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Stanley Kubrick for every mood

Stanley Kubrick for every mood

           Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite directors of all time. I know it might come as a shocker to many of you, since I mainly talk about Chris Nolan, but hey – Kubrick is… I am not going to use “was”, iconic with his plots, twists and symmetry. A bigger piece about  his work is coming, but today there will be a list!

The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.

           And as I was going through the movies to tick which I have watched (and I am pleased to report that I have watched all!!!!!), I realized they each can match different moods or whatever you might need that day. So, today’s list will be a bit different than usual. So, shall we get in?

Fear and Desire (1953), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Frank Silvera, Paul Mazursky, Kenneth Harp). It is a surreal war film where soldiers are trapped behind enemy lines and reality blurs… Makes you wonder if Kubrick was drinking the same water as Salvador Dalí.

Mood: Introspective yet experimental
When to watch: When you’re in the mood for a thought-provoking war film with a quite surreal twist.

Killer’s Kiss (1955), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith).  suspenseful tale of a washed-up boxer and a damsel in distress, featuring more back-alley scuffle and noir shadows than a detective’s worst day.

Mood: Gritty, lionhearted
When to watch: When you’re craving a classic film noir with a boxing twist and dark, atmospheric vibes.

via IMDb

The Killing (1956), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards). A meticulously planned racetrack heist that goes spectacularly wrong. Something like Ocean’s Eleven, but with a signature dose of Kubrick’s doom and gloom. It is one of my favorites on this list! 

Mood: Tense, heist-driven
When to watch: When you’re in the mood for a meticulously crafted heist film with plenty of twists and turns.

Writing, of course, is writing, acting comes from the theater, and cinematography comes from photography. Editing is unique to film. You can see something from different points of view almost simultaneously, and it creates a new experience.

Paths of Glory (1957), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou). Trench warfare, courtroom drama, and moral outrage combined in a film where Kirk Douglas stands taller than the Eiffel Tower. Haha, am I funny or what? But it is true. Trust me, I watched all of his films. Not Kirk’s, Stanley’s. 

Mood: Reflective and defo anti-war
When to watch: When you want a powerful, emotional exploration of the futility of war and military injustice.

Spartacus (1960), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons). An epic sword-and-sandal spectacle where Kirk Douglas leads a slave coupe against Rome, with more melodrama than a bacchanalia.

Mood: Epic, heroic
When to watch: When you’re ready for a grand historical epic filled with drama, action, and inspiring rebellion.

Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images – Image courtesy gettyimages.com, via IMDb

Lolita (1962), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers). A scandalous tale of obsession and forbidden love. It features a pedantic professor, a precocious teenager, and Peter Sellers being delightfully weird. If I can say that, which I absolutely can. 

Mood: Controversial, darkly comedic
When to watch: When you’re in the mood for something provocative and satirical, with a quite big touch of dark humor.

A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden). Oh this one is in my TOP 3 of Kubrick’s! It’s a black comedy about the nuclear apocalypse where Peter Sellers plays three roles and manages to steal every scene – yes, even (or maybe especially) as a mad scientist in a wheelchair.

Mood: Satirical and absurd
When to watch: When you want a dark comedy that pokes fun at the absurdity of nuclear war and political paranoia.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester). Most definitely my absolute favorite. Who doesn’t love an epic journey through space and time that features homicidal computers and psychedelic star-gates. Simply imagine if Nietzsche wrote sci-fi. 

Mood: Philosophical, awe-inspiring
When to watch: When you’re ready to ponder the mysteries of the universe and enjoy stunning visual storytelling.

Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images – © 2012 Getty Images – Image courtesy gettyimages.com, via IMDb

A Clockwork Orange (1971), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates). Based on one of my favorite books. A dystopian shocker with ultraviolence, Beethoven, and Malcolm McDowell’s unsettling grin – Kubrick’s dark take on the perils of free will.

Mood: Disturbing, thought-provoking
When to watch: When you’re in the lookout for a dystopian film that challenges your perceptions of free will and morality.

© 1971 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved, via IMDb

Barry Lyndon (1975), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee). An 18th-century period drama told with painterly perfection and slow-burn wit, where duels and destiny conspire against an ambitious rogue.

Mood: Reflective and looking for visually immersive experience.
When to watch: When you’re in the mood for a beautifully shot period drama with a slow, contemplative pace.

Here’s to five miserable months on the wagon and the irreparable harm that it’s caused me.

The Shining (1980), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd).  A winter getaway at a haunted hotel turns into a screaming nightmare, starring Jack Nicholson as the ultimate caretaker going cuckoo. Each time I watch it, for a solid hour I forget how absolutely creepy this film is. LOVE IT! 

Mood: Spooky, intense
When to watch: When you’re ready for a psychological horror that will give you chills and keep you on the edge of your seat.

Full Metal Jacket (1987), dir. Stanley Kubrick, (Starring: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D’Onofrio). From boot camp brutality to Vietnam’s chaos – this war film serves up sardonic commentary and memorable one-liners with a bullet to the brain.

Mood: Harrowing, darkly humorous
When to watch: When you want a raw, gritty look at the dehumanizing effects of war, with moments of dark humor.

Photo by © Warner Bros. Entertainment In – © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., via IMDb

Eyes Wide Shut (1999), dir. Stanley Kubrick (Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack). Ew, that one movie with Tom Cruise… And it had to be a sexually charged odyssey through New York’s secret societies, where Tom stumbles upon masked balls and dark desires in a movie that’s more surreal than sexy.

Mood: Mysterious, erotic
When to watch: When you’re in the mood for an enigmatic journey into the hidden desires and secrets of a seemingly perfect couple.

If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.

           Told ya, Lot. Stanley Kubrick is here for you for every single mood, and let me just point out how deep I made them – not just simply happy, sad, confused or lonely. Your friendly neighborhood writer has your back! 

Anyway, let me know how you stand with Stanley! And… If you liked this format! 

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