Plumbing Stanley Kubrick

Started by Alexandro, January 08, 2013, 11:00:20 AM

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this is one of the most unique memoirs i've ever read.

it has a large scope in that it covers a lengthy period of time but it remains very selective, no doubt that's simply a limitation of the personal account nature of this kind of text. it also runs the risk of almost making old man kub sound like a senile old nut. but he recounts these incidents (where kub seemed to legitimately have no sense of reality) with affection and i find it endearing, and he seems to tell things honestly even though he gets a few things wrong about the content/release date of stan's filmography.

my favourite parts were the stories of kubrick and his animals. he doesn't recount any ultra witty or insanely intellectual comments made by kubrick, as other people have in various memoirs and interviews, and he doesn't talk at all about kub's relationship with his wife and family. he places a lot of emphasis on the stories between the man and his animals. which is really very interesting, sometimes approaching the point of straining credibility. i mean did kubrick really consider taking that bird to a bird psychiatrist? i'm not making this up people, but maybe ian watson is. nevertheless, i love that bit where he spent a whole year watching his dog die. makes me wonder why animals don't feature more prominently in his films.

i also enjoyed his introduction of the majority of Kubrick's personal assistants, where he traces their origins and how they came to work for him. and all the insight about just how much emilio d'alessandro did for kub. no mention of Brian Cook though, which i realise now means that he was never one of the assistants who lived at kubrick's whim. he was an assistant director by trade, so maybe he only came into play when something was definitely going into production. in any event, while i knew most of these origin stories it was just nice to see them all in one place with a little more detail than we usually get. it's a very thorough memoir in that way. it makes me look forward to Emilio d's recently published account of his time with kubrick which i think is currently published in italian only.

mostly it's very revealing, though kind of repetitive since it's also well known, about the writing process kubrick underwent with all his writers. ruthless is the only word to describe it. ultimately kub didn't really need writers, in the home stretch he was on his own with the actors. it was to lay the groundwork that he needed them. he needed them to create an airtight fictional world that he could BELIEVE in, and from there he would be free to dream within that dream something really remarkable.

excellent find, a million upvotes to you.
under the paving stones.


Yes, that was my favorite aspect too. I guess I love animals but I'm not what these days is called an animal lover, yet I know a lot of people that would fit that description, and I know enough about that mentality to know that once people make that leap, once a person decides to love animals and care for animals in that way, there is really no limits to it. So those stories about Kubrick going out of his way to "save" or care for certain animals (even though sometimes the behavior was close to unreasonable or the outcome could more likely be contrary to his intentions) ring very true to me.