Shadow of the Groundhog # 15: The Kubrick Challenge

kubrickon strip1

WHAT did Stanley Kubrick dedicate his life to achieve, and HOW did he go about accomplishing his goal?

Guesses/deductions should be submitted either as a drawing with text (to fill in the last panel of the strip), or as a written piece (somewhere between two hundred and a thousand words, roughly).

Keep in mind that the how is as or more important than the what?

Answers (and any questions you may have) can be posted in the comments section below or emailed to jasun at auticulture dot com.

The deliverer of the closest and/or most creative answer will receive a specially marked copy of Seen & Not Seen; two runners up (if there are that many submissions!) will receive some pieces of original artwork relating to the Kubrickon.

All submissions will remain property of the submitter and not be made public without permission of their author. All names will be withheld from the Kubrick Estate and any other inquiring entities under pain of death.

The Kubrickon Competition will end on the last day of 2014.

Good luck ~ and may the best obsessive win!

(For ongoing clues, follow

PS. There is no need at all for the reader/contestant/brainstormer to agree with the preliminary conclusions which I make above. They are simply the means by which I arrived at my own conclusion as to “what Stanley is up to,” and illustrating (literally) my own thought processes was the best way I knew of to lead others to see what I am seeing.

Some people may be put off the exercise, understandably, if they disagree with my evaluation of Kubrick; to them I’d suggest that they approach this in the spirit of a thought-experiment or a “what if”: what if Kubrick were designing movies scientifically etc, etc, what might his intended goal be? And so on.

Part Two of Kubrickon Comic.




63 thoughts on “Shadow of the Groundhog # 15: The Kubrick Challenge

  1. Great! Unfortunately, I won’t have time to participate because of having visitors this week. By the way, you mentioned Spielberg. He is currently making a Cold War movie just a mile away from where I live.

    Steven Spielberg shoots in Potsdam

    Therefore, the Glienicker Brücke in Potsdam is closed from Thursday, November 27, 2014, 7 pm until Monday, December 1, 2014, 2 pm.

    Because the Glienicke Bridge was a restricted border crossing between the Eastern Bloc (namely Potsdam in East Germany) and territory affiliated with the Western powers (namely the American sector of West Berlin), the Americans and Soviets used it for the exchange of captured spies during the Cold War. Reporters began calling it the “Bridge of Spies.”

    Back to your challenge. I was immediately reminded of Gurdjieff’s distinction between “subjective” and “objective” art:

    “Subjective art,” for example, in Gurdjieff’s terminology, refers to most of what is commonly interpreted as art. Most twentieth-century art in its various forms, according to his standards, would fall into this category. But subjective art is not authentic art for him; it is the result of mechanical, unconscious human activity, and most of humanity is unconscious according to Gurdjieff. For the same reason, he refers to subjective art as “soulless” in that it results from little or no consciousness on the part of the would-be artist.

    On the other hand, “objective art” is authentic art in that it results from deliberate, pre-meditated efforts on the part of a conscious artist. In the act of creation, the true artist avoids or eliminates any input which is subjective or arbitrary, and the impression of such art on those who experience it is always definite. To the degree that objective art is the result of consciousness, it inherently possesses “soul.”

    I am shooting from the hip:

    What was the scientific breakthrough that Kubrick was trying to achieve?

    He was trying to create obective art – to grow a “soul” in the audience. Like Gurdjieff in his writings, Kubrick would create a second matrix (a mental prison, a hypnotic trance) in his films AND AT THE SAME TIME hand over the KEY – it is up to each of us to unlock the door by our own efforts.

    Gurdjieff and Hypnosis: A Hermeneutic Study

    Systematically explored for the first time is Gurdjieff’s “objective art” of literary hypnotism intended as a major conduit for the transmission of his teachings on the philosophy, theory, and practice of personal self-knowledge and harmonious human development.

    Tamdgidi’s main thesis is that Gurdjieff’s writings “themselves were conscious, intentional, and systematic efforts in literary hypnotism.”

    Why did Gurdjieff, in pursuit of awakening humanity from the hypnotic trance and prison of mechanical life, consciously, intentionally, and systematically subject his pupils and readers to the Yezidi circle of his hypnotic influence, especially through his writings? And why did he leave, widely in the texture of his writings, more or less explicit information regarding his knowledge and practice of hypnotism such that they could aid those subjected to his hypnotic spell to get out of the Yezidi circle?

    Gurdjieff’s scattering and/or apparent withholding of information about his life and teaching were not merely due to a concern for pedagogical correctness but elaborate and and systematic efforts to raise and spead deep and OBSESSIVE (Abe: highlighted by me) curiosities among his readers and followers about his life and teaching. Fragmenting information about his life and teaching provided the most fertile emotional conditions for effecting and spreading–during his lifetime andinto his posterity–the hypnotic influence of his life and teaching in his readers’ subconscious minds. It assured never-ending “searches for truth” of his life and teaching and continual, lifelong and world-wide, gazes of generations of interested readers on the shiny pages of his thrice-to-be-read “Ten Books in Three Series.” For the “crystallization and decrystallization of those psychic factors” that he intended to engender, after all, “a comparatively lengthy period” was necessary (H:82). Whether he was actually successful in his novel experimentations with literary hypnotism is an important question to explore on its own merit, but this issue must be distinguished from the demonstrable facts of his intentions to pursue the science of hypnotism as a singular aim of his life and teaching.

    The KEY realisation:

    Kubrick’s movies are “empty of unconscious meaning”! And this means: all I see are my own projections, based on culturally suggested and conditioned pseudo-meanings (hypnotic trance). My prison is my own mind = my own projection based on culturally suggested and conditioned signifiers who are empty of meaning. I can see the workings of the projection mechanism (prison) when I am awake. Seeing the prison as prison is FREEDOM.

    “Wakefullness is gnosis, the awareness of being awake, it is to be an Egregoros.” [= having a soul, “free will” (?)]

    Kubrick is the Messenger, sent by You to you in order to awaken you to You(r) Reality:

    “… we are already free. We are just perception. We even don’t exist other than as perception.”


    Sólo una cosa no hay. Es el olvido.

    If we are subject to
    Empirical minds
    I wonder what lies beyond
    Our memory’s confines

    • Ha. This is a form of mild torture for the old me!

      Keep guessing! (I will not confirm or refute any propositions until the game is over; which reminds me, I didn’t give a finish date. Let’s say end of the year.)

  2. The Yezidi circle of hypnotic influence [= (second) matrix]

    Gurdjieff ultimately discovered the mechanism behind this strange phenomena of the human psyche and offers clues to its understanding in his various books. But one has to make real effort not only towards intellectually grasping the mechanism and power of a magic circle, but also to becoming personally alert to recognizing similar forms of its manifestation in daily life. (Otherwise there is no practical lesson to be learned.)

  3. It’s an intriguing puzzle you’ve set us, Jason. If something comes to mind, I’ll make a submission. By the way, the facetious comment I made about Kubrick being a chronic masturbator was my way of saying that his films are extremely pretentious. Although I’ve enjoyed many of Kubrick’s films (most especially The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut), I remain extremely put off by the showy nature of his work. Kubrick was obviously an intelligent man, but I’m sceptical he had an IQ of 200; it was, after all, only a rumour—a rumour probably created by Kubrick himself to try and further enlarge his greatness in the eyes of the public. Anyone that full of himself would love people to think he had a ridiculously high IQ!

    • Allegedly SK himself denied the rumors and said his IQ was average.

      I include it with the “what-if” framework; one thing that seems undeniable is that Kubrick possessed a rare form of intelligence.

  4. To help in the engineering of the new man forever disconnected from the unconscious/immortal so as to allow fear of death to be used to control them. Kubrick’s oeuvre serves as a model and the pinnacle of what can be achieved, thus drawing the outer limits of expression which do not include any trace of the unconscious. I don’t necessarily agree with this but it seems to be what you’re getting at.

  5. Pseud & Abe: Without saying anything about the conclusions he drew, Abe’s contribution was INVALUABLE insofar as it brilliantly reinforced the Kubrick-frame I presented above in the comic strip.

    This inspires to make a qualifier (also re: sweatyk’s “I don’t necessarily agree with this but it seems to be what you’re getting at.”): There is no need at all for the reader/contestant/brainstormer to agree with the preliminary conclusions which I make above. They are simply the means by which I arrived at my own conclusion as to “what Stanley is up to,” and illustrating (literally) my own thought processes was the best way I knew of to lead others to see what I am seeing.

    Some people may be put off the exercise, understandably, if they disagree with my evaluation of Kubrick; to them I’d suggest that they approach this in the spirit of a thought-experiment or a “what if”: what if Kubrick were designing movies scientifically etc, etc, what might his intended goal be? And so on.

    The nature of this contest (loathe as I am to admit it) is as much, or more, about fathoming my own conscious processes as Kubrick’s – and of course, yours. Whether the twain will meet at the end is what we will get to find out together – maybe.

    I will add this as a codex to the original post for the benefit of newcomers.

    • Discrediting the synchromystics was never part of the “reveal” and not really even a desired side-effect. On the contrary, it validates that they are onto something (not that they need validating either).

      On the other hand, I don’t think that method will lead to any kind of breakthrough of understanding about Kubrick – it reminds me of what Jacques Vallee (or John Keel?) said about the UFO: studying it based on its behavior is impossible because we can only work with the evidence the UFO itself has planted for us to study.

  6. The only science that I can think of here would be Jungian Analysis and Method.

    Either that or something to do with Color Theory.

    I can’t think of any other ‘Science’ that is applicable to film.

  7. as a side note, has anybody ever signified Kubrick as an artist or has he himself? i vaguely recall something about Bergman implying filmmakers aren’t artists and are only doing a series of experiments, but don’t quote me on that because I pretty sure it is more of a mashup of things Bergman and Woody Allen have inferred but then again Allen may be the result of an implanted Bergman AI gone wacko since Bergman is the actual singularity; on the other hand Jodorowsky shouts it to top of Mount Sinai that he is an artist and only creates art and I will give him that as he destroyed the notion of Christ figures in film and among filmmakers, android or otherwise

  8. Hi Jasun,

    I don’t think Kubrick is more intelligent than you are, JaSun, Kubrick’s alleged super-human abnormal intelligence was hyped by his major promoters..

    That I know of one: L. Ron Hubbard..and his legions.

    I doubt Hubbard himself was any kind of intellectual. He was good at scams and “practical magic” Just so you know.. You don’t have to feel in awe of Kubrick’s intelligence.. It’s hype. For Hubbard to have known how smart Kubrick really was; Hubbard would’ve had to have brains too. And he didn’t.

    I meant to do something very short; such as four lines.. But it’s a very vast subject.. And I did over 1000 words.

    . And probably am just getting started.. Since I didn’t take any films individually. Which is really ripe, each one…

    And there are many connections to this subject – which I did not fill in.. I made a lot of footnotes / hyperlinks. But it was very tiring.. And it’s unlikely I will ever take his films, one by one, to look at.. I do not have the patience.

    Enough about me.. I’m glad you are better…

    I guess I’m excluded from your contest since it’s over 1`K words . .And .. mine has no drawings.

    You might you the .gif of the Kubrick / Rubrik cartoon to fill in the last square..

    I have never self -identified nor touted myself as an artist.. But I might be one, after all, in my old age..

    I print on Pottery. I am “into” curating images – photos of drawings / paintings. whatever. my own photographs.. And then printing the image on ceramics. , 3d expressed. .. ;Making it “permanant” As if there is such a thing.. lol I want to talk to the future.

    .. Though the image, of course, is still 2D.

    I don’t draw.. But I’m probably an artist now.. Or at least an artisan.. Since I throw pots.

    . I am primarily a writer and reader… But don’t consider a writer , an artist..

    Many artists, and for sure “synchromystics” are a varietal human form: “different”

    Our nervous systems are different, in my opinion.. Maybe it’s a “wild form” Maybe it’s actually a dominant form that has been culled throughout the generations by the haters and psychopaths, so no one realizes it dominance?

    Some political activists / campaigners, as well, are “different”. It all overlaps. That kind of thing is born, not made.

    And WOODY Allen is not an artist.. He’s a pedo liar.

    I guess a demonic spirit can be a liar/ pedo and an artist-spirit , at the same time.?.

    But really, don’t you suspect his pedophilia has actually helped open doors for him? .. And his films are sentimental drek for Upper West Siders.?. [no offense , JaSun] Since I know you admire him…

  9. I used to admire Woody Allen. Times change. Even back in 2006 after Match Point, I wrote this:

    Thanks for the “submission” ~ I enjoyed it and it’s given me some leads to follow. I put it in quotes not coz it’s 0ver 500 words but because I didn’t actually see a concrete answer to the question. Maybe it’s embedded in there! Anyway I’ll accept it, the 500 word thing was mostly a gauge, so people didn’t get too daunted. If someone sends a 5000-word answer I will read it, or at least try! I’m always pathetically grateful for any show of interest at all.

    Which “2001: A Fake Odyssey” are you referencing? Seems there are a few out there.

  10. CIRCLE 1

    In the Kubrickon you mention seven names:

    1. Stanley Kubrick (“King of Kings”)
    2. Steven Spielberg
    3. Asimov
    4. Kafka
    5. Kael
    6. Roman Polanski
    7. P.K. Dick

    Apart from one (uncircumcised) Dick, they are all JEWISH – and even this Dick is sort of philo-semitic.

    Dick and the Jews

    … Jews figured prominently in Dick’s fiction …

    In one of his final interviews before succumbing to a massive stroke in 1982, the then 54-year-old recalled becoming enraptured by the “Guide to the Perplexed.” His wife suggested he was probably the only human being on the face of the earth who at that moment was reading Moses Maimonides.

    … which led Dick to claim that he was a kind of messiah who was chosen to interact directly with God.

    CIRCLE 2

    Kubrick = King of Kings (Rev. 19-16) = Messiah

    Now we add your name to the list:

    8. Jasun Horsley (“Being the One”).

    Again, a messiah! (Jasun = Jesus)

    But (un)fortunately, “there can be only One.”

    On TV is running V for Vendetta by the Jewish (!) Wachowski brothers, the makers of the Matrix trilogy.

    … the One has been prophesied, like Jesus of Nazareth, … But because Jewish history has not yet given us a political Messiah, and perhaps because Jesus was himself Jewish, the Wachowski brothers seem to be comfortable relying on Jesus’ story as a precedent for their own.

    Jasun [= Jesus] wrestles with the “existential dilemma” of being an artist [= a messiah] “in a world that was incapable of recognizing art” [= of recognizing the true artist = the true messiah; instead they fall for impostors! (Matthew 24:11 : “… and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”)]

    CIRCLE 3

    — ARTIST = GOD —

    God is the ultimate creator, the ultimate artist.

    Jasun [= Jesus = “being the (only) One”] ruminates:

    “Kubrick [= a false messiah] has fooled the world into thinking he is a great artist [= a true messiah] – how did he do it?”

    Kubrick = “a (mad = 200 IQ) scientist” –> “wartime lies” = spin / propaganda (!)


    In fact, the word “scientist” is actually Latin for “Satanist.” Do they take Christians for fools?

    Satan is the most intelligent and most powerful being ever created.

    John 8:44 – You [= Kubrick = false messiah] belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    The Psychological Power of Satan

    Evil has been defined as taking pleasure in the intentional inflicting of harm on innocent others, and ever since World War II social psychologists have been fascinated by the topic.

    CIRCLE 4

    WHAT did Kubrick dedicate his life to achieve?

    Being the “ANTAGONIST” [= the INVENTOR of a MIRROR]. ( ### see below)

    An antagonist (from Greek ἀνταγωνιστής – antagonistēs , “opponent, competitor, enemy, rival”, from anti- “against” + agonizesthai “to contend for a prize,”) is a character, group of characters, or institution that represents the opposition against which the protagonist or protagonists must contend.

    HOW did he go about to accomplish his goal?

    By turning his films into one big hall of MIRRORs. (The “PROTAGONIST” is the film spectator.)

    KUBRICK (antagonist) vs. HORSLEY (protagonist)

    CIRCLE 5

    Kubrick wouldn’t be the “King of Kings”, if he had not a SECRET OF SECRETS,

    … determining whether a person will live or die … (+++ see below)

    The Jewish Kabbalists (like Abraham Abulafia) knew; so do you, and so do we now! Here is the the ultimate “betrayal of (state) secrets” [and no, sorry, it’s not about the (fake) moon landing! ]:


    HORSLEY (the Christ) = KUBRICK (the Antichrist)

    1. John 4:1 – Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    This arcane statement has to be read in terms of Luther’s significatio passiva: it is not you who tests the spirit(s) [= meanings], rather the spirits [= meanings] are a test of YOU(R INTEL-LIGENCE)! The DIFFERENCE between the HOLY SPIRIT (GOD) and SATAN lies in YOU(R INTEL-LIGENCE)!

    CIRCLE 6

    … [Dante’s] obsession with numerology, with the number 9, will perplex us …

    The number nine held special meaning for the poet Dante Alighieri, …

    As a literal text, La Commedia tells the story of an imperfect mortal soul in its quest for divine understanding.

    9 circles of the Inferno, followed by Lucifer contained at its bottom; … and the 9 celestial bodies of Paradiso, followed by the Empyrean containing the very essence of God.


    CIRCLE 7

    — INTER —

    1. between
    2. among

    — EL —

    Appears primarily in construct relation when describing the God of Israel.

    The One God – EL Echad

    Echad means one in Hebrew and hearkens to the SHEMA. (*** see below)

    — LECTUS —

    1. chosen, picked, having been selected
    2. choice, excellent

    CIRCLE 8

    Were Jews a chosen people or a choosy people?

    Jews are God’s choosy people.

    a JEW = chosen by being choosy (!)

    Deuteronomy 30:19 – This day I call the heavens [= meanings] and the earth [= letters] as witnesses against you that I have set before you life [= ENLIGHTENMENT] and death [= a (second) matrix trap], blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your offspring [= creative efforts] may live. (+++ see above)

    I am drawn to a powerful metaphor from a rabbinic Midrash, which understands the Torah to be like a MIRROR. The mirror is one, but whoever looks at it sees his own face reflected. (### see above)

    Dante finally understands the mystery of Christ’s divinity and humanity, and his soul becomes aligned with God’s love.

    CIRCLE 9

    SHEMA (*** see above)

  11. just for the record I feel Kubrick, Allen, Bergman and Jodorowsky are good filmmakers and I enjoy watching their films, most of them more than once, an exception is Jodorowsky’s “Tusk: Una Fable Panique” which is painful to watch just once, the Panic as in the Panic Movement, which is interesting in itself but in no relation to this movie (which is part of the point), is false advertising for “Tusk” and it will leave you wanting to watch a Kubrick double feature just to cleanse your eyes;

    anyway, to answer the question more directly I suppose Kubrick dedicated his life to seeking immortality through recursive resurrections as an AI experiment injecting his films with his empty intelligence to achieve singularity

  12. Hi JaSun, I just saw your response tonight.. I forgot to click the “enable Response box” so I didn’t realize you had answered./”/’

    I came here because I posted the contest on John Fell Ryan’s Wall and his answer is:

    “”John Fell Ryan: To bring Hell on Earth and assume the style and title of The Anti-Christ through personal and cosmic mathematics”

    The link to the “9/11 : A Fake Odyssey” is in the post I made.. It’s a ink . So if you click on it you will open the page of the site of Joe Bisden. For convenience I’ll put it here.

    My “What” was embedded at the end of the post.. the rest was context.
    It was:
    “So The “What is Stanley Up To?” is simply this:

    “Stanley catalogs and outlines the actual situation, either consciously or unconsciously. Probably unconsciously, and driven by obsession. Yet, he can’t help it.. Kubrick is like the Peter Sellers’ character in his own movie: “Dr. Strangelove”; who can’t keep his left hand from trying to strangle himself. Kubrick is “dreaming” a communal dream of archetypal patterns.. if he wants to or not. ”

    The Why, as I tried to write about and be clear about but did not elaborate on…

    His position was “Court Film Maker” to Scientology and whoever else were the spook-creeps who pushed him forward..Remember his wife’s uncle was charged at Neurenburg trials of Nazi-s for making Propaganda for Hitler.

    The synchronicites come from Kubrick’s Position and assigned mission, not from his native talent – (whatever [or not ] that might be.)

    The “HOW?” was also at the end, as a conclusion,, since I was trying to make it short.

    “So the “How” is very simple:

    He has an unsurpassed PR department.. That so convinces all of its follower Kubrick has the greatest genius and is unsurpassed by anyone, to the point that the myth / Propaganda becomes a “given” .. And no one will say, nor even think, different than that, for fear of outing themselves as a know-nothing.

    And “How”?did all these amazing syncs, as for instance detailed in the Movie “Room. 237” and elsewhere, occur in and around his work?

    That is the force of Nature and it is the force of Synchromysticism.. It works through things. It’s the “unconscious”..maybe even, in scientific terms “universal energy” Non – localized functioning.

    • Thanks Pearl.

      Very curious to hear your basis for this claim “His position was “Court Film Maker” to Scientology”! Something I eventually want to look at re: Eyes Wide Shut/Vivian Kubrick.

      I looked for John Fell Ryan’s comment on his wall (if you mean FB) but couldnt find anything.

      Please do spread the word about this competition, anyone reading this, as I don’t want to be pushy about it but would love to see more of what people come up with – so far so fascinating.

  13. Thank you for your response…Jason.

    .. I feel you might appreciate the Rupert Sheldrake interview on the denied god of the Atheists. that’s why I suggested it ..I’ve been listening to it over again. to let it sync in. I feel it is important since it explains the all – pervasiveness of consciousness, as a point of view.. , and that consciousness is a basis of the structure of our world… Not a something which is a by-product of a material universe.

    It’s very late and I have to get up in a few hours, so I didn’t put the “thank you” in above , as I should have. Bye for now.

  14. The article on the Kuleshov effect makes not much sense to me. Sounds like a truism: the viewer – without being aware – brings his own emotional reactions to a sequence of images and sounds. So what? That’s the name of the game. Guess how Walt Disney traumatizes whole generations of children …

    The Horror Film That I Hate The Most

    There was one film that upset me so badly, it left permanent emotional scars. Ironically, it was not one of the badmouthed Saturday “monster” movies I loved, but a film that critics recommended so enthusiastically for children that I was taken to it as a “special treat.”

    I am referring to Walt Disney’s Bambi.

      • nonsensical might not quite be the right word, maybe useless is better, the way I read the K effect is emotional catharsis is communicated/read via the sequence of different scenes edited together regardless if emotional connotations can be communicated/read by the actor’s face/character in an individual scene; film is all about the sequence of different scenes even if we are blown away by how an individual scene is shot

        • Yeah but using it deliberately as a means to lure/trick the viewer into putting his or her own psychic/emotional content into the movie is very different from it just being one unavoidable aspect of the filmmaking process. Surely?

          The point in the article (one of them) was that audiences are fooled (by themselves) into thinking they are watching a wonderfully subtle show of emotion by an actor who isn’t emoting at all. I think the same thing is happening with Kubrick’s films and that this is A CLUE, ie, the opposite of useless.

  15. The Bambi Dilemma

    My mom took me to see Walt Disney’s Bambi when it came out in 1942. I was six years old. I still remember sitting with my mother and watching it in the Hobart theatre on Steinway Boulevard in Astoria, Long Island. I wish I could say it was a wonderful childhood experience but it was not. I was stricken when Bambi’s mother was killed by MAN in the meadow and for years I remembered with great sorrow how little Bambi cried: “Mother? Mother? Where are you mother?” I cried for Bambi that day in the movie theater as I am sure hundreds of thousands of children have cried since.

    Over the years, I have discussed this film with generations of parents and almost without exception they have reported having had, as children, the same experience. Almost all of them have wondered: “How could Disney justify such a traumatic encounter with the death of a mother in a movie made for children still so powerfully attached to their own mothers?” To this day I am mystified and offended by the decision.

    Sadly, this one overpowering and traumatic event in Bambi kept me from taking my children to see the film. I could not justify putting them through the same experience.

    As to being “scientific”, doing mind control, social engineering, and psy-ops (“intel-igence”):

    Why does Disney hate parents? Ever noticed your favourite films always kill off Mum and Dad

    If nothing else, Disney stands accused of failing to honour that most sacred of bonds – that of the mother and the father to their children.

    Now, that is hardly family entertainment, is it?

    The heroes and heroines of most Disney movies come from unstable family backgrounds; most are either orphaned or have no mothers.

  16. The Shining, more than any other of his films, has inspired hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of words devoted to finding the meaning behind the film, even though, or, especially because, Kubrick himself was reluctant to discuss possible interpretations of his films, leaving it to the viewer to make up their own mind.

    In a final sense, in a summation of the ways into seeing and interpreting Kubrick’s work, one must accept that interpretation is, in itself, an ambivalent enterprise. The detailed examination of a text does not reveal a central meaning. Instead, it releases a polysemantic range of latent, fragmentary and often contradictory meanings, invariably with little relationship to what the author (filmmaker) had originally intended. Thus the interpretations of Kubrick’s work, offered within this book, merely represents one individual point of response, there being as many responses to Kubrick’s work as there are viewers of his films. In addition to this, there is also the act of interpreting a text; in itself, having an effect on the way we “read” a text. As Gary Rhodes, in his interpretation of 2001 : A Space Odyssey, pointed out:

    “The very effect of interpretation skews the result.”

    Thus a simplification of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle would appear to suggest that, for example the film 2001 : A Space Odyssey has changed by the sheere weight of the critical attention it has received. Nonetheless, this should not prevent us from interpreting whatever we wish to intepret …

    KUBRICK: No, I don’t mind discussing it, on the lowest level, that is, straightforward explanation of the plot. You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression. Then you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man’s first baby steps into the universe — a kind of cosmic burglar alarm. And finally there’s a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system. When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he’s placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man’s evolutionary destiny. That is what happens on the film’s simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline itself.

    There’s the Tzimtzum, the void in the absence of God, …

    The Tzimtzum reappears in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 “2001: A Space odyssey,” this time as an “implacable black monolith” …

    If these examples seem somewhat of a stretch, Gorlin, a self-proclaimed “closet mysticist” concedes that these are only patterns as he sees them, …

    “The more I studied Kabbalah on my own, it turns out there’s no official line of Kabbalah. In the end, everyone needs to follow it themselves and make up their own connections and meanings for it.”


    Kubrick: … then we bought the rights to Paths of Glory. That was a book I had read when I was about fourteen, and one day I suddenly remembered it. …

    Southern: Is Paths of Glory still banned in France?

    Kubrick: Yes–it’s also banned in Switzerland, Spain, and Israel, because of reciprocal agreements these countries have with France.

    “The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
    Awaits alike th’inevitable hour.
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

    The book was a minor success when published in 1935, retelling the true-life affair of four French soldiers who were executed to set an example to the rest of the troops. The novel was adapted to the stage the same year by Sidney Howard. The play was a flop on Broadway because of its harsh anti-war scenes that alienated the audience; Howard was a World War I veteran and wanted to show the horrors of war. Nonetheless, convinced that the novel should be made into a film, Howard wrote, “It seems to me that our motion picture industry must feel something of a sacred obligation to make the picture.” Fulfilling Howard’s “sacred obligation”, Stanley Kubrick decided to adapt it to the screen after he remembered reading the book when he was younger.

    Production took place entirely in Bavaria, Germany, … The only female character in the film, the woman who sings “The Faithful Hussar”, was portrayed by German actress Christiane Harlan. She later married director Stanley Kubrick; the couple remained together until he died in 1999.

  18. Kubrick’s Hope: Discovering Optimism from 2001 to Eyes Wide Shut

    Michiko Kakutani’s initial New York review of Eyes Wide Shut echoed two longstanding assumptions about Stanley Kubrick: that his “one great theme” was “the intrusion of irrationality upon the orderly, daylit world of logic and reason,” and that the characters in his film collectively personify his “deeply cynical view of the world, his unaccomodated view of mankind as a species driven to distraction by greed and violence and its own delusions.” Kubrick’s confidence in humanity’s future may have been tentative, but he was not without hope. Beginning with 2001 his films express a consistent philosophy, a belief in the redemptive value of self-knowledge, both verbally and visually.

    Kubrick’s one great theme was not irrationality but rather “Discovery”, the name of the spaceship that carries humanity to transcendence at the end of 2001.

    [Kubrick:] “I find it very exiting to have a semi-logical belief that there’s a great deal of the universe we don’t understand, and that there is an intelligence of an incredible magnitude outside the earth. It’s something I’ve become more and more interested in. I find it a very exciting and satisfying hope.”

    Much of his thinking on “the hero” derived from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, …

    KUBRICK: … In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man’s evolutionary destiny. That is what happens on the film’s simplest level. …

    After her husband’s death, Christiane Kubrick …:

    “… This was a man who loved his animals, … How could he not be hurt by this kind of lie? That he hated women, was phobic, obsessive, weird. I flinch, when I see all these things repeated about Stanley the so-called crazy man.”

    Kubrick’s reluctance to travel heightend the legend of the world-hating hermit, …

    Christiane: The “hermit” loved nothing more than to talk with people. … His close friends used to say, “Before there was an internet, there was Stanley Kubrick.”

    Anya: “It’s very strange to find ourselves defending his desire to be with his family and if possible at home. I thought it was what most dads wanted.”

    Kubrick’s “idea of bliss” was to work in his office “with one eye on his wife painting out in the garden,” …. Stanley liked “to be able to emerge from his office and walk straight into the family kitchen and then back to his desk.”

    Perhaps Kubrick’s concern for his family and friends was a microcosm of his concern for humanity’s future.

    Kubrick: “There are very few things in this world that have an unquestionable importance in and of themselves and are not susceptible to debate or rational argument, but the family is one of them.”

    Cinema at its best strives for consciousness, and Kubrick may have hoped that his spectators would come to see what his characters don’t see, or are only beginning to see, and be moved to go on from there.

    Lewis Carroll liberated his Alice by allowing her to see the absurdity of Victorian society, to be in it but not of it. The same is true for those spectators who may become unique versions of humanity’s best self. They are the storyteller’s children and they are Stanley Kubrick’s hope.

    Was Lewis Carroll a paedophile? Discovery of cryptic letter raises questions about author’s relationship with ‘real-life Alice’

    The real Stanley Kubrick

    Her uncle directed the Nazi propaganda film and she was a member of the Hitler Youth. Christiane Harlan was the love of Stanley Kubrick’s life for more than 40 years.

    “When we met, in Munich, he was the first man I had ever known who used to call his mother regularly and hold pleasant conversations with her.” …

    Kubrick: “I have a wife, three children, three dogs, seven cats. I’m not a Franz Kafka, sitting alone and suffering.” He remarked that no critic had ever succeeded in illuminating even one aspect of his work. …

    “… the situation became worse in the 1990s, when someone named Alan Conway went around for a long time in all kinds of places pretending to be Stanley Kubrick and trying to seduce children by promising them a part in a film. The police tried to catch him but failed, and the thing got bigger and bigger in the press, and people said Stanley Kubrick was a pedophile. … After his death, the stories only proliferated and worsened and became grotesque. We said that if we remained silent and did not react, people would say it was all true.”

    Christiane, a German-born artist whose uncle, Veit Harlan, directed the notorious Nazi propaganda film “Jud Süss” (produced 1938; released 1940), …

    Jud Süß (“Süss the Jew”) is a 1940 Nazi propaganda film produced by Terra Filmkunst at the behest of Joseph Goebbels, and considered one of the most antisemitic films of all time. The movie was directed by Veit Harlan, …

    The film has been characterized as “one of the most notorious and successful pieces of antisemitic film propaganda produced in Nazi Germany.” It was a great success in Germany, with some 20 million viewers.

    It was a great success in Germany, with some 20 million viewers. Although the film’s budget of 2 million Reichsmarks was considered high for films of that era, the box-office receipts of 6.5 million Reichsmarks made it a financial success.

    Although some have dismissed the film as cheap propaganda, others have pointed to Harlan’s talent as a director as one of the significant contributing factors to the film’s box-office success.

    Veit Harlan was the only major movie director of the Third Reich to stand trial for “crimes against humanity”.

  19. The Philosophy of Stanley Kubrick

    Looking back on this remarkable filmography, it is clear that it has the distinctly architonic quality of any great philosophical system: it says something about everything. All the facets of human nature are revealed in their wide-ranging diversity: … Yet as internally diverse as Kubric’s filmography is, taken as a whole, it is also quite coherent. It takes all the differentiated sides of reality and unifies them into one rich, complex philosophical vision that happens to be very close to existentialism.

    … each person is ultimately alone and free, and philosophical truth has meaning only if it is CHOSEN by the individual.

    In “Nietzsche’s Overman as Posthuman Star Child in 2001 : A Space Odyssey, I discuss the importance of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra for understanding Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece. Just as Nietzsche describes human evolution as proceeding from animals to humans to a superintelligent being he calls the Overman, Kubrick’s 2001 chronicles the ascent from apes to humans to a final planet-sized fetus, the Star Child. This evolution is directed by an unseen alien race, guiding us toward higher consciousness by way of technology.

  20. I would never trust anything a Co$ Member said in public about Stanley Kubrick and / or his intentions / meanings..

    Just saying.

    I only realized how I was traumatized by certain movies after I grew up and watched them again. I was traumatized by many.Starting with the “Wizard of Oz”

    I never saw “Bambi”. Thank g-g.

    For certain, when I was a young girl “Cool Hand Luke” & “Chinatown” traumatized. And some Pasolini and some Fellini movies warped me a bit. I can’t believe I used to watch Bergman at a young age.. No wonder I was so serious. ?!

    I can’t post an image here (that I know of,) but I took a screen shot of the John Fell Ryan response.. Maybe there are two John Fell Ryans? I posted about the contest twice. Both times in the comments of one of his posts.

    I sent him to this link where I posted your announcement of the contest

    Thank you for the link to your comments around WOODY.. It was great and made me laugh..

    The reason I know about Kubrick’s relationship to Scientology is because in 1972 – 1973, at Beverly Hills High School, my film teacher was Stan Chapman , who was a long time associate of L. Ron H. .. Mr. Chapman had received level “clear” by that time.. He heavy-handedly tried to recruit me to that process/ association after I left High School.. I may even still have a few of the letters we exchanged.. ?.. And even somewhat before, did the attempted indoctrination begin, while I was still in his class.. It was a very intense class. .. Kubrick is central to Scientology..Very close.. And L. Ron H. worshiped him. I learned that from Mr. Chapman.

  21. I’ve noticed that both in the Sync community and affiliated groups there seems to be an agenda to instill fear about Jews.

    Not in an anti-Semitic way, but in an aggrandizing way, making us believe that Jews are pulling the strings of our lives in some cosmic fashion. You have Mark’s musings that Jewish Alchemists are running a Timeloop on us, and this sort of thing. Also every Sync article seems to have Jewish Mysticism at its core, tying all the threads together, and being the basis for the paranoia.

    I’m thinking that there is an inner-group in this wider community that are weaving, and focusing everyone on to this topic.

    They want you to react to it, if you are indifferent then you’re not a part of the conversation. It’s like being expected to be emotionally invested in the Middle East conflict, they want you to have an opinion, want you as another log on the fire to keep it going.

    • I am leery of responding to this and so adding to focus; my view on this, which I did find myself revisiting due to Abe’s observation, is that as westerners we exist inside a predominantly Jewish culture, hence the rule is not to do with external string-pulling but an ideological hegemony:

      “Then Ezekiel said. The philosophy of the east taught the first
      principles of human perception some nations held one
      principle for the origin & some another, we of Israel taught
      that the Poetic Genius (as you now call it) was the first
      principle and all the others merely derivative, which was the
      cause of our despising the Priests & Philosophers of other
      countries, and prophecying that all Gods would at last be
      proved. to originate in ours & to be the tributaries of the
      Poetic Genius, it was this. that our great poet King David
      desired so fervently & invokes so patheticly, saying by this he
      conquers enemies & governs kingdoms; and we so loved our God.
      that we cursed in his name all the deities of surrounding
      nations, and asserted that they had rebelled; from these opinions
      the vulgar came to think that all nations would at last be
      subject to the jews.
      This said he, like all firm perswasions, is come to pass, for all
      nations believe the jews code and worship the jews god, and what
      greater subjection can be”
      Blake, Marriage of Heaven & Hell

  22. I will freely admit to feeling rather out of my depth here, especially in light of the responses above. I have seen a number of Kubrick’s films, but not the Shining. For my sins I am also familiar with Jay Weidner’s faked moon landings and Kubrick narrative. My only conclusions on Kubrick’s films would be that they seem to me remarkably successful in focusing attention on themselves and on Kubrick and in creating a deep yearning amongst viewers to “understand” what the films mean. Focused attention and yearning can be powerful forces indeed.

    Also the first section of Full Metal Jacket seems to me a pretty straightforward illustration of brain re-programming 101.

  23. ‘Forces for what, I wonder?’

    Why, for whatever it is you are focused on, of course

    I have always been ambivalent about and avoid most movies. Too much noise.

    Thank you Pearl.

  24. this turn in the conversation to our Jewish heritage made me think of a statement that may cement one of Jason’s points: “Kubricks Wartime Lies is his greatest film”

  25. I’m still trying to come up the right words to fill in the blank or rather move these words into the blanks: psychic driving, programming, AI, singularity, matrix, HAL, Clear, catharsis, Christ Consciousness, Devil Unconsciousness, Ninth Gate, words, flesh, abyss, King, experimenting, receiving, resurrection, holographic universe, simulacrum, prisoners, device, intent

    Kubrick dedicated his life to achieving [ ] by [ ].

  26. Kubrick dedicated his life to achieving the sublime by being a filmmaker shaman. Kubrick is the king of Stephen King (the king of horror)

  27. i actually don’t know much about Kubrick lore, i just like his movies, but i was making the assumption that Kubrick would win at a game of chess with Stephen King including taking Kubrick’s King and that is how we get the plural kings in Kubrick is King of Kings

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