Stanley Kubrick: The Lost Tapes is a short documentary which was compiled by Jim Casey from a series of tape recordings made by Jeremy Bernstein in 1966. At the time of the recordings, Kubrick was in the midst of making 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Bernstein was writing a profile on the director. Casey has taken excerpts from the tapes and edited them together with clips from the director’s films and behind-the scenes photographs to form a very good self-narrated profile of the director from his childhood through his early films, and on until the making of 2001.
Even for those who may not have a particular interest in the films of Kubrick, the documentary is interesting because the director spends quite a bit of time talking about how he managed to get his start and how he went about getting the equipment and financing for his earliest films, and it also provides some interesting insight into scripts that he wrote and film projects that were either started and abandoned or for which he wrote scripts but then were actually, for one reason or another never made.
The films covered in the documentary include:
1951 – Day of the Fight (Documentary short)
1951 – Flying Padre (Documentary short)
1953 – Fear and Desire
1955 – Killer’s Kiss
1956 – The Killing
1957 – Paths of Glory
1960 – Spartacus
1962 – Lolita
1964 – Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1968 – 2001: A Space Odyssey
What is perhaps most surprising about these tapes is how candid the director is about what he sees as his own failings, and also how he responds to some of the criticisms of his early works, especially Lolita.
You can watch the entire documentary below.