This intimate portrait by his former personal assistant and confidante reveals the man behind the legendary filmmaker - for the first time.
Stanley Kubrick, the director of a string of timeless movies from Lolita and Dr. Strangelove to A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, and others, has always been depicted by the media as the Howard Hughes of filmmakers, a weird artist obsessed with his work and privacy to the point of madness. But who was he really? Emilio D'Alessandro lets us see. A former Formula Ford driver who was a minicab chauffeur in London during the Swinging Sixties, he took a job driving a giant phallus through the city that became his introduction to the director. Honest, reliable, and ready to take on any task, Emilio found his way into Kubrick's neurotic, obsessive heart. He became his personal assistant, his right-hand man and confidant, working for him from A Clockwork Orange until Kubrick's death in 1999.
Emilio was the silent guy in the room when the script for The Shining was discussed. He still has the coat Jack Nicholson used in the movie. He was an extra on the set of Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick's last movie. He knew all the actors and producers Kubrick worked with; he observed firsthand Kubrick's working methods, down to the smallest detail. Making no claim of expertise in cinematography, but with plenty of anecdotes, he offers a completely fresh perspective on the artist and a warm, affecting portrait of a generous, kind, caring man who was a perfectionist in work and life.
©2012 il Saggiatore S.p.A.; English-language translation copyright 2016 by il Saggiatore S.p.A. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
I finished the book and do feel I know a lot more about the daily life of Stanley Kubrick but mostly through a lot of oil changes and servicing of cars, feeding of cats, and other duties that fill a good 60% of the book. Another 30% is driving celebrities and somewhat tied to Hollywood. The best 10% is about being near the director when a movie is being made and out of 11 hours, there is about 1 good hour regarding making "The Shining". You do learn about the set up of the set, how they regulated cast and crew, the numerous takes, etc. The first half of the book is extremely dry and you literally catch yourself asking "Am I really listening to yet another story about servicing a car?" but all in all an enjoyable read as it slowly brings you into the world of Stanley Kubrick and unlike articles culled from newspapers or one or two brief interviews, you truly get decades worth of information from the inside. You have to be a mega-fan to justify this listen!!!!
The most interesting was hearing about actual film making stories, like "The Shining". The least interesting is the constant servicing of dozens of vehicles and tedious tasks.
Stephen Hoye did a good job and I could see Emilio through his performance. For this material I cannot imagine a better voice.
If the portions that actually involved Stanley and movies like "The Shining" were a movie, or even a documentary, definitely. As for all those oil changes....
Could have been about 4 hours long and while it may not have cemented the decades of Emilio's service into your mind to the point that you feel you yourself changed helped Kubrick's oil, it would have been a better overall read.
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