by Brenda Lee Intengan
A couple of months ago during the beginning of the holiday season, my friend forwarded a link to me of a clip from Stanley Kubrick’s last film, Eyes Wide Shut because of the Christmas light theme throughout the film. I initially paid just half attention to the content of the video, until the masterful cinematography grabbed my eyes and held them with every scene. The style of this director is, to say the least, visually arresting.
From the first time I saw A Clockwork Orange as a teenager, I have always known that Kubrick had a remarkable eye. Managing to be stylistically classic and boundary-pushing throughout his films, he created visually timeless sets. His work on 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film that was created in 1968, managed to be radically ahead of its time; it still looks like the future. I believe that the recently released Tron: Legacy took its visual cues from this film, over 40 years later.
I have spent the past few weeks studying Stanley Kubrick’s films and enjoying the work of a true, revolutionary cinematic genius. From Lolita to Barry Lyndon to Full Metal Jacket, everything that he worked on is a dream for the eyes. I’d like to live in a Kubrick universe – not the part about the weaknesses and struggles of the human condition that he so beautifully depicts, but one designed, lit, and decorated by him. Life in it would at least feel infinite, sumptuous, decadent and perfect, and I would be endlessly inspired.
The Kubrick universe is twisted, perverse, and haunted – deeply troubled, to put it mildly- for it’s inhabitants. But it is also visually stunning with unparalleled style and attention to detail. After watching the catastrophic attempt by the Black Eyed Peas to convey the future during the unwittingly farcical Super Bowl halftime last night, I appreciate Kubrick’s genius in set design more than ever.