Monday, May 23, 2011

Stanley Kubrick and the Eye

The watchers watch and the dreamers dream. "The Alegory of the Cave" by Plato goes something like this:

We are like people sitting in a cave facing a blank stone wall. All we can see is the wall. All we've ever known is the wall - the wall is our reality. Behind us is a fire that illuminates the cave. We can perceive  shadows cast upon the wall of things passing between us and the fire.

We can't see the reality of the what's behind us only imagine the structure by the shadows the forms create. Plato suggests there are whole worlds of reality we can't perceive. These dimensions exist all around us and inside us, but our senses are too poor to record the data.

A common theme throughout all of Stanley Kubrick's movies is the all watching eye - the watchers. The single red eye of HAL and the clawed-open eye of Alex DeLarge in Clockwork Orange. (It's interesting to note that both HAL and Alex were victims of bad programming) Even the forbidding watching in Eyes Wide Shut. The protagonist watches while others watch him while we the audience watch them.

The question that Kubrick asks is do we sit chained in the cave or do we sit there facing the wall by choice - that we sit there in blissful ignorance of true reality? Do we take the red pill or the blue pill?

Stanley Kubrick - a filmography - from Martin Woutisseth on Vimeo.

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