Kubrick and Control

Authority, Order and Independence in the Films and Working Life of Stanley Kubrick

Author Jeremy Carr

"Kubrick and Control" is an examination of authority, order, and independence in the films directed by Stanley Kubrick, as well as in his personal life and working habits. This study explores the ways in which these central preoccupations develop and reformulate through the course of Kubrick's career, as he moved from genre to genre and shifted stories, locations, time periods, scope, and technical facilities. Separating the productions in accordance to their wider filmic classifications, the individual chapters examine a variety of productions, allowing for a categorical as well as a developmental approach to the works. In addition, following concurrently with each individual film discussed, details about Kubrick's life and evolving directorial practice are recounted in relation to these same concerns. In studying the stylistic and narrative features of his work, examples illustrate how Kubrick took these themes and applied them consistently yet with significant variation, manifest in relation to mise-en-scène construction (how Kubrick composed his images); characterization (individuals establishing, exerting, seeking, and/or abusing their authority); narrative (stories about characters and situations dependent upon order and control); and the actual filmmaking processes of the director (Kubrick was both praised and damned for his authorial management and obsession with order and perfection).


Jeremy Carr is a faculty associate who teaches film and media studies in the Department of English at ASU.

Black and white image of Kubrick
Date published
Liverpool University Press

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