Stanley Kubrick Shrine

FROM BBC NEWS --7 March 99

Stanley Kubrick, who directed watershed films such as A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died. He was 70.

Stanley Kubrick was one of the most innovative and talented American film makers of the early post-war period.

But he turned his back on Hollywood in the early 1960s after directing Spartacus - the most expensive epic of its day - and moved to Britain to make controversial films like Lolita and A Clockwork Orange, which remains banned in the UK.

Kubrick was born in New York, and, as a child, was encouraged by his father to take up photography.

By the age of 17 he was a staff photographer on Look magazine. In 1950 he made his first film, Day of the Fight, a short documentary which he sold to a Hollywood studio.

His debut as a feature director came three years later with Fear and Desire, which he also wrote, photographed and financed with borrowed money.

He formed a production company to make The Killing, a crime drama, which brought him to the notice of the critics, and firmly established himself with his next film, Paths of Glory, an indictment of military hypocrisy.

Lolita fury
Kubrick's reputation as a meticulous, imaginative film maker brought him the job of directing the Hollywood epic Spartacus in 1960.

A year later he moved to Britain to break away from the Hollywood studio system. Many of his subsequent films made here were controversial - the first was Lolita, the story of a middle-aged mans obsession with a young girl.

His nuclear-age black comedy, Dr Strangelove, which he also wrote and produced, was followed by the science fiction epic 2001: A Space Odyssey.

But his most controversial film came in 1971- the adaptation of Anthony Burgesss novel A Clockwork Orange, which brought accusations of the glorification of violence.

He once said: "The central idea of the film has to do with the question of free-will. Do we lose our humanity if we are deprived of the choice between good and evil? Do we become, as the title suggests, A Clockwork Orange?

"Recent experiments in conditioning and mind control on volunteer prisoners in America have taken this question out of the realm of science-fiction. At the same time, I think the dramatic impact of the film has principally to do with the extraordinary character of Alex, as conceived by Anthony Burgess in his brilliant and original novel."

His later work included Barry Lyndon, and adaptation of the Thackeray novel, the horror film The Shining and, in 1987, Full Metal Jacket.