We Will Never Forget...Stanley Kubrick

by Humby

Seven years ago today, we lost one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Stanley Kubrick died on March 7, 1999 at the age of 70. While he made only 13 films, he is one of the most influential people to ever pick up a camera.
In 1964 he took the world by storm with the sharp, intelligent, satirical political comedy DR. STRANGELOVE, and earned his first Oscar nomination for director. He would receive three more (for his next three films), but never won. DR. STRANGELOVE was a comic look at a nuclear holocaust. The movie was released during the cold war, just two months after the assassination to John F. Kennedy, and it cut to the bone of the fears of the country using humor.
Kubrick followed this up with a movie that changed cinema and influenced a generation. Taking us on a journey we could never forget, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY broke the mold in effects and the world of science fiction films. It paved the way for films like STAR WARS and is pointed to as an inspiration to filmmakers such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. 2001 is a visual feast. The portrayal of space and his vision of the future caught the eye of the world and kept them in awe. In a time of confusion and disarray, it provided an abstract look at who we are and where we are going, becoming a semi-religious experience to millions.
His next film is my favorite. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is a perfect example of what a film can accomplish. Shocking, political, engaging, entertaining thought provoking, funny, scary, dramatic, abstract, beautiful, well written, and directed with unparalleled skill. There are only a handful of films that I cannot find flaw in and CLOCKWORK stands above them all. Malcolm McDowell delivers an iconic performance as one of the most compelling characters in film history.
By all accounts, Alex de Large is a despicable human being. He rapes, murders, lies, cheats, steals and does it all with a smile on his face and the good old Ludwig Van in his head. He loves being a villain. He gets great pleasure in it. He is a horrible human being. The thing is that we grow to like Alex as we watch his journey. He is so charismatic and magnetic that we cannot help ourselves.

CLOCKWORK is a challenging film that uses its portrayal of shocking violence as a tool to make a point. This movie has a lot to say and continues to provoke discussion from those who watch it. Like the best of movies, this one makes you think.
Stanley Kubrick was a master and will be greatly missed by those who love his movies. His reputation as a recluse and a perfectionist has attained almost mythic proportions, but that is not why he will be remembered. His work. His films will live on and so will a part of Kubrick. There is a part of him in every frame of every film that he made. That passion, thought and love is present for all to discover, explore and enjoy.

Seven years ago we lost a master. Thank you for your films… They continue to inspire me. You will be missed but never forgotten.

Read more tributes at the Stanley Kubrick remembrance page and Roger Ebert's eulogy for Kubrick.


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