Stanley Kubrick, the relentless perfectionist who directed some of cinema’s greatest classics, was so sensitive to criticism that, in 1970, he threatened legal action to block publication of a book which dared to discuss flaws in his films.

The director of Spartacus and 2001: A Space Odyssey, warned the book’s author and publisher that he would fight “tooth and nail” and “use every legal means at his disposal” to prevent its publication – and he did.

Now, 25 years after his death, the book Kubrick did not want anyone to read is being published, more than half a century late.

The Magic Eye: The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick by Neil Hornick now has three prefaces reflecting its subject’s ruthlessness in trying to block publication and control his image.

Hornick, now 84, from London, said Kubrick’s legal threats had come as a shock: “I regard it as a painful episode.”

  • Stern
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    1222 months ago

    A well regarded artistic mind being kind of a piece of shit? I am shocked! I’m just thankful personal favorites of mine like Orson Scott Card, J.K. Rowling, and H.P. Lovecraft are fine, upstanding individuals who’ve dodged controversy at every turn.

    Wait hold on… He’s a massive homophobe? She said what? He named his cat that?

    Oh… well… umm… lovely weather we’re having huh?

    • @[email protected]
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      662 months ago

      That’s the nice thing about being a Terry Pratchett fan. The more I learn about him, the more I love him.

    • Flying Squid
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      512 months ago

      To be fair, the name of Lovecraft’s cat was the tip of the iceberg when it came to him. I love the world building he did, but it’s kind of hard to read a lot of his stories filled with big-lipped, dark savages. On the other hand, with Lovecraft, it seemed less a case of “white people are superior” and more a case of “all of humanity deserves to be thrown into the hellbeast pit, but white people should be thrown in last,” which is… still racist, but I guess not supremacist exactly?

      Apparently his Jewish wife occasionally had to remind him who he married when he would go off on an antisemitic tirade, which I find quite amusing.

      • @masquenox
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        262 months ago

        Nope. Lovecraft was about as white supremacist as it gets - he literally excused lynchings of black folks and the KKK’s terrorism because, supposedly, white people had to resort to “extra-legal measures” to protect themselves from (supposed) “mongrelisation.”

        Ie, just your bog-standard white supremacism on a stick.

      • @[email protected]
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        62 months ago

        What I really love about Lovecraft was how inclusionary the community around the Cthulhu mythos has become.

      • @QuarterSwede
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        -82 months ago

        That’s a lot of deflection of personal self hate.

    • 🇰 🔵 🇱 🇦 🇳 🇦 🇰 ℹ️
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      252 months ago

      I remember reading a biography (autobiography maybe; forget who actually wrote it) on HP Lovecraft where it mentioned his cats name and I thought “well he was from the 1800’s so product of the time…” and then find out the dude was so racist, the KKK kicked him out.

    • @Dkarma
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      192 months ago

      So glad someone is calling out card here.

      Orson Scott card is a pile of shit.

      • @Furedadmins
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        122 months ago

        And his work is shit. I have no idea why so many adults think that young adult level writing and storytelling is the work of a master.

        • borari
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          112 months ago

          Yeah I thought Enders Game was the best book ever when I read it in like 4th or 5th grade. I read through the whole series of books over the next few years and enjoyed them at the time. I went back to read Enders Game as an adult and realized I just really enjoyed the wish fulfillment in reading about a bullied kid smashing the bullies face in then running shit. You’re right, it’s a pretty basic book and I have no idea why any adult would hold it or Card up as anything but basic. The only good thing I have to say about it as an adult is that it helped ignite my love of science fiction.

        • @RememberTheApollo_
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          82 months ago

          Tbf the first books of misunderstood child prodigy messiah in a sci fi setting were pretty good. The lack of much deviation for everything following sucked. Then there’s his politics…

          • @Furedadmins
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            42 months ago

            Enders game is pretty simplistic outcast juvenile wish fulfillment. If you read it as a kid I am sure it seemed more than space Harry potter but meh. I don’t know how it could be more pandering without a committee of child psychologists helping write it.

        • @braxy29
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          42 months ago

          i don’t particularly recall that it was intended for young adults at the time. it was just genre fiction.

      • @braxy29
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        92 months ago

        i figure, if you dig far enough into most any creator, you are more likely to find an asshole than not. the effect increases with increasing remove (ie they lived a long time ago).

        i don’t say this to excuse what’s problematic, but i believe bad people can make good art, and also that most people aren’t angels.

        • @[email protected]
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          92 months ago

          Yeah I try not to judge. But when there’s patterns of behavior and abuse I’m done. Note the word patterns.

          Everyone has isolated fuck ups on their past that’s just part of being human. But when people are consistently assholes and show no remorse, why would I give them my support?

          Other people can appreciate their art if they want. I’m not making it an ethical argument for everybody else. It just feels icky to me. So I don’t enjoy it. So I don’t consume it.

          • @braxy29
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            62 months ago

            i will confess, i find it harder to like Frank Lloyd Wright and Picasso than i used to. i suppose this is the meaning of “never meet your heroes.” they very often disappoint; sometimes you might never see their work the same way.

  • @[email protected]
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    632 months ago

    I love his movies and he was definitely a genius director, but man, was he a gigantic asshole…

    • Flying Squid
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      2 months ago

      A total monster. The way he treated Shelly Duvall on the set of The Shining was inexcusable. I absolutely love his films, but he was a very bad man.

      • @CitizenKong
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        232 months ago

        He also called Stephen King at 3 in the morning, asked him stupid questions about his book and then hung up on him without even saying goodbye.

        • Flying Squid
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          472 months ago

          I’d say that’s the least of his crimes when it came to The Shining. He gave Duvall a nervous breakdown and her hair started falling out.

          • @ours
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            42 months ago

            And King was probably up on cocaine anyway.

      • @ArtVandelay
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        182 months ago

        Yep, I have to go watch Popeye so I can see her happy again

  • Flying Squid
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    282 months ago

    Stanley Kubrick is my favorite director of all time. I consider Barry Lyndon such high art that if you could frame it, it would belong in the Louvre. But he was entirely about managing everything about his films and his life to precise detail, so it doesn’t surprise me that he canceled a book that had criticisms he didn’t care for.

    Really, most unvarnished truths about Kubrick were only ever going to come out after his death when his correspondence could be studied and people could be interviewed with proper hindsight.

    • @[email protected]
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      2 months ago

      I liked his stuff until I actually read the Shining and realized what a heartless shit he is. He turned a (believe it or not) heartfelt story into Hollywood murder porn and abused Shelly Duvall in the process. I get why Stephen King couldn’t stand the guy.

      • Flying Squid
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        272 months ago

        There are so many absolutely horrible movie directors that make amazing movies that you’d probably never see half the greatest films of all time if you avoided them all. Hitchcock was a rapist. Polanski raped a child. John Landis killed an adult and two children to get a good shot. We won’t even go into Woody Allen. Fucking John Lasseter was a sexual harasser. And that’s just a small sampling.

        • @[email protected]
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          122 months ago

          Yet I still quit listening to Lizzo because she turned out to be a piece of shit. Plenty of other great artists that don’t treat their staff like shit.

          • @[email protected]
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            82 months ago

            I feel the same about aerosmith. When I actually read the lyrics to most of Aerosmiths songs, it became a question of how the fuck is Steven Tyler not in prison. Half their songs are about how much they want to have sex with minors.

            • @AngryCommieKender
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              2 months ago

              Blues Traveler answered your question with a whole song back in the 90s:

              It doesn’t matter what I say

              So long as I sing with inflection

              That makes you feel I’ll convey

              Some inner truth or vast reflection

              But I’ve said nothing so far

              And I can keep it up for as long as it takes

              And it don’t matter who you are

              If I’m doing my job, it’s your resolve that breaks

              Because the hook brings you back

              I ain’t tellin’ you no lie

              The hook brings you back

              On that you can rely

              There is something amiss

              I am being insincere

              In fact I don’t mean any of this

              Still my confession draws you near

              To confuse the issue I refer

              To familiar heroes from long ago

              No matter how much Peter loved her

              What made the Pan refuse to grow

              Was that hook brings you back

              I ain’t tellin’ you no lie

              The hook brings you back

              On that you can rely

              Suck it in, suck it in, suck it in, if you’re Rin Tin Tin or Anne Boleyn

              Make a desperate move or else you’ll win and then begin to see

              What you’re doing to me, this MTV is not for free

              It’s so PC it’s killing me, so desperately I sing to thee of love

              Sure, but also of rage and hate and pain and fear of self

              And I can’t keep these feelings on the shelf

              I’ve tried, well, no, in fact I lied

              Could be financial suicide, but I’ve got too much pride inside

              To hide or slide, I’ll do as I’ll decide and let it ride until I’ve died

              And only then shall I abide this tide

              Of catchy little tunes of hip three minute diddys

              I wanna bust all your balloons

              I wanna burn all your cities to the ground

              I’ve found I will not mess around unless I play then hey

              I will go on all day, hear what I say

              I have a prayer to pray that’s really all this was

              And when I’m feeling stuck and need a buck

              I don’t rely on luck because

              The hook brings you back

              I ain’t tellin’ you no lie

              The hook

              On that you can rely

              TL:DR dude went on a 3.5 minute rant about how no one listens to the lyrics, hit the top 10 in the US with said song, and was totally correct that no one would know what the song was even about.

              • @dogslayeggs
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                22 months ago

                I contend the only reason that song hit top 10 was because that Rin Tin Tin line. Everyone is a sucker for a good dog story.

          • Flying Squid
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            42 months ago

            I don’t know that Lizzo is comparable to Alfred Hitchcock.

            • @[email protected]
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              92 months ago

              They both turned out to be creeps. I don’t need to know much more about their art. Art comes from the heart so if your heart is creepy I don’t really give a shit about your art right

        • @ChunkMcHorkle
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          2 months ago

          Polanski raped a child.

          Multiple children. A number of other now adult women have later accused Polanski of raping them when they were teenagers. Right now he’s back in legal trouble right now for another, earlier victim that has now come forward. Not sure what it will accomplish as it’s a civil trial, he doesn’t have to come back for it, but at least this accuser will get her day in court, and if she wins she can garnish/levy any US assets he may hold or generate.

          And Woody Allen . . . DELETED because I will not give pedophile apologists a springboard for defense of his sick shit.

          EDITED TO ADD: The asshole who defended him on this thread just downvoted like thirty of my posts in the last hour, apparently thinking downvotes are private in his vast personal command of technology. Seriously. I just attached screenshots. This is hilarious! I want you to know I will go to bed tonight laughing because I pissed off a pedophile apologist enough for him to hunt me down and girly bitchslap as many of my comments with downvotes as he could reach, lol. Go git the rest of 'em, lil buddy. There’s only like 1200+ more to go, and I know you’ve been working up that hand strength, so give it a shot. Wear yourself out, seriously. And then follow me like a sad puppy for the rest of your online days because hiding in the shadows is what the people you defend love the most.

          SECOND EDIT to add Imgur link: https://imgur.com/a/I6QUrtx

          • Flying Squid
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            32 months ago

            he was never that good anyway

            I can’t agree there. He directed some masterpieces. But I can’t bring myself to watch them anymore. Maybe after he’s dead…

          • @IchNichtenLichten
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            02 months ago

            he married his step-daughter

            “In 1978, Mia Farrow and her then husband, André Previn, adopted Soon-Yi and took her to the United States.”

            “Previn has said that Allen “was never any kind of father figure [to her]” and that she “never had any dealings with him” during her childhood.[16] The findings of the judicial investigation carried out during the custody trial between Farrow and Allen determined that before 1990, Previn and Allen had rarely spoken to each other”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soon-Yi_Previn

            I get that many people think their relationship is icky but making stuff up isn’t helpful.

            • @ChunkMcHorkle
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              2 months ago

              I don’t have to make anything up, and I note that you did not post a single word of what Mia Farrow or Ronan Farrow had to say about it either.

              Posting one side of a very heated and ongoing family squabble does not an adequate rebuttal make.

              EDITED TO ADD that I have deleted my original comment because I will not knowingly give pedophile apologists a springboard to launch their twisted defense of him.

              • @IchNichtenLichten
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                12 months ago

                I don’t have to make anything up

                But you did. She wasn’t Woody Allen’s adoptive daughter.

                “In 1992, Previn said that Farrow had physically abused her.[16] In 2018, Previn’s brother Moses Farrow has said that he too was physically abused by Farrow.”

                I have no dog in this fight but I don’t buy the narrative that Mia Farrow is an angel and Woody Allen is the devil.

                • @IchNichtenLichten
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                  02 months ago

                  From https://lemmy.world/u/ChunkMcHorkle

                  EDITED TO ADD that I have deleted my original comment because I will not knowingly give pedophile apologists a springboard to launch their twisted defense of him.

                  I should note that all I did was quote from Soon-Yi’s wikipedia page. This asshole got caught spreading lies and is now acting out instead of taking responsibility.

  • @jordanlund
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    02 months ago

    My primary complaint about Kubrick is that, despite all his accolades as an auteur… Virtually all of his films are adaptations of other works.

    The closest he comes to an actual original work is 2001, but even that has a basis in a few short stories, and Clarke collaborated on the film, producing the novel at the same time.

    • @QuarterSwede
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      332 months ago

      I don’t know why that would be a complaint. A directors job isn’t to write a screenplay, let alone an original.

    • Flying Squid
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      192 months ago

      The same is true about Shakespeare. Almost all of his plays are derivative.

      • @jordanlund
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        42 months ago

        If his fanbase was satisfied with simply calling him a director, I wouldn’t be bothered. For me, it’s elevating him to auteur status that’s troublesome.

    • @[email protected]
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      112 months ago

      I mean, most of those “adaptations” are extremely loose, his movies differ wildly from their source material in most cases