Excerpt from: The New York Times - 4 July 1999

Title: What They Say About Stanley Kubrick

John Milius (director, screenwriter, producer; phone relationship with Kubrick from early-80's)

When he did "Dr. Strangelove," the Air Force contacted him afterward and all the big shots of Strategic Air Command, and General Le May, wanted to talk to him. And he was afraid of going to see them. He was afraid they'd be angry with him -- that they would do something to him. I said: "Stanley, how can you have been that paranoid? They wanted to honor you. They loved 'Dr. Strangelove.' "He said: "I know it's crazy. I wish I'd gone to Washington and seen them."

He loved military history and just consumed it all the time and said, "I feel perfectly safe in my love of war and military history because I know that I'm a devout coward." He was endlessly fascinated by honor and valor, the regimental esprit de corps. "I'd never go to war," he said, "but I'd like to experience it if I knew I wasn't going to get hurt."

....Stanley had no regard for time. He'd call you in the middle of the night, whenever he felt like calling. I'd say, "Stanley, it's the middle of the night." He'd say, "You're awake, aren't you?" He'd never talk for less than an hour. He just had all kinds of things to discuss -- everything. He had theories. He felt most film was fraudulent -- he felt most people who made films were frauds. He was fascinated by the idea of pure film as opposed to just narrative storytelling. He felt that film broke down to just getting the story across -- like an episodic TV show. And then you have, on the other end, something that's like the end of "2001." Though I think he felt that sort of failed, that it wasn't exact enough.

....He was very vulnerable to criticism or to whether a movie was a success or not. He wasn't completely comfortable with "Barry Lyndon." He just felt that people didn't understand it. People were bored by it. I think after that picture he felt no one was going to let him make a film again. Apparently the only thing that really bothered him a great deal was that "Barry Lyndon" failed commercially. He made "The Shining" after that. Nicholson, I remember, at the time said: "I'm glad to be off that one. That was rough duty."

.... [Before "Full Metal Jacket,"] he quizzed me a lot about Southeast Asia. I said, "You're never going to go anywhere near Southeast Asia." But he wanted to know every little detail: What the food was like, how the airport was, whether they lost your baggage. He was preparing himself as if he would go. We turned him onto a supplier of military equipment who was going to get him uniforms and the patches and all that kind of stuff -- this guy in Oklahoma City, great character. He called me and said, "I'm so proud to be working on the Stanley Kubrick film." And I thought six months later the guy was ready for a medal. Stanley just drove him nuts: "Are you sure the color of these patches is the same as the last batch? I've been looking at them and I can see a difference."