Sometimes I feel like Icarus flying higher and higher as I seek to grasp that which I desire most before realizing somethings will always be out of reach. Such is the nature of life. Way back when I discussed my film influences, I somehow manged to leave Stanley Kubrick out of the mix. With films like Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, and, of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s hard to imagine a world where Kubrick hasn’t influenced aspiring filmmakers and writers alike.
To me, Kubrick is Icarus. He wasn’t afraid to spread his wings and fly high. You can definitely see his willingness to push the limits of filmmaking in his film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s one of those films that makes you think. Nowadays that’s quite a rarity. 2001: A Space Odyssey also seems to be something of a prerequisite for watching Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. The references and allusions just make more sense if you go into Interstellar with a working knowledge of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Then of course, you have A Clockwork Orange which pushes more than just the limits of filmmaking. For me, though, Kubrick’s best works are some of his older films like Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and The Killing. It was fun to watch Kubrick take on satire in Dr. Strangelove. And who can forget the iconic scene where Major Kong rides the bomb? The Killing, on the other hand, strikes a more serious tone and helped to pave the way for so many other “one last heist” films. Then there’s that memorable last line: “What’s the difference?”.
When it comes to writing, I’ve aspired to follow what I see to be Kubrick’s approach: Don’t be afraid to spread your wings and fly high. Have I been successful at it, or have I flown too close to the sun and melted my wings? The answer to that question isn’t up to me. That being the case, I don’t worry about it. I just keep writing. In the end, I suppose that is all that I can do. I’ll leave it up to the readers to decide if I have scorched my wings or not.
So, thank you Stanley Kubrick. You inspired me. Now it’s time for me to get back to writing. I need to stretch out my wings and get ready to spread them wide. Just in case, though, I suppose it wouldn’t be a bad idea to grab a parachute while I’m at it…