For decades, the films of Stanley Kubrick have staked out a claim at the core of the cultural landscape. In the 1950s he was one of the few American filmmakers, with Paths of Glory, to achieve the gravitas of European cinema. To 1960s audiences he was the man who made Dr. Strangelove, the influential anti-war movie, and the counterculture favorite 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the 1970s he created his hymn to urban violence, A Clockwork Orange, and in the 1980s distilled the nature of private madness and collective insanity in The Shining and Full Metal Jacket.Yet little is still known of the man and the influence exerted by his private life on his public art. Born in the Bronx, Kubrick has lived since 1961 in seclusion in rural England. From in-depth interviews with a range of people who have known the man best, from his childhood to the present, John Baxter has extracted the most complete account available of Kubrick's life: the conflicts with partners and stars, the failure to make Napoleon, the failed marriages and broken friendships, the use and abuse of writers and other creative collaborators.Kubrick emerges from this detailed and complex telling as a man both sensitive and ruthless, petulant and generous: a man who adulates reason but whose films reflect the wildest excesses of passion and who, above all, has dared to live life on his terms, whatever the price.
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