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The Director's Idea by Ken Dancyger

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Chapter 17

Stanley Kubrick: The Darkness of Modern Life

Introduction

Many theories of modern history were built on the model that as man works his way up from the animal world progress is made. That progress is an interpretation of human history which would be unmistakable if a historian based the interpretation on the work of Stanley Kubrick, who explored the darkness of modern life. That darkness—with regard to human frailty or something more sinister— is consistent whether Kubrick is exploring the future (“2001: A Space Odyssey,” 1968), the past (“Barry Lyndon,” 1975), or the present (“Eyes Wide Shut,” 2000).

Although Kubrick made few films in a career that spanned almost 50 years, each of those films has had an enduring impact. Devalued in ...

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