The director that dared to

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Dancing close to the fire, Stanley Kubrick never allowed himself to play by Hollywood’s rules. With a career spanning just 16 movies in 49 years, Kubrick wasn’t the most prolific of directors, although practically all of his works have gone down in history as auteur classics. Here’s the thing though, where most claimants of prestigious title of ‘auteur’ possess one signature trademark (from Fellini’s settings of decadence to Tarantino’s twisted underground souls), each of Kubrick’s movies were as vastly different as the next.

This month, entertainment giant JB Hi-Fi releases the impressive box-set, the ‘Stanley Kubrick: Visionary Filmmaker Collection’, which contains eight discs on which feature seven of the director’s most famous films, and a documentary narrated by one Tom Cruise. Personally, we’d had avoided this naffest of actors who was only roped in at the tail-end of Kubrick’s work cycle, and gone with someone with more credible like Malcolm McDowell, but alas there is a second documentary entitled ‘O Lucky Malcolm’ that is a feature-length career profile on the ‘Clockwork Orange’ actor.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD, the box-set is a must for Kubrick fans and lovers of exceptional cinema alike. Featured are: ‘Lolita’ (1962), ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968), ‘A Clockwork Orange’ (1971, and including bonus content to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary this year), ‘Barry Lyndon’ (1975), ‘The Shining’ (1980), ‘Full Metal Jacket’ (1987, by the way, this is where the 2LiveCrew sample “Oh me so horny, me love you long time” was lifted from), and ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (1999). Also included is a 40-page booklet exploring the breadth of genres and themes in Kubrick’s work.

But wait, SK fans, there’s more! Indeed, there was one Kubrick film that never did get to see the light of day: his homage to one of history’s greatest political and military figures, Napolean. Dubbed ‘The Greatest Movie Never Made’, Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Napolean’ would have possessed all the ingredients of a true epic.  Since 1967, the director and his staff had been procuring  archival information and countless images of France’s most notorious leader. With the project frozen in 1971, these items were then stuffed  in boxes and stored away at Kubrick’s estate for the last two decades of his life.

Fans who were curious about the project for all those years were relieved when, in 2005, ‘The Stanley Kubrick Archives’ was published, a text which contained one chapter on the project. Then in 2008, renowned publishers Taschen released 10 books relating to the ‘Napolean’ project including a massive picture file, costume and product information, correspondence and notes by the director, and even the film’s original script. Taschen has now combined all 10 books into comprehensive and stunning volume, beautifully bound, and ever-so grand that it probably ought to be holding up your coffee table instead of sitting on it. It’s a very impressive tome that’ll prove a conversation piece in itself, trust us.

The ‘Stanley Kubrick: Visionary Filmmaker Collection’ is available on Blu-ray (RRP $89.95) and on DVD ($69.95). ‘Stanley Kubrick’s Napolean: The Greatest Film Never Made’ is published through Taschen and available from quality bookstores.