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10-DISC SET CAPTURES THE SPIRIT AND GENIUS OF STANLEY KUBRICK
October 21, 2007 — To perfectly capture the quality of French soil, Stanley Kubrick brought actual samples of earth home with him for screen tests. But that level of obsessive preparation is what you would expect from a great director prepping “Napoleon,” a biopic starring Jack Nicholson in the title role.
Unfortunately, that movie never got made. But you’ll hear about it in the many hours of extras included in “Warner Director’s Series: Stanley Kubrick.”
The 10-DVD set features remastered and mostly widescreen versions of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Shining,” “Full Metal Jacket” and “Eyes Wide Shut,” as well as a documentary called “Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures.” “Full Metal Jacket” is the only film without a complete second disc of extras.
The treasures to be found here are both trivial and grand, including lots of from-the-set tidbits. While filming “A Clockwork Orange,” for example, star Malcolm McDowell tells how, when preparing to shoot the horrific “Singing in the Rain” attack scene, Adrienne Corri – the actress he would soon brutalize on camera – approached him and said, “Well, Malcolm, now you’re gonna find out that I’m a real redhead.”
On “The Shining” disc, we get a behind-the-scenes doc that shows Nicholson getting into character by bouncing around the set swinging an ax, mumbling, “Ax murderer, kill!”
We learn that the grand opening of “2001” was actually crafted from still photographs, and that Kubrick directed the photographers by phone using the coordinates on a map because of his paralyzing fear of flying.
We also get an in-depth glimpse of the man himself, with a gallery of pictures he took for Look magazine while still in high school.
Directors who worked with, and were inspired by, Kubrick – Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Sydney Pollack and others – extoll his achievements, as if confirming that film may never gotten where it is today without the vision of this very private man from The Bronx.
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