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Stanley Kubrick: The Irony of Feeling

Robert P. Kolker, emeritus professor, department of English, University of Maryland, and adjunct professor of media studies, University of Virginia. Stanley Kubrick’s films have occasionally been criticized as seeming cold or distant. The images and the stories they tell, however, speak another narrative of deeply held, ironically expressed passion, a level of feeling that the viewer has to seek out and be open to. In this lecture held at the National Gallery of Art on September 2, 2018, acclaimed film scholar Robert P. Kolker illustrates, through numerous clips, that Kubrick’s films often reference specific works of art. The presentation celebrates Kolker’s publication of The Extraordinary Image: Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and the Reimagining of Cinema, an exploration of how movies work, what they mean, and why they bring us so much pleasure. Reflecting on a lifetime of teaching and writing on these filmmakers, in The Extraordinary Image Kolker offers a deeply personal set of insights on three artists who have changed the way he understands movies.