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Alison Castle

Author of The Stanley Kubrick Archives

12 Works 601 Members 4 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: Taschen

Works by Alison Castle


Common Knowledge

20th Century



This is an informative overview of Stanley Kubrick’s films, from his initial works in the early 1950s to his final ‘Eyes wide shut’ completed shortly before his untimely death in 1999. The format is for each film to have its own chapter, richly illustrated with stills form the film, together with photos taken while filming was in progress. There is then a resume of the film plot followed by a commentary on the writing and shooting of the film and the critical reaction after the film’s release. Finally there is an essay or interview about the film, by a variety of writers. There is also a discussion of Kubrick’s unrealised projects for films, a chronology of his life and an extensive bibliography. With the inclusion of a selection of contributors, including some from Kubrick’s family, the book makes for a wide-ranging, informative and fascinating introduction to his life and films.… (more)
camharlow2 | 1 other review | Jul 17, 2020 |
This carefully collated compilation of writings, interviews, essays, photographs, and artifacts on Stanley Kubrick's illustrious career is the perfect reference for any fan. Each movie is thoroughly covered, including behind-the-scenes information and plenty of supplemental visuals that give more context about the making of each film. The interviews (with Kubrick) that often accommodate each movie/chapter provide the most value and give the reader a glimpse into the mind of this movie genius. A highly recommended read for all movie fans.… (more)
rsplenda477 | 1 other review | Apr 15, 2019 |
I kind of cheated with this book, by which I mean I mostly just looked at the pictures. But that's the point of something like this, right?
gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
A monster of a book (4,5 kg!), even though I only own the popular not the limited edition. Whether Kubrick's Napoleon would have become a great movie is debatable. Its script reads like a cross of Eyes Wide Shut (Napoleon - Josephine) and Barry Lyndon (my least favorite Kubrick movie if I ignore the violence of A Clockwork Orange which makes it almost unwatchable for me). Kubrick has amassed an incredible amount of data (not knowledge!) about the Napoleonic era. The chaotic organization made this data almost unusable. Taschen has put the 17.000 illustrations Kubrick's researchers have amassed on-line (in a very inconvenient and restrictive way). The pictures are badly annotated and often lack attribution. Finding an illustration again must have been a nightmare as would have been finding any kind of information in this pre-computer era. What Taschen didn't put on-line were the thousands of location and uniform shots - a missed chance!

The materiel is, even in the basic edition, gorgeously presented. The written texts, however, are disappointing and the analysis stops at a very, very basic level. The author's knowledge about the Napoleonic era is, Jean Tulard excepted, also not very deep. Tulard handed in an article which will not have cost him much effort or research to write. Overall, the effort by Taschen stops short of fully presenting and digesting the masses of materiel Kubrick has assembled.
… (more)
jcbrunner | Feb 28, 2013 |

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