Stanley Kubrick Biography Essay

Submitted By naszamax
Words: 1187
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David Winn
3/18/13
English period 2
Inquiry biography

Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and editor, who was born on July 26, 1928 in the Bronx, New York City. He is considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and is famous for the films 2001: A Space Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, The Shinning, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, and Dr. Strangelove. His films consisted of inspiring use of music scores and dazzling artistic cinematography. However, he was infamously known for being a perfectionist; during the filming of The Shining he made Shelly Duvall retake a scene 127 times. Early in his life, Stanley’s main influence in becoming a filmmaker was his father, a doctor, who had given Stanley a Graflex camera. When he was still in his teens, Stanley’s interest in photography led to being enrolled as a staff photographer with the Look magazine, and he never finished school. Nevertheless, he was later admitted into Columbia University due to his father’s concern with Stanley’s failure to do well in school. At the university he studied the literature under Lionel Trilling and Mark Van Doren. Since his father taught him how to play the game of chess, Stanley earned his money on the university grounds through chess games which would become his main source of fincancing his future films, and one of his lifelong obsessions that would appear as a major aspect in many scenes in his films. (New York Times, March 8, 1999,) After gaining enough money, Kubrick began filming a 16-minute short called Day of the fight, which was released by RKO in 1951. He later quit his job at Look magazine and pursued to continue his dream as a filmmaker and he then made a 30-minute documentary called, The Seafarer which was released 2 years after Day of the Fight. After raising an average sum of $13,000 from his friends and relatives, Stanley was able to shoot his first feature film, Fear and Desire, an imaginative new (for its time) War film about a group of soldier’s caught behind enemy lines during a fictional war. For this project, he acted as scriptwriter, director, camera operator, and film editor. His next picture, Killer's Kiss, 1955, was a similar low-budget affair that he wrote about a boxer who saves a young woman from a gangster. In 1956, Kubrick set out for Hollywood, where he joined producer James B. Harris and created his first big studio film, The Killing, about a robbery that goes awry at a racetrack. This effort, starring veteran actors Sterling Hayden and Elisha Cook, was noted for its excellent direction and performances, although its commercial success was limited. Following this, Kubrick, before age 30, was known by critics as one of America's premier filmmakers with 1957's drama set during the First World War, Paths of Glory. However, the film did not create a stir at the box office.When Kubrick was asked to replace director Anthony Mann on the production of Spartacus, he achieved his first great popular success. The big-budget 1960 film starred Kirk Douglas--who had also starred in Paths of Glory--as the leader of a slave uprising during the Roman empire. Shortly after this, Kubrick relocated to England so that he could exercise complete creative control over his films, which he felt was not possible in Hollywood. He even handled the marketing and distribution himself. His next film, Lolita, was an adaptation of the Vladimir Nabokov novel about a relationship between an adult man and a 14-year old girl. With the 1964 nuclear-age dark political satire Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Kubrick sealed his reputation. The film starred George C. Scott, Peter Sellars, and Slim Pickens each playing a number of roles, and it became a commercial hit that enjoyed longstanding success. It brought Kubrick Academy Award nominations for co-author, director, and producer. Following this, he worked for years on the science…