Features and Columns · Movies

How Stanley Kubrick Hypnotizes You

Here’s a video essay on why watching a Stanley Kubrick film can be a trance-like experience.
The Shining Maze
Warner Bros.
By  · Published on July 22nd, 2020

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we look at how Stanley Kubrick hypnotizes his audience.


One of the great pleasures in life is when you synchronize with a film. When its rhythms suck you in and all distraction fades into the distance. When your focus becomes laser-like and it’s impossible to look away. Filmmakers are always trying to hold our attention. But few do so as masterfully as Stanley Kubrick.

The video essay below encourages us to consider how Kubrick creates a trance-like experience through the use of subconscious storytelling techniques. By deliberately manipulating pacing, cinematography, and dialogue, Kubrick draws the viewer into a state that could be described as hypnotic.

From the meditative editing of 2001: A Space Odyssey to the use of one-point focus in The Shining to the dream-like dialogue of Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick knows how to command an audience.

You can watch “Stanley Kubrick – Hypnotic Cinema,” here:


Who made this?

Alexander Lorain (a.k.a. Dysnomia Films) is an Australian video essayist and filmmaker. You can check out Lorain’s short films and video essays on Dysnomia Films’ YouTube page here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).