Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures [2001]

By lifting the veil that protected Stanley Kubrick from public scrutiny, Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures allows the world to see a genius who bore little resemblance to the eccentric persona perpetuated by the media. Essentially a professional home movie (producer-director Jan Harlan was Kubrick's long-time executive producer and brother-in-law), it is both biased and privileged in its access to Kubrick's personal archives, but Harlan's balanced approach allows room for appropriate criticism. While offering a definitive survey of Kubrick's life and 13 feature films, it's also a valentine to a devoted husband, father, and collaborator who, as critic Richard Schickel observes, crafted a private life that anyone would envy and admire. The films speak for themselves, while such luminaries as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Tom Cruise (who also narrates) offer valuable perspective. But it's the private anecdotes (such as Kubrick writing a 15-page guide to caring for his family's cats) that are most enlightening in their warmth and affection, revealing an artist whose humanity far outshined the mistaken perceptions of the outside world. --Jeff Shannon

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