Though his influence as an auteur is often taken for granted, Stanley Kubrick and his work have been subject to intense scrutiny, debate, and re-evaluation since the beginnings of his career. His adaptation of Lolita both undermined the Production Code in place at the time and alienated contemporary critics who argued that it went too far in making a palatable version of the inherently controversial novel. After the demise of the Code, A Clockwork Orange met condemnation from a broad array of groups, including left-wing journalists who regarded it as a reckless, sensationalist celebration of fascism. Like these films, 2001 divided critics, though more on the grounds that it was tedious, overwrought, and incomprehensible than for political reasons. Initially rebuked as exemplars of style-over-substance, Stanley Kubrick's films have gained an appreciation that wasn't possible before, suggesting that public memory favors the beautiful features of art more than those that provoke offense or confusion.
"Stanley Kubrick & The Evolution of Critical Consensus,"
Global Tides: Vol. 12
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/globaltides/vol12/iss1/3