still have to learn. Brimming with original analysis and illustrating a consistent critical awareness of the area, these essays are required reading, for those new to Kubrick and also to those who have long known him.
A smart, erudite collection of essays, this Critical Companion not only serves as an introduction to Kubrick but also shows how many new and intriguing things can be said about him. It will sharpen our understanding of one of the cinema's most widely discussed directors.