That’s Kubrap!

"Oh man, Godfather part two is so much better than Godfather part one!"

"Dude, you are so talking kubrap!"

Stanley KubrickThis typical, everyday conversation between two vile youths may have left you stumped if you’re not sure just what "kubrap" is. What is kubrap?

When many people claim something as fact, not because it is a fact and not because they’ve formed their own opinion, but rather because other people they know have claimed the something to be a fact and they’re merely repeating it without giving it any thought whatsoever so that they can appear "hip" (that’s still in use, yes?) then the fact itself is kubrap and anyone making the claim is said to be talking kubrap.

Godfather part two, for example, is not better than Godfather part one yet many people will robotically proclaim that it is one of only a small number of sequels that are superior to the original. This isn’t because they decided this for themselves, thinking about the storyline, characters, direction, or anything else related to the film; it’s because they heard it on a television programme or their friend said it. The television programme was wrong, the friend was an imbecile, and the fact was utter kubrap.

So, where does the name kubrap come from? Kubrap is a portmanteau word deriving from Kubrick and Crap. This is because most – if not all – of Kubrick’s films are really not that good – at best – and some are absolutely dreadful. Yet there are legions of people who will make ridiculous claims as to his genius behind the camera, not because they arrived at this conclusion themselves but because somebody else mentioned it and they decided it must be true and that to dissent from the accepted position might be interpreted as treasonous at some level.

The movie Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb is a fine example of an appalling film that regularly resides in the upper echelons of various charts of the best movie ever made or the best direction or the funniest crud etc. People who want to appear informed vote for it because other, more popular cronies say it’s great. But it’s not great. It’s not even average. It’s not funny. It’s not a good satire. It has woeful acting and awful effects that aren’t some magical display of directing genius. Hot Shots! is a better war comedy but nobody ever fawns over the mystical art skills of Jim Abrahams. Dr Strangelove is crap by Kubrick. It’s kubrap.

Kubrick was surrounded by controversy all his life; he famously didn’t get on with many people, took years to "perfect" his movies, and often took on highly dubious subjects. These aren’t the hallmarks of a good director; these are the hallmarks of a man who wasn’t good with people, wasn’t very efficient at his job, and craved notoriety from the easily swayed. Many of his films received appropriate negative reviews on first release, only to be looked upon favourably with hindsight. Hindsight? Or a gradual permeation of kubrap through the collective psyche? Yes, it’s the latter.

Blade Runner‘s awesomeness is kubrap. Seriously, folks, it’s good but it’s not that good. Withnail & I is a British cult comedy. And that’s all. Anyone who makes this out to be anything more than an average movie is talking kubrap. Clever, original, and surprising are three words to describe M. Night Shyamalan films but only if you’re spewing kubrap.

And remember, it’s not just movies.

  • "I get the artwork of Warhol, Pollock, Emin, Hirst, etc." – that’s kubrap.
  • "Having children is a wonderful thing." – that’s kubrap.
  • "You can really taste the lumps of Jesus in that communion wafer." – that’s kubrap.
  • "Apple or Microsoft? Oh, Apple every time!" – that’s kubrap.

Now you know what kubrap is.

Author: Mark

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  1. I like the premise, but would quibble with the one example. I’ve watched Dr. Strangelove multiple times (including again just a few weeks ago) and find it quite amusing and well-crafted. To lump Hot Shots in the same paragraph with it is the actual Kubrap. I do agree with the Godfather analysis though, and the others in the list.

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  2. The previous commenter doesnt really get what kubrap is if he thinks lumping Hot Shots with Strangelove is kubrap. For that to be kubrap many people would need to have already compared Hot Shots with Strangelove making the additional comparison here kubrap. Clearly it’s not kubrap then. Have I said kubrap enough times?

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  3. I couldn’t agree more. I really like scifi films but the number of them I’ve seen that were supposed to be awesome in an arty way like Solaris and Sunshine and 2001 but just left me bored senseless. But I do like Blade Runner so if I’ve made up my own mind about it that’s ok isn’t it?

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  4. How can you throw Blade Runner under the bus, but not 2001: A 45-Minute Boring Space Finale?

    Tsk tsk


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