Topics Stanley Kubrick Quotations
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director born in The Bronx, New York City who lived most of his life in England.
- See also: Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut.
- The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
- Interviewed by Eric Nordern, Playboy (September 1968); later published in Stanley Kubrick: Interviews (2001)
- If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space? ...
Those of us who are forced by their own sensibilities to view their lives in this perspective — who recognize that there is no purpose they can comprehend and that amidst a countless myriad of stars their existence goes unknown and unchronicled — can fall prey all to easily to the ultimate anomie. ... The world's religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache ... This shattering recognition of our mortality is at the root of far more mental illness than I suspect even psychiatrists are aware.
- Interviewed by Eric Nordern, Playboy (September 1968)
- You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps. Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it’s really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas.
- Newsweek (26 May 1980)
- I don't like doing interviews. There is always the problem of being misquoted or, what's even worse, of being quoted exactly.
- The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed.
- Quoted in Halliwell's Filmgoer's and Video Viewer's Companion (1988), p. 403
- Anyone who has ever been privileged to direct a film also knows that, although it can be like trying to write War and Peace in a bumper car in an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not many joys in life that can equal the feeling.
- Video acceptance speech of the D.W. Griffiths Lifetime Achievement Award (1999) - video and transcript
- One man writes a novel. One man writes a symphony. It is essential that one man make a film.
- Quoted in The Edmonton Journal (8 March 1999), C3
- There's something in the human personality which resents things that are clear, and conversely, something which is attracted to puzzles, enigmas, and allegories.
- Quoted in Kubrick : Inside a Film Artist's Maze (2000) by Thomas Allen Nelson, p.10
- I have always enjoyed dealing with a slightly surrealistic situation and presenting it in a realistic manner. I've always liked fairy tales and myths, magical stories. I think they are somehow closer to the sense of reality one feels today than the equally stylized "realistic" story in which a great deal of selectivity and omission has to occur in order to preserve its "realist" style.
- Quoted in Kubrick : Inside a Film Artist's Maze (2000) by Thomas Allen Nelson, p.14
- Include utter banalities.
- Notebook regarding Full Metal Jacket, quoted in movie Stanley Kubrick's Boxes (2008) by Jon Ronson
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