Oh, he's just writing it the way he sees it in the mind's eye. Kubrick saw the equation visually. A tradesman's shortcut. I see it done all the time. I see it written out as 1-85 a lot by directors and cameramen. The other 1 (height) is understood to be there. Cameraman do this all the time, and Kubrick was first and foremost a cameraman. The aspect ratio equation is technically correct written out as 1.85:1 . Generally Kubrick liked to compose with more height, as most of his films are shot in the spherical aspect ratios of 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 . Only a couple of his films were in the anamorphic ratios -- Spartacus, 2001.