“An essential first shot toward the critical re-evaluation of the life and work of one of the century’s greatest filmmakers.” Anthony Walton, The Raleigh News & Observer
978-0-8021-3818-7 • $15.00 • Paperback • July 2001
The revolutionary artistry of Stanley Kubrick’s films transformed the landscape of modern cinema. From the apocalyptic satire of Dr. Strangelove, to the epic vision of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the dystopian nightmare of A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick produced a wide-ranging body of work cherished by film lovers the world over. But because of the moral complexity of his movies—and his meticulous style of filmmaking and legendary personal eccentricities—he was often misunderstood by colleagues and critics. This misunderstanding continued even after his death, in the critical controversy surrounding his final film Eyes Wide Shut.
In Kubrick, author and screenwriter Michael Herr gives a personal look at the allegedly reclusive, compulsively brilliant director. He also recounts the evolution of their unique friendship, from their first meeting at a screening for The Shining in 1980, to their collaboration on the screenplay for Full Metal Jacket, through years of marathon phone conversations on topics ranging from film and technology to philosophy and literature—the last of which occurred just days before the director’s death.
In describing Kubrick, Herr strips away the myths surrounding his friend, revealing a man who was not introverted and misanthropic (as the media and his biographers claimed), but instead warm, gregarious, and endlessly inquisitive. He was also profoundly complicated. Though he loved America—and even embraced such pop culture touchstones as professional football and TV sitcoms—he permanently emigrated to England because of his distrust of Hollywood. Though he disdained elitism, he would only allow the most brilliant and talented inside his inner circle. He had a tremendous love and respect for the actors and screenwriters he worked with, but his style of filmmaking often led to bitter confrontations.
Filled with personal insights and previously untold anecdotes, Michael Herr’s Kubrick is a probing view into the director’s inner life, capturing the creative passion and powerful intellect of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.