How does Kubrick use camera technique to draw character?

[The following excerpt is from Mario Falsetto's STANLEY KUBRICK: A 

This grim world view continues to unfold in BARRY LYNDON . . . The 
strategies of long takes, long shots, elaborate mise-en-scene, slow 
zooms, camera and character placement are elements in a complicated 
formal design that help articulate many of the film's thematic concerns. 
The creation of Barry's character is inextricably bound to such 

A key component of the depiction of Barry's character is his placement 
within the frame, frequently in a frozen gesture with a blank facial 
expression. . . . Viewers come to know Barry primarily through 
strategies of presentation rather than more typical character-building 
conventions. . . . [:] frozen gestures, placement within the frame and 
severe restriction and limitation of the frame edge. This effect is 
achieved in part through the use of the slow zoom, static long takes and 
strategic uses of camera movement. . . .

Barry is essentially a prisoner . . . In sequence after sequence . . . 
[h]e often looks directly ahead but not at anyone. An example of this 
can be found in a scene with Barry in his role as a German spy. He 
stands in front of Captain Potzdorf (Hardy Kruger), who is seated with 
his uncle, the chief of police. Barry speaks but not to anyone, nor does 
he direct his gaze at either man. When he does speak, it is in an 
unthinking manner, as if he were a machine.

Many scenes find Barry in situations where his physical movements are 
deliberately slow, artificial and stylized, or else where he is 
completely immobile and locked in a frozen gesture. Barry is most 
frequently seen in medium or long shots . . . often shown walking or 
standing in a pose, with arms folded behind his back and head bent 
downward or looking ahead with a far-off look in his eyes. The film uses 
many distancing devices and maintains them throughout. . . .

Back to Table of Contents.