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Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick

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The author describes his experiences working with Stanley Kubrick on his last film, Eyes Wide Shut.


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The author describes his experiences working with Stanley Kubrick on his last film, Eyes Wide Shut.

30 review for Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    Fan Service Supreme! Finally, my own fanboy flames are extinguished, & it feels oh-so good. This little slice of cinematic anecdote-slash-memoir is a must for all cinephiles. For Kubrick is like the Picasso of the medium: you love him or hate him but you must admit he's genius. & Raphael excels at making this into something eyeopening and unique. A unique account of the celluloid demigod which only someone "under the dragon's wing" could afford to tell us! Fan Service Supreme! Finally, my own fanboy flames are extinguished, & it feels oh-so good. This little slice of cinematic anecdote-slash-memoir is a must for all cinephiles. For Kubrick is like the Picasso of the medium: you love him or hate him but you must admit he's genius. & Raphael excels at making this into something eyeopening and unique. A unique account of the celluloid demigod which only someone "under the dragon's wing" could afford to tell us!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Worth reading for some inside info on Kubrick and to find out what a pretentious ass Raphael is. At one point he's so overcome with emotion that he has to express himself in French (even though English is his first language). What a tool. Worth reading for some inside info on Kubrick and to find out what a pretentious ass Raphael is. At one point he's so overcome with emotion that he has to express himself in French (even though English is his first language). What a tool.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rayan Brantdt

    a bloated corpse floating down a river of self-congratulatory anecdotes, Fredric Raphael is a man who i imagine chuckles politely aloud at his own internalized jokes. he will probably live forever because he refuses to die by any means other than certain occurrences which will end his life with a bittersweet tinge of cultivated poetic irony, becoming of an AUTHOR AND SCHOLAR of his caliber. this is less a memoir of Stanley Kubrick and more a reference page from the world's most pretentious resum a bloated corpse floating down a river of self-congratulatory anecdotes, Fredric Raphael is a man who i imagine chuckles politely aloud at his own internalized jokes. he will probably live forever because he refuses to die by any means other than certain occurrences which will end his life with a bittersweet tinge of cultivated poetic irony, becoming of an AUTHOR AND SCHOLAR of his caliber. this is less a memoir of Stanley Kubrick and more a reference page from the world's most pretentious resume. all of the dialogue between FR and SK is transcribed through the use of interview formatting, though it feels like the half-remembered daydreams of a man with a severe case of L'esprit de l'escalier (though Fred is fluent in French and every other language that has touched the tips of tongues [alliteration] throughout history, i had to use google to find out how to spell this phrase). Stanley Kubrick comes off as a simple-minded man with the audacity to trim the beautiful plastic rosebush with liquid latex dew-drops that is Freddie's creative output, as a man who hesitates to flaunt his genius at every corner and thus calls his legitimacy into question. there is practically no insight into kubrick's cinematic process, life's tribulations, opinions, personality, or reception to his pedestaled status as a lauded filmmaker. it seems as though FR's interactions with SK were relatively distant and rarely strayed from professionalism, though the back cover cites 'hours of conversation about a variety of topics', that 'Stanley Kubrick opened himself to Frederic through their close personal friendship' or something. the advertised 'bonding' of these two men exists solely through brief, remembered dialogues and insufferable entries from Raphael's diary during the time period of their collaboration. I learned alot about Kubrick's mythical perfectionism through lazily written accounts of a disappointing latin paper that Fredric Raphael wrote in college, and was thoroughly entertained by a million heavy handed greek mythology metaphors. "Sarcasm, one of my many talents ;]" - Fred Raph an exploitative grasp at the chalice of vicarious creative worth, i give this memoir a 'fuck you'/10.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ben De Bono

    The most fascinating thing about Eyes Wide Open is the enormous divide between the book Raphael thinks he's writing and the one he actually wrote. He thinks he's delivering a loving but hard-hitting expose of Stanley Kubrick where he reveals him as a maniacal genius whose own success is hampered by his inability to truly let others into the creative process. In reality, he's written an expose of himself as a talented but incredibly pretentious writer who chafes under the experience of being made The most fascinating thing about Eyes Wide Open is the enormous divide between the book Raphael thinks he's writing and the one he actually wrote. He thinks he's delivering a loving but hard-hitting expose of Stanley Kubrick where he reveals him as a maniacal genius whose own success is hampered by his inability to truly let others into the creative process. In reality, he's written an expose of himself as a talented but incredibly pretentious writer who chafes under the experience of being made a cog in the Kubrick machine. I imagine a psychologist could have a field day with Raphael's feelings toward Kubrick. He goes from ranting about him to showing a sycophantic obsession with pleasing him - often within the same page. He'll praise his genius and then try to set himself up as a creative superior. It's really bizarre but also fascinating watching him unravel on the page. Here's the thing about working with Kubrick: there's no doubt he could make life hell for those in his employ. I don't blame anyone for disliking that or for not wanting to be a part of it. However, if you study Kubrick enough you understand that it's not maniacal sadism but a very intricate creative process. Raphael simply doesn't get that or if he does his ego leads him to reject being a part of that process. The end result is a really fascinating read though for reasons almost entirely different than what Raphael intended

  5. 4 out of 5

    Johnny Walker

    A Fascinating Portrait of a Relationship Having recently finished Raphael's book, I was surprised to discover the apparent backlash, prompted by the family and associates of Kubrick, on the book's publication. Kubrick's widow both accused Raphael of betraying her late husband's privacy, as well as painting an image of him that was false. I don't mean to sound unfeeling toward those who were close to Kubrick, but there seems to be a bit of contradiction in their complaints (too revealing while bein A Fascinating Portrait of a Relationship Having recently finished Raphael's book, I was surprised to discover the apparent backlash, prompted by the family and associates of Kubrick, on the book's publication. Kubrick's widow both accused Raphael of betraying her late husband's privacy, as well as painting an image of him that was false. I don't mean to sound unfeeling toward those who were close to Kubrick, but there seems to be a bit of contradiction in their complaints (too revealing while being false in its portrayal?). And another faint whiff of contradiction comes from the fact that another collaborator, Michael Herr, received no criticism for sharing recollections of private conversations and moments in a series of articles for Vanity Fair (later collected into a book). One wonders if it's because Herr's was far more flattering of its subject. Either way, I think those close to the real man were blinded by proximity. They saw Raphael's observations as cold-hearted and overly critical, frustrated that he could criticise someone they felt he didn't know. The truth is, and I hope those close to Kubrick take some solace in this, that Raphael's book is not about Kubrick the husband, the father, the friend. It's not even really about Kubrick the collaborator (although it's much closer to being this), it's actually about the RELATIONSHIP Raphael had with Kubrick. Raphael never professes impartiality or objectivity, only the accuracy of his feelings and thoughts. He shares HIS views, HIS perceptions, HIS experiences, and, yes, he comes across as cantankerous, difficult, and cynical about Hollywood (all possibly with good reason), and even seems to acknowledge this about himself. As someone not close to Kubrick, and so not sensitive to unflattering portrayals of a person I miss, I read this book very differently to his bereaved family and friends (and fans). Raphael is not an omnipotent or unquestionable narrator, and nor does he present himself as such. His personality bears down into the narrative, and (from a reader's perspective) is open to as much scrutiny as his subject. It's ironic, but despite the book's reputation I found Kubrick to be ultimately humble, patient, honest and understanding. Raphael's worst fears about working with him are never realised, and Kubrick stays true to his word throughout. When Raphael at one point nearly sinks the entire project by one act of accidental impropriety, Kubrick is quick to forgive and move on. Kubrick is never a beast, he's never dishonest, and is always forthright. He may be kooky at times, but there is plenty to admire about him in Raphael's account. In fact, I found the Kubrick in Raphael's book to be largely the same one revealed in Michael Herr's book (which, despite the passages nearing hagiography, can also be unflattering at times, calling Kubrick cheap, obsessive and demanding) and perhaps across both books we see a clearer picture of the real man: Demanding, but not with malice. Humble, but also difficult. Distant, but also soft-natured. Confident, but also searching. We will never know the father, the husband, but across both Raphael's and Herr's lenses, we do get a glimpse of the colleague. Also, unlike Herr's book, which is frequently embarrassing and sophomoric when it tries to offer insight into Kubrick's work, Raphael has moments of genuine and deep revelation. In fact, I could recommend his book for those rare moments alone. I've never read a better distillation of what made a Kubrick film. (The flip-side is that, unlike Herr, Raphael is often embarrassing and pretentious when describing himself, especially at the beginning of his book.) So I'm sorry, friends and family of Kubrick (and by automatic extension, overprotective fans), I don't think this book does anything to damage the lasting image of the man. If anything it makes me wish I knew him better, and actually made me appreciate his work more. I highly recommend this candid book. The author lays himself bare, and through his honesty, we get a glimpse of a very interesting, unique, and talented man that was taken from the world too soon.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Monty

    fredric raphael is a self aggrandizing windbag.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cymru Roberts

    Eyes Wide Shut was a big movie for me before I really even knew who Kubrick was. It mattered at a time when I didn't even know about directors. I became obsessed with it as a coded piece of Illuminati cinema, and at the time (long long ago) I wanted to learn everything I could about it. Somehow I never came across this book back then, but if I had I imagine I would have chucked it in the wastebin within the first 50 or so pages, cuz there aint shit in it about the fooken film! Reading it now, I w Eyes Wide Shut was a big movie for me before I really even knew who Kubrick was. It mattered at a time when I didn't even know about directors. I became obsessed with it as a coded piece of Illuminati cinema, and at the time (long long ago) I wanted to learn everything I could about it. Somehow I never came across this book back then, but if I had I imagine I would have chucked it in the wastebin within the first 50 or so pages, cuz there aint shit in it about the fooken film! Reading it now, I was more focused on what it would say about Kubrick. "A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick" it claims to be. It is not. It is a 190-page hatchet job by one of the most jealous assholes to ever pick up a pen. Freddy Rafael (unknown if there is any relation to Sally Jesse) is so put off by Kubrick's unwillingness to constantly congratulate him on his misconstruction of points, dumb stories, and flat-out insults, that the dude, as one reviewer here put it, "literally comes apart on the page." The author goes to Kubrick's house and is only offered sandwiches instead of a buffet. Rafi literally complains about this. He belittles Kubrick every chance he gets, which seems, um, a bit...inaccurate? The few details he gives about how he would have done EWS make it very obvious that Rafi's version would have absolutely sucked, whereas Kubrick's is a classic. Funny, too, that Rafi boy is a goddamn Oscar winner! Guess even the successful aren't happy... In a secondhand way, we do learn something about Kubrick, however. He never engaged with collaborators, much to their frustration. Instead I think he was constantly testing waters. He'd throw an idea and see what the collaborator would do with it, and keep throwing until it struck whatever it was he was looking for. I also think he stripped things down in order to pull their essence out, the way a photographer might order that her subject keep a straight face, or no face at all. Apparently this really bothered people, especially writers, that he worked with. I just feel like they didn't get it. Maybe I don't either, but one thing is certain: Kubrick is awesome, and Freddy boy Rafael fuckin' sucks.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Willy Boy

    Raphael spins a book out of close but obviously limited contact with Kubrick during the making of Eyes Wide Shut. This amounts to several visits to the director's home, and many phone conversations. A quick, easy read. As a first-person account of the publicity shy director, this is essential reading for Kubrick scholars, but very little of lasting interest is revealed. Similar to Michael Herr's 'Kubrick', which also made a rapid journey to bookshops following the director's death, although mark Raphael spins a book out of close but obviously limited contact with Kubrick during the making of Eyes Wide Shut. This amounts to several visits to the director's home, and many phone conversations. A quick, easy read. As a first-person account of the publicity shy director, this is essential reading for Kubrick scholars, but very little of lasting interest is revealed. Similar to Michael Herr's 'Kubrick', which also made a rapid journey to bookshops following the director's death, although markedly less generous in spirit.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yyab

    If you expect a vitriolic piece of criticism under the appearance of an objective assessment of the director, this is not. This is a literary descend into madness that culminates with pages and pages of transcriptions from Raphael's diary written during the collaboration with/work for? Kubrick. Its rawness and lack of self awareness are to be praised for its revealing of unfiltered rumination, projections and ideations of a hurt ego. It is hard to elucidate if his whatever-it-was-complex was awa If you expect a vitriolic piece of criticism under the appearance of an objective assessment of the director, this is not. This is a literary descend into madness that culminates with pages and pages of transcriptions from Raphael's diary written during the collaboration with/work for? Kubrick. Its rawness and lack of self awareness are to be praised for its revealing of unfiltered rumination, projections and ideations of a hurt ego. It is hard to elucidate if his whatever-it-was-complex was awakened by the proximity to Kubrick or was his general disposition. Whether the female executive he had a meeting with at the bar was being condescending or just an executive, but female, or whether Romy Schneider was being disrespectful by not recognizing his presence in the hallway of a set to the point that his writer friend (also offended) left her an anonymous letter in her dressing room the with explicit sexual provocations, we will never find out. Notice I'll add this comment from my female perspective, because these things sometimes remain overlooked (yeah, I hated it). All in all, I found what I came for, that is, Kubrick's vision, in what he calls from his point of view something like his aversion to give a psychological dimension to characters and show situations instead (apparently Kubrick was living in the 2010s). Also, the final scene between Ziegler and Bill was his idea. So, this was my rant. I'm equally fascinated and repulsed by this book. I would recommend it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    JerryDeanHalleck

    190 pages, and easily could have been half that. Some interesting snippets here and there, but its obvious that "FR" didn't get to know Kubrick very well. A few visits but mostly letters, faxes, and phone calls. It doesn't help that the movie - and the book its based on - aren't particularly earth-shattering material. We get endless of pages of Raphael and Kubrick discussing how the orgy scene should go, or how to update the material, or how should NYC prostitutes talk. You have to admire Kubric 190 pages, and easily could have been half that. Some interesting snippets here and there, but its obvious that "FR" didn't get to know Kubrick very well. A few visits but mostly letters, faxes, and phone calls. It doesn't help that the movie - and the book its based on - aren't particularly earth-shattering material. We get endless of pages of Raphael and Kubrick discussing how the orgy scene should go, or how to update the material, or how should NYC prostitutes talk. You have to admire Kubrick's attention to detail and desire to "get things right" but good Lord, so much effort into such a mediocre and dated story originally set in 1912 Vienna. But like all of Kubrick's movies it turned out to be successful despite the early bad reviews. Whatever his faults Kubrick always understood what movie sophisticates and would-be sophisticates wanted to see. Raphael also writes about Kubrick "The writer" and asserts Kubrick had no writing talent. Kubrick couldn't create anything or come up with a funny or interesting line. But Kubrick knew what wouldn't work and would tell the writer what he was looking for. Stanley was in effect looking for a script that allow him to shoot images that he wanted on-screen. Kubrick wasn't literary. That aside, this book tells us little we didn't already know. For Kubrick fans only!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jing Bo

    It's odd to me that most people who read this book thought that Frederic Raphael was vindictively attacking Stanley Kubrick. This conclusion could not be farther from the truth. It's clear from the book that there is a deep respect between F.R. and S.K. Perhaps this was communicated in a manner most people aren't accustomed to. Perhaps people are accustomed expecting only heaping praise whenever artists talk about each. Praise does not mean respect. Critiques do not mean a lack of respect. It's odd to me that most people who read this book thought that Frederic Raphael was vindictively attacking Stanley Kubrick. This conclusion could not be farther from the truth. It's clear from the book that there is a deep respect between F.R. and S.K. Perhaps this was communicated in a manner most people aren't accustomed to. Perhaps people are accustomed expecting only heaping praise whenever artists talk about each. Praise does not mean respect. Critiques do not mean a lack of respect.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christian Gutierrez

    I expected an in-depth exploration of the writing process behind one of Kubrick’s most spell-binding films. What I got instead was a skewed attempt to demystify and perhaps discredit the great artist? Some interesting recollections concerning the development of Eyes Wide Shut, unfortunately most of the insight is mired down by an over abundance of Raphael’s petty preoccupations. Unfortunate.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Simon Bergman

    Interesting insight in how it was to work with Stanley Kubrick. The author compares it to a game of chess to deal with Kubrick, but I get the feeling it is more the author who is playing games, or imagines to be in a game. The book is quite self-centered but I find it interesting to get to know hos the author felt during the work with the screenplay and in collaboration with Kubrick

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shervin

    Frederic Raphael is as pompous and self-aggrandizing as other reviewers have pointed out. His portrait of Kubrick is unflattering, though the most suspect reminiscences seem to me how often Kubrick allegedly praised Raphael in their collaboration.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew App

    Perfect for anyone who wants to read about Kubrick's creative process. Perfect for anyone who wants to read about Kubrick's creative process.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Fascinating insight into the process of collaboration and ego.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    I interlibrary loaned this book on a whim after reading a quote from it in another text. When this book arrived a week later, I forgot what the quote was or why I wanted to read this book. But alas, I love Stanley as much as the next guy and I dived right in. It is basically a personal diary of Raphael's cordial but contentious relationship with Kubrick after K. solicited him to write the script for a then unnamed project that would become Eyes Wide Shut. Peter Christopherson once said that anyo I interlibrary loaned this book on a whim after reading a quote from it in another text. When this book arrived a week later, I forgot what the quote was or why I wanted to read this book. But alas, I love Stanley as much as the next guy and I dived right in. It is basically a personal diary of Raphael's cordial but contentious relationship with Kubrick after K. solicited him to write the script for a then unnamed project that would become Eyes Wide Shut. Peter Christopherson once said that anyone who has anything to do with Hollywood is a complete wanker. This more or less proves true in this text, even of talents like K. and R. The process through which a high dollar film is produced is absurd enough to drive most the 99% to armed robbery. Despite these arbitrary machinations, K. does eventually coerce R. into slavishly building a script piece by piece without K. ever showing his thematic intentions or giving up the power of his hand as producer. R. ends up wondering if a year of his life had been wasted, not being sure the film would even be made after so long at the beck and call of K. The rest is history. R. is a polyglot. He possesses old school elite education and old world sense of language. Even his personal reminisces are smoothly rendered with an artisan's hand. (mixed metaphor?) It kind of makes me want to read his novels. Obviously, this book is really only for scholars or hardcore K. or R. fans. How many people have you heard say "I'm a hardcore Frederick Raphael fan!"? Hahahahahaha. R. is a different universe than those kind of people. Though you will find out what it is like to work with K., you really won't find out what any of K.'s thought processes were during the production.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David

    This is a worthwhile read for its rare glimpse into Kubrick's working methods, but ultimately the common criticism of it is true. Raphael spends a preposterous amount of pages on silly analogies to ancient myths in which he is always the defeated servant to the God-like maestro Kubrick, etc. Raphael has the very grandiose, inflated self-image that Kubrick - the more humble man, as even this biased book proves - was always wrongly purported to possess. In reality, Kubrick simply wanted a writer wh This is a worthwhile read for its rare glimpse into Kubrick's working methods, but ultimately the common criticism of it is true. Raphael spends a preposterous amount of pages on silly analogies to ancient myths in which he is always the defeated servant to the God-like maestro Kubrick, etc. Raphael has the very grandiose, inflated self-image that Kubrick - the more humble man, as even this biased book proves - was always wrongly purported to possess. In reality, Kubrick simply wanted a writer who had something - information - which he didn't. Primarily, he needed a little help in updating the Schnitzler novella 70+ years to the then-present day. He didn't want a best buddy or a 50/50 creative partner; merely someone to bounce ideas off of and perhaps get a reality check on his own ideas once in a while. Why Raphael seems so baffled by the end result - when Kubrick goes and makes his own film, as he always did, with the end product bearing maybe 20% of Raphael's influence - remains an utter mystery. What is most objectionable about the book, though, is the passive-aggressively deflationary tone it takes against Kubrick, Raphael relishing every opportunity to cut the Emperor down to size for no good reason. When Kubrick dies, Raphael scoffs - in the last sentence of the book, no less - with a pithy one-liner about sometimes giants not really being immortal, or somesuch. It's downright shameful, and leaves a bitter aftertaste following what was already a troubling and exploitative piece.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cinematic Cteve

    A remarkably candid look at the working relationship between the author and the great director on what would be Kubrick's swansong film, the oft-misunderstood Eyes Wide Shut. Oscar-winning screenwriter Raphael's fast read (186 pages) offers a fascinating glimpse into the creative process behind translating a 1926 Austrian novel into a contemporary American fable of marital (in)fidelity and sexual politics. Most revealing are the anecdotes about the notoriously reclusive Kubrick and what it was lik A remarkably candid look at the working relationship between the author and the great director on what would be Kubrick's swansong film, the oft-misunderstood Eyes Wide Shut. Oscar-winning screenwriter Raphael's fast read (186 pages) offers a fascinating glimpse into the creative process behind translating a 1926 Austrian novel into a contemporary American fable of marital (in)fidelity and sexual politics. Most revealing are the anecdotes about the notoriously reclusive Kubrick and what it was like to be in his company. The key takeaway seems to be that Kubrick often used his genius to manage people and ultimately keep them at arm's length. Still, the author got as close as anyone has in penetrating into the director's mind by way of hours of conversation with him. We learn about Kubrick's working methods, his obsessions with sex, celebrity and the precision accuracy of the most mundane details in every aspect of his creative life. Ultimately, the picture emerges of a phenomenally gifted film director who was still just a man, struggling with self-doubt and creative indecision as he toiled to make one more film that might approximate the legacy he had already achieved. The book also provides much entertaining inside baseball on the mechanics of getting a film made within the studio system. Written with the eye of a novelist, this memoir should satisfy cinephiles and those fascinated by the machinations of the creative mind.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bradley Morgan

    The latest book I finished was a gift from Kyle. It is a memoir by a screenwriter and his relationship with Stanley Kubrick during the mid-1990s while writing "Eyes Wide Shut." The relationship between the two was intense at times because of Kubrick's desire for control and Raphael's mistake in thinking the film would be a collaboration. There is also commentary about how awfully writers are treated in Hollywood where credit can be forgone and payment for work suspended (even going so far as to The latest book I finished was a gift from Kyle. It is a memoir by a screenwriter and his relationship with Stanley Kubrick during the mid-1990s while writing "Eyes Wide Shut." The relationship between the two was intense at times because of Kubrick's desire for control and Raphael's mistake in thinking the film would be a collaboration. There is also commentary about how awfully writers are treated in Hollywood where credit can be forgone and payment for work suspended (even going so far as to refer to filmmakers as unpunished serial killers who appropriate credit from writers). Raphael's experiences with the negative aspects of show business forces him to be wary of meeting Kubrick's demands but welcomes the challenge of working with such a master. However, the most interesting part is within its presentation. A lot of interaction between Kubrick and Raphael are written in screenplay format which made the historic meetings like witnessing a tense drama.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Splenda

    Since I try to devour anything that has to do with Stanley Kubrick, I could not help but check this book out from the library when I ran across it. Frederic Raphael gives a very consistent analysis of Kubrick as a person and a director. But, I felt like there was really nothing new being said about him that hasn't already been said before. The meticulousness and devotion that are usually characterized when talking about Kubrick are well documented in this memoir. Probably the most annoying thing Since I try to devour anything that has to do with Stanley Kubrick, I could not help but check this book out from the library when I ran across it. Frederic Raphael gives a very consistent analysis of Kubrick as a person and a director. But, I felt like there was really nothing new being said about him that hasn't already been said before. The meticulousness and devotion that are usually characterized when talking about Kubrick are well documented in this memoir. Probably the most annoying thing about Raphael's memoir is that he played himself up way too much. Of course, this is to be expected in a memoir, but I felt like it dominated the book a little too much...especially since Kubrick's picture is on the cover of the book...not Raphael's!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    I am surprised I finished this. Raphael's talent as a writer is so far overshadowed by the fact that he is so pathetically full of himself. At one point he compares directors,in their treatment of writers, to "unpunished serial killers". Hard to take all the whiny complaining about his shockingly privileged life style. Interesting to peek into Kubrick's reclusive life, but through the eyes of such a self-absorbed idiot, I didn't really feel like there was much of anything real to see. Raphael ha I am surprised I finished this. Raphael's talent as a writer is so far overshadowed by the fact that he is so pathetically full of himself. At one point he compares directors,in their treatment of writers, to "unpunished serial killers". Hard to take all the whiny complaining about his shockingly privileged life style. Interesting to peek into Kubrick's reclusive life, but through the eyes of such a self-absorbed idiot, I didn't really feel like there was much of anything real to see. Raphael hated the title "Eyes Wide Shut", but somehow its OK to title his memoir "Eyes Wide Open"? How many dozen books already have that truly unimaginative title?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Weinstein

    Cinema hell hath no fury like a screenwriter scorned. What a sour, ugly book this is. Raphael feels morally and creatively superior to Stanley Kubrick and makes that feeling known on every page. There's a reason this is one of the few books about Kubrick that is out of print: it runs counter to every account of what Kubrick the artist and the man was really like, and it says more about its author than its subject. This, and Michael Herr's magazine-article-as-book "Kubrick," are two highly disappoi Cinema hell hath no fury like a screenwriter scorned. What a sour, ugly book this is. Raphael feels morally and creatively superior to Stanley Kubrick and makes that feeling known on every page. There's a reason this is one of the few books about Kubrick that is out of print: it runs counter to every account of what Kubrick the artist and the man was really like, and it says more about its author than its subject. This, and Michael Herr's magazine-article-as-book "Kubrick," are two highly disappointing discussions of one of the greatest artists in the history of cinema.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maria Traficante

    I guess I wanted this to turn out more biographical and definitely more encompassing on Stanley Kubrick's life. It instead details excessively the screenwriting of Kubrick's last picture, Eyes Wide Shut (which makes complete sense since Frederic Raphael is the screenwriter). I feel that, even though Kubrick's genius is the lasting emphasis, more of the negative aspects of his personality have an impression on Raphael throughout the book. Disappointed, but only because I wanted this book to be so I guess I wanted this to turn out more biographical and definitely more encompassing on Stanley Kubrick's life. It instead details excessively the screenwriting of Kubrick's last picture, Eyes Wide Shut (which makes complete sense since Frederic Raphael is the screenwriter). I feel that, even though Kubrick's genius is the lasting emphasis, more of the negative aspects of his personality have an impression on Raphael throughout the book. Disappointed, but only because I wanted this book to be something it wasn't.

  25. 5 out of 5

    DangerPup

    Thought this was an intimate look into the creative process during the writing of the screenplay of "Eyes Wide Shut". Not sure if this is typical of the processes behind most movies, most likely not as I imagine Kubrick had a certain way of doing things. Gave a small peak into his world, and also offered new books/movies to seeks out based on comments by both the author and Kubrick. I liked how the author wrote "scenes" in screenplay format. Thought this was an intimate look into the creative process during the writing of the screenplay of "Eyes Wide Shut". Not sure if this is typical of the processes behind most movies, most likely not as I imagine Kubrick had a certain way of doing things. Gave a small peak into his world, and also offered new books/movies to seeks out based on comments by both the author and Kubrick. I liked how the author wrote "scenes" in screenplay format.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Don Roff

    A fascinating but brief documentation (if not self-important on Raphael's part) of the making of Stanley Kubrick's under appreciated swan song EYES WIDE SHUT. The book details the year and a half period Raphael spent working on the screenplay for Kubrick's last film. For fans of Kubrick, and of the frustrating art of filmmaking, this book is not without its merits (and entertainment value.) A fascinating but brief documentation (if not self-important on Raphael's part) of the making of Stanley Kubrick's under appreciated swan song EYES WIDE SHUT. The book details the year and a half period Raphael spent working on the screenplay for Kubrick's last film. For fans of Kubrick, and of the frustrating art of filmmaking, this book is not without its merits (and entertainment value.)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Colette

    An often confusing memoir that attempts a stylistic approach reminiscent of Monster by Walter Dean Myers. It works for YA, but not so much here. The most interesting part of the book is Kubrick, but not much insight is really given about him, rather the screen writer for Eyes Wide Shut.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Raphael kvetches like mad about Kubrick, stopping just shy of calling him a self-hating Jew and a complete nut. It was an interesting look at the creative process but more of a self-aggrandizing affair than enlightening.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julio Ortega

    Terribly boring, dull, and self indulgent so-called "memoir", that uses the name of Stanley Kubrick as a gimmick to make you want to read it. The book is mostly about Frederic Raphael, who worked for Kubrick, and only got to see just a few times in person. Skip it. Terribly boring, dull, and self indulgent so-called "memoir", that uses the name of Stanley Kubrick as a gimmick to make you want to read it. The book is mostly about Frederic Raphael, who worked for Kubrick, and only got to see just a few times in person. Skip it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Raphael

    Interesting look at Kubrick during preparation for his last film

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