Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Real Stanley Kubrick (7/26/06)

How did one of Hollywood's greatest recluses become one of its most idiosyncratic directors? That's only one of the riddles that add up to Stanley Kubrick. Despite having no training, he was directing independent documentaries at the age of 23, and by 27, he'd helmed his first major feature, "Killer's Kiss." Such big-budget movies as "Spartacus" and "Dr. Strangelove" followed. Disenchanted with the studio system, Kubrick relocated to England, where he remained for the rest of his life, turning out "2001: A Space Odyssey," "A Clockwork Orange," and "The Shining," among others. His quirks were legendary: He never returned to the U.S., but was a huge fan of both "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons." He listened to air traffic controllers but refused to fly. Once his films were finished, he never watched them. Kubrick kept such a low profile that a British travel agent successfully posed as him, despite neither looking like him nor knowing anything about his films.

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