“The Problem with Kubrick” – SHU PhD Candidate Mars Nicolí writes about recent On the Radar talk with Dr James Fenwick

On the Rader banner image 1500x500

ON THE RADAR research seminars promote the sharing of knowledge across the entire Sheffield Hallam University community – all are welcome, free to attend. 

The most recent in the ON THE RADAR research seminar series, held on Wednesday 29 November 2023 and organised by Dr Diane Rodgers, saw Dr James Fenwick discuss his research on Stanley Kubrick. The well-attended event has been covered by SHU PhD candidate Mars Nicolí:

The series of research seminars ON THE RADAR continues with an exploration of the Kubrick legacy. Through his work in the Kubrick archive, and an (at times conflictual) collaboration with his estate, Fenwick offers a refreshing counternarrative to the mythos around Kubrick, questioning his role as a cultural icon, the rebel “genius artist” film history remembers him as.

Instead, the talk put a spotlight on those left behind, exploited and forgotten in the creation of this legend: the thwarting of trade unions and overworking of crew, and above all, the women abused and objectified in the process. Amongst many stands Sue Lyon, who was sexualised and objectified in and out of character as a 14-years old Lolita. The personal correspondence between her and the film’s producer casts an even darker shadow on the production and on what was considered normal on Kubrick’s sets.

The talk brought these issues at the forefront of the conversation, and raised important questions on the cult of personalities in the industry which led to a stimulating Q&A engaging with cancel culture, forgotten legacies, and larger issues of misogyny in the industry.


By Mars Nicolí

For more information about ON THE RADAR, or to add your name as a future presenter, contact Dr Diane A. Rodgers@SHU_radar