July 26, 2020

Stanley Kubrick's Birthday

On July 26, 1928, in New York, in a Jewish family of descendants of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a homeopathic physician, and his wife Sadie Gertrude Perveler, a first-born son, Stanley, was born.

Stanley Kubrick at DGA D.W. Griffith Award Acceptance Speech, 1998

With an above-average IQ, Stanley Kubrick did poorly at school. He was simply not interested in studying. He was interested in literature, in particular, ancient legends and myths and tales of the Brothers Grimm. Thanks to his literary passions, Stanley was imbued with love for European culture from childhood. In addition to literature, Stanley was fond of photography, baseball, and also played drums in the school ensemble and even thought of becoming a jazz musician after school. At the age of 12, Stanley's father taught him how to play chess. Stanley very quickly achieved very great success in chess, which allowed him to even earn money by playing this game.

Barry Lyndon. 1975. Rating - 8,883, 188th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

The young man's hobbies led to his frequent absences from school, and the result of frequent absences was low grades, which, in turn, did not allow Stanley Kubrick to go to university and get higher education. However, Stanley was not particularly worried about this. Moreover, later he often spoke disparagingly about the American education system and, on the contrary, expressed gratitude to his parents, who not only did not hinder, but, on the contrary, encouraged their son's hobbies in every possible way.

Full Metal Jacket. 1987. Rating - 8,835, 199th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

Thanks to his passion for photography, which began in his school years, at the age of 17 Stanley became a very successful and famous photographer who collaborated with Look magazine. When Stanley was 23 years old, his school friend, Alexander Singer, who worked at a newsreel production studio, advised him to take up short films. Stanley followed his friend's advice and directed a 16-minute film, "Day of the Fight", about a boxer he had photographed for Look magazine the year before.

A Clockwork Orange. 1971. Rating - 8,823, 201st Rank in the Golden Thousand.

The film cost Stanley $ 3,900, of which $ 1,500 was his personal savings and the rest he borrowed. He managed to sell his first film for 4 thousand dollars, thus recouping his costs and even earning $ 100. However, Stanley Kubrick considered the acquired experience and knowledge to be his main achievement from the filming of the first film, since in the process of working on this film he read a huge number of books on film production.

Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. 1963. Rating - 8,749, 221st Rank in the Golden Thousand.

It is known that during the period 1951-1953, Stanley Kubrick made several more short films, of which only three have survived. And in 1952, Kubrick decided to try his hand at creating a full-length feature film. His father gave him money for the production of the film, and for this he had to pledge his insurance policy. In addition, his mother's brother, Martin Perveler, gave 9 thousand dollars. Stanley's family and friends were involved in the making of the film, eventually dubbed "Fear and Desire", as well as a few non-professional actors, 15 in total. The production of the film cost 33 thousand dollars, of which 13 thousand dollars went to the shooting itself, and 20 thousand - to dubbing.

2001: A Space Odyssey. 1968. Rating - 8,739, 225th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

The film did not pay off at the box office, although it received several complimentary reviews from film critics, including The New York Times. Subsequently, the prefectionist Stanley Kubrick was very ashamed of this film and made a desperate effort to destroy all copies of this film. Moreover, its production was associated with a very unpleasant memory for the director: due to his inexperience and the inability to attract an appropriate specialist due to the scarcity of the budget, the entire film crew almost died due to the use of poisonous gas. Fortunately, the copy studio Kodak retained one copy which was later reissued on DVD.

Paths of Glory. 1957. Rating - 8,560, 296th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

Despite the failure of the first full-length film, after a while Kubrick decided to make another film. This time, the funds for the production of the film in the amount of 40 thousand dollars were provided by a colleague of Kubrick's father and uncle, a pharmacist from the Bronx Morris Bousse. However, 75 thousand dollars were required to produce the picture. The missing amount was offered by the United Artists film company, but on condition that the film script was changed. The film company insisted on the traditional for American cinema happy ending, which was not foreseen in the original script. For the freedom-loving and striving for independence, Stanley Kubrick, this demand was unbearable. But the film company simultaneously promised to finance the next Kubrick's film. And he agreed. As a result, in 1955, the film "Killer's Kiss" was released. The proceeds from the film barely covered the costs of its production, but still managed to avoid losses.

The Shining. 1980. Rating - 8,258, 443rd Rank in the Golden Thousand.

The next film, "The Killing", released in 1956, marked the start of Stanley Kubrick's streak of success as a filmmaker. In 1957 the film "Paths of Glory" was released, and in 1960 - "Spartacus". And in 1962 Stanley Kubrick moved to Great Britain. It is believed that the main reason is the impossibility of filming in the United States a film based on the novel by Vladimir Nabokov "Lolita" because of the harsh censorship in American cinema of those years. And this even taking into account the fact that for the film Kubrick, together with Nabokov, prepared an absolutely chaste script. But Kubrick did not return to the US after the release of "Lolita" on the screens. And the rest of his life, and he died in 1999, he spent in the UK. He himself explained the reasons for his move by the impossibility of working with American film producers, who everywhere and in everything strive exclusively for commercial success and for the sake of this success intervening in all creative processes.

Spartacus. 1960. Rating - 8,194, 476th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

Roger Ebert, who called Stanley Kubrick as "one of the greatest of film directors, and perhaps the most independent and self-contained", wrote about this director as follows: "Even in a century when film directors fashioned images as strong-willed visionaries, Kubrick stood out from the crowd. He became legendary for his total independence, his disdain for studio interference, and his indifference to publicity and "image." He made great films entirely outside conventional commercial formulas".

The Killing. 1956. Rating - 8,162, 516th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

Stanley Kubrick has shot 13 feature-length films during his life. 9 of them were included in FilmGourmand's Golden Thousand. Based on this indicator, Stanley Kubrick entered the list of the 100 greatest directors in world cinema, in which he took a high 3rd place, after Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman.

Eyes Wide Shut. 1999.

Today, on the day when the great Master could have turned 92 years old, we invite fans of his work to recall frames from his best films.

Lolita. 1962