Stanley Kubrick Essay, Research Paper
Last night in England the film world lost a legend. Director Stanley Kubrick died in his sleep at the age of 70. His death occurred just hours after he delivered his last film, Eyes Wide Shut, to the film studio. Kubrick achieved success in the industry through independence and this is a rare accomplishment in the film industry.
Stanley Kubrick was born on July 26, 1928, in the Bronx. He neither did well nor attended school. He was an outcast and an underachiever, but he was extremely intelligent. After school Kubrick found a job at Look magazine. He did very well and by the age of 17 he was part of the staff at Look. In his time away from his job Mr. Kubrick enjoyed visiting the Museum of Modern Art and playing chess. In the early days of his career he play chess for up to 12 hours a day and also picked up table tennis as a hobby between films.
Kubrick was married three times and had three daughters. His last marriage to artist Christine Harlan lasted 40 years and they had two daughters together. He also developed some fears that would change his everyday life. While flying his own plane, he nearly crashed and died. This led to his fear of speed and after that he wouldn t travel in a car that was going faster than 35 miles per hour or more. Kubrick also had a germ phobia and he wouldn t share the company of anyone that was sneezing or coughing. He also had a fear of being attacked. This caused him to carry handguns and even a hunting knife in his briefcase. He also was a heavy smoker and tried many times to quit. In the 1960 s, he moved to England and would remain there for the rest of his days. He loved cats and had seven of them to keep him company. His sister would send him tapes of the New York Yankees and the New York Giants whenever they played. Kubrick usually spent all of his time working either at the studio set or his home office. He would work at night and sleep at day to stay with American time. He gained the reputation for being a recluse and almost always refused requests for interviews and pictures.
Stanley Kubrick didn t make a lot of films in his life. He only made ten feature films from 1957 to 1999, that is one movie every five years on the average. This was due to Kubrick constant drive for perfection in his work. There is a story of Kubrick going through the thousands of costumes for the extras and approving every single one for one battle scene. It was this that keeps some people from every working with him. He would shoot a scene until he thought is was perfect and never finished before it was perfect in his eyes.
The Killing (1956) and Paths of Glory (1957) were both stories of perfect plans that went horrible wrong. The first was a failed robbery and the second was about World War I. Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964) were both black humor. Lolita is about sexual obsession and it leading to madness and murder. Dr. Stranglove is a study of military and political insanity leading to global annihilation. Kubrick would again push the boundaries of filmmaking with 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971). These are quite possibly his best work and also the most disturbing works at their time of release. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a story of man s evolution and the technology he created taking over. A Clockwork Orange was extremely controversial at its time of release. The tale of a teenage hoodlum is well told and the violence was the cause of all the controversy. Kubrick s next two films Barry Lyndon (1975) and The Shinning (1980) continued his legacy and place in the ranks of the greatest directors ever. Kubrick s films have been criticized for two main absences, women and human feelings. These criticisms are few and far between when talking about Stanley Kubrick s works.
Stanley Kubrick used the screen as a laboratory to expand people s minds and then watch their reactions. Kubrick s movies spark more debates than any other American director. Stanley Kubrick made movies the way he wanted and when he wanted. His innovations and imagination are seen in all of his films. He will truly be missed and lucky for us he left one movie after nearly a 20-year absence from the screen.