Ranging from cold-blooded film noir to apocalyptic satire, the Stanley Kubrick films in our collection highlight the master in his first decade as a director, a period that showcased the thematic versatility and technical mastery that would come to define his oeuvre. On what would have been his eighty-eighth birthday, we’re celebrating the iconic filmmaker with a selection of essays, photos, and videos from our releases.
First, read Haden Guest on Kubrick’s third feature film, The Killing, which the director made when he was only twenty-eight years old. This taut 1956 noir was “remarkable for boldly announcing so many of the stylistic and thematic preoccupations that would become important constants of his cinema.”
Also, Chuck Stephens celebrates The Killing’s stellar cast, which assembles “Hollywood’s brightest galaxies of second- and third-rung heroes” into “a finely calibrated machine of mirth and menace.”
Read James Naremore on the gripping 1957 antiwar drama Paths of Glory,a film “strongly marked by what came to be known as Kubrick’s style and favored themes: a mesmerizing deployment of wide-angle tracking shots and long takes, an ability to make a realistic world seem strange, an interest in the grotesque, and a fascination with the underlying irrationality of supposedly rational planning.”
Below, peruse a gallery of photos that capture Kubrick at work on the set of Paths of Glory:
Next, enjoy Terry Southern’s “Notes From the War Room,” a detailed personal account of his experience working with Kubrick on the pitch-black 1964 satirical masterpiece Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
Finally, art director Eric Skillman offers a peek inside the process of designing our Dr. Strangelove release. Watch the packaging come to life in the below video:
“The John Alcott video essay was excellent! His contributions to A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon are a big reason why those two are favorites of mine. I was never aware he worked on Beastmaster . . .”
“Was there really a murder? It is interesting to follow the blow-up process closely: the more the pictures get enlarged, the more detail appears. Even when he takes a picture of an enlarged print . . .”