Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Venice Review: Tom McCarthy's 'Spotlight' With Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber & Stanley Tucci Venice Review: Tom McCarthy's 'Spotlight' With Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber & Stanley Tucci Watch: Amazing First Trailer For Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster' With Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz Watch: Amazing First Trailer For Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster' With Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival On The Rise 2015: 20 Screenwriters To Watch On The Rise 2015: 20 Screenwriters To Watch Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction'

Listen: Rare 76-Minute Interview With Stanley Kubrick About His Start In Films, Nuclear War & Chess Strategies

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist December 16, 2013 at 1:40PM

To call the output, both realized and unmade, of Stanley Kubrick “vast” still somehow seems inexact, with every year since the filmmaker’s death in 1999 unearthing new scraps of information on discarded projects. And yet, as some of those ventures are now finding life in different forms (including an HBO miniseries of “Napoleon” with Baz Luhrmann in the mix to direct), it’s easy to forget the wry humor and personality of the man himself. Interviews with Kubrick are a rare occurrence, but now, through Kubrick’s love of chess, the stage was set for perhaps the most extensive and wide-ranging interview ever conducted with the director.
3
Stanley Kubrick

To call the output, both realized and unmade, of Stanley Kubrick “vast” still somehow seems inexact, with every year since the filmmaker’s death in 1999 unearthing new scraps of information on discarded projects. And yet, as some of those ventures are now finding life in different forms (including an HBO miniseries of “Napoleon” with Baz Luhrmann in the mix to direct), it’s easy to forget the wry humor and personality of the man himself. Interviews with Kubrick are a rare occurrence, but now, through Kubrick’s love of chess, the stage was set for perhaps the most extensive and wide-ranging interview ever conducted with the director.

It was a matter of mutual appreciation that led author and physicist Jeremy Bernstein to first meet Kubrick in 1965, when The New Yorker sent him to interview the then 37-year-old director. Bernstein wrote a positive piece in the magazine on science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, and was then Clarke himself recommended that he talk to Kubrick. Bernstein and Kubrick met in the director’s Central Park apartment. Both men soon discovered that the other was a chess aficionado and soon a friendship was born , one which would later lead Bernstein to Oxford, where Kubrick was shooting “2001: A Space Odyssey,” or “Son of Strangelove” as it was amusingly codenamed at the time.

Bernstein recorded these meetings, and the result, a 76-minute audio interview with Kubrick (via No Film School), is a compelling, informal, and hugely informative look into the director’s life. He covers his early films’ origins from script to screen, but also space travel, chess, and the nuclear bomb, which he calls “as abstract as the fact that we are all going to die someday, which we usually do an excellent job of denying.”

Check out the full interview below, and also read Bernstein’s recollections of the meeting on the NYRB blog.

This article is related to: Stanley Kubrick


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates