Acting out of the World: The Distancing and Underplaying of the Main Actors in 2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut

Vincent Jaunas


This article focuses on Performance Studies in an effort to integrate acting – this little-studied aspect of Kubrick's filmography – within a broader aesthetic analysis. By comparing the main actors and actresses of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut, I suggest those two films can shed light on the way Kubrick collaborated with performers in order to confront various acting styles, thus creating a specific aesthetics of distancing. I connect those two works through the exploration of underplayed main roles and a loss of the characters' physical relation to the world which may be breached in the endings. Drawing both on Stanislavkian principles and archival material, I argue that such distancing may not easily be labelled as Brechtian and instead gives birth to a unique performing style that evades neat categorization, and may eventually help defining the director's unique collaboration with actors throughout the second half of his career.


Kubrick; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Eyes Wide Shut

DOI: 10.6092/issn.2280-9481/7343


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