1st Edition

Gender, Power, and Identity in The Films of Stanley Kubrick

    352 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume features a set of thought-provoking and long overdue approaches to situating Stanley Kubrick’s films in contemporary debates around gender, race, and age—with a focus on women’s representations.

    Offering new historical and critical perspectives on Kubrick’s cinema, the book asks how his work should be viewed bearing in mind issues of gender equality, sexual harassment, and abuse. The authors tackle issues such as Kubrick’s at times questionable relationships with his actresses and former wives; the dynamics of power, misogyny, and miscegenation in his films; and auteur "apologism," among others. The selections delineate these complex contours of Kubrick’s work by drawing on archival sources, engaging in close readings of specific films, and exploring Kubrick through unorthodox venture points.

    With an interdisciplinary scope and social justice-centered focus, this book offers new perspectives on a well-established area of study. It will appeal to scholars and upper-level students of film studies, media studies, gender studies, and visual culture, as well as to fans of the director interested in revisiting his work from a new perspective.

    Karen A. Ritzenhoff, Dijana Metlić and Jeremi Szaniawski

    1. The Problems with Lolita (1962)
    James Fenwick

    2. Sue Lyon and the Consequences of the “Lolita Look”
    Dijana Metlić and Karen A. Ritzenhoff

    3. The Legacy of Spartacus (1960) in the Depiction of Ancient Slavery Onscreen: Draba and His Heirs
    Claire Greenhalgh
    4. From Female Stereotypes to Women with Agency: Elite Women and Slave Women in Howard Fast’s 1951 novel, Spartacus (1960) and Starz Spartacus (2010-2013)
    Amanda Potter

    5. Fear and Desire, Casual Misogyny, and 1950s Art House Cinema
    Cynthia Baron

    6. The Shining and UK Feminist Activism
    Hannah Hamad

    7. Mothers Trapped Between Law, Economy, Society, and Desire
    Elisa Pezzotta

    8. A Feminist Kubrick? Or, What if Women Were the Main Character(s) in Stanley Kubrick’s films?
    Stella Louis

    9. Kubrick’s and Klimt’s Femmes Fatales: Eyes Wide Shut and the Crisis of Masculine Identity
    Dijana Metlić

    10. Kubrick and Sex: Exploring the Gender Politics of His Cinema
    Lawrence Ratna

    11. Kubrick’s Crypto-Jewesses
    Nathan Abrams

    12. Misogyny and Music in A Clockwork Orange
    Christine Lee Gengaro

    13. Wendy Torrance and Alice Harford, Shrews Who Will Not Be Tamed
    Elsa Colombani

    14. Violence and Power in Kubrick’s Later Cinema
    Julian Murphet

    15. Female Transgression and Discontent in Barry Lyndon 
    Zoran Samardžija

    16. Kubrick and Bergman: Scenes from a Marriage 
    Andrej Jandrić

    17. Someone to Care About: Children in Stanley Kubrick’s Films
    Joy McEntee

    18. Old Age, Ageing and Fatherhood in Kubrick
    Matthew Melia


    Karen A. Ritzenhoff is Professor in the Department of Communication at Central Connecticut State University, USA.

    Dijana Metlić is Associate Professor of Art History at the Academy of Arts, University of Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia.

    Jeremi Szaniawski is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Film Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA.

    "To anyone interested in re-reading Kubrick’s films through the lens of contemporary sensibilities, this anthology is essential: with perceptive, varied, and even conflicting results, its essays are thought-provoking and prove that Kubrick’s work is still very much alive."
    Filippo Ulivieri, screenwriter; leading expert on Stanley Kubrick’s cinema in Italy

    "Ritzenhoff, Metlić and Szaniawski marshal an eye-opening reappraisal of Stanley Kubrick’s films by trading the dominant narrative of auteurism for a focus on Kubrick’s “others.” Armed with great disciplinary range, the chapters investigate Kubrick’s representations of women, racialized people, children, the elderly, of queerness, Jewishness, phallicism, patriarchy, and misogyny. This is essential reading on the films and their engagement with tropes of western sexual politics, race, and global capitalism."
    Kate McQuiston, Professor of Music, The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

    "Frequently provocative and contrarian this expertly curated collection of essays stimulates a reassessment — if not revision — of core themes, motifs and conventions that undergirds Kubrick’s cinematic art. There is plenty here to challenge and confront the most ardent of Kubrick fans and scholars. Highly recommended."
    Mick Broderick, Curtin and RMIT Universities, Australia, author of Reconstructing Kubrick (2017), editor of Post-Kubrick (2017) and The Kubrick Legacy (2019)