Stanley Kubrick, Director: A Visual Analysis
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Alexander Walker's Stanley Kubrick, Director is the only book ever written with Kubrick's cooperation.
This new edition, revised and expanded to discuss all of Kubrick's films―including Eyes Wide Shut―again received the approval of the reclusive director, who before his death allowed the use of illustrations taken directly from his films' frames. The result is a frame-by-frame examination of the inimitable style that infuses every Kubrick movie, from the pitch-perfect hilarity of Lolita to the icy supremacy of 2001: A Space Odyssey to the baroque horror of The Shining. The book's beautiful design and dynamic arrangement of photographic stills offer a frame-by-frame understanding of how Kubrick constructed a film. What emerges is a deeply human study of one remarkable artist's nature and obsessions, and how these changed and shifted in his four decades as a filmmaker. Black-and-white illustrations throughout, 8 pages of color.
discipline. Formal education certainly provided very little of it. Kubrick at school was not even a "late beginner." Interestingly, physics was the most satisfactory among his subjects, in which he earned undistinguished grades, at Taft High School. Perhaps the failure of most of his teachers to hold his attention, much less ignite his imagination, helps account for the compulsive desire to connect with an audience that runs so consistently through his filmmaking. (Boredom taught him at an early
area of complex forces. Each film was a way of exploring the number of exciting possibilities it held for him at the time he decided to make it. Each film enabled him to extend his own investigation of himself by exhausting the area of research it opened up to his artistic and scientific imagination. This alone is one good reason why he was incapable of repeating a subject: it would mean repeating himself. And he simply did not have the time or the patience for that. Thus he was freed from the
glamour: expensive stuff. Kubrick uses it the way an arbiter of fashion uses only the best — not exactly wastefully certainly not disdainfully but not letting it rule his day. The film was photographed by John Alcott, who had shot A Clockwork Orange (and who would work on Kubrick's next two films); and again attitude dictates form. Here, Kubrick's favorite camera movement is a slow and sensuous pulling back from a single detail to reveal a panorama, a zoom shot in calculated reverse. It is the
short-listing players. For The Shining he winnowed down thousands of potential child actors to find the right one for "Danny") Thackeray had hustled Lord Bullingdon off to America after his public spat with his stepfather. Kubrick keeps him in England, where family animosity builds up to the inevitable duel. The scene — a barn lit with a painterly radiance borrowed from the eighteenth-century artist Wright of Derby — can still produce surprise. It's young Bullingdon who is literally sick to his
relevance to earlier or later events in the film, and Torrance, on returning to Wendy, denies having found anyone in Room 237. So what is the meaning of his horrifying epiphany? Freud said that filmgoing is like wakeful dreaming. Kubrick also believed that films connect subtly with the subconscious. Meaning, he said, may be found in the sensation of a thing, not its explanation. Yet he has provided a clue. In certain interviews around this time, he mentioned his admiration for Rhapsody: A Dream