"Kubrick" redirects here. For other uses, see Kubrick (disambiguation).
Stanley Kubrick (; July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is frequently cited as one of the greatest and most influential directors in cinematic history. His films, which are mostly adaptations of novels or short stories, cover a wide range of genres, and are noted for their realism, dark humor, unique cinematography, extensive set designs, and evocative use of music.
Kubrick was raised in the Bronx, New York City, and attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. Although he only received average grades, Kubrick displayed a keen interest in literature, photography, and film from a young age, and taught himself all aspects of film production and directing after graduating from high school. After working as a photographer for Look magazine in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he began making short films on a shoestring budget, and made his first major Hollywood film, The Killing, for United Artists in 1956. This was followed by two collaborations with Kirk Douglas, the war picture Paths of Glory (1957) and the historical epic Spartacus (1960). His reputation as a filmmaker in Hollywood grew, and he was approached by Marlon Brando to film what would become One-Eyed Jacks (1961), though Brando eventually decided to direct it himself.
Creative differences arising from his work with Douglas and the film studios, a dislike of Hollywood, and a growing concern about crime in America prompted Kubrick to move to the United Kingdom in 1961, where he spent most of the remainder of his life and career. His home at Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire, which he shared with his wife Christiane, became his workplace, where he did his writing, research, editing, and management of production details. This allowed him to have almost complete artistic control over his films, but with the rare advantage of having financial support from major Hollywood studios. His first British productions were two films with Peter Sellers, Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964).
A demanding perfectionist, Kubrick assumed control over most aspects of the filmmaking process, from direction and writing to editing, and took painstaking care with researching his films and staging scenes, working in close coordination with his actors and other collaborators. He often asked for several dozen retakes of the same scene in a movie, which resulted in many conflicts with his casts. Despite the resulting notoriety among actors, many of Kubrick's films broke new ground in cinematography. The scientific realism and innovative special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) were without precedent in the history of cinema, and the film earned him his only personal Oscar, for Best Visual Effects. Steven Spielberg has referred to the film as his generation's "big bang", and it is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. For the 18th-century period film Barry Lyndon (1975), Kubrick obtained lenses developed by Zeiss for NASA, to film scenes under natural candlelight. With The Shining (1980), he became one of the first directors to make use of a Steadicam for stabilized and fluid tracking shots. While many of Kubrick's films were controversial and initially received mixed reviews upon release—particularly A Clockwork Orange (1971), which Kubrick pulled from circulation in the UK following a mass media frenzy—most were nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, or BAFTA Awards, and underwent critical reevaluations. His last film, Eyes Wide Shut, was completed shortly before his death in 1999 at the age of 70.
Kubrick was born in the Lying-In Hospital at 307 Second Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, to a Jewish family. He was the first of two children of Jacob Leonard Kubrick (May 21, 1902 – October 19, 1985), known as Jack or Jacques, and his wife Sadie Gertrude Kubrick (née Perveler; October 28, 1903 – April 23, 1985), known as Gert. His sister, Barbara Mary Kubrick, was born in May 1934. Jack Kubrick, whose parents and paternal grandparents were of Polish Jewish, Austrian Jewish, and Romanian Jewish origin, was a doctor, graduating from the New York Homeopathic Medical College in 1927, the same year he married Kubrick's mother, the child of Austrian Jewish immigrants. Kubrick's great-grandfather, Hersh Kubrick (also spelled Kubrik or Kubrike), arrived at Ellis Island via Liverpool by ship on December 27, 1899, at the age of 47, leaving behind his wife and two grown children, one of whom was Stanley's grandfather Elias, to start a new life with a younger woman. Elias Kubrick followed in 1902. At Stanley's birth, the Kubricks lived in an apartment at 2160 Clinton Avenue in the Bronx. Although his parents had been married in a Jewish ceremony, Kubrick did not have a religious upbringing, and would later profess an atheistic view of the universe. By the district standards of the West Bronx, the family was fairly wealthy, his father earning a good income as a physician.
Soon after his sister's birth, Kubrick began schooling in Public School 3 in the Bronx, and moved to Public School 90 in June 1938. Although his IQ was discovered to be above average, his attendance was poor, and he missed 56 days in his first term alone, as many as he attended. He displayed an interest in literature from a young age, and began reading Greek and Roman myths and the fables of the Grimm brothers which "instilled in him a lifelong affinity with Europe". He spent most Saturdays during the summer watching the New York Yankees, and would later photograph two boys watching the game in an assignment for Look magazine to emulate his own childhood excitement with baseball. When Kubrick was 12, his father Jack taught him chess. The game remained a lifelong interest of Kubrick's, appearing in many scenes of his films. Kubrick, who later became a member of the United States Chess Federation, explained that chess helped him develop "patience and discipline" in making decisions. At the age of 13, Kubrick's father bought him a Graflex camera, triggering a fascination with still photography. He befriended a neighbor, Marvin Traub, who shared his passion for photography. Traub had his own darkroom, where the young Kubrick and he would spend many hours perusing photographs and watching the chemicals "magically make images on photographic paper". The two indulged in numerous photographic projects for which they roamed the streets looking for interesting subjects to capture, and spent time in local cinemas studying films. Freelance photographer Weegee (Arthur Fellig) had a considerable influence on Kubrick's development as a photographer; Kubrick would later hire Fellig as the special stills photographer for Dr. Strangelove (1964). As a teenager, Kubrick was also interested in jazz, and briefly attempted a career as a drummer.
Kubrick attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. One of his classmates was Edith Gormezano, later known as the singer Eydie Gorme. Though he joined the school's photographic club, which permitted him to photograph the school's events in their magazine, he was a mediocre student, with a meager 67 grade average. Introverted and shy, Kubrick had a low attendance record, and often skipped school to watch double-feature films. He graduated in 1945, but his poor grades, combined with the demand for college admissions from soldiers returning from the Second World War, eliminated hope of higher education. Later in life, Kubrick spoke disdainfully of his education and of contemporary American schooling as a whole, maintaining that schools were ineffective in stimulating critical thinking and student interest. His father was disappointed in his son's failure to achieve excellence in school, of which he felt Stanley was fully capable. Jack also encouraged Stanley to read from the former's library at home, while at the same time permitting Stanley to take up photography as a serious hobby.
While still in high school, Kubrick was chosen as an official school photographer for a year. In the mid-1940s, since he was not able to gain admission to day session classes at colleges, he briefly attended evening classes at the City College of New York. Eventually, he sold a photographic series to Look magazine, having taken a photo to Helen O'Brian, head of the photographic department, who purchased it without hesitation for £25 on the spot.[a] It was printed on June 26, 1945. Kubrick supplemented his income by playing chess "for quarters" in Washington Square Park and various Manhattan chess clubs.
In 1946, he became an apprentice photographer for Look and later a full-time staff photographer. G. Warren Schloat, Jr., another new photographer for the magazine at the time, recalled that he thought Kubrick lacked the personality to make it as a director in Hollywood, remarking, "Stanley was a quiet fellow. He didn't say much. He was thin, skinny, and kind of poor—like we all were". Kubrick quickly became known, however, for his story-telling in photographs. His first, published on April 16, 1946, was entitled "A Short Story from a Movie Balcony" and staged a fracas between a man and a woman, during which the man is slapped in the face, caught genuinely by surprise. In another assignment, 18 pictures were taken of various people waiting in a dental office. It has been said retrospectively that this project demonstrated an early interest of Kubrick in capturing individuals and their feelings in mundane environments. In 1948, he was sent to Portugal to document a travel piece, and covered the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sarasota, Florida.[b] Kubrick, a boxing enthusiast, eventually began photographing boxing matches for the magazine. His earliest, "Prizefighter", was published on January 18, 1949, and captured a boxing match and the events leading up to it, featuring Walter Cartier. On April 2, 1949, he published a photo essay, named "Chicago-City of Extremes" in Look, which displayed his talent early on for creating atmosphere with imagery, including a photograph taken above a congested Chicago street at night. The following year, on July 18, 1950, the magazine published his photo essay, "Working Debutante - Betsy von Furstenberg", which featured a Pablo Picasso portrait of Angel F. de Soto in the background. Kubrick was also assigned to photograph numerous jazz musicians, from Frank Sinatra and Erroll Garner to George Lewis, Eddie Condon, Phil Napoleon, Papa Celestin, Alphonse Picou, Muggsy Spanier, Sharkey Bonano, and others.
Kubrick married his high-school sweetheart Toba Metz on May 28, 1948. They lived together in a small apartment at 36 West 16th Street, off 6th Avenue just north of Greenwich Village. During this time, Kubrick began frequenting film screenings at the Museum of Modern Art and the cinemas of New York City. He was inspired by the complex, fluid camerawork of the director Max Ophüls, whose films influenced Kubrick's later visual style, and by the director Elia Kazan, whom he described as America's "best director" at that time, with his ability of "performing miracles" with his actors. Friends began to notice that Kubrick had become obsessed with the art of filmmaking—one friend, David Vaughn, observed that Kubrick would scrutinize the film at the cinema when it went silent, and would go back to reading his paper when people started talking. He also spent many hours reading books on film theory and writing down notes. Sergei Eisenstein's theoretical writings had a profound impact on Kubrick, and he took a great number of notes from books in the library of Arthur Rothstein, the photographic technical director of Look magazine.[c]
See also: Filmography and awards of Stanley Kubrick
Short films (1951–1953)
Kubrick shared a love of film with his school friend Alexander Singer, who after graduating from high school had the intention of directing a film version of Homer's The Iliad. Through Singer, who worked in the offices of the newsreel production company, The March of Time, Kubrick learned that it could cost $40,000 to make a proper short film, money he could not afford. However, he had $1500 in savings and managed to produce a few short documentaries fueled by encouragement from Singer. He began learning all he could about filmmaking on his own, calling film suppliers, laboratories, and equipment rental houses.
Kubrick decided to make a short film documentary about boxer Walter Cartier, whom he had photographed and written about for Look magazine a year earlier. He rented a camera and produced a 16-minute black-and-white documentary, Day of the Fight. Kubrick found the money independently to finance it. He had considered asking Montgomery Clift to narrate it, whom he had met during a photographic session for Look, but settled on CBS news veteran Douglas Edwards. According to Paul Duncan the film was "remarkably accomplished for a first film", and was notable for using a backward tracking shot to film a scene in which the brothers walk towards the camera, a device later to become one of Kubrick's characteristic camera movements. Vincent Cartier, Walter's brother and manager, later reflected on his observations of Kubrick during the filming. He said, "Stanley was very stoic, impassive but imaginative type person with strong, imaginative thoughts. He commanded respect in a quiet, shy way. Whatever he wanted, you complied, he just captivated you. Anybody who worked with Stanley did just what Stanley wanted".[d] After a score was added by Singer's friend Gerald Fried, Kubrick had spent $3900 in making it, and sold it to RKO-Pathé for $4000, which was the most the company had ever paid for a short film at the time. Kubrick described his first effort at filmmaking as having been valuable since he believed himself to have been forced to do most of the work, and he later declared that the "best education in film is to make one".
Inspired by this early success, Kubrick quit his job at Look and visited professional filmmakers in New York City, asking many detailed questions about the technical aspects of film-making. He stated that he was given the confidence during this period to become a filmmaker because of the number of bad films he had seen, remarking, "I don't know a goddamn thing about movies, but I know I can make a better film than that". He began making Flying Padre (1951), a film which documents Reverend Fred Stadtmueller, who travels some 4,000 miles to visit his 11 churches. The film was originally going to be called "Sky Pilot", a pun on the slang term for a priest. During the course of the film, the priest performs a burial service, confronts a boy bullying a girl, and makes an emergency flight to aid a sick mother and baby into an ambulance. Several of the views from and of the plane in Flying Padre are later echoed in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) with the footage of the spacecraft, and a series of close-ups on the faces of people attending the funeral were most likely inspired by Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Ivan the Terrible (1944/1958).
Flying Padre was followed by The Seafarers (1953), Kubrick's first color film, which was shot for the Seafarers International Union in June 1953. It has shots of ships, machinery, a canteen, and a union meeting. For the cafeteria scene in the film, Kubrick chose a long, sideways-shooting dolly shot to establish the life of the seafarer's community; this shot is an early demonstration of a technique which would become a signature of his. The montage of speaker and audience echoes scenes from Eisenstein's Strike (1925) and October (1928).Day of the Fight, Flying Padre and The Seafarers constitute Kubrick's only surviving documentary works, although some historians believe he made others.
Early feature work (1953–1955)
After raising $1000 showing his short films to friends and family, Kubrick found the finances to begin making his first feature film, Fear and Desire (1953), originally running with the title The Trap, written by his friend Howard Sackler. Kubrick's uncle, Martin Perveler, a Los Angeles businessman, invested a further $9000 on condition that he be credited as executive producer of the film. Kubrick assembled several actors and a small crew totaling 14 people (five actors, five crewmen, and four others to help transport the equipment) and flew to the San Gabriel Mountains in California for a five-week, low-budget shoot. Later renamed The Shape of Fear before finally being named Fear and Desire, it is a fictional allegory about a team of soldiers who survive a plane crash and are caught behind enemy lines in a war. During the course of the film, one of the soldiers becomes infatuated with an attractive girl in the woods and binds her to a tree. This scene is noted for its close-ups on the face of the actress. Kubrick had intended for Fear and Desire to be a silent picture in order to ensure low production costs; the added sounds, effects, and music ultimately brought production costs to around $53,000, exceeding the budget. He was bailed out by producer Richard de Rochemont on the condition that he help in de Rochemont's production of a five-part television series about Abraham Lincoln on location in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
Fear and Desire was a commercial failure, but garnered several positive reviews upon release. Critics such as the reviewer from The New York Times believed that Kubrick's professionalism as a photographer shone through in the picture, and that he "artistically caught glimpses of the grotesque attitudes of death, the wolfishness of hungry men, as well as their bestiality, and in one scene, the wracking effect of lust on a pitifully juvenile soldier and the pinioned girl he is guarding". Columbia University scholar Mark Van Doren was highly impressed by the scenes with the girl bound to the tree, remarking that it would live on as a "beautiful, terrifying and weird" sequence which illustrated Kubrick's immense talent and guaranteed his future success. Kubrick himself later expressed embarrassment with Fear and Desire, however, and attempted over the years to keep prints of the film out of circulation.[e]
Following Fear and Desire, Kubrick began working on ideas for a new boxing film. Due to the commercial failure of his first feature, Kubrick avoided asking for further investments, but commenced a film noir script with Howard O. Sackler. Originally under the title Kiss Me, Kill Me, and then The Nymph and the Maniac, Killer's Kiss (1955) is a 67-minute film noir about a young heavyweight boxer's involvement with a woman being abused by her criminal boss. Like Fear and Desire, it was privately funded by Kubrick's family and friends, with some $40,000 put forward from Bronx pharmacist Morris Bousse. Kubrick began shooting footage in Times Square, and frequently explored during the filming process, experimenting with cinematography and considering the use of unconventional angles and imagery. He initially chose to record the sound on location, but encountered difficulties with shadows from the microphone booms, restricting camera movement. His decision to drop the sound in favor of imagery was a costly one; after 12–14 weeks shooting the picture, he spent some seven months and $35,000 working on the sound.Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929) directly influenced the film with the painting laughing at a character, and Martin Scorsese has, in turn, cited Kubrick's innovative shooting angles and atmospheric shots in Killer's Kiss as an influence on Raging Bull (1980). Actress Irene Kane, the star of the film, observed: "Stanley's a fascinating character. He thinks movies should move, with a minimum of dialogue, and he's all for sex and sadism".Killer's Kiss met with limited commercial success and made very little money in comparison with its production budget of $75,000. Although critics have praised the film's camerawork, its acting and story are generally considered mediocre.[f]
Hollywood success (1956–1961)
While playing chess in Washington Square, Kubrick met producer James B. Harris, who considered Kubrick to be "the most intelligent, most creative person I have ever come in contact with", and the two formed the Harris-Kubrick Pictures Corporation in 1955. Harris purchased the rights to Lionel White's novel Clean Break for $10,000[g] and Kubrick wrote the script, but upon Kubrick's suggestion, they hired film noir novelist Jim Thompson to write the dialog for the film—which later became The Killing (1956)—about a meticulously planned racetrack robbery gone wrong. The film starred Sterling Hayden, with whom Kubrick had been impressed in The Asphalt Jungle (1950). Kubrick and Harris moved to Los Angeles from New York and signed with the Jaffe Agency to shoot the picture, which became Kubrick's first full-length feature film shot with a professional cast and crew. The Union in Hollywood stated that Kubrick would not be permitted to be both the director and the cinematographer of the movie, so veteran cinematographer Lucien Ballard was hired for the shooting. Kubrick agreed to waive his fee for the production, which was shot in just 24 days on a budget of $330,000. He clashed with Ballard during the shooting, and on one occasion Kubrick threatened to fire Ballard following a camera dispute, despite being only 27 years old at the time and 20 years Ballard's junior. Hayden recalled that Kubrick was "cold and detached. Very mechanical, always confident. I've worked with few directors who are that good".The Killing failed to secure a proper release across the United States; the film made little money, and was promoted only at the last minute, as a second feature to the Western movie Bandido! (1956). Several contemporary critics lauded the film, however, with a reviewer for TIME comparing its camerawork to that of Orson Welles. Today, critics generally consider The Killing to be among the best films of Kubrick's early career; its nonlinear narrative and clinical execution also had a major influence on later directors of crime films, including Quentin Tarantino. Dore Schary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was highly impressed as well, and offered Kubrick and Harris $75,000 to write, direct, and produce a film, which ultimately became Paths of Glory (1957).[h]
Paths of Glory, set during World War I, is based on Humphrey Cobb's 1935 antiwar novel, which Kubrick had read while waiting in his father's office. Schary of MGM was familiar with the novel, but stated that the company would not finance another war picture, given their backing of the anti-war film The Red Badge of Courage (1951).[i] After Schary was fired by MGM in a major shake-up, Kubrick and Harris managed to interest Kirk Douglas in playing Colonel Dax.[j] The film, shot in Munich, from January 1957, follows a French army unit ordered on an impossible mission, and follows with a war trial of Colonel Dax and his men for misconduct. For the battle scene, Kubrick meticulously lined up six cameras one after the other along the boundary of no-man's land, with each camera capturing a specific field and numbered, and gave each of the hundreds of extras a number for the zone in which they would die. Kubrick himself operated an Arriflex camera for the battle, zooming in on Douglas. Paths of Glory became Kubrick's first significant commercial success, and established him as an up-and-coming young filmmaker. Critics praised the film's unsentimental, spare, and unvarnished combat scenes and its raw, black-and-white cinematography. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote: "The close, hard eye of Mr Kubrick's sullen camera bores directly into the minds of scheming men and into the hearts of patient, frightened soldiers who have to accept orders to die". Despite the praise, the Christmas release date was criticized, and the subject was a controversial one in Europe. The film was banned in France until 1974 for its "unflattering" depiction of the French military, and was censored by the Swiss Army until 1970.
Marlon Brando contacted Kubrick, asking him to direct a film adaptation of the Charles Neider western novel, The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones, featuring Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.[k] Brando was highly impressed with the director, remarking that "Stanley is unusually perceptive, and delicately attuned to people. He has an adroit intellect, and is a creative thinker—not a repeater, not a fact-gatherer. He digests what he learns and brings to a new project an original point of view and a reserved passion". The two worked on a script for six months, begun by a then unknown Sam Peckinpah. Many disputes broke out over the project, and in the end, Kubrick distanced himself from what would become One-Eyed Jacks (1961).[l]
In February 1959, Kubrick received a phone call from Kirk Douglas asking him to direct Spartacus (1960), based on the true life story of the historical figure Spartacus and the events of the Third Servile War. Douglas had acquired the rights to the novel by Howard Fast and blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo began penning the script. It was produced by Douglas, who also starred as rebellious slave Spartacus, and cast Laurence Olivier as his foe, the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus. Douglas hired Kubrick for a reported fee of $150,000 to take over direction soon after he fired director Anthony Mann. Kubrick had, at 31, already directed four feature films, and this became his largest by far, with a cast of over 10,000 and a large budget of $6 million.[m] At the time, this was the most expensive film ever made in America, and Kubrick became the youngest director in Hollywood history to helm an epic. It was the first time that Kubrick filmed using the anamorphic 35mm horizontal Super Technirama process to achieve ultra-high definition, which allowed him to capture large panoramic scenes, including one with 8,000 trained soldiers from Spain representing the Roman army.[n] Disputes broke out during the filming. Kubrick complained about not having full creative control over the artistic aspects, insisting on improvising extensively during the production.[o] Kubrick and Douglas were also at odds over the script, with Kubrick angering Douglas when he cut all but two of his lines from the opening 30 minutes. Despite the on-set troubles, Spartacus was a critical and commercial success, earning $14.6 million at the box office in its first run. The film established Kubrick as a major director, receiving six Academy Award nominations and winning four; it ultimately convinced him that if so much could be made of such a problematic production, he could achieve anything.Spartacus also marked, however, the end of the working relationship between Kubrick and Douglas.[p]
Collaboration with Peter Sellers (1962–1964)
Kubrick and Harris made a decision to film Kubrick's next movie Lolita (1962) in England, due to clauses placed on the contract by producers Warner Bros. that gave them complete control over every aspect of the film, and the fact that the Eady plan permitted producers to write off the costs if 80% of the crew were English. Instead, they signed a $1 million deal with Eliot Hyman's Associated Artists Productions, and a clause which gave them the artistic freedom that they desired.Lolita, Kubrick's first attempt at black comedy, was an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov, the story of a middle-aged college professor becoming infatuated with a 12-year-old girl. Stylistically, Lolita, starring Peter Sellers, James Mason, Shelley Winters, and Sue Lyon, was a transitional film for Kubrick, "marking the turning point from a naturalistic cinema ... to the surrealism of the later films", according to film critic Gene Youngblood. Kubrick was deeply impressed by the chameleon-like range of actor Peter Sellers and gave him one of his first opportunities to improvise wildly during shooting, while filming him with three cameras.[q]
Lolita was shot over 88 days on a budget of $2 million at Elstree Studios, between October 1960 and March 1961. Kubrick often clashed with Shelley Winters, whom he found "very difficult" and demanding, and nearly fired at one point. Because of its provocative story, Lolita was Kubrick's first film to generate controversy; he was ultimately forced to comply with censors and remove much of the erotic element of the relationship between Mason's Humbert and Lyon's Lolita which had been evident in Nabokov's novel. The film was not a major critical or commercial success upon release, earning $3.7 million at the box office on its opening run.[r]Lolita has since become acclaimed by film critics. Social historian Stephen E. Kercher documented that the film "demonstrated that its director possessed a keen, satiric insight into the social landscape and sexual hang-ups of cold war America", while Jon Fortgang of Film4 wrote: "Lolita, with its acute mix of pathos and comedy, and Mason's mellifluous delivery of Nabokov's sparkling lines, remains the definitive depiction of tragic transgression".
Kubrick's next project was Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), another satirical black comedy. Kubrick became preoccupied with the issue of nuclear war as the Cold War unfolded in the 1950s, and even considered moving to Australia because he feared that New York City might be a likely target for the Russians. He studied over 40 military and political research books on the subject and eventually reached the conclusion that "nobody really knew anything and the whole situation was absurd". After buying the rights to the novel Red Alert, Kubrick collaborated with its author, Peter George, on the script. It was originally written as a serious political thriller, but Kubrick decided that a "serious treatment" of the subject would not be believable, and thought that some of its most salient points would be fodder for comedy. Kubrick and George then reworked the script as a satire (provisionally titled "The Delicate Balance of Terror") in which the plot of Red Alert was situated as a film-within-a-film made by an alien intelligence, but this idea was also abandoned, and Kubrick decided to make the film as "an outrageous black comedy". Just before filming began, Kubrick hired noted journalist and satirical author Terry Southern to transform the script into its final form, a black-comedy, loaded with sexual innuendo, becoming a film which showed Kubrick's talents as "unique kind of absurdist" according to the film scholar Abrams. Although Southern certainly made major contributions to final script, and was co-credited (above Peter George) in the film's opening titles, his perceived role in the writing later led to a public rift between Kubrick and Peter George, who subsequently complained in a letter to Life magazine that Southern's intense but relatively brief (November 16 to December 28, 1962) involvement with the project was being given undue prominence in the media, while his own role as the author of the film's source novel, and his ten-month stint as the script's co-writer, were being downplayed - a perception Kubrick evidently did little to address.
Kubrick found that Dr. Strangelove, a $2 million production which employed what became the "first important visual effects crew in the world", would be impossible to make in the U.S. for various technical and political reasons, forcing him to move production to England. It was shot in 15 weeks, ending in April 1963, after which Kubrick spent eight months editing it. Peter Sellers again agreed to work with Kubrick, and ended up playing three different roles in the film.[s] Upon release, the film stirred up much controversy and mixed opinions. The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther worried that it was a "discredit and even contempt for our whole defense establishment ... the most shattering sick joke I've ever come across", while Robert Brustein of Out of This World in a February 1970 article called it a "juvenalian satire". Kubrick responded to the criticism, stating: "A satirist is someone who has a very skeptical view of human nature, but who still has the optimism to make some sort of a joke out of it. However brutal that joke might be". Today, the film is considered to be one of the sharpest comedy films ever made, and holds a near perfect 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 68 reviews as of August 2015. It was voted the 39th-greatest American film and third-greatest comedy film of all time by the American Film Institute, and in 2010, it was voted the sixth-best comedy film of all time by The Guardian.
Ground-breaking cinema (1965–1971)
Kubrick spent five years developing his next film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), having been highly impressed with science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End, about a superior race of alien beings who assist mankind in eliminating their old selves. After meeting Clarke in New York City in April 1964, Kubrick made the suggestion to work on his 1948 short story The Sentinel, about a tetrahedron which is found on the Moon which alerts aliens of mankind. That year, Clarke began writing the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the screenplay was written by Kubrick and Clarke in collaboration. The film's theme, the birthing of one intelligence by another, is developed in two parallel intersecting stories on two very different times scales. One depicts transitions between various stages of man, from ape to "star child", as man is reborn into a new existence, each step shepherded by an enigmatic alien intelligence seen only in its artifacts: a series of seemingly indestructible eons-old black monoliths. In space, the enemy is a supercomputer known as HAL who runs the spaceship, a character which novelist Clancy Sigal described as being "far, far more human, more humorous and conceivably decent than anything else that may emerge from this far-seeing enterprise".[t]
Kubrick spent a great deal of time researching the film, paying particular attention to accuracy and detail in what the future might look like. He was granted permission by NASA to observe the spacecraft being used in the Ranger 9 mission for accuracy. Filming commenced on December 29, 1965, with the excavation of the monolith on the moon, and footage was shot in Namib Desert in early 1967, with the ape scenes completed in the summer of that year. The special effects team continued working diligently until the end of the year to complete the film, taking the cost to $10.5 million.2001: A Space Odyssey was conceived as a Cinerama spectacle and was photographed in Super Panavision 70, giving the viewer a "dazzling mix of imagination and science" through ground-breaking effects, which earned Kubrick his only personal Oscar, an Academy Award for Visual Effects.[u] Louise Sweeney of the Christian Science Monitor called the film the "ultimate trip" while praising one of the scenes where the viewer moves through space while witnessing a vibrant mix of lighting, color, and patterns. Kubrick said of the concept of the film in an interview with Rolling Stone: "On the deepest psychological level, the film's plot symbolized the search for God, and finally postulates what is little less than a scientific definition of God. The film revolves around this metaphysical conception, and the realistic hardware and the documentary feelings about everything were necessary in order to undermine your built-in resistance to the poetical concept".
Upon release in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey was not an immediate hit among many critics, who faulted its lack of dialogue, slow pacing, and seemingly impenetrable storyline. The film appeared to defy genre convention, much unlike any science-fiction movie before it, and clearly different from any of Kubrick's earlier films or stories. Kubrick was particularly outraged by a scathing review from Pauline Kael, who called it "the biggest amateur movie of them all", with Kubrick doing "really every dumb thing he ever wanted to do". Despite mixed reviews from critics at that time, 2001: A Space Odyssey gradually gained popularity and earned $31 million worldwide by the end of 1972.[v] Today, it is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, and is a staple on All Time Top 10 lists. Baxter describes the film as "one of the most admired and discussed creations in the history of cinema", and Steven Spielberg has referred to it as "the big bang of his film making generation". For LoBrutto it "positioned Stanley Kubrick as a pure artist ranked among the masters of cinema".
After completing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick searched for a project that he could film quickly on a small budget. He settled on A Clockwork Orange (1971) at the end of 1969, an exploration of violence and experimental rehabilitation by law enforcement authorities, based around the character of Alex (portrayed by Malcolm McDowell). Kubrick had originally received a copy of Anthony Burgess's novel of the same name from Terry Southern while they were working on Dr. Strangelove, but had rejected it on the grounds that Nadsat,[w] a street language for young teenagers, was too difficult to comprehend. In 1969, the decision to make a film about the degeneration of youth was a more timely one; the New Hollywood movement was witnessing a great number of films that were centered around the sexuality and rebelliousness of young people, which no doubt influenced Kubrick in Baxter's opinion.A Clockwork Orange was shot over the winter of 1970-1 on a budget of £2 million. Kubrick abandoned his use of CinemaScope in the filming, deciding that the 1.66:1 widescreen format was, in the words of Baxter, an "acceptable compromise between spectacle and intimacy", and favored his "rigorously symmetrical framing", which "increased the beauty of his compositions". The film heavily features "pop erotica" of the period, including a giant white plastic set of male genitals, decor which Kubrick had intended to give it a "slightly futuristic" look. McDowell's role in Lindsay Anderson's if.... (1968) was crucial to his casting as Alex,[x] and Kubrick professed that he probably would not have made the film if McDowell had been unavailable.
Because of its depiction of teenage violence, A Clockwork Orange became one of the most controversial films of the decade, and part of an ongoing debate about violence and its glorification in cinema. It received an X-rated certificate upon release, just before Christmas in 1971, though many critics saw much of the violence depicted in the film as satirical, and less violent than Straw Dogs, which had been released a month earlier. Kubrick personally pulled the film from release in the United Kingdom after receiving death threats following a series of copycat crimes based on the film; it was thus completely unavailable legally in the UK until after Kubrick's death, and not re-released until 2000.[y]John Trevelyan, the censor of the film, personally considered A Clockwork Orange to be "perhaps the most brilliant piece of cinematic art I've ever seen, and believed it to present an "intellectual argument rather than a sadistic spectacle" in its depiction of violence, but acknowledged that many would not agree. Negative media hype over the film notwithstanding, A Clockwork Orange received four Academy Award nominations, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Editing, and was named by the New York Film Critics Circle as the Best Film of 1971. After William Friedkin won Best Director for The French Connection that year, he told the press: "Speaking personally, I think Stanley Kubrick is the best American film-maker of the year. In fact, not just this year, but the best, period".
Period and horror filming (1972–1980)
Barry Lyndon (1975) is an adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's The Luck of Barry Lyndon (also known as Barry Lyndon), a picaresque novel about the adventures of an 18th-century Irish rogue and social climber. John Calley of Warner Bros. agreed in 1972 to invest $2.5 million into the film, on condition that Kubrick approach major Hollywood stars, to ensure it of success. Like previous films, Kubrick and his art department conducted an enormous amount of research, and he went from knowing very little about the 18th century at the start of the production to becoming an expert on it. Extensive photographs were taken of locations and artwork in particular, and paintings were meticulously replicated from works of the great masters of the period in the film.[z] The film was shot on location in Ardmore, County Waterford, Ireland, beginning in the autumn of 1973, at a cost of $11 million with a cast and crew of 170. The decision to shoot in Ireland stemmed from the fact that it still retained many buildings from the 18th century period which England lacked. The production was problematic from the start, plagued with heavy rain and political strife involving Northern Ireland at the time. After Kubrick received death threats from the IRA in the New Year of 1974 due to the shooting scenes with English soldiers, he fled Ireland with his family on a ferry from Dún Laoghaire under an assumed identity, and filming resumed in England.
Baxter notes that Barry Lyndon was the film which made Kubrick notorious for paying scrupulous attention to detail, often demanding twenty or thirty retakes of the same scene to perfect his art. Often considered to be his most authentic-looking picture, the cinematography and lighting techniques that Kubrick and cinematographer John Alcott used in Barry Lyndon were highly innovative. Most notably, interior scenes were shot with a specially adapted high-speed f/0.7 Zeiss camera lens originally developed for NASA to be used in satellite photography. The lenses allowed many scenes to be lit only with candlelight, creating two-dimensional, diffused-light images reminiscent of 18th-century paintings. Cinematographer Allen Daviau states that the method gives the audience a way of seeing the characters and scenes as they would have been seen by people at the time. Many of the fight scenes were shot with a hand-held camera to produce a "sense of documentary realism and immediacy".
Although Barry Lyndon found a great audience in France, it was a box office failure, grossing just $9.5 million in the American market, not even close to the $30 million Warner Bros. needed to generate a profit. The pace and length of Barry Lyndon at three hours put off many American critics and audiences, but the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Musical Score, more than any other Kubrick film. As with most of Kubrick's films, Barry Lyndon'
- В тот момент, когда обнаружится его счет, маяк самоуничтожится. Танкадо даже не узнает, что мы побывали у него в гостях. - Спасибо, - устало кивнул коммандер.