The Shining: a histrionic epic horror film saved by its themes of control and alien manipulation

Stanley Kubrick, “The Shining” (1980) In most directors’ hands, a Stephen King horror novel of a family disintegrating under the impact of the husband / father’s alcoholism wouldn’t have been more than a small-scale pedestrian flick destined for weekday daytime TV. In the hands of Stanley Kubrick, “The Shining” becomes an epic tale of how …

The Seafarers: a preachy recruitment film for trade union membership with unusual historical relevance

Stanley Kubrick, “The Seafarers” (1953) Stanley Kubrick’s first film made in colour turns out to be a 30-minute documentary promoting a trade union for crews of cargo vessels. “The Seafarers” was commissioned by Seafarers International Union (SIU), a North American union representing mariners in North and South America. As an extended infomercial, the film extols …

2001: A Space Odyssey – a film that explores universal human desires and the relationship between people and technology

Stanley Kubrick “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) One of the great crowning glories of 20th century cinema, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” deserves its reputation as one of the greatest science-fiction films and is one of few films that successfully combine a traditional story-telling narrative with daring experimentation in sound and visuals. It is …

A Clockwork Orange: a political and social comedy satire relying too much on audiovisual shock tactics

Stanley Kubrick, “A Clockwork Orange” (2013) Not a bad film but for what it is, “A Clockwork Orange” is fussy and relies too much on shock, bright colours and the juxtaposition of apparent high-brow symbols and low-brow brutality and violence to wow viewers. The main character Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is an out-of-control working-class teenager running …