To put the legacy of Stanley Kubrick into perspective, he made 13 movies in 46 years. In about the same amount of time, though not the same years, Alfred Hitchcock – also considered one of the masters – made over 50 films, equally about one per year. Martin Scorsese is approaching roughly the same number as Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg is on a similar pace. Even international legends like Francois Truffaut, Akira Kurosawa and Sergei Eisenstein, who all made films less frequently than those men, were much busier than Kubrick. Yet, with only 13 films in about five decades, Stanley Kubrick’s name will always be spoken alongside those as a first ballot film hall of famer. One of the best of the best.
In 1996, a documentary called Stanley Kubrick: The Invisible Man attempted to put this mysterious, reclusive, but brilliant film director into perspective and you can now watch the entire thing online.
Thanks to The Behind the Scenes Blog for the heads up. We’ve embedded part one and you can watch the additional five parts (making six total and running about an hour) at that link.
While it’s sad that Kubrick made so few films before his passing in 1999, the plus side is – because there are so few - it’s easy to digest his entire body of work. At NYU I took a class on Kubrick and, in one semester, we watched 12 of his 13 films, missing only his first feature, the rare Fear and Desire.
Besides the obvious directorial shown in his editing, shooting and composition of shots, not to mention his ability to get incredible performances out of his actors and more, the one thing that always fascinated me about Kubrick was he never made the same film twice. It was almost as if he made a movie in one genre, mastered it, then moved along. He was like a video game player directing movies, always leveling up. “Oh, I defeated the World War II movie, let’s move onto the sword and sandal epic. Oh I beat that, let’s move on to the comedy, the sci-fi, the thriller, the horror” and so on.
Where you do rank Kubrick in your all time list?