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Stanley Kubrick: A Biography

Overview

Stanley Kubrick, director of the acclaimed filmsPath of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: Space Odyssey. A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket, is arguably one of the greatest American filmmakers. Yet, despite being hailed as “a giant” by Orson Welles, little is known about the reclusive director. Stanley Kubrick—the first full-length study of his life—is based on assiduous archival research as well as new interviews with friends, family, and colleagues.Film scholar Vincent ...

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Overview

Stanley Kubrick, director of the acclaimed filmsPath of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: Space Odyssey. A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket, is arguably one of the greatest American filmmakers. Yet, despite being hailed as “a giant” by Orson Welles, little is known about the reclusive director. Stanley Kubrick—the first full-length study of his life—is based on assiduous archival research as well as new interviews with friends, family, and colleagues.Film scholar Vincent LoBRutto provides a comprehensive portrait of the director, from his high school days, in the Bronx and his stint as a photographer for Look magazine, through the creation of his wide-ranging movies, including the long-awaited Eyes Wide Shut. The author provides behind-the-scenes details about writing, filming, financing, and reception of the director’s entire output, paying close attention to the technical innovations and to his often contentious relationships with actors. This fascinating biography exposes the enigma that is Stanley Kubrick while placing him in context of film history.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite making only 12 feature films in 40 years, Stanley Kubrick (b. 1928) is arguably the greatest living American filmmaker, the principal creative force behind such movies as Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. He is famous for his reclusiveness and eccentricity. Although this biography falls short of its stated purpose to be the first complete account of Kubrick's private life, it succeeds in presenting a convincing portrait of a man who is utterly devoted to every aspect of filmmaking, down to poster design. LoBrutto (Elia Kazan: Film Director), a film professor at the School of Visual Arts in N.Y.C., provides an exhaustively researched and detailed account of the making of Kubrick's films, including long interviews with many of the actors, writers and film craftsmen who have worked with the director over the years. Kubrick comes across as a soft-spoken tyrant in full command of every detail who somehow manages to win and keep the respect of those who work for him. For the true film buff, there's an astonishing amount of technical information, but there's also a good deal of illuminating backstage human interest-Kubrick cutting Kirk Douglas's final close-up in Spartacus as a joke, beating George C. Scott at chess between takes of Dr. Strangelove, asking Malcolm McDowell if he knew any songs he might sing during the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange. The tone of the book is a bit gee-whiz at times, but it's hard to fault LoBrutto for that: from the evidence here, Kubrick's boundless energy and passion for film are as breathtaking as the best of his movies. Photos and filmography. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Perspectives on Stanley Kubrick. Stanley Kubrick is the acclaimed Bronx-born, British-based director of such notable films as Paths of Glory, Spartacus, and Dr. Strangelove. Among those who have admirably analyzed his oeuvre are Michael Ciment (Kubrick, 1980. o.p.) and Thomas Allen Nelson (Kubrick: Inside a Film Artist's Maze, LJ 4/15/82). Because Kubrick has directed only Full Metal Jacket (1987) since those books were published, these new evaluations will supplement rather than supersede them. Falsetto's work contains an introduction to Kubrick's career, a complete filmography, 22 essays (one by Kubrick himself), and four interviews, including the 1968 Playboy discussion of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Academic evaluations are complemented by nuts-and-bolts articles about the groundbreaking special effects of 2001 and use of the Steadicam camera on The Shining. The only sour note is "Full Metal Jacket: The Unravelling of Patriarchy," used by its author to snipe at Margaret Thatcher and a British commission on language. Contrast this with its intelligible companion piece, Thomas Doherty's "Full Metal Genre: Kubrick's Vietnam Combat Movie." LoBrutto's book is the first full biography of its subject. Although the reclusive director did not grant him an interview, LoBrutto gained the cooperation of childhood and adult friends and associates and gathered a truly vast amount of background material from primary sources (school records, marriage certificates, letters) and secondary sources (books, obituaries, reviews). Regrettably, his editors have allowed every bit of the information LoBrutto collected to remain in the text. Although much of the detail is welcome, the needless adjectives ("masterful Hamlet"), minutiae (hour of birth of his first wife), and plot synopses that should have been in the filmography often make this tedious reading. Buy where completeness is a goal.Kim R. Holston, American. Inst. for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, Malvern, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306809064
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 5/6/1999
  • Edition description: 1 DA CAPO
  • Pages: 606
  • Sales rank: 532,586
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Vincent LoBrutto is the author of four books on filmmaking, includingPrincipal Photography: Interviews with Feature Film Cinematographers and Sound on Film: Interviews with Creators of Film Sound.. His articles have appeared in American Cinematographer and Films in Review. He teaches in the film, video, and animation department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and lives in Mount Vernon, New York.

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