Cinema: All Eyes On Them

The theme is sexual obsession. The stars are Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The director is Stanley Kubrick. Who could look anywhere else?

History and horror, crime and war, sci-fi and sexual transgression. He may have made only 13 feature films in the course of his 46-year career, but Stanley Kubrick covered a range that more prolific filmmakers might--and often did--envy. But whether the films were set in the deep past or the near future, whether their prevailing tone was comic or violent, sly or brutish, weary or idealistic, Kubrick really made the same movie over and over again--vivid, brilliant, emotionally unforgiving, imagistically unforgettable variations on the theme that preoccupied him all his mature life.

That theme was at once simple and sophisticated:...

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