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  • Stanley Kubrick

  • American Filmmaker (Jewish Lives Series)
  • By: David Mikics
  • Narrated by: Steven Jay Cohen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Stanley Kubrick

By: David Mikics
Narrated by: Steven Jay Cohen
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Summary

Stanley Kubrick revolutionized Hollywood with movies like Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange, and electrified audiences with The Shining and Full Metal Jacket. David Mikics takes listeners on a deep dive into Kubrick's life and work, illustrating his intense commitment to each of his films. 

Kubrick grew up in the Bronx, a doctor's son. From a young age he was consumed by photography, chess, and, above all else, movies. He was a self-taught filmmaker and self-proclaimed outsider, and his films exist in a unique world of their own outside the Hollywood mainstream. Kubrick's Jewishness played a crucial role in his idea of himself as outsider. Obsessed with rebellion against authority, war, and male violence, Kubrick was himself a calm, coolly masterful creator and a talkative, ever-curious polymath immersed in friends and family. 

Drawing on interviews and new archival material, Mikics for the first time explores the personal side of Kubrick's films.

©2020 David Mikics (P)2020 Tantor

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  • Christopher B. Murray
  • 23-09-20

Brief but Satisfying Analysis of Kubrick's Work

While this book is informative, it is primarily an analysis of Kubrick's films, individually and together. Mikics has read all of the Kubrick books and watched the documentaries (and done much more research besides), and he delivers relevant information about the making of the films, but he focuses on drilling down to figure out what the films are really about. Mikics—obviously a Kubrick fan—takes each film seriously as an encapsulation of the filmmaker's view of life. His style is neither dry nor full of jargon—it is, rather, engaged and compelling throughout. He discusses projects Kubrick started but never finished, including a film I'd never heard of called "Burning Secret." But mostly, he analyzes the films Kubrick did make. And though I've seen most of them many times, I found that Mikics made me see familiar details and scenes in a new way. Perhaps most interestingly, he uncovers themes threaded through all of Kubrick's films. He closes the book by considering how the filmmaker tried to address unanswered questions in his final work, "Eyes Wide Shut." This book takes Kubrick's work seriously, but it does so with verve and intelligence. It's a pleasure from beginning to end.

As for Stephen Jay Cohen's performance, he pauses too long and dramatically when reading the dialogue from a few Kubrick scenes; however, his performance is otherwise excellent.

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  • D. Zachary
  • 09-10-20

Terrible narration

I adore Kubrick. The Shining is one of my favorite movies. No offense to David Mikics, but it sounds as if he’s reading a dinner menu. Truly snooze-worthy. Terrible performance. What a shame.