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STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE IN PICTURES

Director: JAN HARLAN

U.S.A. • 2001 • COLOUR • DIGITAL BETACAM • 142 MIN


There’s a wealth of critical writing on Stanley Kubrick but precious little in the way of documentary profiles. This comprehensive portrait of the man and his work is therefore an extremely valuable source. It was produced and directed by Jan Harlan, Kubrick’s brother-in-law and a production manager on all the director’s films from Barry Lyndon (1975).

As one might expect, the film is more a celebration of the director’s achievements than a critical study of his oeuvre. It proceeds chronologically from Kubrick’s childhood in New York, his early career as a stills photographer, his modest beginnings as a filmmaker, right through to his elevated position as a world-famous auteur with complete artistic control and major financial backing from Warner Bros. Harlan had unlimited access to the Kubrick archives and makes good use of home movie footage. The interviews with the director’s collaborators and admirers (including Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese) are accompanied by lengthy and well-chosen clips. Understandably, Kubrick’s family members stress the man’s warm, genial side as a counter to the public image of him as a remote genius.

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