In honor of what would have been Stanley Kubrick‘s 85th birthday, the British Film Institute has published an excellent article on the groundbreaking writer/director, as well as a little-known list of his ten favorite films.
Nick Wrigley of the BFI writes:
I count myself among the many admirers of Kubrick’s films and his remarkable aptitude for problem solving in all areas of life. I would argue that the only remaining unexplored area of Stanley’s life in film is his relationship with, and love of, other people’s films. In his later life he chose not to talk publicly about such things, giving only a couple of interviews to large publications when each new film was ready – but through his associates, friends, and fellow filmmakers it’s now possible to piece together a revealing jigsaw.
I wanted to try and pull together all the verified information I could locate and have it looked over by a wise, authoritative eye. I was delighted to find Jan Harlan, Kubrick’s confidant, relieved to talk about something other than the director’s own films (there’s only so many times a man can be asked about the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey), so I set out to try and dislodge some recollections from his memory bank. Read the interview here.
If you don’t find it interesting that David Lynch counts Rear Window and Sunset Blvd. among his favourite films, that Woody Allen doesn’t find Some Like It Hot at all funny, or that Kubrick loved all these filmmakers, the following is probably not going to be of much interest.
Here is the list. You will likely not have seen many of these films, but they are worth seeking out. Some can be found on Netflix, and others on Hulu Plus in the Criterion Collection.
1. I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953)
2. Wild Strawberries (Bergman, 1957)
3. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941) [script]
4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston, 1948)
5. City Lights (Chaplin, 1931)
6. Henry V (Olivier, 1944)
7. La notte (Antonioni, 1961)
8. The Bank Dick (Fields, 1940)
9. Roxie Hart (Wellman, 1942)
10. Hell’s Angels (Hughes, 1930)