Ed Driscoll

Beyond The Infinite

Taschen was gracious enough to send me a review copy of their new book The Stanley Kubrick Archives. I’ll have a detailed review online in the not too distant future, but in the meantime, you can get a sense of it from the Taschen Website, as well as this Newsweek piece.

It’s a physically huge book–19 x 13 inches in size, and three inches thick. Amazon describes its shipping weight as being nearly 15 pounds and that sounds just about right. In other words, this isn’t a book you casually carry into the smallest room of your house, if you know what I mean.

Along with 544 pages containing thousands of photographs–many never before seen–there’s a six inch long 70mm clip of frames from 2001, and more interesting, a DVD-ROM with an audio recording of Kubrick done for a 1966 New Yorker interviewer (portions of which were excerpted in Jerome Agel’s McLuhanesque The Making of 2001 from 1968). By time I became a fan of his work, Kubrick had grown his thick famous beard, which along with his piercing stare, gave him a powerful, somewhat menacing look. It’s difficult to reconcile that visual image with the thin, slightly nasal Bronx voice on the DVD-ROM. (If you can recall Peter Sellers’ Stevenson-spoofing President Muffley in Dr. Strangelove, he sounds very much like he’s doing a slightly less Bronxian impersonation of Kubrick–certainly a similar timbre at least.)

But who cares what he sounded like? The man was a staggering filmmaker, and this book will be a feast to his many fans. Much more on it later.

Update: Review’s now online, at Blogcritics.