How can I call myself a film lover if I do not love watching Stanley Kubrick’s films? He is essential viewing when trying to understand film technique, film history and film love. His films have become so iconic that a picture of Malcolm McDowell’s face with one eye painted up and a derby hat on is instantly recognizable to millions of people. He is one of those directors that is a no brainer for influences and great filmmaking. However I sometimes take advantage of the fact that I know how good his films are without really studying them again and again. However every time I get around to watching my Blu ray copy of A Clockwork Orange, I remember how good Stanley Kubrick is to me and that I should really learn to always have him in my life. Enough of my blabbering. Here is my favorite Stanley Kubrick films:
5. Full Metal Jacket
I recently pulled out my old DVD copy of this film in order to remember if I actually liked it or not. I associate many war dramas with having to sit next to my grandpa and have him tease me while half paying attention to something showing on AMC. I find them not as interesting as other genres. I also usually will not be buying war films like my brother or my dad has, so I am always weary when I think of having this film. Then I pop in the film and say that if only all war films were this anti-war. Then maybe we wouldn’t have such war hungry boys (like my brother and some of my male cousins are). This film laughs in the faces of films like the Green Beret or Tora! Tora! It says “No, stupid. That is not how wars are. There are no heros, just people who are scared shitless and want to get out as quickly as possible.” I should have given this film to my sister, then she might not have joined the Navy… (like she would watch something like this. ever.)
4. The Killing
I like me some noir crime genres. I like them suspenseful, foggy, and full of shady characters. This film has all of those things to a degree that I hold all other film noirs up to this standard. About planning a heist of a racetrack, this film is a study in everyhing that might go wrong does go wrong and it is beautifully tragic every step of the way.
3. A Clockwork Orange
One of my favorite books (yes I am one of those freaks who actually got through the book and loved it), I was still taken aback by the overt violence taking place on screen when I first saw it. Despite the book being more violent than the film, it is sometimes hard getting a more visual and concrete version of it shown in front of your eyeballs. However I gave the film a couple more tries and now I watch it for a relaxing night in. (I am very twisted, I know.) It is a study in explicit images and foreign/made up languages that still has even more deeply to say about it.
2. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
A comedy about nuclear fallout is not a common occurance in mainstream cinema. And yet Kubrick managed to get it made with some of the funniest people working at the time and with a sense of satire that was strong and bitter. There are some comic bits in here that are just a sight to see. They are so funny that you forget to laugh.
1. The Shining
For someone who HATES watching horror films (because I am a pussy), this film is my favorite of his to go to again and again. Getting this performance out of Jack Nicholson is one of Kubrick’s crowning achievements. The slow burn that is this film is full of tension, jumps and crazy psychological renderings. I love it and I love this film!