The Film Analyses

My focus with film analysis is on Stanley Kubrick and Michelangelo Antonioni, David Lynch entering with his Twin Peaks: The Return as it was a true magus opus that gave new insight to his other work.

With the exception of Fear and Desire, the Kubrick analyses are shot by shot, with screen grabs from each. I've been asked why I don't do videos for Youtube or podcasts, but the intensive immersion style of my analyses, the amount of cross-analysis I do between films, the books upon which they are based, and other works, would be impossible with a podcast or on Youtube.

I began putting the analyses online in 2007, beginning with Kubrick's The Shining and Antonioni's Blow-up. I followed with Eyes Wide Shut, A Clockwork Orange, Zabriskie Point, The Passenger, 2001, Lolita, Day of the Fight, and Killer's Kiss. The majority of the analyses were in place by 2011-2012. They were at first on my blog but the load was too much for my shared server situation so I moved the analyses over to static html in 2012. The Killing was completed and added in 2016, as well was a more intensive look at Fear and Desire added in 2016. Barry Lyndon has been nearly completed for a while, and I hope one day to get it done because of insights had when examining Thackeray. I have no plans to do Full Metal Jacket. I began Dr. Strangelove but it has been on the back burner.

I periodically return to fine tune, sometimes to rewrite whole sections, and add additional insights both in the analyses proper and by way of supplemental posts.

Briefly, My Interest in Film

Perhaps the first film I remember is a B-movie sci fi flick, The Angry Red Planet, from when I was about two years of age, and then The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm which I saw when I was five. Both had imagery that haunted me for years.

The film that first grabbed me and made me aware of cinema as a true art form that could invite philosophical inquiry was Kubrick's 2001, which I saw in the theater, at ten years of age, in 1968, the year of its release. It got my attention--a work that didn't spoon-feed, that invited one to think, that promoted the visual/audio language of cinema rather than relying on a word-centric story.

Though it was more difficult then to see great film, especially if one lived in a small city, the 70s and 80s were rich and exciting with what would become legendary movies being regularly produced. I soaked them all up, and beginning at the age of seventeen I would regularly make the four hour round-trip to Atlanta to watch great cinema on big screens at the many art houses then running. Bread or cinema? The answer was always cinema. I also was an aficionado of the film books put out by Black Cat. They were not film analyses, each book instead devoted to an abbreviated shot-by-shot record of older and current masterworks. Through those books, I began to realize the value of a shot-by-shot reconnaissance. Upon entering college I took the few film courses available, quickly made a film, applied to the NYU film school, and was accepted, but illness in my family resulted in my being unable to go. Thus, eventually, film analysis.

Even as cinema houses began to suffer in quality and close, the 1980s and 1990s brought the ability to see so many more great works on videotape. Now we've a treasure trove of film on the internet via such sites as Filmstruck/The Criterion Collection, Mubi, Fandor, and Amazon streaming. I miss seeing great film on the big movie screen, there are powerful moments that are completely lost to the viewer on the small screen, but I also appreciate having readily available to me works that I would never have been able to view before streaming.