Stanley Kubrick was born in New York City in 1928. At the age of 16 Kubrick took a photograph of a newsvendor the day after President Roosevelt died. Look magazine printed the photo and hired him as a freelance photographer, he worked on over 300 jobs. After creating a boxing photo essay for Look, he used his savings to make his first short film 'Day of the Fight' in 1950, a 16-minute documentary. Two other shorts and thirteen feature films followed. Compared to many directors Kubrick did not produce many films. However, he successfully spanned a plethora of genres from science fiction to costume drama.
Kubrick's influence on film is manifested in numerous ways, from lighting to special effects to film content to music. For example, his pioneering use of long takes, first used in Lolita using a high Average Shot Length, have inspired cinematographers since, as seen in the opening shot of 1997's Boogie Nights. Kubrick had a high level of artistic control and kept many items and papers relating to his film making. At the completion of a project Kubrick would box up items relating to it and store them.
Kubrick's influence goes beyond that of the film world to popular culture. The content of his films have been responsible for sparking public debate and discourse for example, Clockwork Orange (1971) is a dystopia featuring violence and sexual content that provoked debate on the nature of society and the portrayal of violence on screen.
Kubrick had an unprecedented level of control over his films and was interested in every aspect of the film making process. Therefore, his collection can inspire not only film makers but costume designers, advertisers, graphic artists and photographers to name but a few.
Kubrick and his family moved to England in 1969, where he lived until his death in 1999.
Stanley Kubrick: Filmography:
- 1953 'Fear and Desire' (not on general release)
- 1955 'Killer's Kiss'
- 1956 'The Killing'
- 1957 'Paths of Glory'
- 1960 'Spartacus'
- 1962 'Lolita'
- 1964 'Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb'
- 1968 '2001: A Space Odyssey'
- 1971 'A Clockwork Orange'
- 1975 'Barry Lyndon'
- 1980 'The Shining'
- 1987 'Full Metal Jacket'
- 1999 'Eyes Wide Shut'
Kubrick planned to make two further films, 'Napoleon' and 'The Aryan Papers' (a holocaust film), but these were not made. He also played an important role in the conception of 'AI: Artificial Intelligence', which was made after his death by Steven Spielberg.