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Kubrick Hardcover – September 26, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As a director known for controversial films such as Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, and A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick repeatedly bucked the Hollywood mainstream, emerging as an outsider who resisted the scrutiny of conventional film criticism and biography. French critic and film historian Ciment, who has published books on Elia Kazan and John Boorman, approaches Kubrick's oeuvre with an eccentric sensitivity that serves the subject very well, as when he compares the raw and bizarre lingo of the grunts in Full Metal Jacket with the Nadsat language of the droogs in A Clockwork Orange. His analysis of the conflicting forces of reason and passion in 2001: A Space Odyssey is typical of the illuminating criticism throughout. Realizing the value of hearing from the reclusive Kubrick, who disliked discussing his work, Ciment includes three interviews with the director on specific films, as well as interviews with colleagues, actors, and production crew members. The present volume is the latest revision of the original French edition, Kubrick (1980). An excellent companion to the definitive biography, John Baxter's Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (LJ 10/15/97), this is recommended for academic libraries and cinema collections. Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Michel Ciment's Kubrick: The Definitive Edition remains the best work on the great director. Through it we get a glimpse into a working method that was unique in the cinema. It is a fascinating blend of interviews and analysis." —Joel Coen

"This final edition of Michel Ciment's definitive book is an invaluable resource."—Martin Scorsese

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st edition (September 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571199860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571199860
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Henderson on November 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am glad Mr. Ciment waited until Kubrick's oeuvre was completed before updating what is, indeed, the very last word on this very unique artist's films. Everything is here from the first edition which was out-of-print for quite awhile plus the films that were made after. With Stanley Kubrick's death we now have the very best study of the themes, techniques and recurring visions of a very singular artist. Anyone who wants to understand the evolution of Stanley Kubrick can disregard all the other flawed books out there and put this one on the shelf as a keeper. With detailed analysis and tons of pictures, any serious fan of his films will appreciate this as only the subtitle says it is - the definitive edition.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SPM on January 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
With Stanley Kubrick dead and his final film released, Michael Ciment had the opportunity to update his biography/analysis of the great director's career. Rather than rewrite the entire book, he's decided to update it with new interviews and an additional chapter or two on Eyes Wide Shut. (The previous edition was updated to include Full Metal Jacket.) He's also added a lot more photographs --- stills from the films and images of Kubrick at work. The photos of Kubrick working on EWS are particularly interesting.
Early in the book, after a short biographical chapter, Ciment goes through a list of common motifs in Kubrick's films. These include the use of masks, actors in dual roles, character playing games such as chess and cards within the film, circular set design, and a close shot of a main character's eye. Because this section was not updated to include Full Metal Jacket or Eyes Wide Shut, you can decide for yourself if these motifs were carried on in the those two films. (In my opinion, many of the motifs are not found in his last two films.)
This is followed by an essay on 'Kubrick and the Fantastic,' a dull and pretentious piece that doesn't add much. It leads to the best part of the book, the second half, in which Kubrick and his collaborators are interviewed. Kubrick responds to questions with answers that are full of information, but he's evasive when he describes his own films. Later on, the author explains why: Kubrick felt his movies should be self-explanatory (after multiple viewings) and didn't like the "What's this movie about?" question.
The interviews with actors, set designers, co-writers, and costume designers are very good. Everyone has the same reaction: Kubrick exasperated them as he demanded their best work . . .
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dajillo on January 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Now I own this book. 5,6 years ago, I bought this at second hand book store. So book I have is second handed one, and Japanese special edition. As other reviewers say, it's very very great pity that this book is out of print now. I think some publisher had better make new edition title, added to a visualy wondeful film-Eyes Wide Shut!! If you have found it at bookstore and you are a Kubrician, you must take it, buy it, bring it your home, and enjoy these so many precious fotos or very important his interviews in this book. I have various books about Kubrick, but this Michel Ciment's Kubrick is the best book in published ones ever I think. Do your best for finding one!! All your efforts for this book would not be wasted, EVER!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. P. Stathoulopoulos on August 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book has been held in high regard ever since it first appeared. Earlier editions were becoming collectible and were always disappearing from libraries.
I guess it was safe for a reappearance following the passing of Stanley Kubrick and the completion of his body of work. The book has been reworked beautifully, including all of the amazing color photos, essays, and interviews from before plus some new additions, namely chapters on Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut chapters. There are additional interviews with various collaborators.
In short, in the wake of Kubrick books that sprouted up following the director's death in 1999, Ciment's Kubrick ranks right at the top. It's a gorgeous volume, and the interviews (done by Ciment following Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining) are some of the most enlightening words from the director.
Highly recommended for the Kubrick fan and the film buff. Also recommended is Thomas Allen Nelson's Kubrick: Inside a Film Artist's Maze.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pipo The Book Worm on March 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know it's been said before, though never with this sense of urgency: this book is a MUST HAVE for anyone into Kubrick's work, anyone with a passion for film-making or simply anyone looking for a great book on art & film. Profusely illustrated with rarely seen images and written in a style that goes from the intimate to the most general aspects of Kubrick's life, going through this book will make you feel like an acquaintance of the great master witnessing a friendly discussion on set. A must have indeed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tierny on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have an earlier version of this book. It's no matter. Such is the wonderful thing about scholarship, that in pouring over an over-examined subject, the analysis of a nimble mind can leave one in awestruck appreciation; at what the author has been able to get at. Though perhaps less than 5 pages, the essay here on 2001 is as smart and generous as any essay ever written about the film. And the wondrous thing about it, is that any two sentences of this essay could yield other entire essays. I recommend reading it once quickly, then going back to ponder it slowly.

I am here to repay Ciment's short excellent essay on 2001 with a rave. For the record I am not a Kubrick fanboy, and find several of his works to be sub-par, but he was an unusually thoughtful man; and that is quite rare.
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