Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,
Chuck
charlesofcamden

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Stan the Man

A friend and I were discussing the work of Stanley Kubrick the other day (oh yeah? And what were YOU discussing -– the ethics of the Protestant Reformation?). It wasn’t any sort of highbrow dissection of his films – we started by seeing how many of his films we could name, talked about some of our favorite films/scenes, and ended up wondering what the famously reclusive director might have been like in person. So I started sniffing around the internet for more info (lots of good stuff on imdb.com!) and I came up with the following facts and quotes, along with my comments, culled from much longer lists:

Stanley Kubrick was born in New York, and was considered intelligent despite poor grades at school.
– OK, if he wasn’t my hero before, he is now.

One of his signature shots was “The Glare” – a character’s emotional meltdown is depicted by a close-up shot of the actor with his head tilted slightly down, but with his eyes looking up – usually directly into the camera. Examples are the opening shot of Alex in A Clockwork Orange (1971), Jack slowly losing it in The Shining (1980), Pvt. Pyle going mad in Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Tom Cruise’s paranoid thoughts inside the taxicab in Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Even HAL-9000 has “the glare” in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
– That just fascinates me, and I’m not completely sure why.

His dislike of his early film Fear and Desire (1953) is well known. He went out of his way to buy all the prints of it so no one else could see it.
– I think most artists can relate to his feelings on this point!

According to his wife Christine, he would screen every movie he could get hold of. One of his favorites was The Jerk (1979). He considered making Eyes Wide Shut (1999) a dark sex comedy with Steve Martin in the lead. He even met with Martin to discuss the project.
– 2 things: 1) The image of Kubrick giggling over “Pizza in a Cup” or some other bit from The Jerk is just too amusing; 2) I’m picturing Martin showing up for the orgy scene wearing an arrow through his head – and nothing else!

“I have a wife, three children, three dogs, seven cats. I’m not a Franz Kafka, sitting alone and suffering.”

“How could we possibly appreciate the Mona Lisa if Leonardo had written at the bottom of the canvas: ‘The lady is smiling because she is hiding a secret from her lover.’ This would shackle the viewer to reality, and I don’t want this to happen to 2001.”
– I think this quote is as good a window into Kubrick’s art as anything I’ve read.
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