Film/TV Aug 23, 2007 at 4:00 am

Why Stanley Kubrick Hated People

Phillip Fivel Nessen


Uhh, no. Like many good storytellers, he realized that it's best to test protagonists on a three levels: personal (dignity, confidence), social (friendship, love), global (money/life/death).

What Kubrick did that was extraordinary was being able to make personal and social functionally subservient to the global shifts, so that relationships and people are still believable and interesting even though their dynamics are driving the global plot. The expanse of global plots condemning the protagonist is what you're reading as the existential dilemma that the protagonist faces. It's a story tool, not an authorial declaration.

The result is that the emotional passion that most people associate with social plots becomes effectively transferred to the global plot, an association that most people aren't used to because they are naturally cynical of global events, and therefore react in a fearful (negative) manner. The fact that you assume the negativity stems from the author of the work is very interesting and telling, but misguided. Stories are created in moments of special circumstance, emotions of every color are conjured and sustained as needed, captured on paper or film in moments of fury. It doesn't mean they define the author's general worldview.

How Kubrick weaved that web so effectively is a real testament to his mastery of the craft.

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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