Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Master Pushing the Boundaries: How Kubrick's Brilliance Is Seen from All Angles

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Master Pushing the Boundaries: How Kubrick's Brilliance Is Seen from All Angles

Article excerpt

Byline: David Sexton The Viewer

The Directors: Stanley Kubrick Sky Arts, 8pm ARTS documentaries don't need to be arty themselves indeed, they'd better not be. So welcome back to The Directors, the Sky Arts film strand, admirably four-square in its approach, which starts a second series tonight.

The format couldn't be simpler a straightforward chronological runthrough of the career of a film-maker, showing clips of his films, introduced by a handful of alternating critics, expressing enthusiasm mostly. In an hour there's hardly time for reservations nor any call for them, since it's hard enough to get helpful, informative programmes about the arts such as this made and broadcast, even making the greatest possible claims for their subjects, let alone questioning their status. As it is, the show functions nicely as a brisk anthology of Kubrick teeing you up for the screening of 2001 that follows on Sky Arts at 9pm tonight.

Stanley Kubrick, born in New York in 1928, began his career as a still photographer. He made 13 feature films, starting with Fear and Desire in 1953 and reaching Hollywood big-time with the preposterous Kirk Douglas epic, Spartacus, in 1960. After that, he moved to Britain: Lolita followed in 1962, Dr Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, in 1963, and 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968.

By this time, each of Kubrick's films was a major cultural event. Five more followed: A Clockwork Orange in 1971; Barry Lyndon in 1975; The Shining, his best work, thanks to the horrid vivacity of Jack Nicholson, even though Stephen King turned against it, in 1980; Full Metal Jacket in 1987; and then, finally, after a long hiatus, the unfortunate Eyes Wide Shut in 1999. Six days after a private screening of the final cut, he died of a heart attack, aged 70.

The critics guiding us through this memorable sequence are veterans of this paper, Derek Malcolm and Neil Norman, plus reviewer Stephen Armstrong and the fluent Ian Nathan of Empire magazine, these four white men being ably led by the cultural commentator Bonnie Greer, who seems notably well informed about the history of Kubrick's work. …

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