Stanley Kubrick’s Single-Point Perspective

Stanley Kubrick’s films are best described as dazzling. Known for controversial masterpieces like Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, Paths of Glory, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut, Dr. Strangelove, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick is regarded as one of the greatest American filmmakers.

On set, Kubrick was regarded as a perfectionist who would go to painstaking ends to make sure the shot and actors acted in accordance to the vision he had for the scene. His attention detail is relatively unchallenged in its depth. All these qualities are reflected in a short video put together by Vimeo user kogonada. Known for his previous compilations of Wes Anderson’s and Quentin Tarentino’s cinematography, kogonada has made a collection of all the prominent single-point perspective shots in Kubrick’s body of work.

The symmetry of the shots traps the character in a scene where the entire universe collapses onto them. The perspective vanishing point is situated at the center of the frame and all lines point directly to this point. One-point perspective is the creation of Renaissance art and was first formalized by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1413 when he pointed prominent Florentine buildings onto a mirror and realized all points converged to the horizon. This gave him the grounds to describe geometric linear perspective.

The video by kogonada is set to Clint Mansell’s “Lux Aeterna” as popularized by Requiem for a Dream.


kogonada, Vimeo

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