In news that is sending shockwaves throughout the international film community, iconoclastic director Stanley Kubrick died of a heart attack Sunday at his home north of London. He was 70. Over his 45-year career Kubrick — whose top-secret “Eyes Wide Shut,” starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, is to be released in July — became known for his remarkable personal cinematic vision and his breadth of subject matters. His 13 films include the 1957 anti-war classic “Paths of Glory,” the 1960 Roman spectacle “Spartacus,” the witty 1962 adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” 1964’s devastatingly satiric “Dr. Strangelove,” 1968’s hypnotic (and technically dazzling) “2001: A Space Odyssey,” 1971’s disturbing yet prescient “A Clockwork Orange” and 1987’s austere Vietnam drama “Full Metal Jacket.” Even his disappointments, such as the 1975 “Barry Lyndon” and the 1980 “The Shining,” proved fascinating. In many respects he was a moviemaker’s moviemaker, possibly admired more by such fellow giants as David Lean, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg than he was by the public. “He ranked high among the most emulated and respected American filmmakers,” veteran film critic Judith Crist told The PEOPLE Daily. “From first to last, every film he made was an advance in form and content. He was, and I don’t use the term lightly, a genius.”
- Born in the Bronx and originally a still photographer for Look magazine, Kubrick got into movies when he decided anything he would make couldn’t be any worse than the stuff Hollywood was producing. He moved to England in 1961 and was envied for his technical superiority and his autocratic power over Hollywood studios. Socially, he was a recluse, and he refused to get into an airplane. He is survived by his (third) wife, actress Suzanne Christiane Harlan — who appeared as the singer at the close of “Paths Of Glory” — and his daughters Katharine, Anya and Vivian.
- Kubrick’s latest, the psychosexual thriller “Eyes Wide Shut,” which was shown to Warner Bros. top brass only last week, holds the record for longest shooting schedule of any Hollywood movie, surpassing the 2-years-plus David Lean spent on “Lawrence of Arabia.” The “Eyes” stars, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, issued a joint statement through their publicist regarding Kubrick. “We are in shock and devastated. We did see the movie, and it was completed except for final looping and mixing. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to share this experience with him. He was a true genius, a dear friend, and we will greatly miss him.”