A Review of Kate McQuiston's We'll Meet Again: Musical Design in the Films of Stanley Kubrick

  • Corinne Nadeau University of Guelph


Stanley Kubrick is among film history’s most famous—and at times, infamous—directors, known especially for his visual mastery, inventive audiovisual effects, and his meticulous attention to detail. His thirteen films span forty-six years, from Fear and Desire, in 1953 to Eyes Wide Shut in 1999. Fascination with Kubrick’s work has only grown since the enigmatic man’s death a few months before the release of his final film. Correspondingly, analyses and reviews of the music in his films have become an increasingly popular topic. For instance, Kate McQuiston’s We’ll Meet Again: Musical Design in the Films of Stanley Kubrick explores the director’s precise and purposeful use of music in his films. McQuiston’s archival research helps craft a convincing and detailed analysis of Kubrick’s musical choices and forms, though the book’s format rendered it repetitious at times. Its two hundred pages reveal a well-researched study of Kubrick’s film music, including entire chapters dedicated to his most celebrated films (Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut). In addition, this book is accessible to undergraduate and graduate readers alike, though more challenging for those who are unfamiliar with the director’s works and with music history.