The Autonomous Camera in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining

Paul Sunderland


An analysis of the evolution of camera movement shows a development from its earliest manifestations as a self-conscious ‘presentational’ device in the cinema of the early 1900s, through its incorporation into the classical style, in which it was largely subordinate to narrative, and into its eventual use as a form of cinematic modernism used to highlight the artifice inherent in the cinematic image. This modernist aesthetic first manifested in the cinema of European filmmakers working outside the Hollywood system, but it was quickly adopted by the more experimental of the Hollywood auteurs. This article discusses the cinematic modernism of Stanley Kubrick, with particular focus on the director’s self-conscious use of Steadicam in his 1980 film The Shining.

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