Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an influential American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, and photographer, who lived in England during most of the last 40 years of his career.

Kubrick was noted for the scrupulous care with which he chose his subjects, his slow method of working, the variety of genres he worked in, his technical perfectionism and his reclusiveness about his films and personal life. He worked far beyond the confines of the Hollywood system, maintaining almost complete artistic control and making movies according to the whims and time constraints of no one but himself, but with the rare advantage of big-studio financial support for all his endeavors.

Confession: A few months ago I believed it was better to be “remarkable” rather than “perfect“. Upon reflection I’m recalibrating that statement.

One should set out to pursue creative endeavors that make something truly remarkable (which can be translated as valuable/brilliant/amazing).

All remaining effort goes into achieving perfection. It really has to be perfect to be truly remarkable, think about the real and true practical implications of that statement. Tonight’s dinner?

Will it be perfect or remarkable ? It’s an issue of perspective. A day trip to the vineyards in Napa could be remarkable, now and again, especially in the mountains, you stumble upon picture perfect weather conditions. One man’s perfect is another man’s remarkable. It’s a question of perspective.

Design for the War Room in ‘Dr Strangelove’

Design for the War Room in ‘Dr Strangelove’ Kenneth Adam (born 1921), UK, 1962

In ‘Dr Strangelove’, the concept for the War Room – the principal setting of this bitterly ironic film about the prospect of nuclear warfare – came from director Stanley Kubrick’s idea for a reinforced-concrete bomb shelter.

Production designer Kenneth Adam dramatised the space by using backlit maps, display boards and a huge circular baize-covered table, which turned defence planning into a poker game. Final concept drawing of felt-tip pen on card for ‘Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’, directed by Stanley Kubrick, 1964. Additional section to drawing, 1999 Sir Kenneth Adam, London

Kubrick said:

“As I tried to build the detail for a scene I found myself tossing away what seemed to me to be very truthful insights because I was afraid the audience would laugh. After a few weeks of this I realized that these incongruous bits of reality were closer to the truth than anything else I was able to imagine. After all, what could be more absurd than the very idea of two mega-powers willing to wipe out all human life because of an accident, spiced up by political differences that will seem as meaningless to people a hundred years from now as the theological conflicts of the Middle Ages appear to us today?”