• Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes (2008) - Jon Ronson

     If the devil is in the details, then Stanley Kubrick had a fruitful pact with Mephistopheles, judging by “Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes.” Left-of-field docu by confessed fan Jon Ronson reveals yet another of the mythomaniac director’s eccentricities: a huge collection of cardboard boxes in which he saved every memo, fan letter and piece of production trivia, mostly from “2001: A Space Odyssey” on. Packed with some new, and some familiar, insights into Kubrick’s meticulous, obsessive mind, and revealing a very human side of the reclusive helmer … Docu aired, under the “True Stories” docu strand, as part of an extensive tribute to the late helmer by U.K. digi-web More4, part of Channel 4, in July. (Derek Elley, Variety, August 2008)


    “Most importantly, the 48-minute film reminds us of the tremendous amount of work that went into each of his films; to name a few examples, thirty thousand location photos were preliminarily collected for Eyes Wide Shut, while Kubrick tested an innumerable number of hats before settling on the one Alex would wear in A Clockwork Orange. The details that formed his masterworks should not be overlooked” … (Zade Constantine, Thefilmstage.com, January 2014)

    “Fan letters to Kubrick were immaculately filed according to geographical origin; crank letters are separated from the rest … Ronson tells us that as the gap between Kubrick’s films grew wider .. the amount of sheer stuff grew more vast. Partly, we’re told, this was due to Kubrick’s increasing difficulty finding a story he wanted to tell. (Several years of research went into his unmade Holocaust project Wartime Lies, and Kubrick accumulated massive data on Napoleon for that unmade film.)

    3040136 … his first couple of features (Fear and Desire and Killer’s Kiss, neither of which pleased him) inoculated him against fast, cheap efforts, and I think his experience on Spartacus forever doomed him to need demand absolute control over everything, from the years of research (the hundreds of photos snapped of London streets for Eyes Wide Shut, when there’s maybe ten minutes’ worth of exterior footage in the entire film, all of it shot on a studio lot) to the micromanagement of newspaper ads (this ad is a few millimeters smaller than it’s supposed to be; let’s get on the phone and find out why) …



    … The dead may only know one thing, but the insatiably curious Kubrick wanted to know everything before he could only know one thing. My suspicion is that, as Kubrick got older, he didn’t do research so that he could make movies; he made movies (or ended up not making them) so that he could do research. The proof is in all those boxes. (Rob Gonsalves, efilmcritic.com, May 2009)



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