Kubrick had taken flying lessons but by the mid sixties never flew again as he considered it “too dangerous”.
For his move to England he transported his possessions in 140 Boy Scout foot lockers.
He considered leaving the USA during the Cuban missile crisis and booked a boat trip to Australia with his family – but cancelled when he discovered he would have to share a bathroom with a neighbouring cabin.
Before moving to St Albans Kubrick lived in a large apartment on Central Park West.
2001 was shot at Elstree and during the filming Kubrick lived in a suite at the Dorchester Hotel.
Physics was the only course in high school in which he had gotten a decent grade.
Kubrick toyed with the idea of casting Jackie Mason (!) as the voice of HAL, although he may have been joking.
During one take of a scene when Keir Dullea (who played astronaut Dave Bowman) was talking to HAL he farted so loudly, it sounded like “a stupendous burst of machine gun fire”.
The interview was recorded on one of Kubrick’s tape recorders, upon which he did most of his screen writing.
When the film was first shown to the press and invited guests in New York Kubrick ran the projector himself and decided to cut around 17 minutes from this version.
The season continues over the next two weeks with the following films:
Day of the Fight (1951): An early documentary short about a day in the life of a middleweight Irish boxer named Walter Cartier and his fight with black middleweight Bobby James. (Saturday 15th July, 11.05pm)
Paths of Glory (1957): One of Kubrick’s early classics – a searing anti-war film about innocent French soldiers sentenced to death after taking the blame for the mistakes of their superiors. Kirk Douglas gives an excellent central performance as Colonel Dax, an officer trying to prevent the soldiers’ execution. Watch out too for a cameo near the end from the actress who whould become his wife Christiane Kubrick, then credited as ‘Christiane Harlan’. (Screens 17 July, 11:55am).
Flying Padre(1951): Another documentary short about two days in the life of a priest in New Mexico called Father Fred Stadtmuller whose spreads the word of God with the aid of a mono-plane. (Screens on Friday 18th July, 12.55pm in the afternoon)
Lolita (1962): Kubrick moved to England in the early 1960s to film this adaptation of Vladimir Nabakov’s novel and stayed here for the rest of his life. James Mason stars as Humbert Humbert, a middle aged professor obsessed with a precocious young girl. Although aspects of the novel had to be toned down for censorship reasons, it is still a work of considerable interest. (Screens Friday 18th July at 9pm).
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Kubrick’s adaptation of Arthur C Clarke‘s short story The Sentinel reimagined science fiction on film and inspired a generation of writers and directors. The story charts how a mysterious alien intelligence influences mankind from it’s earliest origins to a futuristic space mission involving two astronauts and an advanced computer named HAL 9000. The visual effects (overseen by Kubrick and engineered by Douglas Trumbull) are still dazzling and the use of classical music (especially Richard Strauss’sAlso sprach Zarathustra) is now inextricably linked with the film and it’s imagery. (Screens Saturday 19th July, 1.30pm)
Killer’s Kiss(1955): Kubrick’s second film is a short (only 67 mins), low budget film noir about a has-been boxer (Jamie Smith) who falls for a woman with a violent boyfriend. (Screens Monday 21st July, 11.30pm)
The Shining (1980): A remarkable and enduring adaptation Stephen King‘s novel about the winter caretaker (Jack Nicholson) of a remote hotel who slowly goes insane, endangering his wife (Shelley Duvall) and young son (Danny Lloyd). Although King was upset with Kubrick’s take on the material, there is much here to feast on, especially the meticulous production design, inventive sound editing and innovative visuals. It was the first time Kubrick used the Steadicam, which was invented by Garrett Brown – the cinematographer who achieved many of the remarkable tracking shots in the film. (Screens Friday 25th July, 9pm).
It is a great chance to catch up on the work of one of the most important directors in the history of cinema.