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 »
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 Lindon " 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
I've often wondered what type of genius or madman someone like Kubrick would have to be in order to create the masterpieces that he did and this documentary tries to uncover some of that. Director Ronson was invited to the Kubrick Estate to go through thousands of boxes that Kubrick had saved up throughout the years and what we see are some rather amazing items, which show why it took the director so long to make movies. In his final 19-years Kubrick only made three films and the reasons why are discussed here. If you're a fan of Kubrick then I don't see how it would be possible not to love this documentary even though, sadly, it only runs for just under an hour. Some of the things we see and learn are rather shocking and mysterious. The mysterious figure that Kubrick was is certainly going to be even more mysterious after this film but it does give us a close look at how the genius worked. The most amazing section were notes from fans that the director collected. Apparently he read them all and would mark them as being positive, negative or crank meaning threatening. He would then take the letters and put them together by the movie and then break them down into the cities where they came from. Even more astounding is how much pre-production he would do when making movies. He had his nephew, a photographer, spend a year taking pictures of stuff that would eventually go into Eyes Wide Shut and that includes thousands of photographs for gates, which would end up only being seen for a matter of seconds in the movie. Fans of Full Metal Jacket will also get a kick out of learning that Vivian Kubrick's documentary is still safe and at the estate in the form of 18-hours worth of footage. We get to see a few clips here including one with Kubrick debating when tea breaks should happen. There's a lot of wonderful footage in this documentary and it's great to know that the Estate has turned all of this stuff over to the London University of Arts where anyone can go and look through them. The bad news is that it's apparently true that Kubrick destroyed all the outtakes from his films, which is strange since this documentary shows that he saved everything. There's also some great talk about his Holocaust movie, which he worked on for nearly three years before giving up on it after the Spielberg movie started production.
14 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?