As an opening note I should point out that english is not my mother tongue and therefore my language may be flawed from time to time. I hope however that this will not affect the credibility of the content of my writing.
Before I attempt to discuss or review any films or tv-series in this blog I feel I need to clarify the purpose of this site as well as the title of the actual blog itself. More precisely, what is a non-submersible unit and what does it have to do with films? The term, in the context of film, was coined by non other than the great filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. As explained by Brian Aldiss, in the documentary “Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures“, any film needs 6-8 non-submersible units or fundamental story pieces where all the non essential information has been stripped away. These units, if executed properly, can be so strong and interesting by themselves that they don’t need to be placed in any narrative structure. This is perhaps most evident in Kubricks “2001: A Space Odyssey” which in many ways lacks any grand narrative and instead is constructed of 7 or 8 sequences that stand on their own feet without relying on the rest of the film to set them up.
But as I see it, a non-submersible unit can really be any part or detail from a film. It can be a scene from the film. It can be a song or a dialog. It can be an image which by itself is so powerful that it permanently instills in your mind. Anything which makes us forget that we are sitting in a jam-packed cinema or in the confines of our own home in the “real world” and instead takes us on remarkable journeys of the fantastic and the unbelievable.
These non-submersible units in any good film is what, in my opinion, makes cinema so powerful and so interesting. These units can only be created by someone who is in complete control of both the form and the idea behind the film. Kubrick may have perfected the use of the non-submersible units but he is definitely not the first nor the last director to have used them.
My purpose with this blog is to find and analyze the non-submersible units in different films, both as a writing exercise for myself and as a forum for discussion. So stay tuned for the next posts and if you like you can subscribe to my blog.