Stanley Kubrick Verified Account
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Beginning Credits and Beyond

Music and the Cinematic Imagination

For it might be at first thought that the whole kingdom of imagination was one of deception also. Not so: the action of the imagination is a voluntary summoning of the conceptions of things absent or impossible; and the pleasure and nobility of the imagination partly consist in its knowledge and contemplation of them as such, i.e. in the knowledge of their actual absence or impossibility at the moment of their apparent presence or reality.

John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture

A World of Appearances

I would argue that the abruptness of the cut does not lessen the intensity of the spectator’s absorption, since her attention is wholly captured by its meaning. The desolate landscape is conspicuously lacking in any signs of its position in time, and yet the indication that a large amount of time has intervened between the two shots is very clear. Kubrick decided not to employ the editing figures traditionally used to convey the passage of time, like the fade out, the dissolve, or the montage sequence. Instead, he devised a new, bold solution, one that he must have found commensurate with the scale and the scope of this crucial transition. The moment is crucial because it “trains” the spectator to understand that the temporal course of the story is vertiginously driven toward the future, familiarizing her with the pace at which man’s history on the earth will be narrated in the remainder of the film—by means of jumps of thousands of years at a time, until eternity.

Giorgio Biancorosso, Princeton University
3.85M GSRs

Where the Rainbow Ends

"Man stands face to face with the irrational. He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world."

— Albert Camus,
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Where the Rainbow Ends

Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999) is an existential film about human nature, sexuality, marital fidelity, and the nature and significance of choice. It is one of Kubrick’s most optimistic films. The rituals and banalities of life that often exercise a deadening, soporific effect on the main characters in Kubrick’s other films function here in a positive way, providing opportunities for awareness rather than obfuscation. Even though Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) and Alice Harford (Nicole Kidman) are subject to all the difficulties of the human condition so prevalent in Kubrick’s earlier films, Eyes Wide Shut awakens its protagonists to the reality of their condition and thereby enables them to make conscious choices that eventually strengthen their bond. During the course of the film, the Harfords remove their literal and metaphorical masks, becoming revealed to each other. Although this unmasking exposes some uncomfortable truths about human desires and how these desires challenge marital fidelity, it also strengthens the Harfords’ marriage. By the film’s end, Alice and Bill are cognizant of their own and their partner’s desires for other people. But rather than destroying their marriage, the couple’s honest confession of these desires ultimately reinforces their commitment to stay together. Although human fallibility and frailty may render Bill and Alice incapable of living with their eyes fully opened, Kubrick’s final film suggests that their eyes can at least be wide shut.

Karen D. Hoffman
7.05B GSRs

Viewing Novels, Reading Films: Stanley Kubrick and the Art of Adaptation as Interpretation

Abstract

Greg Jenkins has observed that adaptation “is a presence that is woven into the very fabric of film culture.” Although this statement is true, no definitive theory of adaptation exists. Critics and scholars ponder adaptation, yet cannot seem to agree on what makes an adaptation a success or a failure. The problem of adaptation stems from many sources. What, if anything, does a film owe the novel on which it is based? How, if possible, does a film remain faithful to its source? Is a film a version of a story or its own autonomous work of art? Who is the author of this work? What is an Author? Which text is given primacy: the novel or the film? What is a Text?

These questions, and many others, are at the heart of adaptation studies. This project does not pretend to address them all, nor does it claim to be the final answer to the question of adaptation. It does, however, provide a possible solution that is both theoretical and practical. It is theoretical in that it asks viewers to consider what a particular adaptation is doing with a film; practical in that it attempts to bring method to the madness by applying the theory to a sample case study: Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick is not an arbitrary choice as he encompasses the major questions of adaptation. Although all of Kubrick’s major films were based on works of fiction, he fits into that highest echelon of filmmakers, the auteur. He is the unquestioned “author” of his canon. The range of Kubrick’s films also proves useful for this study: most of Kubrick’s adaptations are successful, a few are not; many of his films have surpassed their literary ancestors, viii others have elevated them to new heights; some stay rather faithful to the source text, others deviate greatly. This discussion will consider the films of Kubrick’s canon that center on two of his recurring themes, love and war, by considering each novel’s thematic appeal for Kubrick followed by an analysis of the film in terms of what it is doing with the text.

Charles Bane
463K GSRs

Towards a Mythic Process Philosophy of Entrepreneurship

Abstract

Drawing on the archetypal theory of the hero's journey, we present an analysis of Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey to theorise on a primordial organisation of entrepreneurial processes. We conclude by discussing opportunities implied by a mythic-process approach in developing new meaning for the ‘beginnings’ and ‘ends’ in the process philosophy of entrepreneurship.

1. Introduction

A process philosophy of entrepreneurship is “a philosophical inquiry of the qualities of entrepreneuring, such as temporality, wholeness, openness, force and potentiality” which prefers a language of change and becoming over that of stability and being (Hjorth et al., 2015b: 608). Hence, process studies tend to view entrepreneurship as a creative, ongoing and unfinished narrative of increasing possibilities in life, thereby subjecting stability to imaginative abstraction (Gartner, 2007; Steyaert, 2007; Weiskopf and Steyaert, 2009). Recent process research on entrepreneurship has also focused on the theme of journeys (McMullen and Dimov, 2013), emphasising the “transformative process by which desires become goals, actions, and systemic outcomes” (p. 1482). Such processes not only open up new contextual possibilities but also bring disclosure and make history (Spinosa et al., 1997).

In this paper, we build on the archetypal theory of the hero's journey (Campbell, 2008; Jung, 1991) to explain the entrepreneuring process as an ever-unfinished one of becoming but also as one which leads to the creation of an organisation. This allows us to shed new light on the mythic premises of regarding entrepreneurs as the epitome of economic growth (Deutschmann, 2001; Sørensen, 2008)—an economic saviour commonly portrayed as a heroic individual (McMullen, 2017). While the rational heroic myth of entrepreneurship has increasingly been criticised (Hjorth and Holt, 2016; Zilber, 2006), we aim to expand such debates by reflecting on the largely ignored area of mythology, specifically the distinct relation of the heroic entrepreneur to the transcendent principle of the general heroic archetype, which is common to all of humanity (Campbell, 2008). We argue that an appreciation of archetypal processes can offer new intellectual paths to understanding the heroic narrative of entrepreneurship as one of stability and change in simulacra (Vaara et al., 2016).

The process philosophy of entrepreneurship, as well as myths themselves, share a focus on pushing for the unattainable while seeking definite grounding in actually lived life (Hjorth, 2015a; Langley et al., 2013). Our proposed mythic philosophy seeks to strike a balance between these two goals by connecting the valuable insights of process philosophy to the primordial metaphysical framework of archetypes. By presenting a philosophical investigation into the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, we initiate an inquiry into the meaning of beginnings and ends in the process philosophy of entrepreneurship, and subsequently emphasise the value of a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between myth and entrepreneuring by seeing both as being metaphysically organised. In conclusion, we seek to encourage further processual thinking on the metaphysics of archetypes and entrepreneurship. This is vital if we are to transcend the looming nihilism of postmodern philosophy and redirect the focus on the transformative power of entrepreneurship away from political aspirations towards a more creative account of entrepreneuring.

Lauri J. Laine, Ewald Kibler
1.29M GSRs

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