Thursday, 5 January 2006

Stanley Kubrick: Drama & Shadows

Drama & Shadows
Rainer Crone, the author of the German book Still Moving Pictures, has now written an English-language book on the same topic, Stanley Kubrick: Drama & Shadows. Both are studies of Kubrick's brief career as a Look magazine photographer.

Kubrick worked for Look between 1945-1950. His published images have never been comprehensively catalogued, though the list of Kubrick's photos on my website is the most extensive list so far produced. Still Moving Pictures was useful because it reprinted some of Kubrick's best Look photo-essays exactly as they originally appeared in the magazine, including a bibliography listing the magazine's headlines and dates of publication.

Crone's new book, Drama & Shadows, is partly better and partly worse than the old one. It's better because, rather than reprinting previously-published images, it features Kubrick's contact-sheets, which have never been published before. However, it doesn't include a proper bibliography, so it's not clear which photo-essays these contact-sheets relate to.

So, as a collection of previously-unpublished images by Kubrick, Drama & Shadows is excellent. The images are beautifully printed, though the text is too heavy on theory but too light on bibliographic context.

2 comment(s):

George Myers said...

I like your work onsite very much. I live in the Bronx, NYC where Kubrick was from. An uncredited role in special effects was made to the newspaper photographer Weegee (so-named because he was allowed a police radio and seemed to always be on the scene Ouija-like, I think). I was looking also at a trailer online for "Dr. Strangelove" and there were two "frames" one of Kubrick and one of Weegee in it! I once took experimental film analysis and film making with Paul Sharits in the Media Center, as part of the Buffalo University English Dept., when he was there with Hollis Frampton and others, Stan Van der Beek gave a course in the summer, Ken Jacobs did a live performance piece involving a lecture halls rear-projection screen, one part live 3D, with glasses as I think a young Azazel Jacob's rode a tricycle in front of a 3D "colors" projected onto the rear projection screen over the lecture hall, the audience at the time wearing the "glasses" and also showed a "3D" film in the Allbright Knox gallery, you had to hold two neutral density films up to one eye, slowing transmission enough to the brain, and films were shown from many places and makers back in 1974.

Matthew Hunt said...

hanks a lot for your comment. The 'expanded cinema' courses sound amazing, wish I could have experienced them instead of only reading about them via Youngblood etc.

Weegee was employed as stills photographer on Dr Strangelove, but none of the photos he took were used for publicity (I'm not sure why). One of them (of Kubrick with a clapper-board) is in a Weegee monograph.