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Stanley Kubrick's influence on the industry of cinema, even 25 years after his death

Just a few days ago was the anniversary of the death of one of the worlds greatest directors.

25 years ago, Stanley Kubrick left us: a visionary and eclectic filmmaker who influenced the history of cinema by exploring all genres, from war films to thrillers and horror.

His perfectionism and his predilection for quality rather than quantity have made his masterpieces fundamental pillars in the history of cinema.

With a total of thirteen films that he directed, he received thirteen Oscar nominations although the sole victory only came in '69 for the special effects of “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

He influenced filmmakers all over the world with his way of making films, with his way of telling stories and looking inside the often tormented human soul.

In fact, among his stylistic features, in addition to the meticulous attention to detail that he himself as a director gave, from the writing phase to photography, we can distinguish a common element in his films: the chilling gaze of his characters turned towards the viewer, inevitably creating a sense of discomfort.

The director, who seems to be staring at us himself, challenges, scares and provokes the audience with, often frontal, eyes and close-ups (as happens in "A Clockwork Orange" where the protagonist's gaze is frightening from the first moment and he is alone a preview of the anguish and violence that will be displayed throughout the film).

This obsession of his to achieve perfection, during his 50-year career, has caused many actors and collaborators to disclose how complicated it was to please him and how many hours they had to work to achieve the so-called perfect take. During the filming of his last film, "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999), for example, they had to shoot a scene with Tom Cruise for entire days, while for "The Shining" (1980) less than 1% of the material filmed was used for the final product, while regularly a fifth or a tenth of the complete material is used and the rest discarded.

Despite his angsty and violent characters, his films vary so much that it's impossible not to like at least one of them. There are those who prefer "Barry Lyndon" which, despite its three hour duration, is one of the most appreciated (even by those less fond of the director's violent style). In fact, this film is characterized by clean and perfect photography and harmonious color palettes that are the result of Kubrick's technical skill and aesthetic sensitivity.

This attention to detail, to perspective, to lighting, to symmetry and props, allowed us to freeze any of his films at any shot at random, showing us a visually perfect picture thanks to framing, position of the actors, light and colours.

The world of cinema is eternally grateful for the creative output of Kubrick throughout his career and he’s surely missed now just as much as 25 years ago.

Written by Olga Raimondo


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