05 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. 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So, as a collection of previously-unpublished images by Kubrick, Drama & Shadows is excellent.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.