Stanley across many of his films. By

Stanley Kubrick is hailed as one of the best and most innovative
film directors of the twentieth century. He was a filmmaker of ideas, and used
his films as a medium in which to promote his ideas about topics to the rest of
the world. After moving him and his family to England, Kubrick had full
creative control over his filming process, including casting, light, sound,
score, script, and production. Having this amount of control meant that he
would only make the films that he chose to, meaning that he would more than
likely continue to return to the same beliefs and themes across many of his
films. By consistently referencing the same ideas in several films, Kubrick was
challenging his audiences to find and dissect them, however he did not do this
by simply showing them. Rather he focused on motifs and symbolism to encode
these ideas into each film, repeating them as he continued to produce, making all
his films philosophical and entertaining concurrently.

Interestingly, no matter the era, genre, or plotline of his films,
Kubrick’s characters always end up in a bathroom. Bathrooms are not only a practical
facility but also a social construct that represent that duality of humans
attempting to retain their civilisation whilst going to perform one of the most
animalistic acts. Between the release of the 1960 epic Spartacus, and his final film Eyes
Wide Shut in 1999, Kubrick had dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to
showing that regardless of the appearances people may wear in public, humans
will always be a flawed species, and never achieve perfection. As bathrooms are
the place in which the man-made pretence of civilisation is removed, and therefore,
the primal instincts of humans rise to the surface, resulting in disastrous
consequences. Bathrooms have become ‘his creation of magnificent interiors that
become horrifying once we realise that they support what are essentially
killing machines’ (McDougal, 2003).

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There are many signature themes and techniques that Stanley
Kubrick uses throughout his career, and his films are typically concerned with
the comedy, mayhem, fear, and chaos that is unleashed by the animals that exist
within in all humans. Each of Kubrick’s films can eventually be boiled down to
arguing that despite the advancements that the human species has made, they are
still simply animals of dual personalities. The animalistic side essentially
perverts the human counterpart, causing destruction, seen in the form of
Kubrick’s characters, General Ripper (Sterling Hayden), HAL 9000 (Douglas
Rain), and the Ludovico technique. In such films, Kubrick was always critiquing
the idea of a completely perfect system, and demonstrates to the audience that
no matter how pristine these systems may be, they will all ultimately fail and
break down due to the weaknesses of humans. This leads to such a break down
needing a physical space, which for Kubrick, was the bathroom. Because,
‘Kubrick’s representations of toilets and bathrooms work to convey subtle
information about human beings’. (White in Kolker, 2006), he thusly used
bathrooms to show his characters true motivations and natures, as the bathroom
is the place on which where the human imposed pretence of civilisation is
stripped away, and consequently, animalistic instincts rise to the surface.
These locations function as a physical representation of the themes found
within each individual film, and the overarching themes present across all of
Kubrick’s films. Humans tend to feel safe and secure in bathrooms, as ‘in many
households bathrooms are the only rooms in which the solitary person can
properly lock himself. And it may be only under these guaranteed conditions
that some individuals will feel safe in manifesting certain situationally
improper involvements’. (Goffman, 1963: 39). Bathrooms can represent the empty
space between civilisation and human nature, and serves to bridge such a gap.
The bathroom is the place where humans go to reclaim their animalistic nature,
however, bathrooms have also become the place that civilisations have
sanitized, ritualised and formalised the most fundamental act of being human.
Emphasised with the list of ten instructions found in the zero-gravity bathroom
in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Aside from his first few films, almost each Kubrick
film features a bathroom, and they are usually coded as being villainous. The
first we see of this connotation is during The
Killing (1956), in which