Katharina won't be angry

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Dave C

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Oct 8, 2002, 9:27:30 PM10/8/02
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"Lord Bullingdon" <figuei...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:5ee3f0ed.02100...@posting.google.com...
> I have always pointed out that
>
> "Kubrick's work has a sense of detachment, of bloodlessness; He likes
> to take organic subjects and disassemble them as if they were
> mechanical. It's not just that he wants to know what makes us tick;
> what's compulsive is his conviction that we do all tick."
>
> But people at AMK seem to disagree with this. Maybe they feel this is
> negative criticism, something against Kubrick as an artist and as a
> human being. But I think this observation reveals the core of
> Kubrick's view of the world. This is what makes his movies original,
> daring and profound.
>
> Dave Corcoran told me it's an absurd to call Kubrick's work "slow and
> cold". But I think his opinion is just a simple negation, he is not
> trying to see the whole truth.
>
> I don't think Kubrick's movies cause a strong feeling of empathy for
> their characters. You are forced to look at them from an intellectual,
> vouyeristic point of view. What gives you the "emotional kick" is the
> power of the images, the beauty of the compositions, the music, and
> the ideas expressed (men's rebirth as Gods in 2001, etc.). Of course,
> beauty and art can cause emotional responses on the viewer, but that
> is YOUR response to the aesthetics of what is shown. It is different
> to say that the emotions of the actors made you feel empathy for them.
>
> I hope you'll have the courage to agree with me. I'm sure most of you
> do, you just feel embarassed to say. Katharina won't be angry, believe
> me.
>
> L.B.

Actually, L.B. I have the courage to disagree with you! You will note I'm
not degenerating into any of this silly "troll" name-calling stuff - I just
happen to believe that you are incorrect about this. I agree with all your
comments about the power of the images, beauty of the compositions, music,
and ideas expressed. I would also comment that Kubrick does not tend to put
the viewer into the POV of the characters, or get them to spout tons of
blatantly expository dialogue (the cheap ways of getting audience empathy).

BUT - he gets amazing performances from his actors, in terms of body
language and facial expressions, which, at least for those of us who are
tuned in to such things, speak volumes about the internal mental states of
the characters. (How do you become empathic to someone in the real world? If
you think it's dependent on them explaining their situation verbally, then
you haven't actually succeeded in tuning in. Furthermore, cinema audiences
treated to POV shots tend to put *themselves* into the protagonist's
situation, rather than achieving a real understanding of the *character's*
motivations and situation)

If you're watching "Barry Lyndon" on a small TV set, you're probably
missing much of this. You've got to have seen Kubrick's films cinematically,
well-projected, in order to fully appreciate them.

I really wish that I could watch these films with you, and discuss them with
you face-to-face

Dave C


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Warhola

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Oct 9, 2002, 6:49:25 PM10/9/02
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>
> > I really wish that I could watch these films with you, and discuss them
with
> > you face-to-face
> >
>
> It would be nice, sure. Which day? :)
>
> L.B.

Awwww! Love. Right here on AMK. :)

Just kidding fellas..seriously....I wish we could all get together one snowy
night at the Timberline lodge in Colorado for one massive Kubrick film
festival.

The Shining is my favorite Kubrick film. I cannot stress to you how many
times I've watched it and obsessed over it with a magnified eye.

I remember years ago when I first saw The Shining feeling uneasy about the
scene where Wendy, Danny and Jack are driving up to the Overlook discussing
cannibals. I remember coming away feeling like that one scene was rather
contrived. After watching the film over the years I still get this uneasy
feeling about that scene It's acted so eccentrically that you can actually
feel the evil. The nuances... Jacks eye movements. Wendy looking like at
any minute Jack could just reach over and slap the shit out of her for
letting Danny watch stuff about cannibals on the television. Danny's
sedated dialog...as to not rouse Jack. It all makes sense.

I saw The Shining for the first time when I was just a little fella. My
Parents went to the drive-in to see it. They thought I was sleeping in the
back seat...Out of the corner of my eye I watched a movie that had me
refusing to sleep alone in my room for months after.

Anyways,
Warhola


Jacques Clouseau

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Oct 9, 2002, 8:40:09 PM10/9/02
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Fuck off, prick.

Lord Bullingdon <figuei...@hotmail.com> wrote in article
<5ee3f0ed.02100...@posting.google.com>...

Lars Olsson

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Oct 10, 2002, 1:55:28 PM10/10/02
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No you don't.
Message has been deleted

Winston Castro

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Oct 10, 2002, 11:39:24 PM10/10/02
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On Thu, 10 Oct 2002 00:40:09 GMT, "Jacques Clouseau"
<jacques...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Fuck off, prick.
>


They have treatment for Tourette Syndrome now....


May I suggest a web search....

mark de rozario

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Oct 11, 2002, 9:43:46 PM10/11/02
to
>
> I hope you'll have the courage to agree with me. I'm sure most of you
> do, you just feel embarassed to say. Katharina won't be angry, believe
> me.

I absolutely do agree, LB.

I wonder why it is that 'cold' and 'slow' are automatically deemed to
be negative.

It is precisely Kubrick's coldness and slowness that are missed in a
contemporary culture that is so obsessively 'warm' and 'fast';
ingratiating, emotionally exploitative, relentlessly fidgety. Kubrick
took us out of ourselves: not via the transports of ecstatic fervour,
but through the icy contemplation of what drives and traps us, and the
vision of a universe indifferent to our passions. To see the
mechanical deathliness of the human world from the perspective of that
indiffferent universe: that is what Kubrick offered us. A vision of
God (which is also an approximation of God's vision).

Kubrick returns - why deny it? - to an essentially religious
sensibility, although his religion is 'atheistic' in the same sense
Spinoza's was. For Spinoza, God = immanence, matter in itself, the
gloriously dispassionate, desolated cosmos. Kubrick evokes the
desubjectified affects of awe and dread, rather than the compulsory,
socially-endorsed, 'warm' emotions of empathy/ sympathy, as homage to
a universe whose indifference entails not pessimism, but freedom:
freedom from the miserable prisonhouse of the human.

Gordon Stainforth

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Oct 12, 2002, 7:45:15 AM10/12/02
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ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario) wrote in message news:<ca59a535.02101...@posting.google.com>...

>
> I wonder why it is that 'cold' and 'slow' are automatically deemed to
> be negative.
>
> It is precisely Kubrick's coldness and slowness that are missed in a
> contemporary culture that is so obsessively 'warm' and 'fast';
> ingratiating, emotionally exploitative, relentlessly fidgety. Kubrick
> took us out of ourselves: not via the transports of ecstatic fervour,
> but through the icy contemplation of what drives and traps us, and the
> vision of a universe indifferent to our passions. To see the
> mechanical deathliness of the human world from the perspective of that
> indiffferent universe: that is what Kubrick offered us. A vision of
> God (which is also an approximation of God's vision).
>
> Kubrick returns - why deny it? - to an essentially religious
> sensibility, although his religion is 'atheistic' in the same sense
> Spinoza's was. For Spinoza, God = immanence, matter in itself, the
> gloriously dispassionate, desolated cosmos. Kubrick evokes the
> desubjectified affects of awe and dread, rather than the compulsory,
> socially-endorsed, 'warm' emotions of empathy/ sympathy, as homage to
> a universe whose indifference entails not pessimism, but freedom:
> freedom from the miserable prisonhouse of the human.

Brilliant comment, Mark, and I believe a v accurate summation of
Kubrick.

I think the main characteristics of Hollywood style at the moment are:
sentimentality, speed, and noise. (i.e puerile sentimentality, high
speed cutting, and an excessively loud bang or explosion every few
minutes). Example: Spielberg's immensely disappointing 'Minority
Report' - where the audience, bombarded by technical wizardry, ends up
having to watch people crying, with little idea or interest in what
they are crying about.

Gordon Stainforth

Thornhill

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Oct 12, 2002, 8:23:06 AM10/12/02
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ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario) wrote in message news:<ca59a535.02101...@posting.google.com>...
> >

"Miserable prisonhouse of the human"? Is that the bottom line with
SK? When you look into the mirror of his work, or hear the phrase,
"What'll it be?," do you percieve only the human miserable? You seem
to make a point, then undercut it. SK's films are, consciously, as
much about his audiences as about the characters and subjects he
presents. To some degree, his work seems to me as a guided tour of
darker humanity by a kind of cinematic Virgil, and for the benefit of
his audience, Dante. We look upon this world, often engorged with the
dreaded and awful*, fury and blood, but, with nothing more than a
touch, the heart of the film says, "This is what it is to be human.
Maybe we can do no better....but, it is necessary to SEE!".

I suppose this "debate" comes down to the difference between
experiencing this "touch" as either cold, or as warm, and therein
applying value, as it goes. Most of the other "warms" are usually,
and emotionally, cheap, ingratiating, and fraudulent, and return
little more than a moment's escapade. The surgeon Virgil has
different business, though. The glinty cold steel implements in his
case are there, necessarily, to 'hurt' _in order_ to heal. This is
also the job of fine satire, which is (at the deep heart's core), a
thing of warmth and decency, humility and profound caring. This
simple recognition is absent for many, and that absence, particularly
with regard to SK, is a great pity.


Thornhill

* or, maybe it should be spelled "awe-ful." What does awe have to do
with religion, or a religious outlook? Spiritual, yes, maybe, but
what need for yolking awe to "religion"? Sometimes 'ugliness' is
deeply 'beautiful', and there can be awe, too.

Padraig L Henry

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Oct 12, 2002, 8:21:04 AM10/12/02
to
On 11 Oct 2002 18:43:46 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
wrote:

While much of what you write below is extremely insightful about
distanciation "within" the Kubrickean universe, are you not also,
seemingly, making the same mistake so indefatigably parroted by LB of
conflating Kubrick's aesthetic cinematic strategies with his own
personal sensibilities, his own humanity? Why do you classify
contemplation of human folly and what might redeem or transcent it as
"icy"?


>
>I wonder why it is that 'cold' and 'slow' are automatically deemed to
>be negative.
>
>It is precisely Kubrick's coldness and slowness that are missed in a
>contemporary culture that is so obsessively 'warm' and 'fast';
>ingratiating, emotionally exploitative, relentlessly fidgety. Kubrick
>took us out of ourselves: not via the transports of ecstatic fervour,
>but through the icy contemplation of what drives and traps us, and the
>vision of a universe indifferent to our passions. To see the
>mechanical deathliness of the human world from the perspective of that
>indiffferent universe: that is what Kubrick offered us. A vision of
>God (which is also an approximation of God's vision).
>
>Kubrick returns - why deny it? - to an essentially religious
>sensibility, although his religion is 'atheistic' in the same sense
>Spinoza's was. For Spinoza, God = immanence, matter in itself, the
>gloriously dispassionate, desolated cosmos. Kubrick evokes the
>desubjectified affects of awe and dread, rather than the compulsory,

>socially-endorsed, 'warm' , as homage to


>a universe whose indifference entails not pessimism, but freedom:
>freedom from the miserable prisonhouse of the human.

And, presumably, freedom from fatalistic conceptions of the human, and
from the "miserable prisonhouse" of human indifference :-)

But, again, you are invoking two apparently contradictory notions of
"warm" above: one as ingratiating, emotionally exploitative,
relentlessly fidgety i.e. the Hollywood mainstream, the other as
denoting emotions of empathy/ sympathy, however supposedly compulsory
their social endorsment may be. The latter "notion" of "warm" , though
largely absent from a film like 2001 [the film upon which much of your
conception of Kubrick's cinematic world rests], actually becomes
central to such later work as Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut.

Are we getting "warm" yet?

Padraig

Wordsmith

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Oct 12, 2002, 2:57:31 PM10/12/02
to
ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario) wrote in message news:<ca59a535.02101...@posting.google.com>...
> >

Beautiful! May I buy you a drink?

Wordsmith :)

mark de rozario

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Oct 12, 2002, 4:29:47 PM10/12/02
to
cthor...@worldnet.att.net (Thornhill) wrote in message news:

>
> "Miserable prisonhouse of the human"? Is that the bottom line with
> SK? When you look into the mirror of his work, or hear the phrase,
> "What'll it be?," do you percieve only the human miserable?

Not at all. I think Kubrick offers an alternative to the 'human
miserable', precisely by offering a _nonhuman_ perspective upon it.
And this is in part because his films - whilst often about mirroring -
are not themselves mirrors. They do allow us see ourselves, but from
outside.

> You seem
> to make a point, then undercut it.

How so?

>SK's films are, consciously, as
> much about his audiences as about the characters and subjects he
> presents. To some degree, his work seems to me as a guided tour of
> darker humanity by a kind of cinematic Virgil, and for the benefit of
> his audience, Dante. We look upon this world, often engorged with the
> dreaded and awful*, fury and blood, but, with nothing more than a
> touch, the heart of the film says, "This is what it is to be human.
> Maybe we can do no better....but, it is necessary to SEE!".

I'm not averse to this comparison, but how does it work? If Dante the
author is also the audience in the Divine Comedy, who is the
equivalent of this author-audience figure in Kubrick?


>
> I suppose this "debate" comes down to the difference between
> experiencing this "touch" as either cold, or as warm, and therein
> applying value, as it goes.

Yes, I think there's more than an element of this. One can either
resist the familiar accusation that Kubrick is cold, or accept it and
re-evaluate the meaning of 'cold.' As is clear, I prefer to do the
latter.

> Most of the other "warms" are usually,
> and emotionally, cheap, ingratiating, and fraudulent, and return
> little more than a moment's escapade. The surgeon Virgil has
> different business, though. The glinty cold steel implements in his
> case are there, necessarily, to 'hurt' _in order_ to heal.

Are we 'hurt' by Kubrick though? I agree with Lord Bullingdon; I have
never cried at a Kubrick film. I have been 'moved' - taken out of
myself - but not in the emotional sense.

>This is
> also the job of fine satire, which is (at the deep heart's core), a
> thing of warmth and decency, humility and profound caring. This
> simple recognition is absent for many, and that absence, particularly
> with regard to SK, is a great pity.

Some satire can be as you described, but I should have thought that
some (Swift, for example) can be pretty misanthropic.
I used Spinoza as a comparison to Kubrick because Spinoza does very
much what you suggest Virgil does, in the respect of offering detailed
diagrams of the way human beings systematically trap, impede, and
destroy themselves. 'Why do human beings love what makes them
miserable?' is the question Spinoza - in anticipation of Freud -
relentlessly poses. For Spinoza, passions are correlated with
passivity; freedom consists in leaving behind emotions, and achieving
an attutment to a cosmos that is - in the best sense - pitiless. ('God
is affected with no emotion of joy or sadness.')

> * or, maybe it should be spelled "awe-ful." What does awe have to do
> with religion, or a religious outlook? Spiritual, yes, maybe, but
> what need for yolking awe to "religion"? Sometimes 'ugliness' is
> deeply 'beautiful', and there can be awe, too.

I prefer 'religious' - in the qualified, atheistic sense I presented
before - because I'm a materialist and do not want to be committed to
the existence of some non-material substance such as 'spirit'. I'm not
particularly attached to the term, though. What I'm interested in is a
cosmic perspective, beyond the human and its interests. (Interesting,
BTW, that you chose to compare SK to a _religious_ text .)
Yes, the ugly beautiful - isn't that the sublime? What escapes our
capacity to adequately represent it, what confounds our conceptual
categories: there's a lot of that in Kubrick, too.

mark de rozario

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Oct 12, 2002, 5:42:09 PM10/12/02
to
Interesting comments, as ever, Padraig.

phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3da8136b...@news.iol.ie>...


> On 11 Oct 2002 18:43:46 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
> wrote:
>
> While much of what you write below is extremely insightful about
> distanciation "within" the Kubrickean universe, are you not also,
> seemingly, making the same mistake so indefatigably parroted by LB of
> conflating Kubrick's aesthetic cinematic strategies with his own
> personal sensibilities, his own humanity?

I sincerely hope not. Call me a post-structuralist, but I'm only
interested in Kubrick the 'author' insofar as 'he' is manifested in
the work. :-) I make no judgements whatsover about Kubrick's personal
sensibilities or humanity. For 'Kubrick', read 'Kubrick's films.'

>Why do you classify
> contemplation of human folly and what might redeem or transcent it as
> "icy"?

Good point. I guess because of the association of passions with 'heat'
- by icy here I simply mean 'dispassionate' (in the Spinozist sense).

> Kubrick evokes the
> >desubjectified affects of awe and dread, rather than the compulsory,
> >socially-endorsed, 'warm' , as homage to
> >a universe whose indifference entails not pessimism, but freedom:
> >freedom from the miserable prisonhouse of the human.
>
> And, presumably, freedom from fatalistic conceptions of the human, and
> from the "miserable prisonhouse" of human indifference :-)

:-)

>
> But, again, you are invoking two apparently contradictory notions of
> "warm" above: one as ingratiating, emotionally exploitative,
> relentlessly fidgety

(fidgety went with 'fast', rather than 'warm', but, yeah, point taken)

>i.e. the Hollywood mainstream, the other as
> denoting emotions of empathy/ sympathy, however supposedly compulsory
> their social endorsment may be.

Are they really contradictory, though? I agree there's a less patently
exploitative rendering of sympathy/ empathy possible - but wonder if
this isn't just a more sophisticated version of the same thing.

The question of empathy is a fascinating one, and calls to mind
Worringer's distinction between abstraction and empathy - empathy is
the emotion correlated with 'organic' or representational art (which
reflects the subject back to itself); abstract art, by contrast, is
mechanical, devoid of a sense of empathy (confronting the subject with
something irrevocably unassimilable). The two fuse in what he calls
the Northern line - essentially, Gothic art culminating in the German
expressionist tradition - in which there is 'a requisition of our
capacity for empathy (which is bound up with organic rhythm) for an
abstract world which is alien to it.' I think there's more than a hint
of a continuation of this Northern Line in Kubrick.


>The latter "notion" of "warm" , though
> largely absent from a film like 2001 [the film upon which much of your
> conception of Kubrick's cinematic world rests], actually becomes
> central to such later work as Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut.

Good point. 2001 is the film which most obviously fits the description
of the Kubrick oeuvre I gave; not so much, I think, because of its
absence of sympathy/ empathy in it, but because of its awestruck
vision of the cosmos, which isn't quite so evident in any of his other
films, before or after.

I think we must distinguish the depiction of emotion in a film from
the emotion it stimulates in the audience - and from a film's
emotional ethic (the kind of emotion a film, implicitly or explicitly,
recommends, privileges or endorses). In 'Hollywood', the first two
tend to collapse into each other, and the emotional ethic is usually
an invitation to wallow in a drippy sentimentality. With Kubrick,
there is a clear distinction between the emotions his films depict and
the reaction the audience has: the distanciation-effect you talked of
before, which not only happens within the films, but between what the
film is showing and how the audience responds to it. _All_ of
Kubrick's films depict passions, but none of them is 'passionate':
they are _about_ emotions, not 'emotional.' This is as true of EWS and
BL (and TS, for that matter) as it is of 2001. BL, TS, and EWS all
anatomize human emotional folly; all three are about problematics of
empathy/ sympathy; but it's not clear that they make us _feel_
sympathetic or empathic. It's not clear, for instance, that we
_identify_ with Dr Bill or Barry.

The fascination lies in the ambiguity of Kubrick's emotional ethic:
what does 'he' want us to feel? This isn't clear, to say the least,
since, thankfully, the films refuse to corral us into a simple
response . Evidently, that's why some choose to read the films as cold
(in the 'normal','bad' sense), pessimistic, or disdainful and
misanthropic: I prefer to read them as attempts to simulate the
dispassionate perspective of the Spinozist 'God' - a perspective
which, because it feels 'neither joy nor sadness', can liberate us
from our own 'joys and sadnesses.'


> Are we getting "warm" yet?

Let's hope not. :-)

mark de rozario

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Oct 12, 2002, 5:54:53 PM10/12/02
to
gordo...@yahoo.co.uk (Gordon Stainforth) wrote in message news:

>
> Brilliant comment, Mark, and I believe a v accurate summation of
> Kubrick.

Thanks very much, Gordon.


>
> I think the main characteristics of Hollywood style at the moment are:
> sentimentality, speed, and noise. (i.e puerile sentimentality, high
> speed cutting, and an excessively loud bang or explosion every few
> minutes).

Couldn't agree more. I guess what's interesting about this is the
tension between the quick-cutting and the sentimentality: the
quick-cutting gives films a disocciated, schizophrenic quality (I'm
thinking of Jameson's observation that postmodern subjectivity is
'schizophrenic' in that it is unable to synthesize a coherent sense of
time), which is so abstract that you would imagine it was evacuated of
any emotion. I guess the sentimentality is what 'glues together' what
would otherwise be a experience devoid of much connecting thread.

mark de rozario

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Oct 12, 2002, 8:46:10 PM10/12/02
to
word...@rocketmail.com (Wordsmith) wrote in message news:<cddcc385.02101...@posting.google.com>...
As long as it's a cold one. :-)

Gordon Stainforth

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Oct 13, 2002, 6:46:36 AM10/13/02
to
ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario) wrote in message news:<ca59a535.0210...@posting.google.com>...

An even sharper point. I would only disagree that the sentimentality
'glues together' the fragmented, schizophrenic form - I think it
merely gives the appearance of gluing it together. It's like icing
covering a hollow, emotionally evacuated, incoherent interior.

GS

Gordon Stainforth

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Oct 13, 2002, 6:59:45 AM10/13/02
to
ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario) wrote in message news:<ca59a535.02101...@posting.google.com>...
> Interesting comments, as ever, Padraig.
>
> phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3da8136b...@news.iol.ie>...
> > On 11 Oct 2002 18:43:46 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
> > wrote:
> >
> > While much of what you write below is extremely insightful about
> > distanciation "within" the Kubrickean universe, are you not also,
> > seemingly, making the same mistake so indefatigably parroted by LB of
> > conflating Kubrick's aesthetic cinematic strategies with his own
> > personal sensibilities, his own humanity?
>
> I sincerely hope not. Call me a post-structuralist, but I'm only
> interested in Kubrick the 'author' insofar as 'he' is manifested in
> the work. :-) I make no judgements whatsover about Kubrick's personal
> sensibilities or humanity. For 'Kubrick', read 'Kubrick's films.'

Mark, I think you are absolutely correct here, yet again! Stanley
certainly believed that he as author/artist should only be judged by
his work, and that it had little or nothing to do with his personal
humanity. The irony, of course, is that he was a surprisingly warm man
at a family/domestic/social level. (In my experience, almost like a
different personality once we were outside the cutting room)

I think we are actually getting very warm here! - in that this
Spinozistic analysis of Kubrick's view of the cosmos is, I believe,
about as close as we're going to get to his true position (IMHO). A
very, very useful reading, Mark

GS

mark de rozario

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Oct 13, 2002, 4:56:46 PM10/13/02
to
gordo...@yahoo.co.uk (Gordon Stainforth) wrote in message news:
> > > Are we getting "warm" yet?
> >
> > Let's hope not. :-)
>
> I think we are actually getting very warm here! - in that this
> Spinozistic analysis of Kubrick's view of the cosmos is, I believe,
> about as close as we're going to get to his true position (IMHO). A
> very, very useful reading, Mark
>
> GS

Once again, all I can say is thanks very much, Gordon. You make a
newbie to this NG feel very welcome... I hope I will available to
develop this Spinozist reading via discussion on AMK ....

s_o_keefe

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Oct 13, 2002, 6:55:57 PM10/13/02
to
I think a great deal of the ambiguity relies on SK's hesitation,
possibly disdain, for theatrical & subjective cinematic devices in his
films. One could take the "Shining" discussion between Danny and
Hallorann, reframe with some slow zoom-ins, layer some synthetic haze,
put some John Williams music underneath and composite a few rays of
light beaming down and have the typical Spielberg scene, no? SK used
handheld and Steadicam viewpoints for occasional subjectivity, but the
majority of his films are formally composed still photography...the
photographer's view, the observer's view, the "God's eye" view - with
brilliantly chosen, and many times "canned" music playing with certain
scenes. There's a phrase I sometimes think of with SK.."style is a
result of limitations". This may provoke uproar, but I feel that SK may
have had no idea what would be there with the finished film....until it
was finished. A dedicated artist, he worked on instinct and
self-discovery with the material, constantly revising and amending
through every stage of the project, with his passion for the the source
story and exhaustive research his primary guide. Just my $0.02.

Regards,

Steve

mark de rozario wrote:
<snip> The fascination lies in the ambiguity of Kubrick's emotional ethic:


> what does 'he' want us to feel? This isn't clear, to say the least,
> since, thankfully, the films refuse to corral us into a simple
> response . Evidently, that's why some choose to read the films as cold
> (in the 'normal','bad' sense), pessimistic, or disdainful and
> misanthropic: I prefer to read them as attempts to simulate the
> dispassionate perspective of the Spinozist 'God' - a perspective
> which, because it feels 'neither joy nor sadness', can liberate us

> from our own 'joys and sadnesses.'.

Wordsmith

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Oct 14, 2002, 1:45:15 AM10/14/02
to
ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario) wrote in message news:<ca59a535.02101...@posting.google.com>...
> >

Mark, the more I read this, the more I like it. Kudos to you for
encapsulating the idea so well. Spinoza and Kubrick truly go hand in
hand. And there's no better film in his canon than *2001* in evoking
release from the prisonhouse you mention. Thank you so very much.

Wordsmith :)

Padraig L Henry

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Oct 14, 2002, 2:57:38 AM10/14/02
to
On 12 Oct 2002 14:42:09 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
wrote:

>Interesting comments, as ever, Padraig.
>
>phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3da8136b...@news.iol.ie>...
>> On 11 Oct 2002 18:43:46 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
>> wrote:
>>
>> While much of what you write below is extremely insightful about
>> distanciation "within" the Kubrickean universe, are you not also,
>> seemingly, making the same mistake so indefatigably parroted by LB of
>> conflating Kubrick's aesthetic cinematic strategies with his own
>> personal sensibilities, his own humanity?
>
>I sincerely hope not. Call me a post-structuralist, but I'm only
>interested in Kubrick the 'author' insofar as 'he' is manifested in
>the work. :-)

Yes, sure; so you do then subscribe to the >auteur< theory, as
originally propounded by the Cahier du Cinema debates of the 1950s?
He's certainly "manifested" in the work, all the work, all right!

>I make no judgements whatsover about Kubrick's personal
>sensibilities or humanity. For 'Kubrick', read 'Kubrick's films.'

Yes; unfortunately, the poster you were originally responding to, LB,
does make such judgments - all the time (that's why there's now an LB
FAQ, the link for which Steve O' Keefe tirelessly keeps posting here),
confusing his personal sensibilities (like so much of the media used
to) with his cinematic ones.

In >that< sense, we could say that Barry Lyndon is, in part, an
awestruck vision of the earthly past :-)

The Spinoza connection you make is interesting. There is also the
Brecht (he too was considered "cold" and "clinical") connection,
however, as it was Brecht who first experimented with notions of
distanciation, with arresting any subjective emotional identification
between characters and audience (much of what Spectator Theory now
deals with), and this is especially so in A Clockwork Orange (there
have been many past threads at AMK discussing all of this).

Kubrick's dispassionate aesthetic frequently manifested itself via the
meticulousness of shot composition and the omniscience of his camera
movements (from anxious steadicam to slow, grand zoom-outs), which
served to draw our attention to the very form of the film itself. For
instance, the steadicam shots in The Shining appear to create an
un-seen character in the film. Such shots, somewhat like the numerous
slow zoom-outs in his other films (BL and FMJ particularly), are - in
the post-Lacanian sense - "unsutured" point of view shots. The camera
moves much as we would expect a typical POV shot to move, only we
never obtain the suturing reverse shot, revealing through whose eyes
we are "meant" to be observing. In TS, Kubrick denies us such a point
of identification. Though nothing much happens during those shots
following Danny on his tricycle around the labyrinth that is the
Overlook hotel, they are still deeply disturbing, because we >know<
that somebody is observing - film grammar tells us so, but we are left
in the cold, the expected observer is never revealed to us.
Consequently, it is Kubrick's camera and we the spectators who haunt
the Overlook, dispassionately omniscient, but seemingly anxious and
confused: we don't know who we are ...

More ice, anyone?

Padraig

Wordsmith

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Oct 14, 2002, 12:36:52 PM10/14/02
to
s_o_keefe <s_o_...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<3DA9F9F9...@hotmail.com>...

> I think a great deal of the ambiguity relies on SK's hesitation,
> possibly disdain, for theatrical & subjective cinematic devices in his
> films. One could take the "Shining" discussion between Danny and
> Hallorann, reframe with some slow zoom-ins, layer some synthetic haze,
> put some John Williams music underneath and composite a few rays of
> light beaming down and have the typical Spielberg scene, no? SK used
> handheld and Steadicam viewpoints for occasional subjectivity, but the
> majority of his films are formally composed still photography...the
> photographer's view, the observer's view, the "God's eye" view - with
> brilliantly chosen, and many times "canned" music playing with certain
> scenes. There's a phrase I sometimes think of with SK.."style is a
> result of limitations". This may provoke uproar, but I feel that SK may
> have had no idea what would be there with the finished film....until it
> was finished. A dedicated artist, he worked on instinct and
> self-discovery with the material, constantly revising and amending
> through every stage of the project, with his passion for the the source
> story and exhaustive research his primary guide. Just my $0.02.
>
> Regards,
>
> Steve

Reads more like ten bucks to me. Yes, formalized portraiture is an SK
mainstay, and *Barry Lyndon* is its best exemplar.

Fstopsmith :)

Wordsmith

unread,
Oct 14, 2002, 1:13:43 PM10/14/02
to
phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3daa6a9b...@news.iol.ie>...

Kubrick's asymmetrical suture is unnerving indeed. (Sidebar: There's
something similar in Chaplain's *City Lights*. At the end, when the
blind girl is given her sight, we only see the Tramp smiling at her
affectionately; we don't see a reaction shot of her smiling in reply, or
the happy couple walking off into the sunset.) Kubrick perpetually
hides the camera, and we, the spectators, are as transparent as ghosts.

> More ice, anyone?

Naw. My cup runneth over.

Cryonicsmith :)

> Padraig

Thornhill

unread,
Oct 14, 2002, 1:16:40 PM10/14/02
to
> The Spinoza connection you make is interesting. There is also the
> Brecht (he too was considered "cold" and "clinical") connection,
> however, as it was Brecht who first experimented with notions of
> distanciation, with arresting any subjective emotional identification
> between characters and audience (much of what Spectator Theory now
> deals with), and this is especially so in A Clockwork Orange (there
> have been many past threads at AMK discussing all of this).

Many interesting points throughout, but I have to take issue with
Brecht being "first" to experiment with "distanciation." In Ireland
alone, Swift and Laurence Sterne did the very same thing, though, as
the 18th century was hardly a time that encouraged that mode of
writing, it is Brecht who is saddled with it. That single black page
announcing the death of (who was it?)Yorick (?) in _Tristram Shandy_,
was a real showpiece of the the V-effekt/distanciation (and that
before anyone knew what a "V-effekt" was). Your other notes fine, and
worth pondering, I think (interesting that Danny's ride is, somehow,
someway, connected to the "low-flyby" camera that tracks the VW
heading to the Hall of the Mountain King [not Stephen King, though]).

Thornhill

mark de rozario

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Oct 14, 2002, 5:50:25 PM10/14/02
to
phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3daa6a9b...@news.iol.ie>...

> On 12 Oct 2002 14:42:09 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
> wrote:
>
> >Interesting comments, as ever, Padraig.
> >
> >phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3da8136b...@news.iol.ie>...
> >> On 11 Oct 2002 18:43:46 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> While much of what you write below is extremely insightful about
> >> distanciation "within" the Kubrickean universe, are you not also,
> >> seemingly, making the same mistake so indefatigably parroted by LB of
> >> conflating Kubrick's aesthetic cinematic strategies with his own
> >> personal sensibilities, his own humanity?
> >
> >I sincerely hope not. Call me a post-structuralist, but I'm only
> >interested in Kubrick the 'author' insofar as 'he' is manifested in
> >the work. :-)
>
> Yes, sure; so you do then subscribe to the >auteur< theory, as
> originally propounded by the Cahier du Cinema debates of the 1950s?

Do I believe that there are recurrent semiotic traits, technical
strategies, and thematic preoccupations which can be tracked across
the films attributed to Kubrick; that those films can be treated as a
plane of consistency? Yes. Do I believe that there is some
transcendent figure 'responsible' for those semiotic traits,
strategies and preoccupations? No. The proper name 'Kubrick' - so far
as I am concerned - designates those traits, that set of affects, that
'brand'; the private Stanley Kubrick, Kubrick the person or subject,
shared a name with the brand, but they are not the same thing.

> He's certainly "manifested" in the work, all the work, all right!

As you'll see from the above, my use of the term 'manifested' was
incorrect, profoundly misleading. There is no pre-existent author who
manifests 'himself' in the work; rather, the work produces certain
consistent effects which can be labelled with a proper name.


>
> >I make no judgements whatsover about Kubrick's personal
> >sensibilities or humanity. For 'Kubrick', read 'Kubrick's films.'
>
> Yes; unfortunately, the poster you were originally responding to, LB,
> does make such judgments - all the time (that's why there's now an LB
> FAQ, the link for which Steve O' Keefe tirelessly keeps posting here),
> confusing his personal sensibilities (like so much of the media used
> to) with his cinematic ones.

Well, when I initially said I 'absolutely' agreed with LB, I was
overstating the case. I essentially agreed with his first paragraph:
about Kubrick disassembling organic subjects. I certainly wouldn't
want to reinforce the - to me baseless - suggestion that Kubrick
'himself' was 'cold.' How could I possibly know? And in the best way,
I'm not particularly interested.
I also do not support what seems to be LB's formalist and aestheticist
take on Kubrick - while there are clearly elements of this in Kubrick,
I think they are in the service of something more than the production
of beauty for its own sake.

<snip>

> >> But, again, you are invoking two apparently contradictory notions of
> >> "warm" above: one as ingratiating, emotionally exploitative,
> >> relentlessly fidgety
> >
> >(fidgety went with 'fast', rather than 'warm', but, yeah, point taken)
> >
> >>i.e. the Hollywood mainstream, the other as
> >> denoting emotions of empathy/ sympathy, however supposedly compulsory
> >> their social endorsment may be.
> >

<snip>


> >>The latter "notion" of "warm" , though
> >> largely absent from a film like 2001 [the film upon which much of your
> >> conception of Kubrick's cinematic world rests], actually becomes
> >> central to such later work as Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut.
> >
> >Good point. 2001 is the film which most obviously fits the description
> >of the Kubrick oeuvre I gave; not so much, I think, because of its
> >absence of sympathy/ empathy in it, but because of its awestruck
> >vision of the cosmos, which isn't quite so evident in any of his other
> >films, before or after.
>
> In >that< sense, we could say that Barry Lyndon is, in part, an
> awestruck vision of the earthly past :-)
> >

Yes, absolutely; and I don't think we need to oppose earthly to
cosmic.

> >
> >The fascination lies in the ambiguity of Kubrick's emotional ethic:
> >what does 'he' want us to feel? This isn't clear, to say the least,
> >since, thankfully, the films refuse to corral us into a simple
> >response . Evidently, that's why some choose to read the films as cold
> >(in the 'normal','bad' sense), pessimistic, or disdainful and
> >misanthropic: I prefer to read them as attempts to simulate the
> >dispassionate perspective of the Spinozist 'God' - a perspective
> >which, because it feels 'neither joy nor sadness', can liberate us
> >from our own 'joys and sadnesses.'
>
> The Spinoza connection you make is interesting. There is also the
> Brecht (he too was considered "cold" and "clinical") connection,
> however, as it was Brecht who first experimented with notions of
> distanciation, with arresting any subjective emotional identification
> between characters and audience (much of what Spectator Theory now
> deals with), and this is especially so in A Clockwork Orange (there
> have been many past threads at AMK discussing all of this).

OK, I'll try and track those down ......

>
> Kubrick's dispassionate aesthetic frequently manifested itself via the
> meticulousness of shot composition and the omniscience of his camera
> movements (from anxious steadicam to slow, grand zoom-outs), which
> served to draw our attention to the very form of the film itself.

Yes, but not so much in that post-Brechtian alienation-effect way
that's become so hackneyed in self-referential postmodernity. Although
there's a distance, Kubrick's films are always involving, hypnotic;
it's just that their involvement doesn't go by way of an
identification with a character.

>For
> instance, the steadicam shots in The Shining appear to create an
> un-seen character in the film. Such shots, somewhat like the numerous
> slow zoom-outs in his other films (BL and FMJ particularly), are - in
> the post-Lacanian sense - "unsutured" point of view shots. The camera
> moves much as we would expect a typical POV shot to move, only we
> never obtain the suturing reverse shot, revealing through whose eyes
> we are "meant" to be observing. In TS, Kubrick denies us such a point
> of identification. Though nothing much happens during those shots
> following Danny on his tricycle around the labyrinth that is the
> Overlook hotel, they are still deeply disturbing, because we >know<
> that somebody is observing - film grammar tells us so, but we are left

>in the cold,

O yes :-)

>the expected observer is never revealed to us.
> Consequently, it is Kubrick's camera and we the spectators who haunt
> the Overlook, dispassionately omniscient, but seemingly anxious and
> confused: we don't know who we are ...

What a fantastically evocative and wonderfully written paragraph ...
The Overlook is not occupied by ghosts; it is itself the ghost-Entity,
that which haunts. This point, too, is thoroughly Spinozistic; since
Spinoza thought that anything capable of affects (of affecting and
being affected) is an Entity, regardless of whether it was ostensibly
'natural' or 'artificial'. 'It should be clear that the plane of
immanence, the plane of Nature that distributes affects, does not make
any distinction at all between things that might be called natural,
and things that might be called artificial. Artifice is fully a part
of Nature, since each thing, on the immanent plane of Nature, is
defined by the arrangements of motions and affects into which it
enters....' (Deleuze on Spinoza)

All of which points to Kubrick's hypernaturalism: a diaganolization of
the naturalism/ supernaturalism dichotomy, marked by the persistent
privileging of Environment over human subjecitivy....


> More ice, anyone?

Always

Padraig L Henry

unread,
Oct 15, 2002, 2:52:46 AM10/15/02
to
On 14 Oct 2002 14:50:25 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
wrote:

Excellent distinction, and one that continues to remain richly
complex, aided and abetted by the need for large dashings of Napoleon
brandy in order to preserve and propagate the "Kubrick" auteur brand
in the cinematic canon ...

<some snipping>

Absolutely, and, indeed, even those very occasional, more "hackneyed"
self-references in his films (2001 soundtrack album in ACO, Sellers'
Spartacus in Lolita, CRM/Serum in ACO, Ludovico in BL, ape costumes in
EWS, etc) are usually discrete and multi-layered. No, "distance" in
Kubrick's cinema revolves around, is routed in, considering -
respecting - the audience as the self-reasoning, interpretive >arrow<
rather than, as in most movies, the objectified >target< of the
film-maker's rhetoric ...

Actually, on a different note, you also mentioned Frederic Jameson and
his idea of the splintered nature of postmodern subjectivity in a
previous post; his other notion of "postmodern hyperspace" might also
be seen to apply to Kubrick's conception of The Overlook in TS.
Jameson argues (in "Postmodernism and Consumer Society," from The
Cultural Turn [1998]) that the physical spaces within the postmodern
world have "finally succeeded in transcending the capacities of the
individual human body to locate itself, to organise its immediate
surroundings perceptually, and to map cognitively its position in a
mappable external world." Jameson may be speaking of contemporary
architecture (the original of the post-mod species), but his
observations might equally apply to the overwhelming conceptual spaces
of The Overlook and its mazes - and, indeed, to those other, newer
spaces generated by numerous more recent films, such as The Matrix,
The Truman Show, eXistenz, Mullholland Drive, etc. This is all now a
bit ironic, given Jameson's earlier unflattering review of TS.

Padraig

iHĞ

unread,
Oct 15, 2002, 11:53:06 AM10/15/02
to
On Tue, 15 Oct 2002 06:52:46 GMT, phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry)
wrote:

<Major snipping>

>>Although
>>there's a distance, Kubrick's films are always involving, hypnotic;
>>it's just that their involvement doesn't go by way of an
>>identification with a character.

>No, "distance" in


>Kubrick's cinema revolves around, is routed in, considering -
>respecting - the audience as the self-reasoning, interpretive >arrow<
>rather than, as in most movies, the objectified >target< of the
>film-maker's rhetoric ...

This wonderful exchange, or should I say exploration, of views on
Kubrick's work by Mark and Padraig (of which the above extract gives
only a taste) is the sort of educated and educating thread that makes
AMK a magnificent newsgroup, a truly eye-opening, thought-provoking
and edifying forum. And which could itself be considered one of the
finer, hallmark products of Kubrick.

But returning to the somewhat silly concerns of the topic as drafted
by LB and genuflected toward with further boundary-setting by other
posters, what *of* the social, political, and other "controversial"
discussions on AMK -- are these also connected to Kubrick's work?

One can turn this question around. Was *Kubrick's work* connected to
the social, political, and other controversial issues of our times? I
think it was and still is, and is in fact *loaded* with insight into
such matters. Just giving one, highly-specific and all-too-painfully
contemporary example:


HARTMAN:
Do any of you people know who Charles Whitman was?

No response.

HARTMAN
None of you dumbasses knows?

COWBOY raises his hand.

HARTMAN
Private Cowboy?

COWBOY
Sir, he was that guy who shot all those people from that tower
in Austin, Texas, sir!

HARTMAN
That's affirmative. Charles Whitman killed twenty people from
a twenty-eight-storey observation tower at the University of
Texas from distances up to four hundred yards.

HARTMAN looks around.

HARTMAN
Do any of you people know who Lee Harvey Oswald was?

Almost everybody raises his hand.

[...]

HARTMAN
[...] Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt
action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits,
including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these
individuals learned to shoot?

JOKER raises his hand.

HARTMAN
Private Joker?

JOKER
Sir, in the *Marines*, sir!

HARTMAN
In the *Marines!* Outstanding! Those individuals showed what
one motivated marine and his rifle can do! And before you
ladies leave my island, you will be able to do the same thing!

Camera slowly moves in on PYLE staring at HARTMAN.


[For a sanitized "alternative" take on this issue, see
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/South/10/14/snipers.mind.ap/ ]

Anyone wishing to argue that Kubrick was aloof to, high above and
totally disengaged from "current affairs" merely because he delved
deeper than the evening news would be missing *why* these matters
would have concerned him at all, or anyone else for that matter.

mark de rozario

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Oct 15, 2002, 4:33:46 PM10/15/02
to
word...@rocketmail.com (Wordsmith) wrote in message news:<cddcc385.02101...@posting.google.com>...

Wow ---- thanks to you Wordsmith ---- I'm glad that I've got something
new to add to what is a high-powered NG. Sfunny, though, I posted very
similar remarks on another thread debating Kubrick's alleged coldness,
and was accused of parroting the same old arguments always trotted out
by Kubrick admirers. So I very nearly didn't bother making the
Spinoza/Kubrick connection again ---- I'm very pleased that you found
it worthwhile -----

mark de rozario

unread,
Oct 15, 2002, 6:04:49 PM10/15/02
to
phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3dabbae5...@news.iol.ie>...
<snip>

:-) So does this mean _you_ subscribe to the auteur theory? I'm never
sure if what I said above means that I do or don't.
>
<snip>


> >
> >>
> >> Kubrick's dispassionate aesthetic frequently manifested itself via the
> >> meticulousness of shot composition and the omniscience of his camera
> >> movements (from anxious steadicam to slow, grand zoom-outs), which
> >> served to draw our attention to the very form of the film itself.
> >
> >Yes, but not so much in that post-Brechtian alienation-effect way
> >that's become so hackneyed in self-referential postmodernity. Although
> >there's a distance, Kubrick's films are always involving, hypnotic;
> >it's just that their involvement doesn't go by way of an
> >identification with a character.
>
> Absolutely, and, indeed, even those very occasional, more "hackneyed"
> self-references in his films (2001 soundtrack album in ACO, Sellers'
> Spartacus in Lolita, CRM/Serum in ACO, Ludovico in BL, ape costumes in
> EWS, etc) are usually discrete and multi-layered.

It's partly because those are such unobtrusive signatures, such tiny
brush strokes in compositions that are so vast; they are not the sole
point of the exercise, as is the case in self-regarding,
self-congratulatory PoMo ----

>No, "distance" in
> Kubrick's cinema revolves around, is routed in, considering -
> respecting - the audience as the self-reasoning, interpretive >arrow<
> rather than, as in most movies, the objectified >target< of the
> film-maker's rhetoric ...

Yeh - and doesn't that bring in another sense of cold/ cool -
McLuhan's? Kubrick's films are cool media because they treat the
audience as _participants_. That accounts for the apparent paradox of
why Kubrick's films are simultaneously so demanding and so involving;
'we' are the missing piece.

Well, Jameson's remarks are based on a hotel :-)
I'd like to hear you say more on this. 'Postmodernism and Consumer
Society' is one of the essays I've come back to time and again over
the years, but oddly I've always glossed over the mention of
'hyperspace'. In what ways do you think TS and the more recent films
generate hyperspace? (I ask this partly because, having read the
Jameson passage again, I find the concept tantalisingly unclear, but
intriguingly suggestive.) Certainly, the Overlook always reminds me of
Gibson's brilliant description of cyberspace: 'a collective
hallucination.'

One interesting aspect about The Overlook of course is that it
exemplifies another of Jameson's theses: the spatialization of time.
There's a wonderful line in King's novel about the Overlook's
'corridors extending in time as well as space.' For isn't ,
ultimately, The Shining a film about time travel?

BTW is Jameson's essay on The Shining online anywhere?

Incidentally, since you mention Mulholland Dr: I was interested in
some of the recent comparisons of Mulholland Dr with EWS on AMK. I
only saw Mulholland Dr recently - I lost patience with Lynch after the
empty conceit of Lost Highway - and felt there were strong connections
with EWS. In both cases, I've been dissatisfied with what appears to
be the standard interpretive line --- the 'it is all Bill/ Diane's
dream' reading --- which for me never even gets close to the
entrancing power of either film --- or to what is at stake in dreaming
for that matter ----

Padraig L Henry

unread,
Oct 22, 2002, 6:24:45 PM10/22/02
to
On 15 Oct 2002 15:04:49 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
wrote:

Where to start! Hyperreality?

Well, let's start with the general malaise often regarded as the
central feature of postmodernism, what Featherstone terms "the
fragmentation and overproduction of culture - the key-feature of
consumer culture" . As Jameson says, "in postmodern culture, 'culture'
itself has become a product in its own right; the market has become a
substitute for itself and fully as much a commodity as any of the
items it includes within itself". In the "cultural logics of late
capitalism," Jameson's code-phrase for postmodernity, what is
commodified is not simply the image, which has acquired the central
role in contemporary culture, but lived experience itself. As Guy
Debord diagnoses in The Society of the Spectacle, "everything that was
lived directly has moved away into a representation". Baudrillard, as
Friedberg notes, also talks about "the same phenomenon-representation
of the thing replacing the thing - and extends it into a mise-en-
abīme of the 'hyperreal,' where signs refer only to signs.
Hyperreality is not just an inverted relation of sign and signifier,
but one of receding reference, a deterrence operation in the
signifying chain". Ah! Now we're getting somewhere [in the Overlook
hyperspace labyrinth].

A part in this process of the commodification of the sign and the
derealization of the real has been played by media technologies,
especially electronics, as Vivian Sobchack points out:
"The postmodern and electronic "instant" ... constitutes a form of
absolute presence (one abstracted from the continuity that gives
meaning to the system past/present/future) and changes the nature of
the space it occupies. Without the temporal emphases of historical
consciousness and personal history, space becomes abstract,
ungrounded, flat - a site for play and display rather than an invested
situation in which action "counts" rather than computes. Such a
superficial space can no longer hold the spectator/ user's interest,
but has to stimulate it constantly in the same way a video game does.
Its flatness - a function of its lack of temporal thickness and bodily
investment - has to attract spectator interest at the surface. ...In
an important sense, electronic space disembodies."

Oh yes, hyperspace here we come: "All dull and no work makes Jack a
play-boy" etc, etc, etc.

>
>One interesting aspect about The Overlook of course is that it
>exemplifies another of Jameson's theses: the spatialization of time.
>There's a wonderful line in King's novel about the Overlook's
>'corridors extending in time as well as space.' For isn't ,
>ultimately, The Shining a film about time travel?
>
>BTW is Jameson's essay on The Shining online anywhere?

Not that I know of, but hypertext has been known, on occasion, to
have some strange ways of rendering itself hyperreal.


>
>Incidentally, since you mention Mulholland Dr: I was interested in
>some of the recent comparisons of Mulholland Dr with EWS on AMK. I
>only saw Mulholland Dr recently - I lost patience with Lynch after the
>empty conceit of Lost Highway - and felt there were strong connections
>with EWS. In both cases, I've been dissatisfied with what appears to
>be the standard interpretive line --- the 'it is all Bill/ Diane's
>dream' reading --- which for me never even gets close to the
>entrancing power of either film --- or to what is at stake in dreaming
>for that matter ----

Yes, whole lives are at stake, for that matter ...

Padraig
... wondering what might have happened if Dr Bill had intimidatingly
brought one of his golf clubs to his 25-year-vintage meeting with
just-knockin'-a-few-balls-around Ziegler ...

mark de rozario

unread,
Oct 23, 2002, 8:17:22 AM10/23/02
to
phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3db5cfdd...@news.iol.ie>...

> On 15 Oct 2002 15:04:49 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)
> wrote:
>
> >phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3dabbae5...@news.iol.ie>...
> ><snip>
> >> >> >phe...@iol.ie (Padraig L Henry) wrote in message news:<3da8136b...@news.iol.ie>...
> >> >> >> On 11 Oct 2002 18:43:46 -0700, ma...@diskontent.net (mark de rozario)

<massive snipping>

I'm not sure that simulation is form of representation for
Baudrillard. Signs do not represent reality: they actively engineer
it. Whereas a representation just stands in for an object, a
simulation _does its work_. Postmodern capital (the ultimate sign
without a referent) would be the classic example.

>
> A part in this process of the commodification of the sign and the
> derealization of the real has been played by media technologies,
> especially electronics, as Vivian Sobchack points out:
> "The postmodern and electronic "instant" ... constitutes a form of
> absolute presence (one abstracted from the continuity that gives
> meaning to the system past/present/future) and changes the nature of
> the space it occupies. Without the temporal emphases of historical
> consciousness and personal history, space becomes abstract,
> ungrounded, flat - a site for play and display rather than an invested
> situation in which action "counts" rather than computes. Such a
> superficial space can no longer hold the spectator/ user's interest,
> but has to stimulate it constantly in the same way a video game does.
> Its flatness - a function of its lack of temporal thickness and bodily
> investment - has to attract spectator interest at the surface. ...In
> an important sense, electronic space disembodies."
>
> Oh yes, hyperspace here we come: "All dull and no work makes Jack a
> play-boy" etc, etc, etc.
>

I guess I was interested in 2 things which haven't really come out
yet: (1) the extent to which The Shining is hyperspatial/
hyperreal/postmodern --- because in many ways it strikes me as very
modern/ist ; and (2) the specific meaning of hyperspace (as opposed to
hyperreal and all the other key postmodern terms). I think (2) has
come out a little in the Sobchack quote, though for me Jameson's
account of hyperspace - wandering around the Bonaventure hotel and
encountering that dizzying flatness in which it is 'quite impossible
to get your bearings' - resembles my experience of walking around
shopping malls rather than playing computer games : '
To return to (1) for a moment: the Overlook labyrinth isn't the
endlessly receding PoMo maze of signs referring to other signs - is
it? It might be worth referring here to Brian McHale's typology of
modernist and postmodernist fiction. For McHale, modernism is
organized around an epistemological problematic - is what is being
described real or not? Postmodernism, meanwhile, is organised around
an ontological problematic - what is reality, and what is the reality
of this text? Metafictive strategies which self-consciously question
the reality (or otherwise) of the text are exemplary of the
Postmodern, according to McHale. For me, The Shining belongs very
firmly in the first category: witness the animated debate on AMK about
whether it TS resolves into the marvellous etc, a classic
epistemological concern.

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