Stanley Kubrick and One-Point Perspective

After viewing this, it’s pretty hard to argue with the notion that one-point perspective was an obsession for Kubrick:

I found this via a commenter’s link in the Facebook Film Noir group, in a discussion of a still photo from Kubrick’s second feature, Killer’s Kiss. In most (all?) of the scenes captured in the above video, the one-point perspective takes place on a two-dimensional plane: the camera is aimed at the horizon, and the vanishing point is correspondingly horizontal from the viewer. Killer’s Kiss includes lots of other examples of that convention: alleys, warehouses, and so on. In this shot, though, he’s added a third dimension — you’re looking down, as well as across — making the moment even more vertiginously (and subconsciously) tense. Especially with the checkered tile, railings, and wall mouldings, it’s like looking into a shark’s mouth:

Still photo from Stanley Kubrick's 'Killer's Kiss'


I love seeing this sort of thing.

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  1. My husband and I were fortunate enough to see the Kubrick exhibit that recently closed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This video is a nice addition to all that I learned while viewing the exhibit. Thank you for posting.

    • I’m jealous, Sarah. That looks like it was TERRIFIC. (And for anyone else who might’ve missed it, you can sorta-kinda experience it from a distance here at the LACMA site. I’m very, very tempted by the smartphone apps they made available for iPhone and Android. :))

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  2. Fabulous hypnotic shot.

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