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Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2046-6692
  • E-ISSN: 2046-6706



Stanley Kubrick died suddenly in July 1999, not able to control the release of what was to be his final film (1999). The resultant marketing was misleading, and many claimed that Kubrick had not completed the film before his death, with edits still to be made. Yet, in recent years, the reputation of the film has grown; new fan documentaries abound on the Internet that praise the film and search for symbolism and hidden meaning (such as freemasonry, or the New World Order) as feverishly as they do with (1980). But, academic attention overlooks consideration of the fan reception of , in favour of the obvious cult nature of films such as and (1971). The article will consider, firstly, the initial fan reception to , via fan forums including the website alt.movies.kubrick (amk) and how this compared with the press reaction in the face of knowing that this was the last ever Kubrick film. It will explore how such knowledge influenced the reception of the film and how, with the passing of sixteen years, this has changed. Secondly, the article will look to what extent the shaping of Kubrick’s legacy via the donation of his archive to the University of the Arts London and the global tour of the has created a narrative that has changed the reception and opinion of ; in addition, the Kubrick legacy is not just to prolong the marketability of a dead auteur but in response to the cult fan base in search of ever more knowledge to help in the deciphering of Kubrick’s films, leading to numerous DVD box sets and coffee-table books containing rare archival material.


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