Stanley Kubrick is one of the most revered directors in cinema history. His 13 films, including classics such as Paths of Glory, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining, attracted controversy, acclaim, a devoted cult following, and enormous critical interest. With this comprehensive guide to the key contexts – industrial and cultural, as well as aesthetic and critical – the themes of Kubrick’s films sum up the current vibrant state of Kubrick studies. Bringing together an international team of leading scholars and emergent voices, this Companion provides comprehensive coverage of Stanley Kubrick’s contribution to cinema. After a substantial introduction outlining Kubrick’s life and career and the film’s production and reception contexts, the volume consists of 39 contributions on key themes that both summarise previous work and offer new, often archive-based, state-of-the-art research. In addition, it is specifically tailored to the needs of students wanting an authoritative, accessible overview of academic work on Kubrick.

Published by Bloosmbury Academic Press in 2021.

Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut is a complex, visually arresting film about domesticity, sexual disturbance, and dreams. It was on the director’s mind for some 50 years before he finally put it into production. Using materials from the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the University of the Arts, London, as well as other archives, combined with interviews with key participants involved in the production, the authors construct an archeology and appreciation of this enigmatic work and its creator. This book traces the progress of the film from its origins through its completion, reception, and afterlife, and provide a new critical reading of the film.

Keywords: Stanley KubrickEyes Wide ShutKubrick ArchiveUniversity of the Artsbiographyenigmatic

Published by Oxford University Press in 2019

Stanley Kubrick is generally acknowledged as one of the world’s great directors. Yet few critics or scholars have considered how he emerged from a unique and vibrant cultural milieu: the New York Jewish intelligentsia. Stanley Kubrick reexamines the director’s work in context of his ethnic and cultural origins. Focusing on several of Kubrick’s key themes—including masculinity, ethical responsibility, and the nature of evil—it demonstrates how his films were in conversation with contemporary New York Jewish intellectuals who grappled with the same concerns.  At the same time, it explores Kubrick’s fraught relationship with his Jewish identity and his reluctance to be pegged as an ethnic director, manifest in his removal of Jewish references and characters from stories he adapted. As he digs deep into rare Kubrick archives to reveal insights about the director’s life and times, film scholar Nathan Abrams also provides a nuanced account of Kubrick’s cinematic artistry. Each chapter offers a detailed analysis of one of Kubrick’s major films, including LolitaDr. Strangelove2001A Clockwork OrangeBarry LyndonThe ShiningFull Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide ShutStanley Kubrick thus presents an illuminating look at one of the twentieth century’s most renowned and yet misunderstood directors.  

Published by Rutgers University Press in 2018

Hidden in Plain Sight: Jews and Jewishness in British Film, Television, and Popular Culture is the first collection of its kind on this subject. The volume brings together a range of original essays that address different aspects of the role and presence of Jews and Jewishness in British film and television from the interwar period to the present. It constructs a historical overview of the Jewish contribution to British film and television, which has not always been sufficiently acknowledged. Each chapter presents a case study reflective of the specific Jewish experience as well as its particularly British context, with cultural representations of how Jews responded to events from the 1930s and ’40s, including World War II, the Holocaust, and a legacy of antisemitism, through to the new millennium.

Published by Northwestern University Press in 2016.

Jewish film characters have existed almost as long as the medium itself. But around 1990, films about Jews and their representation in cinema multiplied and took on new forms, marking a radical rupture with the past. With a new generation of Jewish filmmakers, writers and actors at work, contemporary cinemas in Hollywood and the rest of the world have been depicting a multiplicity of new Jews, including tough Jews, brutish Jews, gay and lesbian Jews, Jewish cowboys, skinheads and superheroes, Jews in space and so on. Grounded in the study of over 300 films from Hollywood and beyond, ‘The New Jew in FIlm’ explores these new and changing depictions of Jews, Jewishness and Judaism, providing a wider, more representative picture of the subject than has hitherto been attempted. This is a compelling, surprising and provocative book, whose chapters explore masculinity, femininity, passivity, agency, religion, as well as a departure into new territory including food and bathrooms. Its concern is to reveal how the representation of the Jew is used to convey confidence or anxieties about Jewish identity and history, as well as how it engages with questions of racial, sexual and gender politics. In so doing, ‘The New Jew in Film’ also provides a welcome overview of important Jewish films produced globally over the last twenty years.

Published by IB Tauris/Rutgers University Press in 2012.

What does the term “neoconservative” mean? Who are we talking about and where did they come from? Abrams answers those very questions through a detailed and critical study of neoconservatism’s leading thinker, Norman Podhoretz, and the magazine he edited for 35 years, Commentary. Podhoretz has been described as “the conductor of the neocon orchestra” and through Commentary Podhoretz powerfully shaped neoconservatism. Rich in research, the book is based upon a wide range of sources, including archival and other material never before published in the context of Commentary magazine, including Podhoretz’s private papers. It argues that much of what has been said about neoconservatism is the product of willful distortion and exaggeration both by the neoconservatives themselves and their many enemies. From this unique perspective, Abrams examines the origins, rise, and fall of neoconservatism. In understanding Podhoretz, a figure often overlooked, this book sheds light on the origins, ideas, and intellectual pedigree of neoconservatism.

Published by Continuum in 2010.

Studying Film is an all-encompassing guide to cinema and film which explores the key concepts, terms and events that have shaped film study and criticism, all of which is illustrated by reference to classic and contemporary movies from around the world, from The Great Train Robbery to Pulp Fiction via Un Chien Andalou and Cinema Paradiso. This accessible introduction to the study of film aims to stimulate students’ enjoyment and understanding of a wide range of different types of film, and to give them an awareness of the nature of cinema as a medium, as an art form, and as a social and economic institution. Contemporary film is seen in context by tracing its development from 1895 to the present, exploring film production in a variety of countries in a range of styles, and placing film next to other media.

Published by Bloomsbury in 2010.

This is the first full history of the Jews in Scotland who lived outside Edinburgh and Glasgow. The book focuses on seven communities from the borders to the highlands: Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Greenock, and Inverness. Each of these communities was of sufficient size and affluence to form a congregation with a functional synagogue and, while their histories have been previously neglected in favor of Jewish populations in larger cities, their stories are important in understanding Scottish Jewry and British history as a whole. Drawn from numerous primary sources, the history of Jews in Scotland is traced from the earliest rumors to the present.

Published by McFarland in 2009.

Everything you wanted to know about Jews and Sex but were afraid to ask! ‘Go forth and multiply’ was the first commandment in the Bible. From King David to adult movie star Ron Jeremy, Jews have prided themselves on their liberal attitudes towards all things sexual. But what do we really know about the relationship between Jews ans Sex? This collection of original esssays starts to answer that qustion. Featuring a range of writers from the United States, Europe, Israel, South America, and Australia, this book features new writing on Judaism and Sexuality including topics such as Pornography and the Adult Film Industry; Sexual Propaganda; Woody Allen; Erotic Theology; Homosexuality and Judaism; Sex on the Stage; Lesbian Yiddish Poetry; the Jewish American Princess; Sex and the British novel; Sex and Art and more.

Published by Five Leaves in 2008.

Launched in 1945, Commentary magazine became one of America’s most celebrated periodicals. Under the editorship of Elliot E Cohen, it developed into the premier postwar journal of Jewish affairs attracting a readership far wider than its Jewish community origin. This book is the first detailed and critical study of Commentary magazine during its formative years. Abrams traces the development of the key issues that have occupied its first fifty years: the construction of a new American Jewish identity, Judaism, the Holocaust, the State of Israel, and the Cold War. This account of the chief and most influential journal of Jewish thought, opinion, and culture in America will complete the picture of postwar American Jewish and general intellectual life. It is based upon a wide range of sources including archival and other material never before published in the context of Commentary magazine.

Published by Vallentine Mitchell in 2005.

The postwar period in America witnessed a tremendous consumer boom that introduced thousands of new items into the mass market. The contributors to Containing America challenge our conceptions of Cold War culture by examining a range of such products – clothes, food, television, magazines, radio, and other forms of entertainment – in order to shed light on how Cold War discourses actually influenced the practices of ordinary behaviour. Their essays address very different sectors of American society – in terms of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality and gender – thus emphasising the multiplicity, diversity, and differing nature of the voices that emerged in cultural production and consumption during the 1950s. Containing America points out directions for further research and provides a fresh approach for scholars, students, and others interested in the culture of the Cold War of the 1950s.

Published by The University of Birmingham Press in 2000.