Stanley Kubrick's Boxes

2008, Media  -  48 min Leave a Comment
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One of the most highly revered figures in the history of cinema, Stanley Kubrick was as enigmatic and fascinating as his movies. His obsessive working methods and general reclusiveness from press or public scrutiny only worked to deepen his legend. It also left him vulnerable to wild speculation, tall tales and rumor. In the aftermath of his passing in 1999, filmmaker Jon Ronson received an invitation to the Kubrick Estate in England where he was given the freedom to explore the private side of this genius. The results of his journey are on display in the documentary short titled Stanley Kubrick's Boxes.

Evidence of Kubrick's pack rat mentality becomes evident from the moment Ronson steps through the areas where he lived and worked. Storage units on the property are crowded with over a thousand boxes from floor to ceiling. With guidance from Kubrick's long-time personal assistant Tony Frewin and permissions from his widow Christiane, Ronson explores the contents of these boxes and uncovers a treasure trove of research materials, on-set mementos, and eccentrically conceived personal correspondences.

Each box contains the building blocks to a cinematic legacy unparalleled in the history of the art form. Hundreds of research photographs portray the exteriors of residential buildings throughout New York City, a massive undertaking conducted during the pre-production phase of Kubrick's final film Eyes Wide Shut. Dozens of never-before-released film reels contain highly coveted behind-the-scenes footage shot by Kubrick's daughter Vivian from the set of Full Metal Jacket.

Stacks of fan letters and critical reviews expose a keen interest in determining how his films were received by the outside world. Periodicals on the life and career of Napoleon - collected over the course of many years for an unrealized film project - probably constitute the largest single library of such materials in the world.

Items and communications of a more personal nature reveal a man with an insatiable curiosity for all things, and one who found the art in his everyday approach to life as well as work. Stanley Kubrick's Boxes is a cinephile's dream, and an entirely unique exploration of one of the most significant artists of our time.