Stanley Kubrick and “One-Point Perspective”: Watch a thrilling supercut of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite symmetrical composition.

Watch an Awesome Video Essay on the Perspective of Stanley Kubrick

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 29 2012 3:08 PM

Tunnel Vision: Kubrick’s Favorite Composition Gets Its Own Supercut

Shining_Twins_OnePointPerspective
An example of one-point perspective from The Shining.

Still from "Kubrick // One-Point Perspective" from Vimeo.

As we wrote back in May, we’re big fans of video essayist kogonada, who shares our fondness for singling out a director’s stylistic tics and signatures. Kogonada does this in the form of supercuts, which have included his compilation of Wes Anderson overhead shots, his compilation of Quentin Tarantino’s shots from below,  his compilation of point-of-view shots from Breaking Bad, and his compilation of the heightened “Sounds of Aronofsky.”

For his latest supercut, new this morning, kogonada highlights Kubrick’s use of “one-point perspective,” which refers to compositions in which spatial planes converge at one vanishing point in the distance—such as in a shot down a long hallway, or over train tracks headed into the horizon. As the video highlights, Kubrick also tended to place his subjects right over that vanishing point, dead-center in the frame, making any symmetry (especially in creepy twins) particularly striking.

That might all sound a bit wonkish, but combined with kinetic editing and the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack’s propulsive and ultra-dramatic “Lux Aeterna,” it’s thrilling.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate senior editor. He writes and edits for Slate’s culture blog, Brow Beat.

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