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Stanley Kubrick's Boxes (2008)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary | Biography  -  15 July 2008 (UK)
7.7
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A few years after his death, the widow of Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) asks Jon Ronson to look through the contents of about 1,000 boxes of meticulously sorted materials Kubrick left. Ronson... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jon Ronson ...
Himself
Anthony Frewin ...
Himself (as Tony Frewin)
...
Himself
Christiane Kubrick ...
Herself
Manuel Harlan ...
Himself
Anya Kubrick ...
Herself
Julian Senior ...
Himself
Vincent Tilsley ...
Himself
Rick Senat ...
Himself
Deborah Davis ...
Herself - reader
Judy Tobey ...
Herself
Van Boudreaux ...
Himself - video maker
...
Himself
Bernd Eichhorn ...
Himself - archivist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vinny Fiorentino ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A few years after his death, the widow of Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) asks Jon Ronson to look through the contents of about 1,000 boxes of meticulously sorted materials Kubrick left. Ronson finds that most contain materials reflecting work Kubrick did after the release of "Barry Lyndon " in 1975, when Kubrick's film output slowed down. Ronson finds audition tapes for "Full Metal Jacket," photographs to find the right hat for "Clockwork Orange" or the right doorway for "Eyes Wide Shut" -- thousands of details that went into Kubrick's meticulous approach. Ronson believes that the boxes show "the rhythm of genius." Interviews with family, staff, and friends are included. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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15 July 2008 (UK)  »

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Stanley Kubrick - Archives d'une vie  »

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User Reviews

 
as always with Kubrick-lore fascinating and full of wonderful obsession and minor delirium
18 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When a man who was as smart - not entirely nuts, there's something of a difference when looking at an artist - as Stanley Kubrick made a film, it became like erecting a skyscraper: lots and lots of planning, researching, more researching, writing and re-writing, very long casting sessions, long (definitively Kubrickian long) shoots, editing, and finally, more often than not, perfect film-making. For those who may on a given day say out loud that Stanley Kubrick is the greatest filmmaker post-silent era (which I myself have uttered on occasion), a documentary like Stanley Kubrick's boxes realizes on this man's obsessions and passions and curiosities and singular attention to detail that it also revealed a tragic flaw: in a career that spanned over 40 years, he directed only 13 feature length films, and in the last 30 years of his life directed 4. One of the things that will endlessly interest me is how a man had such a wealth of knowledge about one thing that if it got turned off or something happened with the project it was like literally losing a child. And, oddly enough for such a (compared to, say, Woody Allen) un-prolific man, he never went on "holiday" or even really recognized what it was to take a holiday.

This documentary is essential if only for highlighting this and other parts to Kubrick, the actual man as he was as well as the "mythology" that surrounded him for being so reportedly reclusive and eccentric (the opposite was really the case, as a married man with a bunch of kids and cats and dogs who merely enjoyed privacy and creative independence as earned luxuries), with the aid of so many boxes full of "stuff" that it took the director 4 years to look through it all. As meticulous as he was in his everyday life, so was he in storing everything. We see the stills of various hats tried on for Clockwork Orange. We see the legal paperwork Kubrick fired out over a mid-70s sci-fi show that ripped off 2001. We see a handful of the hundreds of hours of audition footage of the grunts for Full Metal Jacket. Hell, we even get to see one or two "looney" videos from pranksters-cum-stalkers who sent Kubrick videos parodying his films.

We also get some touching and funny anecdotes from his family (wife and kids) and those closest to him like his assistants (Leon Vitali has some particularly good ones), all unearthing stories to go along with what's pulled out. Some of it, indeed, comes close to unbelievable. But at the same time it can range from insightful without having anything to do with movies (i.e. long transcripts about how to deal with feline behavior) and the mountains of research dedicated to Napoleon and Louis Begley's Wartime Lies. The real hardcore Kubrick fans might not find a whole lot to look at- not sure who they are as I'm possibly one and didn't bicker much- but everyone else, even casual fans, would do very well to seek this out (it's finally aired in the US on Sundance channel). At the least, we get some stuff for film-buffs to geek out on like super-duper rare behind the scenes footage with FMJ.


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