The Kubrick FAQ



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(part 3)

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frequently asked questions part 3

22/ Can you suggest some good WWW links for Kubrick info?
Kubrickfilms.com - The Authorized Stanley Kubrick Web Site. Warner's Stanley Kubrick site is sanctioned by his family and has the potential to be an important Kubrick resource. Currently there are some good things in it; information you will not have read before and a few rare photographs. But it's a shame, given the considerable resources of Warners, that Kubrickfilms.com cannot not (as yet) be considered a serious contender for the best Kubrick site on the web. Two major disadvantages are that it isn't updated as regularly as it should be, and it is built in Macromedia Flash, which means accessing the site can be a slow business. I ask myself, does an artist like Kubrick really benefit from this bangs and whistles style of presentation?

The Kubrick Site is the WWW resource of alt.movies.kubrick and is probably the best Kubrick site on the web - a collection of interviews, film scripts and excellent essays of in-depth critical appreciation - many of which are exclusive to the site. There is a slightly disproportional amount of information on 2001 compared with other Kubrick films. Recent additions to the site include the original script for "Eyes Wide Shut" and an exclusive interview with Dan Richter who played Moon Watcher in "2001."

Kubrick Multimedia Film Guide
One of the best known Kubrick sites boasting a beautifully designed interface, great stills, an excellent filmography and even a discussion forum. The site is updated regulary so is worth visiting on a regular basis. Look out for the new additions like the Kubrick image gallery, poster gallery, Eyes Wide Shut noticeboard and breaking news on Speilberg's film of Kubrick's AI.

Other recommended sites

Kubrick On The Web
The original alt.movies.kubrick FAQ explores some questions in minute detail and contains a lot of information and speculative interpretations of Kubrick's work culled from the postings of amk circa 1995/96. Its no exaggeration to say that the material is heavily biased towards "2001" but the insights are thought provoking. The FAQ has now, for the most part, stopped being updated, (hence the existence of this site!) although you can download an recently compiled acrobat file of reviews and opinions of Eyes Wide Shut.

Kubrick the Master Filmmaker
Contains some well researched information, an excellent biography, some unique material such as a list of Kubrick homages in other films, comprehensive review of Kubrick books, a mini FAQ, and a trivia quiz!

Stanley Kubrick - 1928 - 1999
This site stopped being updated on September 4 1999 and is now only available as an archive. Nevertheless it contains a lot of excellent information on Eyes Wide Shut, and much material on Kubrick unique to the Internet, such as reviews and critical writings. Not the sleekest designed site or the easiest to navigate, but well worth taking the time to explore in some detail because there are some treasures to be found here.

New York Times
This is a great resource. Practically every story the New York Times has run on SK has been archived here. The articles cover the whole span of Kubrick's career from a review of Fear and Desire (1953) to articles on Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Users have to fill out a subscribe form before they can access the site.

Stanley Kubrick Links
A pretty comprehensive list, although way the information is presented does not discriminate between good and er... less good Kubrick sites. Nevertheless, don't bother with the vagaries of search engines, your search for Kubrick stuff on the Internet should start here.

RM





23/ What's the best Biography of Kubrick?
Nick James
Which of the books is the most unreliable?

Christiane Kubrick
The Baxter and The Raphael [...]

Katharina Kubrick
Anya said that the more she reads about daddy, the more she thinks that Howard Hughes was probably a perfectly normal person.
  (1)

*******

What is very apparent from a trawling through the published Kubrick biographies, is that the definitive book on Kubrick's life is yet to be written. Given the subject's strong aversion to publicity in his lifetime, and the fierce loyalty he inspired in those who knew him even after his death, it is a frankly doubtful whether a definitive biography ever could be written. Certainly those biographers who are skilful enough to be able to fully explore and evaluate the many paradoxes that Kubrick presents us with, may think twice before tackling such an inaccessible subject.

That said, those seeking to unravel the contradictions of so complex a man would do well to read Michael Herr's excellent articles for Vanity Fair now also available in book form (2). There is more genuine insight in the 20 or so pages Herr has written than in all the pages of Baxter and Lobrutto's books combined.

This section has grown somewhat of late to include reviews of current Kubrick books in print.

RM




Stanley Kubrick : A Biography by John Baxter
Paperback - 384 pages (October 1997)
(US) Carroll & Graf; ISBN: 0786704853

John Baxter's "Kubrick" dwells on reports of the directors's behaviour, and addresses itself to Hollywood as a big power game - signs of a sensationalist author. This flimsy work is nothing more than a platform from which he vents his criticism of the Stanley Kubrick myth, which is unquestioningly equated with Stanley Kubrick the man. Written in an efficient journalistic style, the Biography really falls down on it's lack of research - he even manages to get Kubrick's birth date wrong! The fact that much of the material is taken from second hand sources often with no accreditation including: large portions of Malcolm McDowell interview from Paul Joyce's film The Invisible Man, (3) some quotes from Brian Aldiss' found in his autobiography and portions of Alexander Walkers Biography "Stanley Kubrick Directs." An aggrieved Walker went on record to accuse Baxter of: "using them to furnish hostile evidence of a passive-aggressive film-maker getting his way by attrition, consumed by phobias, riddled by misanthropy, cold in style and heartless in manner."

Gordon Stainforth who worked with SK remarked: "John Baxter's book fell into the trap of so many, I think, of seeming to have decided what Stanley was like before he had even started to write the book, based on the myth of the 'difficult tyrant', and I think the picture he thus paints is about 95% wrong!"

In truth, all these criticisms miss their target, because even a cursory glance at the text reveals Baxter to be an journalist not visited by the kind of scruples that would trouble a serious biographer. The result is that his book is very cynical and very complacent - a homage to muck raking.

RM


Stanley Kubrick : A Biography by Vincent Lobrutto
Paperback - 606 pages (April 1999)
(US) Da Capo Pr; ISBN: 0306809060

LoBrutto is a film historian and editor who teaches at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. His Stanley Kubrick biography is brilliantly researched, but written in a rather pedestrian way. Often the same information is repeated verbatim a little later on in the text, and some sentences are so poorly worded that you wonder if he wasn't doing it for a comic effect. For example, from page 303 of the US hardback edition: "The Star Gate segment which concludes the film, earned 2001 its reputation with the children of the Age of Aquarius as the penultimate 60s film...". Errors like these make the book appear rather unpolished, although this may not be entirely the fault of LoBrutto, as they should have been corrected at the editing/ proof-reading stages.

The biography is a bit of an insight free zone, LoBrutto's doesn't attempt to paint psychological portrait of Kubrick. Alexander Walker says of it: When you finish the 579 pages, you know virtually everything about Kubrick - more, certainly, than you wished - and still understand nothing. I do not think a single anecdote has been omitted, true or apocryphal, but their place in Kubrick's cultural and psychological make-up is as empty as the space that should have been devoted to examining the place where truth about both can be found - in the films.".

On the positive side LoBrutto's approach to his subject is much more even-handed than Baxter's - It's instructive to read both back to back and compare how each handles the presentation and interpretation of what is mostly the same source material. The big plus point about LoBrutto's Stanley Kubrick though is that it is, for the most part, accurate - which makes it the best Kubrick biography so far and the book I tend to reach for whenever I want to check a Kubrick fact.

RM & ME


Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir Of Stanely Kubrick And Eyes Wide Shut by Frederic Raphael
Hardcover - 186 pages 1999
Orion Book Ltd.

Upon its release, this book prompted Christianne Kubrick to issue a strongly worded protest on her web page about its accuracy and his exploitative intentions. I would not wish to disagree with her assessment but my impression is that it was not Raphael intention to harm Kubrick's reputation, although his motivation for writing the book was undoubtedly a financial one.

Michael Herr's assessment sums it up best: "it wasn't just that it was so antagonistical to Stanley, or even that it was so bitter and self-humiliating, but that is was so unfailingly patronizing. Stanley, we gather, hadn't been sufficiently deferential to Raphael's credentials, to his academic attainments and his immense store of knowledge, his often unfortunate command of foreign words and phrases and the insolent presumptions of superiority that came along with it all, however unentitled. We read of Stanley the tyrant, secretive Stanley, Stanley, and a new one - particularly distasteful because it was so gratuitously trumped up as to look like a mere projection - Stanley the self-hating Jew."

Perhaps "Eyes Wide Open," Rather than being "A Memoir Of Stanley Kubrick," should be re-titled "An Account Of Failure;" Raphael's failures to write a script that satisfies Kubrick, his failure to befriend Kubrick, and ultimately his failure to penetrate Kubrick's enigma. As an account of a screenwriter coming to terms with these failures it is of marginal interest only. Perhaps then its rush-release, so soon after Kubrick's death, is merely Raphael's attempt to salvage something for himself.

RM


Stanley Kubrick Director by Alexander Walker, Sybil Taylor, Ulrich Ruchti
Hardcover - 368 pages Rev & Exp edition
(US) W.W. Norton & Company; ISBN: 039304601X

Alexander Walker's revised and updated edition of his excellent 1971 'Stanley Kubrick Directs written in collaboration with journalist Sybil Taylor and designer Ulrich Ruchti is a great disappointment. The new sections dealing with the later films from Barry Lyndon to Eyes Wide Shut give the impression that they were rather thrown together and sit ill with the insightful and carefully researched pieces on the films prior to, and including A Clockwork Orange. As part of the new additons, there is a laughably inept essay on Kubrick's use of colour "..the artist Joseph Albers writes "if one says red... and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds.... all different" Not so perhaps when there are fifty people looking" (well yes quite!). Also the illustrations are mainly high contrast black and white stills and look as if they were prepared on a school photocopier - all this for $35 (US), 25 (Sterling). If you are thinking of buying Stanley Kubrick Director, the advice is, if you don't own a copy of "Stanley Kubrick Directs," buy this book, if you do: AVOID.

RM


The Stanley Kubrick Companion by James Howard
Paperback - 192 pages
B T Batsford Ltd; ISBN: 071348487X
List Price: $22.95 (US), 15.99 (UK)

"The Stanley Kubrick Companion" (by sometime amk contributor James Howard) is a very readable well researched and clearly written introduction to Kubrick's work. It is not a biography but an appreciation of the films, from his early shorts to Eyes Wide Shut; written with a generosity of spirit towards Kubrick which is so lacking in some other Kubrick books. Although its pitched at the commercial end of the market, and therefore only intended as an introduction, "The Stanley Kubrick Companion" nevertheless manages to unearth some new information, due to some fastidious research and a fresh approach.

James Howard is also to be congratulated for including some background information on the historical events that informed the films - for instance background on the nuclear arms race in the chapter on Dr Strangelove. Kubrick never worked in a historical vacuum, although this may have been overlooked by critics at the time because people could not help but be aware of issues like say the Cold War in 1963 when Strangelove was released: or the moon landing in the case of 2001. But times have changed, and the inclusion of a historical perspective adds greatly to the appreciation of Kubrick's work for a new generation.

On the downside, Howard is guilty of some blunders, the biggest being the misappropriation of Katharina Kubrick's parentage, and the section on Eyes Wide Shut was written before the film was released and suffers accordingly, but these are mere quibbles and do not overshadow what is the best of the crop of recent Kubrick books.

RM

Notes:
(1) Quotations taken from an interview in Sight and Sound Magazine Sept. 1999
 (back)

(2) Kubrick by Michael Herr, Published by Grove Press; ISBN: 0802116701. His first Vanity Fair article is available online at Stanley Kubrick 1928 - 1999 (back)

(3) A Kubrick FAQ review of The Invisible Man can be found on this page (back)




24/ Is it true that.....?
"Part of my problem is that I cannot dispel the myths that have somehow accumulated over the years. Somebody writes something, it's completely off the wall, but it gets filed and repeated until everyone believes it. For instance, I've read that I wear a football helmet in the car." (1)

Stanley Kubrick

*******

"All the things people believe they know about Stanley they get from the press, and the entertainment press at that. Almost none of these reporters ever met him, because he thought you had to be crazy to do interviews unless you had a picture coming out, and even then it had to be very carefully managed. It wasn't personal with him but I think it became personal with a lot of them. [...] So I can see in a time when so many celebrities are so eager to hurl themselves into our headlights, where anyone who doesn't want to talk with the entertainment press might seem eccentric, reclusive, and misanthropic; crazy, autocratic and humorless; cold and phobic and arrogant." (2)

Michael Herr

*******

........Kubrick wouldn't fly ?
Yes. Kubrick did not fly even though he was a licenced pilot

Kubrick himself put it this way. "Call it enlightened cowardice, if you like. Actually, over the years I discovered that I just didn't enjoy flying, and I became aware of compromised safety margins in commercial aviation that are never mentioned in airline advertising. So I decided I'd rather travel by sea, and take my chances with the icebergs [...] I am afraid of aeroplanes. I've been able to avoid flying for some time but, I suppose, if I had to I would. Perhaps it's a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. At one time, I had a pilot's licence and 160 hours of solo time on single-engine light aircraft. Unfortunately, all that seemed to do was make me mistrust large aeroplanes."

Christiane Kubrick explained her husband's fear of flying to journalist Peter Warren. "As a photographer for Look magazine early in his career he had to learn to fly and nearly crashed his plane. Shortly after, a colleague was killed piloting a plane and for some reason his camera and notebooks, horribly squashed and burnt, were sent to Kubrick. It traumatised him. But it was only when he flew to Spain to film Spartacus that the reaction hit him. Terribly ill, in a state of nervous shock, the return flight was his last." (3)

........wouldn't allow his chauffeur to drive him more than 30 miles per hour?
No. Christiane Kubrick said that rumour started because he hurt his back and couldn't move, so he chose to be driven at thirty miles an hour, rather than staying at home and recouperating in bed, which he should have done. (4) Kubrick remarked to Tim Cahill, "In fact, I don't have a chauffeur. I drive a Porsche 928S, and I sometimes drive it at eighty or ninety miles an hour on the motorway." (4a)

Kubrick owning a Porsche was confirmed by Alexander Walker in his book, 'It's Only A Movie Ingrid: " I noticed a beautiful white Porsche standing in the forecourt of his mansion. It was a thoroughbred among work-horse Range Rovers and trucks in the adjoining stable. [...] Now Kubrick's concern for his physical safety is well known. He doesn't even use commercial aircraft [...] He views speed with the same scepticism. He has been known to ring off his car phone if he is approaching an intersection then call back once he has safely negotiated the crossing. So I was surprised to discover that the Porsche belonged to him. Yet considered simply as a piece of superb engineering, the car makes a statement about its owner that has absolutely nothing to do with status. It is "the works" in it that he admires"

Michael Herr reported that Kubrick" drove the white Porsche that he supposedly used only to tool around his driveway in. He handled the stick with great proficiency. He drove at speeds above 60, and neither of us wore crash helmets.

........was a chess Grand Master?
No. Although his playing was of a very high standard. In his late teens, early twenties Kubrick was a chess 'hustler' playing for quarters in Washington Square, Manhattan. He estimated that he used to earn as much as three dollars a day, which, as he once said, "goes a long way if all you are buying with it is food." (5)

........... was an obsessive perfectionist.
Depends how you define the terms, certainly it can be said that Kubrick's obsessive and perfectionist tendencies did not stray beyond the boundaries of sanity, but it's also true that he would pursue a goal beyond the point that others would have thought to abandon it (which is one of the reasons he is an extraordinary director). As the following quotations reveal Kubrick always followed his instincts as an artist, and readily threw away an idea worked out with painstaking effort for a better one, though up on the spur of the moment, even if the former had been a long time in the planning.

He once remarked: "I think it was Joyce who observed that accidents are the portals to discovery. Well, that's certainly true in making films. And perhaps in much the same way, there is an aspect of film-making which can be compared to a sporting contest. You can start with a game plan but depending on where the ball bounces and where the other side happens to be, opportunities and problems arise which can only be effectively dealt with at that very moment.

And when asked how much planning he did before he shot a scene he replied

"As much as there are hours in the day, and days in the week. I think about a film almost continuously. I try to visualise it and I try to work out every conceivable variation of ideas which might exist with respect to the various scenes, but I have found that when you come down to the day the scene is going to be shot and you arrive on the location with the actors, having had the experience of already seeing some of the scenes shot, somehow it's always different. You find out that you have not really explored the scene to it' fullest extent. You may have been thinking about it incorrectly, or you may simply not have discovered one of the variations which now in context with everything else that you have shot is simply better than anything you had previously thought of. The reality of the final moment, just before shooting, is so powerful that all previous analysis must yield before the impressions you receive under these circumstances, and unless you use this feedback to your positive advantage, unless adjust to it, adapt to it and accept the times terrifying weaknesses it can expose, you can never realise the most out of your film." (6)

........lived as a recluse?
Definitely not. Many people who knew Kubrick have gone on record to contest this rumour Steven Spielberg said of him something to the effect that, he was more in touch with Hollywood than most of the people who lived there. Jocelyn pook who composed the original score for Eyes Wide Shut said: "I found him really courteous and considerate and warm and encouraging....This crap about him being a recluse is just crazy; he was somebody who enjoyed working. It doesn't mean he's a recluse because he doesn't court the media. He seemed quite the normal person to me." (7) Julian Senior, Warner Brothers European Executive said: "To say he was reclusive is not true, He didn't want a photo spread about himself in Hello magazine, but he was aware of everything going on and especially with what was going on with his beloved New York Yankees. He loved life, he loved chess, he loved documentaries. You'd go over to his home and there'd be John le Carré in his kitchen. He was not reclusive at all." and Wendy Carlos said: "A true recluse does not enjoy meeting new people, having hour-long phone calls with friends and associates, and inviting many of the most able people in a given field to come work with him." Michael Herr said of Kubrick's famed reclusiveness: "He was in fact a complete failure as a recluse, unless you believe that a recluse is someone who seldom leaves his house [...] he was one of the most gregarious men I ever knew, and it didn't change anything that most of this conviviality went on over the phone." Director John Borman recalled that he met Stanley throught the telephone, for several years and spoke to him regularly and at one point he said, "Stanley, we should meet up and have dinner" and [Kubrick] said, "Why should we meet? We have a perfectly good telephonic relationship." (8)

RM

Notes:
(1) Stanley Kubrick Quote taken from the Rolling Stone interview available on The Kubrick Site  (back)

(2) Quotation taken from Michael Herr's Vanity Fair article on Kubrick. (other quotations accredited to Michael Herr are also from the same article).  (back)

(3) The article, Myths and the legend of KUBRICK by Peter Warren, from which this quotation is taken can be read on line at http://www.lineone.net/express.  (back)

(4) Taken from a remark Christiane Kubrick made to Nick James: Sight and Sound Magazine (September 1999 issue).  (back)

(4a) In spite his claim to the contrary, Kubrick did have a driver, Emilio D'Alessandro, who was on his staff since the mid sixties and frequently mentioned in personal recollections by the likes of Anthony Burgess, Jeremy Berstein, Brian Aldiss and Sara Maitland.  (back)

(5) Quotation taken from 2001 foyer program available online in both text form at The Kubrick Site and with images at The 2001: A Space Odyssey Program  (back)

(6) Quotations taken from Joseph Gemelis and Michel Ciment interviews available online at The Kubrick Site  (back)

(7) Quotation taken from Pook interview in New Times Los Angeles Online  (back)

(8) Michael Herr quotation from his book "Kubrick". John Borman quotations taken from "The Last Movie: Stanley Kubrick & Eyes Wide Shut" a film by Paul Joyce.  (back)


 


25/ Did Kubrick make an appearance in any of his films a la Hitchcock?
"Acting is an amazing, part crazy, part magical gift, an actor's power rests in his ability to create emotion in himself, and thus in the audience. The ability to cry at the crack of a clapper board is a very strange and rare talent.

Stanley Kubrick

*******

He never had the impulse to slip around to the other side of the camera like Orson Welles or John Huston or Hitchcock. I think he felt that he impressed quite enough of himself on his films without that.

Michael Herr

*******

There are no Kubrick performances in the sense of a walk-on part or cameo, although here are a few appearances

Lolita
In the first shot inside Quilty's mansion, Kubrick is a shadowy figure walking out of the frame on the right side. It's very bizarre and pointless, but you can see it if you go frame by frame. SK's distinctive hairline is in view in one frame.

2001
An accidental appearance, his reflection can be seen in the space helmets after the astronauts have descended the ramp leading to the excavated monolith in the Tycho crater on the moon.

2001
Katharina Kubrick Hobbs recently revealed to alt.movies.kubrick that the breathing heard in the Discovery section of 2001, when Bowman and Poole go spacewalking, is done by Stanley. She writes: "I only found out who was "breathing" myself last night. Mum and I were talking about the [New Years day National Film Theatre] screening at dinner. I said that I thought Keir Dullea's appropriately paced breathing was very effective. She then told me it was Daddy. Gulp!

A Clockwork Orange
In the Chelsea drug store in A Clockwork Orange, a man possibly Kubrick is on the right with his back to the camera.

The Shining
Kubrick was thought to have played Charley, the Radio 63, K.H.O.W. radio station weather. Gordon Stainforth writes: "As I have said before (I'm sure), we have Stanley's voice in The Shining talking about the weather on the radio when Halloran is coming to the rescue in the snowcat. 'It's what you call your bad day out there' etc. I'm about 99.9 percent certain that is Stanley's voice - I remember him going off to record it one lunchtime with [one of the sound editors on the film] Wyn Ryder. It certainly sounds just like him." However, Denver resident Kenneth Walters responds, "That is not Kubrick's voice, it belongs to radio personality Charley Martin.Hal & Charley (Hal Moore and Charley Martin) were the drivetime team on AM 630 KHOW (Denver) for over 25 years.Since I grew up listening to those voices, I know that voice belongs to Charley, it has his particular vocal cadence and mannerisms, there's no doubt in my mind that is Charley Martin's voice, not Stanley's. Perhaps Gordon Stainforth's recollection is right and Kubrick did record something but later decided to use the actual radio host's voices, who knows? All I know is I've driven through quite a few bad snowstorms listening to Hal & Charley for updates on road closures and chain law restrictions, that was a nice touch of realism."

Full Metal Jacket
You can here his voice as Murphy, this was confirmed to amk by Gerard Maguire: "Murphy's voice was recorded at Delta Sound in Shepperton by Stanley. He simply spoke into one of the walkie-talkies that he always used. It was then recorded by the simple means of placing a microphone next to the receiving walkie-talkie in another room. The whole thing start to finish took no more than a couple of takes."

The film Director featured in Full Metal Jacket isn't Kubrick, despite a passable resemblance, and numerous newgroup posts attesting that he is.

Eyes Wide Shut
A man resembling Kubrick is seen when Bill meets Nightingale in the Cafe Sonata. You can see him at one of the tables, talking to a woman just as Nick sits down. This man wasn't Kubrick, a fact confirmed by his daughter Katharina Kubrick Hobbs on amk. However Katharina and Kubrick's assistant Emilio D'Alessandro both appear in the film. Katharina and her son are the patient and mother in Dr Bill's surgery and Emilio is the newspaper seller Dr Bill stops to buy a paper from when he is being stalked by the mysterious bald man.

RM, FQ, ME, KKH, GS



26/ What films/filmmakers impressed Kubrick
"There are very few directors, about whom you'd say you automatically have to see everything they do. I'd put Fellini, Bergman and David Lean at the head of my first list, and Truffaut at the head of the next level."

Stanley Kubrick (1966)

*******

"He watched The Godfather again [...] and was reluctantly suggesting for the 10th time that it was possibly the greatest movie ever made and certainly the best cast"

Michael Herr (1999) writing in Vanity Fair.

*******

In 1963 he was asked by the US publication Cinema to compile a list of his favourite films They were:

  1. I Vitelloni (Federico Fellini, 1953),
  2. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1958),
  3. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941),
  4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston, 1948),
  5. City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931),
  6. Henry V (Laurence Olivier, 1945),
  7. La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961),
  8. The Bank Dick (W.C. Fields, 1940),
  9. Roxie Hart (William Wellman, 1942),
  10. Hell's Angels (Howard Hughes, 1930).

Q: Have the works of certain directors, or pictures, been milestones for you?

SK: "I believe Bergman, De Sica, and Fellini are the only three filmmakers in the world who are not just artistic opportunists. By this I mean they don't just sit wait for a good story to come along and then make it. They have a point of view which is expressed over and over and over again in their films, and they themselves write or have original material written for them."

Kubrick was known to be a fan of the German director Max Ophuls, "Highest of all I would rate Max Ophuls, who for me possessed every possible quality. He has an exceptional flair for sniffing out good subjects, and he got the most out of them. He was also a marvellous director of actors." and his use of tracking is especially reminiscent of Ophuls work - "I particularly admired his fluid camera techniques." Compare the barracks scene of Hartman in Full Metal Jacket with Peter Ustinov Circus master in Lola Montes (1955).

Elia Kazan: "without question the best director we have in America. And he's capable of performing miracles with the actors he uses."

In later decades it was reported that he was also very fond of Kieslowski's Dekalog (1) series of films contributing a forward to the published screen plays as well as reportedly lending a copy to Frederic Raphael when they began their collaboration on the script of Eyes Wide Shut. He said of Krzysztof Kieslowski and his co-author, Krzysztof Piesiewicz: "it should not be out of place to observe that they have the very rare ability to dramatise their ideas rather than just talking about them [...] They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don't realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart."

Katharina Kubrick-Hobbs was asked on amk about her father's favourite films, she responded:

"...he loved FILM, period.

Obviously the "great" film directors that this group knows so well were also appreciated by Stanley. He watched them all. Even bad films have good moments,or interesting shots in them.

But there does seem to be a weird desire from people to "list" things.The best, the worst. greatest,most boring etc.etc.

For the record, I happen to know that he liked:

Closely Observed Trains- (Jiri Menzel, 1966)
An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
The Fireman's Ball (Milos Forman, 1967)
Metropolis (Fritz Lang , 1926)
Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973)
White Men Can't Jum (Ron Shelton, 1992)
Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau,1946)
The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
Dog-day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet , 1975)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
Abigail's Party (Mike Leigh, 1979)
Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme , 1991)

and I know that he hated "The Wizard of Oz" Ha Ha!

Don't go analysing yourself to death over this half remembered list. He liked movies on their own terms."

David Lynch also talks about Eraserhead being one of Kubrick's favourite films in Lynch On Lynch. Apparently he met some people from Lucasfilm when The Elephant Man was being shot and was told by them that Kubrick had screened Eraserhead for them.

Another film Kubrick was reported to have admired was Michael Moore's Roger & Me and Jan Harlan added Tarkovsky's Solaris , Carlos Saura's Blood Wedding and Edgar Reitz's Heimat to this ever growing list.

KKH, RM, ME, FQ, AF

Note:
(1) "Dekalog," also known as "The Ten Commandments," is a series of 10 films originally made for Polish Television, although "Dekalog 5 - Thou Shalt Not Kill" and "Dekalog 6 - Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," were expanded and released in the cinema as, "A Short film About Killing" and "A Short film About Love."  (back)




27/ I heard Kubrick was a hard taskmaster. Did anyone work with him more than once?
"Tom and I had a different relationship with him than most actors -- usually it was about actors resisting him and the way he worked. But we didn't resist... Nobody was being exploited -- that is not Stanley Kubrick.

But he could be very demanding?

He was demanding, so demanding.

In what way?

Of your time, your concentration. He wanted it. He wanted... you. Wanted you to reveal things, be there for him at all times...

He sounds quite controlling.

It wasn't controlling; it was wanting you to be dedicated.

Was Kubrick a father figure or friend?

Both. Stanley was so different from how everyone perceived him. He was so nurturing toward me. Gentle."

From Rolling Stone interview with Nicole Kidman

*******

"He isn't a tyrant. Stanley is quiet. He's intimidating only because of his enormous talent..." and "I have such admiration for him... I mean even after [doing so many takes] I thought, 'if he were to ask me to do another film, I'd do it.'"

Anne Jackson, who played the doctor in The Shining

*******

The often repeated myth that Kubrick was a tyrant and someone who people only worked with once was rarely challenged despite being easily disproved. Even one of his biographers John Baxter, said of him: "Actors are drawn to him because of his undoubted skills and mystique, but they only work for him once. Even by Tinseltown standards he is a tyrant."

In fact the opposite is true. Like Woody Allen, Kubrick gathered around him a loose 'repertory company' of actors and technicians, whose talents he regularly drew upon. Here is a list of those who have worked with him on more than one occasion.

And this is by no means a definitive list!

Actors
Steven Berkoff: A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon
Timothy Carey: The Killing, Paths of Glory
Kirk Douglas: Paths of Glory, Spartacus
Sterling Hayden: The Killing, Dr. Strangelove
Partick Magee: A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon
Godfrey Quigley: A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon
Leonard Rossiter: 2001, Barry Lyndon
Peter Sellers: Lolita, Dr Strangelove
Anthony Sharp: A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon
Philip Stone: A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining
Frank Silvera: Fear and Desire, Killers Kiss
Joe Turkel: The Killing, Paths of Glory, The Shining
Margaret Tyzack: 2001, A Clockwork Orange

Directors of Photography
John Alcott: 2001 (additional photography), A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining

Larry Smith: Eyes wide Shut, The Shining (Gaffer), Barry Lyndon (Chief Electrician)

Douglas Milsome: Full Metal Jacket, The Shining (additional Photographer) , Barry Lyndon (focus puller)

Set Design
Ken Adam: Dr Strangelove, Barry Lyndon

Music
Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos and Rachel Elkind: A Clockwork Orange, The Shining

Editing
Ray Lovejoy: Dr Strangelove (assistant editor) 2001, The Shining

Special Effects
Wally Veevers: Dr Strangelove, 2001

Executive Producer
Jan Harlan: Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Barry Lyndon

RM, ME

Note:
Kubrick the Master Filmmaker also has information on this topic.



28/ Did Kubrick ever take drugs?
In photographs, especially ones taken in the 60s Kubrick is hardly ever seen without a cigarette, although he never experimented with harder drugs and, according to his family, (1) he only drank in moderation. When 2001 came out, its psychedelic imagery, prompted many an interviewer to put the durgs question to him. Here is an excerpt from a interview by Charlie Kohler, the East Village Eyes (1968).

CK - Let's go back to the end of 2001. A lot of people are calling it "psychedelic." Was it an expressly designed psychedelic....

SK - Well, like "underground" films. "psychedelic" is becoming a catchphrase. It's just a convenient word.

CK - But you didn't do any in-depth hallucinogenic research?

SK - No.

CK - Well, what about that whole drug scene?

SK - I think that, as man frees himself from the workaday responsibilities of the modern world, as computers begin to take a more decisive role and everything becomes automated, there'll be more time for people to go into perception-enhancing experiences. There's no doubt that mind-enhancing drugs are going to be part of man's future. The brain is constructed the way it is today in order to filter out experience which doesn't have survival value in order to produce man the worker. As soon as man the worker loses some of his responsibilities, which he's rapidly doing in an automated society, the evolutionary development of the brain will not longer be particularly relevant. So I think that what may seem today like irresponsible action, at some point will seem completely valid and perhaps socially useful. I certainly don't think that drugs, which make everything seem more interesting that they might otherwise be, are a useful thing to the artist, because they minimise his powers of self criticism, or of trying to decide what's interesting. If everything becomes interesting to you and your mind begins to echo and resonate by looking at a piece of cellophane, it becomes awfully difficult to make any valid, artistic decisions. I think that drugs will be more useful for the artist's audience than for the artist. I'm talking particularly now, about the kind of phenomena one gets from acid. I haven't taken it, but from talking to friends who have, what I'm particularly struck by is their sense of everything being interesting and everything being beautiful, which does not seem and ideal state of mind for the artist.

RM




 

Kubrick stare from Playboy
29/ What is the "Kubrick Stare" and what films does it occur in?
The Kubrick Crazy Stare is the term his director of photography, Doug Milsome coined - as mentioned in the Lobrutto biography. Kubrick would flash the stare when upset (sometimes joking) and apparently no one else came close to matching its intensity. If you've seen the photo accompanying the Playboy interview, that is the all time best Kubrick Crazy Stare

A good Kubrick stare can be approximated by tilting the head down so that you are staring from behind your brow line and opening your mouth to expose your bottom teeth: try to look as evil as you can.

Examples of the stare can be found in his films:-

Dr Strangelove
When Turgidson is told off by the president and sits chewing his gum.

2001
Dave when he's just re-entered Discovery and is walking toward the camera on his way to kill HAL.

A Clockwork Orange
Alex in the opening shot, when reacting to Dim's reaction to the lady singing in the Milkbar;

Mr. Alexander, after he knows Alex is his attacker and tells him of the death of his wife. With his prominent eyebrows, Patrick Magee displayed one of the angriest of Kubrick stares in this scene.

Alex, when the nurse says to Alex, "It won't be long now."

Barry Lyndon
Where Barry stares at Bullingdon as he makes his speech after bringing in Bryan in his shoes. Lord Lud flashes an "almost crazy Kubrickean stare."

The Shining
Jack when staring out into the snow from the Colorado lounge; after axing Hallorann; when chasing Danny.

Full Metal Jacket
Pyle when hearing the "head shot" lecture from Hartman, and the most of the "head" scene.

Eyes Wide Shut
Tom Cruise when he is being lectured to by Nicole Kidman in the bedroom.

ME, RM (thanks to Matt Levitt )

Note:
Many of these images can be seen in the book "Kubrick" by Michel Ciment, which also examines the many contorted facial images in Kubrick's films, which Ciment calls "The Face As Mask."




 
30/ What documentaries are there about Kubrick?

Making The Shining - Vivian Kubrick (1)
UK BBC2, 1980
(show as part of the "Arena" series of arts programmes)
Available in the US with the DVD release of The Shining

Inevitably a subjective account of the director at work by his 18 year old daughter, who in true Kubrick fashion, operated all the camera and the sound equipment herself and filmed some 60 hours of material for a 25 minute programme.  Making The Shining is a kind of miracle, in that it is an intimate, almost fly-on-the-wall portrait of the famously 'publicity shy' director at work, certainly more revealing than most portraits of directors at work this reviewer has seen. On first viewing, it seems slight and even quite slap-dash; the lack of any guiding narration, for instance, contributes to a sense of disorientation, giving the impression that what we are watching is nothing more than a series of unconnected incidents. It is only on subsequent viewings that Vivian's non-didactic approach to documentary making starts to bear fruit, the informality of her approach preserving truths about the film making process that a more structured documentary would have discarded. Vivian's free-roving, hand-held camera captures some candid moments in the filming, and these are combined with some equally revealing interviews of the cast and crew members, conducted in a more traditional and formal set-up by Leon Vitali and Ian Johnstone (although unfortunately Stanley Kubrick is not interviewed). All these factors elevate  Making The Shining far above the crop of bland studio-made electronic press releases that accompany the opening of the majority of contemporary films. It's no  Hearts of Darkness, but  Making The Shining is one of the better documentaries about the film making process you are likely to see.

Also well worth checking out is Vivan's charming director's commentary on the DVD of the Shining.

RM


The Invisible Man - Paul Joyce
UK Channel 4, 1997
Running Time 49 mins approx
Not available in the US

This is, in parts, an informative and well-made portrait of Stanley Kubrick. Notable especially for its excellent picture research - (it even has a clip from Fear and Desire) and first-hand interviews with Ken Adam, Garrett Brown, Michael Herr and Malcolm McDowell.

Where The Invisible Man falls down on occasions is its tendency to name-check all the clichés about Kubrick's perfectionism and his misanthropy, evidenced by the negative impressions of disgruntled ex-colleagues. The programme isn't always honest editorially in the way it manipulates the footage to fit in with its agenda, for instance it quotes part of the Shelley Duvall interview in Making The Shining when she talks about how she often resented Kubrick, but cuts off her concluding remarks that she learned more on this film than on all her other productions, and ended up respecting and liking him. Joyce recently said of his film: "I'm sure parts of it were upsetting and, in retrospect overstepped the mark." . (1)

The sole analytical voice is provided by film critic David Thompson, who's commentary - apart from one nice observation where he compares Jack's physical appearance in the Shining with Kubrick's - is haughty in tone and less that inspiring in content, especially when he speculates somewhat condescendingly upon the character of Kubrick the man - who he obviously does not know. Consequently Paul Joyce's film loses focus towards the end, becoming a succession of talking heads talking up the Kubrick myth of difficult tyrant and proffering mostly disparaging remarks about the man himself. This does not make for an objective let alone insightful study of the director and his work. In its introduction,   The Invisible Man trumpets Kubrick as one of the most important artist of the 20th Century, but by its conclusion the programme's sympathies seem to have allied themselves with those who say that the end did not justify the means, thus creating a yawning paradox which Joyce's film sadly does not address.


The Last Movie: Stanley Kubrick & Eyes wide Shut - Paul Joyce
UK Channel 4, September 5 1999
Running Time 49 mins approx
Not available in the US

The Last Movie: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut compliments and greatly enhances Paul Joyce's previous documentary about Kubrick (discussed above). In this film however there is not so much time devoted to Kubrick's films with the exception of Eyes Wide Shut, for it is a documentary about Stanley Kubrick the person. It almost goes without saying that "The Last Movie" is a vastly superior effort to its predecessor - it is probably the best documentary ever made about Stanley Kubrick. The is due to largely to the unprecedented access Joyce and his filmcrew negotiated with the Kubrick family. Viewers could see inside Childwick Bury for the first time (the driveway, the entrance, the garden, some corridors, a projection room and the family kitchen). There are candid interviews with Kubrick's wife Christaine and two of their three daughters, Katharina and Anya. (Vivian was absent, as she lives in the US).

There are also interviews with a number of SK's collaborators, notably Brian Aldiss, Ian Watson, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman Sidney Pollack, Sara Maitland, Candia McWilliam Terry Semel and Jan Harlan . All the interviewees were revealing in their own way and many talked movingly about their memories of Stanley and their reaction to his death. Many rumours that have dogged Kubrick fans for years were cleared up. (2)A minor quibble was that Joyce used visual and audio gimmicks to illustrate his some of the points made, for instance the sound of a helicopter came over the soundtrack when Cruise talked about arriving by helicopter to meet Kubrick. On the whole these additions were unnecessary and distracting.

Undoubtedly Joyce's real coup was gaining the co-operation and trust of the Kubrick family to participate in the film but the sensitively he employs in both conducting and editing the interviews must be commended also. The last shot was of Kubrick's grave in his favourite spot in the garden of his home. A simple grave, with no headstone, a pile of pebbled stones in the shade of some trees.

RM, ME, FQ

Notes
(1) Paul Joyce quoted in Time Out Magazine  (back)

(2) See questions: 12 Why was Clockwork Orange banned, and queston 15: AI true and false rumours.  (back)

(3) There was an interesting debate on amk as to whether the released film was Vivian's or Stanley's cut. This came about because of remarks its commissioning editor, Alan Yentob, made to introduce a recent showing on BBC2.

vajman (vajman) wrote:
> At the beginning of the showing last Saturday, Alan Yentob, told us that
> there were in fact two different versions of "Making The Shining". One that
> Stanley had edited and one edited by his daughter.

I was the assistant editor who worked with Vivian on this. What Alan Yentob meant was that we showed him two possible versions, one of which was the way Stanley wanted it. Stanley was not involved in the actual editing of the documentary at all: only to tell Vivian which scenes he didn't like, and thus [what] he'd like her to take out. He also wanted us to put in at least one extra clip of the Shining. Vivian was furious, and the idea of showing Alan the two versions (there weren't two separate versions: we simply said 'or do you prefer it this way?' and took out the 'offending' scenes.) Alan did indeed prefer Vivian's version (there was one scene that showed Stanley directing which I thought showed him in a very good light), but I'm afraid his memory is wrong. He and Vivian did NOT win the argument and it was Stanley's version that went out!

> The reason for this was that Stanley felt that his daughter had
> included too much material of Stanley in her version.

No: the exact reverse of the truth. He had us remove quite a lot of himself at work. He let us keep only those scenes that showed him at his fiercest!

> Alan Yentob was shown the two versions of the film and asked to choose
> which one to broadcast on Arena. He was not told whose cut was whose.
> He chose Vivian's. What happened to the other cut is not known. Are
> there in fact two versions of this film being shown around the world?

No. As I say, there was only one documentary, though it is just possible that the deleted scenes still exist in a film can somewhere, and that will almost certainly be the Kubrick family home, and thus totally inaccessible. And the same will apply to all the out-takes. About 40 hours worth if I remember rightly!

GS (back)



31/ - What directors did Kubrick try to support, and what advice did he offer to young filmmakers?
He tried to set Peter Weir (Picknick at Hanging Rock, Witness, The Truman Show) up with an adaptation of The Thorn Birds, and he was hoping that he would direct the film version of Arthur C. Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two.

When Mike Hodges ( Get Carter, A Prayer for the Dying, Black Rainbow) was having trouble with Warner Brothers executives over one of his films in the seventies he mysteriously found his path cleared one day. He managed to trace this back to a call which Kubrick had personally made to Warners after hearing of Mike's problems. Kubrick seemed to have power over Warners top brass that was largely based on sheer force of personality.

Kubrick was he was known to donate film stock to the National and London International Film School..

Andrew Mollo and Kevin Brownlow
Kubrick gave them assistance on the film It Happened Here

*******

In 1966 Hollis Albert, (1) remarked of Kubrick's approach to filmmaking: "He thinks it is possible to learn more from film that "deals with other things, like documentaries, a few moments in crazy avant-garde movies, and TV commercials, even if they're things that only happen to work for five seconds."

Kubrick gave advice to novice filmmakers in an interview with Joseph Gemelis in 1969.

JG
If you were nineteen and starting out again, would you go to film school?

SK
The best education in film is to make one. I would advise any neophyte director to try to make a film by himself. A three-minute short will teach him a lot. I know that all the things I did at the beginning were, in microcosm, the things I'm doing now as a director and producer. There are a lot of non-creative aspects to filmmaking which have to be overcome, and you will experience them all when you make even the simplest film: business, organization, taxes, etc., etc. It is rare to be able to have an uncluttered, artistic environment when you make a film, and being able to accept this is essential.

The point to stress is that anyone seriously interested in making a film should find as much money as he can as quickly as he can and go out and do it. And this is no longer as difficult as it once was. When I began making movies as an independent in the early 1950s I received a fair amount of publicity because I was something of a freak in an industry dominated by a handful of huge studios. Everyone was amazed that it could be done at all. But anyone can make a movie who has a little knowledge of cameras and tape recorders, a lot of ambition and -- hopefully -- talent. It's gotten down to the pencil and paper level. We're really on the threshold of a revolutionary new era in film.

FQ, RM, ME

Note:
Quotations taken from Hollis Albert's article in the New York Times, "'2001': Offbeat Director In Outer Space," available online at New York Times' Kubrick archive  (back)




32/ - What was Kubrick's screenwriting style?
"The screenplay is the most uncommunicative form of writing ever devised."

Stanley Kubrick - quoted in Jerome Agel's Making of 2001

*******

Here a few remarks Kubrick made about writing a screenplay:

"[it] is a very different thing than writing a novel or an original story. A good story is a kind of a miracle, [...] When you can write a book like that, you've really done something. On the other hand, writing the screenplay of the book is much more of a logical process -- something between writing and breaking a code. It does not require the inspiration or the invention of the novelist. I'm not saying it's easy to write a good screenplay. It certainly isn't, and a lot of fine novels have been ruined in the process. "

"Thinking of the visual conception of a scene at the script stage can be a trap that straitjackets the scene. I find it more profitable to just try to get the most interesting and truthful business going to support the scene and then see if there's a way to make it interesting photographically. There's nothing worse than arbitrarily setting up some sort of visual thing that really doesn't belong as part of the scene"

"Writers tend to approach the creation of a drama too mush in terms of words, failing to realize the greatest force they have is the mood and feeling they can produce in the audience through the actor."

"However serious your intentions may be, and however important you think are the ideas of the story, the enormous cost of a movie makes it necessary to reach the largest potential audience for that story, in order to give your backers their best chance to get their money back and hopefully make a profit. No one will disagree that a good story is an essential starting point for accomplishing this. But another thing, too, the stronger the story, the more chances you can take with everything else.

I think Dr. Strangelove is a good example of this. It was based on a very good suspense novel, Red Alert, written by Peter George, a former RAF navigator. The ideas of the story and all its suspense were still there even when it was completely changed into black comedy."

"I enjoy working with someone I find stimulating. One of the most fruitful and enjoyable collaborations I have had was with Arthur C. Clarke in writing the story of 2001: A Space Odyssey. One of the paradoxes of movie writing is that, with a few notable exceptions, writers who can really write are not interested in working on film scripts. They quite correctly regard their important work as being done for publication. I wrote the screenplay for Barry Lyndon alone. The first draft took three or four months but, as with all my films, the subsequent writing process never really stopped. What you have written and is yet unfilmed is inevitably affected by what has been filmed. New problems of content or dramatic weight reveal themselves. Rehearsing a scene can also cause script changes. However carefully you think about a scene, and however clearly you believe you have visualized it, it's never the same when you finally see it played. Sometimes a totally new idea comes up out of the blue, during a rehearsal, or even during actual shooting, which is simply too good to ignore. This can necessitate the new scene being worked out with the actors right then and there. As long as the actors know the objectives of the scene, and understand their characters, this is less difficult and much quicker to do than you might imagine."

Kirk Douglas, obviously piqued at Kubrick's very public dismissals of Spartacus pithily remarked: "Stanley is not a writer. He has always functioned better if he got a good writer and worked with him as an editor. He was great a developing a concept. [...] but that's not the same as writing a script. I have a copy of the terrible script of Paths of Glory that he wrote to make it more commercial. If we had shot that script Stanley might still be living in an apartment in Brooklyn instead of a castle in England."

Sources
Kubrick quotes in an interview with Michel Ciment's available to read online at The Kubrick Site.

Kirk Douglas quote from his autobiography "The Ragman's Son"



33/ - What was Kubrick's dispute with Punch magazine about?
The following letter appeared in the Tuesday edition of The Times Of London:

[...] The story begins in August 1998 when Punch published an article about Kubrick in its "Lowdown" column. In the main, the article did not differ from many others published over the years by journalists who felt at liberty to take pot-shots, in print, at a man they knew was unlikely to reply. But this alleged that he was clinically insane. The words used were "we're hearing stories that suggest Kubrick is even more insane than psychiatrists have led us to believe..." Unfortunately for Punch, English law is designed to protect people from such unfunny and blatantly defamatory statements. With Stanley, we consulted Keith Schilling, a libel specialist; Stanley decided to sue Punch Ltd for libel. It in turn decided to defend the claim.

As any barrack-room lawyer knows, there are limited defences to a libel action. One is "truth", but Punch could not begin to prove that Stanley was clinically insane, so instead filed a defence claiming that he was autocratic, eccentric and difficult to work with. It based this defence on a hundred or so stories from a variety of newspaper articles and poorly researched books which fell a long way short of a proper defence.

Punch and its Editor at no time showed any remorse. On the contrary, the magazine took to reproducing Stanley's solicitor's letters and seemed to be hell-bent on fighting the case in the full glare of publicity. James Steen, the Editor of Punch, was quoted as saying that the article was a "silly gossip story and if Kubrick wants to push his way through a mob of photographers every day on his way to court, we'll see him there".

None of the above would have been particularly worthy of comment but for the fact that on March 4 this year Stanley applied at a High Court hearing for Punch's defence to be struck out. This was on the basis that it was without legal foundation.

The hearing was held in private, so little from it is likely to be made public. The gist of Stanley's argument was that Punch had published a defamatory article which meant what it said: namely, that he was clinically insane, and that the magazine's defence was hopeless and irrelevant.

Mr Justice Popplewell, after a brief hearing, left the publishers and Editor of Punch in no doubt about his views, even though the hearing was a procedural one, not the actual trial on the merits. In short, Punch's defences of justification and fair comment were struck out. Costs were awarded against Punch and Steen and an order made that they would have 21 days to reconsider their position and to file an alternative defence.

In practice, Punch had no alternative defence: the game was up and Kubrick had won his case. Punch and its solicitors seemed to have thought that Stanley's distaste for personal publicity would have convinced him to drop the action once they had set up a wafer-thin defence. In this they were wrong.

Under English law, the death of a plaintiff in a libel action brings an end to his case. Given that one cannot libel the dead, Stanley's lawsuit is now at an end. In our last conversation with Stanley, a colleague and I told him that Punch's defence had been shot down and that it was only a question of time before the defendants caved in. He was delighted, mentioning it to friends and family. All he had really wanted from Punch was reasonable: an apology and payment of his costs. Any damages would have gone to charity.

To this day, the journalists at Punch have treated the whole affair as a trifling matter driven by lawyers, but never once apologised for grossly offensive remarks. On the contrary, in the first issue of Punch after Stanley's death, it misleadingly suggested that it had a defence which would have been heard later this year, failing to mention that its defence had been struck out. This action was brought on behalf of those who feel that privacy and reputation are valuable. Stanley explained it beautifully:

"Rick, I have grandchildren." To them I say: whatever Punch may have written (and no doubt may write again), this is what happened. In the matter of Stanley Kubrick v James Steen and Punch Ltd, Stanley Kubrick won and Punch lost.






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