- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: British Film Institute; 2007 edition (August 7, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844571424
- ISBN-13: 978-1844571420
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On Kubrick 2007th Edition
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Shortlisted for the 2008 Kraszna-Krausz Award for the Best Moving Image Book. For more information about this prize, see the website: http: //www.kraszna-krausz.org.uk/
Shortlisted for the 2008 Kraszna-Krausz Award for the Best Moving Image Book. For more information about this prize, see the website: http://www.kraszna-krausz.org.uk/
Top customer reviews
I admit that I have been kind of wondering through the book. I've been a Kubrick fan since first seeing 2001 in 1968 at age 13. My admiration and interest of him only grows.
However, even in reading it the way I am, I have come across significant errors that are quite remarkable that effect my ability to take the author as seriously as the 5-star reviewers have.
Two examples just from the section on 2001 ("Beyond the Stars"):
Page 137: the Kent State killings did not occur in 1968, the year of 2001'a release, but in 1970.
Page 151: As almost everyone interested knows (so this error is remarkable), music of the the opening and closing sequences is by Richard Strauss, not Wagner as the author states. I mean, that's basic.
With these basic errors, I'm now inhibited to consider as readily the rest of what the author has to say on my favorite director.
I've previously read work's by James Naremore including his Magic of Orson Welles book and have heard is excellent commentary on Mr. Arkadin. This book goes into great, great detail about all the layers of a Kubrick film. I was already in loce with Kubrick by the point I read this book, but this truly peeled off all the layers of the film, everything from his obsession with faces to his obesession of scatalogical situations in Full Metal Jacket.
I don't know if any schools have a class dedicated to the films of Stanley Kubrick, but if there were, this should be the text book. He spends so much time on all films, and especially on my personal favorite, Barry Lyndon. He compares themes and ideas that have been in his films since Killer's, and doesn't waste any words in descirbing the films.
This one is on the top of my desert island cinema books.
I've read quite a few books on Stanley Kubrick since his death ten years ago just before the release of his final film, EYES WIDE SHUT. There wasn't much to read before! The intensely-private filmmaker had left only some interviews and his body of work up to that point--but what a body of work it was: while traveling through Europe in 2007, I kept seeing a Kubrick film playing wherever I went. LOLITA was on a marquee in Vienna and I watched EYES WIDE SHUT dubbed in German in Berlin to see the European version (without the CGI inserts during the orgy scene).
While in Santa Monica last month, I saw this book and bought it for my Stanley Kubrick shelf at home. It's very well-written and illuminating even for me, a lifelong Kubrick fan. Details about the creation of the films, how they were filmed, and related materials give a full study to each one. The author also discusses different drafts and endings that Kubrick considered on each film.
If I had any quibbles, it would only be disagreements about a few things. I think THE SHINING was a weak horror film, too slowly paced for a modern horror audience and too ineffectual since Kubrick didn't believe in an afterlife(!). I also thought that Tom Cruise wasn't quite right for EYES WIDE SHUT (he can do fighter pilots, secret agents and just about any action hero, but a New York doctor on a dark sexual odyssey was just beyond his abilities). Also, the author makes an excellent point about Kubrick's obsession with "grotesques" but misquotes a line from FULL METAL JACKET: Sgt. Hartmann asks Private Pyle if his parents had any children that lived and Pyle replies, "Sir, yes, sir!" Hartmann actually says, "Well, I'll bet they regret that!" (NOT "I'll bet they're grotesque!").
But these are very minor notes. If you enjoyed Kubrick's films or have a curiosity about them, this is an excellent study of them. Check it out.
(And if you're a huge Kubrick fan, be sure to check out THE STANLEY KUBRICK ARCHIVES. I got the original printing of that monster volume that included a strip of 70mm from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy to give to Joe Turkel, who played in PATHS OF GLORY and was Lloyd the ghostly bartender in THE SHINING when I got to meet him.)