A unique perspective on the director of such film classics as Dr. Strangelove, 2001, and Full Metal Jacket, from his personal assistant and confidante.
“As good an insider's view of middle- to late-period Kubrick as there is…funny and casual throughout.”—Kirkus Reviews
Stanley Kubrick has been seen mostly as an enigma—the neurotic Howard Hughes of filmmakers, a bizarre hermit and unknowable genius consumed by his work and obsessed with privacy to the point of madness. In this “weird, revealing delight” (The New York Times Book Review), Emilio D'Alessandro gives readers a never-before-seen perspective of the real man behind some of the most iconic works of art in the history of cinema.
Emilio was a minicab driver in London who had no idea who Kubrick was when he took a job as the director’s chauffeur during the filming of A Clockwork Orange. Honest, reliable, and ready to take on any task, Emilio found his way into Kubrick's oddball heart and confidence. For the next thirty years he became Kubrick’s trusted personal assistant, handyman, cook, sounding board, housekeeper, and pet-sitter—all the while observing firsthand Kubrick’s meticulous working methods. He was even solicited by Kubrick to offer casting suggestions. (Emilio urged his consideration of Charles Bronson for The Shining).
In the collective imagination, Kubrick was an isolated misanthrope. In this fresh and affecting portrait, Emilio reveals an altruistic, effusive, generous, and loyal friend—and an artist devoted to the three things in life that mattered to him most: his family, his animals, and his movies.
"Through detailed anecdotes and tender accounts of life both on location and off, D'Alessandro sheds light behind the scenes…and offers a unique portrait of the man himself."—Vice
Stanley Kubrick, the renowned director of 2001: A Space Odyssey and many other films, is typically depicted as a cold, temperamental, and intensely private man. First-time author D'Alessandro complicates that portrayal with this informal and utterly charming account of what it was like to be employed by Kubrick for 30 years. D'Alessandro, a cabbie and aspiring race-car driver, was hired as Kubrick's chauffeur during the making of A Clockwork Orange. Soon afterward, he became the director's right-hand man. At first he was assigned to menial tasks such as shopping, cleaning, and feeding Kubrick's many cats, but soon the unassuming Italian family man found himself transporting props to the set of Barry Lyndon, attending the shooting of The Shining, and even acting in the director's last film, Eyes Wide Shut. The book includes a selection of D'Alessandro's personal photos, including those of the numerous props he owns from Kubrick's movies. This sweet and sentimental record of service to a creative genius may lack profundity, but the book's invitingly conversational tone and descriptions paint an all-too-human portrait of a cloistered artist and ardent workaholic who expected everything and more from his employees and returned their devotion in kind.