We've all heard the rumors.He was a hermit. He refused to fly and wouldn't be driven at more than thirty miles an hour. He avoided having his picture taken and was terrified of being assassinated. As a filmmaker, he was obsessed with perfection. He ...
tion. He insisted on total control of every facet of the process. Simple scenes required one hundred takes. No wonder he made only six movies in the past thirty-five years.
But what was he really like?
For more than two years, Frederic Raphael collaborated closely with Stanley Kubrick on the screenplay of what was to be the director's final movie, Eyes Wide Shut. Over time, as his professional caution was replaced by a certain affection, Kubrick lowered his guard for Raphael as he never had with journalists or biographers, to reveal much about his early life in the cinema and of the reverses and humiliations he had to endure. They spoke for hours about a variety of subjects, from Julius Caesar to the Holocaust, from Kubrick's views about other directors to reminiscences of the many stars with whom both men had worked (or nearly worked)--Kirk Douglas, Audrey Hepburn, James Mason, Peter Sellers, Marisa Berenson, Sterling Hayden, Marlon Brando, and Gregory Peck.
Here, with his own distinctly cinematic style, Raphael chronicles their often fiery exchanges, capturing Kubrick's voice as no one else could. Disdaining false veneration, he opens our eyes to the mind and art of a truly complex and hitherto elusive twentieth-century genius.