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Stanley Kubrick's Symmetry on Display in Impressive One-Point Perspective Video

Dead center

Scene from Paths of Glory
Photo: United Artists

Vimeo user "kogonada" has gone to pain-staking lengths to point out the one-point shooting perspective Stanley Kubrick used in his films and it's an impressive little video.

The clip includes almost all of Kubrick's films as far as I can tell. I don't believe I saw a shot from The Killing, but 2001: A Space Odyssey, Eyes Wide Shut, Paths of Glory, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, Dr. Strangelove, The Shining and Barry Lyndon are well-represented in a piece that shows just how important symmetry was to the master filmmaker.

Beyond the obvious, in terms of the video itself I personally loved the quick cuts between The Shining and Barry Lyndon at the 52-second mark. And, of course, the use of Clint Mansell's score from Requiem for a Dream makes it that much more enjoyable to watch as you're largely paying attention to the visuals.

To go with this video I thought I'd include a quote from director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) where he said:

"My most profound epiphany in cinema is the moment in 2001: A Space Odyssey when the planets align with the monolith in some galactic equation. The sense of cosmic order floors me every time. But just as Kubrick inspires awe with his harmonic compositions, he can equally instil terror. The most chilling aspect of The Shining is the blunt symmetry of endless corridors and patterned carpets. A shot of an empty hall and a lone, red door disturbs you even before the blood starts to flow. It is these graphic images that keep me coming back. I was underwhelmed when I first saw The Shining. Perhaps I wanted the detail and the closure of the novel. But its eccentricity and ambiguity gnawed at me and forced me to re-watch. Its shattering images haunt me to this day."

Have a look.

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  • RagingTaxiDriver

    That was awesome!

  • Criterion10

    That was awesome, indeed. For me, Kubrick is both my favorite director and the definitive best director ever. His films have managed to both provoke and entertain like no one else I can think of.

    • GregDinskisk

      My sentiments exactly. The greatest director who ever lived. Most of his films are masterpieces in their own ways.

  • The Dead Burger

    Master Directing, Vol. 3
    Pt. 1 - Hallways
    Pt. 2 - Long Hallways
    Pt. 3 - Dark Hallways

  • tombeet

    The visual fits in with Kubrick's characteristics: symmetry represents perfection, Kubrick is a perfectionist.

  • AS

    No symmetry in The Killing?

    • Aleonardis

      The Killing, Killers Kiss and Lolita were absent from this from what I can tell.

  • Carson Dyle

    I'd be more impressed if one of these videos found a way to include Spartacus.