Stanley Kubrick ranks among the most important American film makers of his generation, but his work is often misunderstood because it is widely diverse in subject matter and seems to lack thematic and tonal consistency. Thomas Nelson's perceptive and comprehensive study of Kubrick rescues him from the hostility of auteurist critics and discovers the roots of a Kubrickian aesthetic, which Nelson defines as the "aesthetics of contingency."
After analyzing how this aesthetic develops and manifests itself in the early works, Nelson devotes individual chapters to Lolita, Dr. Stangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining.
For this expanded edition, Nelson has added chapters on Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut, and, in the wake of the director's death, reconsidered his body of work as a whole. By placing Kubrick in a historical and theoretical context, this study is a reliable guide into—and out of—Stanley Kubrick's cinematic maze.