Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
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From his first feature film, Fear and Desire (1953), to his final, posthumously released Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Stanley Kubrick excelled at probing the dark corners of human consciousness. In doing so, he adapted such popular novels as The Killing, Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining and selected a wide variety of genres for his films—black comedy (Dr. Strangelove), science fiction (2001: A Space Odyssey), and war (Paths of Glory and Full Metal Jacket). Because he was peerless in unveiling the intimate mysteries of human nature, no new film by Kubrick ever failed to spark debate or to be deeply pondered.
Kubrick (1928-1999) remained as elusive as the subjects of his films. Unlike many other filmmakers he was not inclined to grant interviews, instead preferring to let his movies speak for themselves. By allowing both critics and moviegoers to see the inner workings of this reclusive filmmaker, this first comprehensive collection of his relatively few interviews is invaluable. Ranging from 1959 to 1987 and including Kubrick's conversations with Gene Siskel, Jeremy Bernstein, Gene D. Phillips, and others, this book reveals Kubrick's diverse interests—nuclear energy and its consequences, space exploration, science fiction, literature, religion, psychoanalysis, the effects of violence, and even chess—and discloses how each affects his films. He enthusiastically speaks of how advances in camera and sound technology made his films more effective.
Kubrick details his hands-on approach to filmmaking as he discusses why he supervises nearly every aspect of production. “All the hand-held camerawork is mine,” he says in a 1972 interview about A Clockwork Orange. “In addition to the fun of doing the shooting myself, I find it virtually impossible to explain what I want in a hand-held shot to even the most talented and sensitive camera operator.”
Neither guarded nor evasive, the Kubrick who emerges from these interviews is candid, opinionated, confident, and articulate. His incredible memory and his gift for organization come to light as he quotes verbatim sections of reviews, books, and articles. Despite his reputation as a recluse, the Kubrick of these interviews is approachable, witty, full of anecdotes, and eager to share a fascinating story.
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Since MZS is the brains behind the brand and concept, I guess that makes me the brawn. Even though my 'gun show' looks more like a water pistol exhibit in a toy store window...”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets such as Texas Highways and AARP. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently launching a Dallas extension of his MZS Film Series at the historic Texas Theater.
Judith is quoted as saying "his hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. Oh and he has the attention span of a gnat." MZS agreed to it all except the moonwalking.