"Stanley Kubrick, director of the acclaimed films Path of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: Space Odyssey. A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket, is arguably one of the"
Despite making only 12 feature films in 40 years, Stanley Kubrick (b. 1928) is arguably the greatest living American filmmaker, the principal creative force behind such movies as Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. He is famous for his reclusiveness and eccentricity. Although this biography falls short of its stated purpose to be the first complete account of Kubrick's private life, it succeeds in presenting a convincing portrait of a man who is utterly devoted to every aspect of filmmaking, down to poster design. LoBrutto (Elia Kazan: Film Director), a film professor at the School of Visual Arts in N.Y.C., provides an exhaustively researched and detailed account of the making of Kubrick's films, including long interviews with many of the actors, writers and film craftsmen who have worked with the director over the years. Kubrick comes across as a soft-spoken tyrant in full command of every detail who somehow manages to win and keep the respect of those who work for him. For the true film buff, there's an astonishing amount of technical information, but there's also a good deal of illuminating backstage human interest-Kubrick cutting Kirk Douglas's final close-up in Spartacus as a joke, beating George C. Scott at chess between takes of Dr. Strangelove, asking Malcolm McDowell if he knew any songs he might sing during the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange. The tone of the book is a bit gee-whiz at times, but it's hard to fault LoBrutto for that: from the evidence here, Kubrick's boundless energy and passion for film are as breathtaking as the best of his movies. Photos and filmography. (Dec.)