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UAL Research Online

Kubrick's Lens: Dispatches from the Edge

Rughani, Pratap (2015) Kubrick's Lens: Dispatches from the Edge. In: Stanley Kubrick: New Perspectives. Black Dog Publishing, London, pp. 310-327. ISBN 9781908966421

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Rughani, Pratap

'Stanley Kubrick: new perspectives' brings together essays by scholars who have examined the traces that Kubrick's work left in the extensive archives of his oeuvre.
Rughani traces his responses to "Full Metal Jacket" arguing that Kubrick aspired to make mainstream audiences question and even contest the very process of story-telling from what generals and film directors like to call the “theatre of war”. Yet despite questioning the extent to which reportage approximates a form of ‘truth’, Kubrick’s success is limited by his choice not to engage with Vietnam, as evidenced by new research showing both how Kubrick brilliantly exposes the media’s role and limitations yet lags behind some news media in failing
to engage Vietnamese perspectives in his 'Vietnam movie'.

Rughani juxtaposes questions raised in his own documentary directing during the Sierra Leone civil war in 'New Model Army' (Channel 4, 2000) and follows clues from Kubrick’s handwritten notes, some publshed for the first time, that reveal how he was troubled by the absence of any Vietnamese voices — yet he chose to leave it that way in the final film. Rughani evidences Kubrick's early interest in Philip Jones Griffiths photojournalism in 'Vietnam Inc.'and Philip Knightley’s masterful study of war correspondents 'The First Casualty' which critique the limits of western journalism in Vietnam.

However, Kubrick’s preoccupation with the construction of television reporting and news journalism from the Vietnam War is finally a conversation that the US has within its own world view, with Vietnam reduced to an exotic backdrop. Kubrick was critical of this tendency in US war films.
Despite his critique of this war and its media, no Vietnamese characters articulate a perspective on their dispossession or involvement in it.

The question the archive begs is why did Kubrick not follow his own disquiet on this central post-colonial point? Might it have shattered the US debate and offered an expanded dialogue confident enough to recover Vietnam as more than a scene set built in east London had he dared?

Richly illustrated with film stills and previously unseen material from the Stanley Kubrick Archive, this book is designed to open the reader's eyes to the wonder and richness of Kubrick's oeuvre. Kubrick's films have inspired a huge amount of critical commentary, yet until recently critics and scholars have made little use of archival resources. The essay offer new perspectives on Kubrick's working methods, the manifold influences on his films, their themes and style.

Official Website: http://blackdogonline.com/all-books/stanley-kubrick.html
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: intercultural, teaching and learning research
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Black Dog Publishing
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Research Centres/Networks > Transnational Art Identity and Nation (TrAIN)
Other Affiliations > The Teaching and Learning Exchange
Date: May 2015
Funders: University of the Arts London
Related Websites: http://www.lotusfilms.co.uk/
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Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2015 13:51
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2016 16:33
Item ID: 8446
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/8446

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