How religious was Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick. life and work

Alexander Walker, a British film journalist who has published half a dozen fat star portraits from Elisabeth Taylor to Marlene Dietrich, was one of the few who let the shy cinema with a proverbial hatred of the film journalle at all. At the end of the 50s, when Kubrick was shooting his classic "Paths to Fame", but was still at the beginning of his career, Walker had met him for the first time, then pursued his projects with the zeal of a fan, occasionally procuring material for him and as a loyal journalistic companion published rave reviews and some of the few authorized interviews with his directorial idol. Last year, shortly after Kubrick's death, Walker hit the headlines because he was in a hurry to publish a review of "Eyes Wide Shut". He had already seen the film without the Warner Bros. bosses knowing.

You should know all this in order to classify Alexander Walker's book "Stanley Kubrick - Leben und Werk". It is the book of a fan who makes no secret of the pride in the friendship with the famous film director. But he doesn't worry about it either. Yet he is actually enough professional reporter in matters of cinema to survey the limited value of a loving eulogy. What is more, he lacks the rousing writing of a real cinephile of French style. Walkers only interprets dull, where love for the subject would give wings to an inspired essay. The most important films by Kubrick are retold meticulously and interpreted in a very single-track manner. Which leads to superficial sentences like: "2001: A Space Odyssey deserves recognition as an impressive cinematic masterpiece." The text goes back to interview fragments and the question "What attracted you to the topic of Uhrwerk Orange?" for example: "This is the story of a man in search of his identity. I don't want to appear presumptuous or sound moody, but I think that such questions can only result in an answer that is either just trying to sound interesting or is simply irrelevant. "

Stanley Kubrick's films mostly elude an exact description, after all, he has repeatedly admitted that he sees the film as an "extra-linguistic experience". The images, the movements, their interplay with the music and the assembly rhythms are what count when describing a film like "2001 - Odyssey in Space". In 1968, Kubrick hit the zeitgeist with this film, his frenzy of images and his psychedelic cosmology and finally conquered the black projection surface of space for the cinema. The only character with a "heart" in this coolly orchestrated philosophical film based on a novel by Arthur C. Clarke is the on-board computer "HAL", whose long death up to the last electronic breath is one of the unforgettable scenes in film history. The spaceman Dave turns it off chip by chip. It's like ripping out his heart.

Walker places the film "2001: in the center of an additional, albeit very short, chapter on color at Kubrick, which is also garnished with images from his last film" Eyes Wide Shut ". Otherwise there are large interpretative or narrative arcs in this book Walker prefers to shimmy from film to film and appends a very self-indulgent obituary - which he wrote for the Sunday Telegraph last year - as a personal closing remark, which, however, shows how Pablo Picasso once put a few stupid things in Cannes Film critics - Walker among them - duped. It has absolutely nothing to do with Stanley Kubrick. The thin ice on which Walker always moves on the verge of insignificance must have caught the eye of the editors of this volume, because you have the text collection around one Image analysis by Sybil Taylor and Ulrich Ruchti added, which leads parallel to Walker's experiments on Kubrick quite stimulating d through its stylistic universe. However, there is not much of it, because the black and white film images are poorly reproduced and mostly hide behind white veils and blurring, which the authors would have loved to prove.

The best image material is still available at "Uhrwerk Orange", with which Kubrick gained a reputation in 1971 for glorifying violence and which, when it was performed again a few weeks ago in London, rekindled the discussion from back then. Malcolm McDowell plays the leader of a youth gang who rape a woman in Singing in the Rain. Violence as a fascination, but also as part of human nature. If you eradicate them completely, that too leads to a totalitarian society.

The sardonic grin of the main character Alex returns in "Shining", Stanley Kubrick's gothic horror film shot in 1980 with Jack Nicholson as a writer in the creative crisis that a cursed house takes possession of. Blood spills out of the elevator, strange characters populate the hotel rooms and a floating camera transports the audience into the dark half of their subconscious. There is hardly a trace of this in Walker's film book, which all in all too seldom even rudiments into the strange cinema worlds of Stanley Kubrick. He was so close to what was probably the most important film director of the century, which ended shortly after his death and he never asked him the question: how did you do it? Only once, however, as Walker relates in his book, has he actually worked for Kubrick, without payment, of course. He designed fictional newspaper articles to illustrate the bloody history of the Overlook Hotel in "Shining". However, Kubrick dropped the planned sequence. Instead, the film now ends with the photo of a ball that, according to the caption, took place on July 4th, 1921. In the middle of the picture is Jack smiling. That can't be because he finally died in the scene before. But Jack Nicholson is grinning at us without a doubt.