Stanley Kubrick

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The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment.

Stanley Kubrick (26 July 19287 March 1999) was an American film director born in The Bronx, New York City who lived most of his life in England. He is widely recognized as one of the most significant movie directors of the 20th Century.

See also: Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut.

Quotes[edit]

I don't like doing interviews. There is always the problem of being misquoted or, what's even worse, of being quoted exactly.
The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed.
There's something in the human personality which resents things that are clear, and conversely, something which is attracted to puzzles, enigmas, and allegories.
I have always enjoyed dealing with a slightly surrealistic situation and presenting it in a realistic manner.
  • The first really important book I read about filmmaking was The Film Technique by Pudovkin. This was some time before I had ever touched a movie camera and it opened my eyes to cutting and montage.
    • Interviewed by Charles Reynolds, Popular Photography (1960)
  • When I made my first film, I think the thing was probably helped me the most was that it was such an unusual thing to do in the early 50s for someone who actually go and make a film. People thought it was impossible. It really is terribly easy. All anybody needs is a camera, a tape recorder, and some imagination.
    • Interviewed by Charles Kohler, East Village Eye (1968)
  • The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
  • If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space? ...
    Those of us who are forced by their own sensibilities to view their lives in this perspective — who recognize that there is no purpose they can comprehend and that amidst a countless myriad of stars their existence goes unknown and unchronicled — can fall prey all too easily to the ultimate anomie. ... The world's religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache ... This shattering recognition of our mortality is at the root of far more mental illness than I suspect even psychiatrists are aware.
    • Interviewed by Eric Nordern, Playboy (September 1968)
  • I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.
    • Quoted in Stanley Kubrick at Look Magazine (2013) by Phillipe Mather, p.46
  • You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it’s really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas.
    • Newsweek (26 May 1980)
  • The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed.
    • Quoted in Halliwell's Filmgoer's and Video Viewer's Companion (1988), p. 403
  • Anyone who has ever been privileged to direct a film also knows that, although it can be like trying to write War and Peace in a bumper car in an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not many joys in life that can equal the feeling.
    • Video acceptance speech of the D.W. Griffiths Lifetime Achievement Award (1999) - video and transcript
  • One man writes a novel. One man writes a symphony. It is essential that one man make a film.
    • Quoted in The Edmonton Journal (8 March 1999), C3
  • Never, ever go near power. Don't become friends with anyone who has real power. It's dangerous.
    • Quoted in "After Stanley Kubrick" (10 August 2010), an interview to his wife Christiane Kubrick by The Guradian
  • Think [Schindler's List] was about the Holocaust?... That was about success, wasn’t it? The Holocaust is about six million people who get killed. ‘'Schindler’s List’' is about 600 who don’t. Anything else?
    • Quoted in Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick (1999) by Frederic Raphael, p.107
  • There's something in the human personality which resents things that are clear, and conversely, something which is attracted to puzzles, enigmas, and allegories.
    • Quoted in Kubrick : Inside a Film Artist's Maze (2000) by Thomas Allen Nelson, p.10
  • I have always enjoyed dealing with a slightly surrealistic situation and presenting it in a realistic manner. I've always liked fairy tales and myths, magical stories. I think they are somehow closer to the sense of reality one feels today than the equally stylized "realistic" story in which a great deal of selectivity and omission has to occur in order to preserve its "realist" style.
    • Quoted in Kubrick : Inside a Film Artist's Maze (2000) by Thomas Allen Nelson, p.14
  • Include utter banalities.
    • Notebook regarding Full Metal Jacket, quoted in movie Stanley Kubrick's Boxes (2008) by Jon Ronson

Quotes about Kubrick[edit]

It’s almost like Picasso in that he mastered so many different genres. ~ Gary Ross

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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