Doku: Stanley Kubricks Boxes

Überfaszinierende Dokumentation über die Hinterlassenschaft Kubricks: tausende (!) Kisten mit tausenden Fotos, Briefen, Notizen, Zeitungsausschnitten, penibel sortiert. 50 Minuten im Gehirn von Stanley Kubrick, wunderbar!

Twelve years ago author and documentary filmmaker Jon Ronson received a call from a man named Tony. Tony was interested in obtaining a copy of a documentary Ronson did about the Holocaust for his employer, whose name he did not wish to reveal. After some cajoling Ronson finally extracted the gentleman’s name. Turns out it was Stanley Kubrick.

That was the last Ronson heard until a few years after the legendary director’s death when Tony called and asked if he would like to come poke around Kubrick’s mansion. What Ronson found there was a cinemaphile’s wet dream: thousands of boxes containing thousands of meticulously organized photos, memos, and letters, years of Kubrick’s career minutely categorized and filed. Ronson would spend five years sifting through them before they were carted off to their new home at the University of the Arts London.

What emerges is a portrait of a man who, to the outside observer, seems as if he was imprisoned by his obsessive need to manage all aspects of his work, a man who approached film with a watchmaker’s precision. Here are hundreds of pictures of doorways in London for his film Eyes Wide Shut, photos of the actors in A Clockwork Orange wearing dozens of different hats, towering stacks of newspaper ads which he measured to make sure he wasn’t being cheated out of a few millimeters, and footage of him, shot by his daughter, on the set of Full Metal Jacket directing the cast on the cadence of their genital fondling.

It’s a fascinating look into the life of possibly my favorite director and is tinged with a hint of melancholy. At one point Tony chuckles “By their memos ye shall know them,” and it strikes me as a quite sapient statement. In the end, after all is said and done, the most accurate portrait of Kubrick may, indeed, be found in boxes.