Cover image for Kubrick
Herr, Michael, 1940-2016.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Grove Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
96 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


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PN1998.3.K83 H47 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Kubrick is Michael Herr's memoir of his nearly twenty-year friendship and collaboration with Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and the creator of such classics as Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange. From their first meeting at an advance screening of The Shining in 1980, Kubrick and Herr began an intense intellectual exchange that grew into the artistic collaboration that ultimately produced the groundbreaking Vietnam film Full Metal Jacket.

Filled with personal insights and previously untold anecdotes, Kubrick is a probing view into the inner life of a man whose creative passion and powerful intellect changed the art of filmmaking forever -- and of the complicated, often misunderstood man behind the art.

Author Notes

Michael Herr was born in Lexington, Kentucky on April 13, 1940. He attended Syracuse University, but dropped out to travel in Europe and write. He served in the Army Reserve and wrote for publications including The New Leader and Holiday. From 1967-1969, he was a correspondent for Esquire magazine during the Vietnam War. He wrote the article Hell Sucks, which put him in the forefront of the journalists who were writing on the war at that time. The piece became part of Dispatches, a memoir of his time in Vietnam, which was published in 1977. He also wrote Walter Winchell: A Novel, an experiment in which he combined a novel and a screenplay to tell the story of one of the country's most influential gossip columnists. He was active in the motion picture industry with writing credits for Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Heart of Darkness, and The Rainmaker. In addition, he served as an associate producer of Full Metal Jacket. He died on June 23, 2016 at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This slim volume comprises one man's impressions of one of our most provocative filmmakers. Stanley Kubrick's death in 1999 and the posthumous release of his last film, Eyes Wide Shut, prompted much revisionist exploration of his workDbut none is to be found here. Herr (Dispatches), who collaborated with Kubrick on the screenplay of Full Metal Jacket, doesn't deign to simplify complexities or dispel misconceptions. Nor does he offer particularly compelling insights. No pretense is made toward biography. In fact, much of what Herr presents is candid speculation. Kubrick is depicted as a man of dichotomies: an intellectual who was also a fan of popular culture, an American expatriate in England who never fully abandoned his Hollywood roots, and an artist whose vision married both beauty and violence. More than merely an account of a friendship, this is an elegy to and a meditation upon the Kubrick legend. All but the largest film collections may be hard pressed to justify expenditure on this modest book. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/00.]DJayne Plymale, Univ. of Georgia, Athens (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The material published here first appeared in Vanity Fair after Kubrick died. Herr responds to attacks on his friend and collaborator after his death and defends Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), released after the director's death. Was Grove justified in putting this work between hardcovers? Yes, because Herr knew Kubrick as few did. Originally brought in to work on a war film based on Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers (1979), Herr kept in touch through long phone conversations that Kubrick is now famous for making late in his life and cowrote the screenplay for Full Metal Jacket (1987). Frederic Raphael's Eyes Wide Open (1999), a riveting but sour account of working with Kubrick on Eyes Wide Shut, prompted Herr's take on Kubrick's late life. Raphael and Herr's portraits of the director as recluse do not substantially differ except in the authors' attitude toward him. Herr knew Kubrick better, knew many people Kubrick worked with, and therefore offers an important account the director's fans should read. Although not a work of scholarship, Herr's commentary on the Kubrick canon (e.g., likening Eyes Wide Shut to Mozart's Magic Flute) will offer academics food for thought. General and comprehensive academic film collections. M. J. Emery; Cottey College