Again....the ACT of Living Your Thoughts...

I watched a film about the life of Stanley Kubrick. I think I am intrigued by this director because it is curious to me how his family being Jewish of culture, did not define their religious beliefs in the same vein. In fact Kubrick, as a child, never observed the typical Jewish rites such as a Bar Mitzvah, which would have signaled a relation to the Jewish faith. Yet, he had a quality very much like those who are fundamentalists in any religion: he was hounded by perfectionism. 


His father being a physician, and their family having had a wealthy economic standing in the Bronx neighborhood, in the 40s, must have had an influence in his character. I thought this to be a truth about him and how his parents raised him. That Stanley Kubrick was not a showy young man, even though he was probably richer than most of his friends, but that he was introverted, played intensely the game of chess with his father, which is a thinking man's game--as they say-- and, he was an acute observer of everything and anything. This piqued my interest as well, since I happened to have the same qualities of perfectionism and observations of others to a fault.


As he grew older, he loved photography, and pretty much could care less what anyone thought of the matter of his having absolutely no interest in school. In fact, he was on paper a less than average student, although in reality he was a greater than average intellectual child. 


Being a poor student into high school this might not have been too treacherous for the boy, but after high school, and having had no interest in college still, one might begin to worry--especially parents. The young man had only interest in photography and in chess. So what do good parents do? They foster the interest. And they did. After his father invested in photo equipment for a dark room, Stanley went to work introvertedly and as a person who did not seemingly miss too many people in his life, and began to pursue his own love of photography. It wasn't long when he began sending his photos to magazines--famous ones--and it was sooner yet, that they began to pay him for the photos, and he became a regular contributor to such magazines as Life, and newspapers as well. About this time, he was in his early twenties when he began to turn his focus on movies. I followed the series of his years and found that his fame began in his mid twenties. That fact alone is simply something for people to say he was a genius. But in his case, we could say he not only was a genius, but no one could even recognize this for he was so controversial with everything and everyone he work on and with. Later, of course, people in the movie industry would say he was way ahead of his time. But what I wanted to focus on was not so much his career but between the actual blockbuster (or not) movies he created. He was noted for his difficulty in getting along with others, for taking very long in creating the "perfect" scene, and in not finishing until he felt absolutely, perfectly sure it was finished to perfection. He did not keep with deadlines but worked in angst of everyone around him, because he had to do it all, and it had to be done as he saw it had to happen. He was a very hard to handle individual indeed, which means, no one ever did handle him at all.


Sure. He died at the ripe old age of 70'ish, but the last movie was telling of his whole lifetime, when papers were reporting his illness began to get the best of him, as he tried to finish the movie, ignoring those who were pressuring him to get it done "on time," for the budget's sake--or at least it seemed he was ignoring them: more likely he was again in silent angst attempting to be the perfectionist he was while being surrounded by those who cared only about the commercial end of things. If this was the theme of his lifetime, I cannot imagine how easy it might have been, but instead I can easily see how difficult it must have been being Stanley Kubrick.


So I speak of one man, and his character. What drives someone to be such a perfectionist. What makes someone into a machine of perfectionism? What causes someone to retreat from the masses and form an alliance with only one's self, charging into life forward alone, and against the grain. This is my interest: what makes anyone who they are? We could interject and contemplate til Kingdom come, but let's try and find some real form to this theme, in my next blog.

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