The lush illustrations--both in color and black-and-white--will probably be the major attraction of this study of...

READ REVIEW

KUBRICK

The lush illustrations--both in color and black-and-white--will probably be the major attraction of this study of individualistic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick; but the text by French critic Ciment, often closely coordinated with the stills (e.g., demonstrating parallel imagery in different films), is a respectable example of serious academic oeuvre-analysis. Ciment starts off with a plain, compact summary of Kubrick's Bronx-Jewish background and early work (somewhat under-examined throughout), noting the lasting influence of his three non-movie enthusiasms: chess, photography, jazz. Then comes a consideration of the fabled Kubrick approach to the movie business--""ceaselessly experimenting yet prepared to play the commercial game,"" demanding total control, able to ""win over the public without sacrificing any of his ambitions."" Next: a long central essay on Kubrickian themes and motifs--fundamental pessimism, Oedipal family life, masks and gamesplaying--with a photo-enforced attempt to find consistency in the varied film output. And, after a follow-up essay concentrates on Fantasy (as allegory for ""the family drama which has always fascinated Kubrick"") in 2001 and The Shining, there are interviews: with Kubrick himself, on Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining (updated, revised versions of magazine-interviews published in 1972, 1974, and 1980); plus talks with Kubrick's producer, designer, cameraman, and publicity director--who neatly labels his boss a ""medieval craftsman."" Disorderly, frequently pedantic, but also agreeably eclectic--auteur-istic, psychoanalytic, historical, literary--in approach: a better-than-average slice of heavy-going film criticism, making this one lavishly illustrated movie-book that's more for students than fans.

Pub Date: June 10, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1983