The Sundance Channel recently aired a 2008 documentary entitled STANLEY KUBRICK'S BOXES. I don't know if it will be airing again (it isn't on the schedule for the next two weeks) but keep an eye out for it. If you are a Kubrick fan, this is a must see.
The film follows a filmmaker as he wades through Stanely Kubrick's archives at his home in England. Since the release of 2001, Kubrick began to keep all of his research material and other information in boxes, carefully numbered and organized. At the time of his passing, there were 1,000 of them.
Kubrick was so particular about the boxes that he even had many of them designed to his own specifications, wanting the lids to fit a certain way.
Among the revelations in the hour long documentary.
- Kubrick spent two years in pre-production on a Holocaust film, WARTIME LIES. In those same two years, Steven Spielberg went through pre-production, shot, edited, and released SCHINDLER'S LIST which caused Kubrick to abandoned the film.
- He would have readers in various parts of the US reading novels and screenplays and sending coverage to an assistant of his so that they didn't know they were reading for Kubrick. Among the films that were passed on, THE KILLING FIELDS.
- He kept every fan letter that was sent to him, and filed them away by the city of the writer (in case he ever needed someone to check out a theatre in the area showing one of his films or in case someone tried to harm him). Each letter was annotated if it was positive, negative, or a crank letter. Some of the crank letter writers are even tracked down in the documentary to talk about why they wrote him. One writer mentioned he got really drunk after a film he wrote was butchered and wrote the letter to Kubrick.
- Kubrick wasn't a recluse, just very shy. One of his favorite activities was to go to the stationery store. If he liked a type of paper or notebook, he would buy up boxes of it in case it ever went out of style. He often joked about opening up a stationery museum.
- He loved his cats and wrote to animal groups for finding the proper collars, with bells, that would break away if the cat ever got caught on something.
- While he had all of the outtakes to his films destroyed, there were several film canisters found among his archives. It turned out to be 18 hours worth of behind the scenes footage, shot by his daughter, of the making of FULL METAL JACKET. Some great footage is shown, especially of Kubrick directing the hand gestures in the "This is my rifle, this is my gun" sequence. (On FULL METAL JACKET, he also has all of the audition tapes sent by the thousands of actors who wanted to be in the film).
- Kubrick spent a lot of time in the 1970's trying to sue the makers of the TV show SPACE: 1999 thinking that it was a rip off of 2001.
The film ends with the boxes being sent out to be stored at a University in London where they can be accessed by film students.
Sadly, this film is not on DVD. It is well worth seeking out.