Since Vivian Kubrick was in grade school, she worked as a collaborator with her famous filmmaker father. She had cameos in a number of his movies including 2001: A Space Odyssey and Barry Lyndon. She shot the behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of The Shining at the age of 24. And she composed the score for Full Metal Jacket under the pseudonym of Abigail Mead. Kubrick seemed to groom his daughter to be his cinematic heir. And then in the late 90s, that all stopped. She cut off all contact with her family.
Kubrick’s family was initially cagey about what happened to her, saying simply that she was living in LA. But then in 2010, Kubrick’s stepdaughter Katharina opened up. “We weren’t lying, we were just being economical with the truth,” she told The Daily Beast. “Because if you say, ‘My sister has become a Scientologist,’ where do you go from that?”
The Church of Scientology’s policy of disconnection is one of its most controversial practices. It’s not clear if Vivian formerly disconnected with her family but she did reportedly attend her father’s funeral in 1999 with a Scientologist minder. When her sister Anya died of cancer in 2009, she did not attend that funeral even though they were, by all accounts, inseparable growing up.
The rift between Kubrick and his daughter became final when he asked her to score Eyes Wide Shut and she refused, as “They had a huge fight. He was very unhappy,” recalled Kubrick’s wife and Vivian’s mother. “He wrote her a 40-page letter trying to win her back. He begged her endlessly to come home from California. I’m glad he didn’t live to see what happened.”
Critic Laurent Vachaud argues that Eyes Wide Shut – a movie that seems about as open to interpretation as The Shining – is really a requiem to his lost daughter.
Recently on her Twitter feed, Vivian posted a series of photos of herself on the set of her father’s movies. One picture shows an eight-year old Vivian clutching a baby chimp used on 2001. Another shows her hanging out on the milk bar set of A Clockwork Orange. “I helped cut out those Styrofoam letters on the wall,” she writes. Another picture shows Vivian sitting before a 16mm Steenbeck, editing her documentary on The Shining. And, most poignantly, one of her picture’s shows Vivian and Kubrick embracing on a deck chair.
“In Memory of my Dad,” she writes. “Who I loved with all my heart and soul… Dad and Me on the back veranda of Abbots Mead.”
More photos can be found on her Twitter stream.
Via Dangerous Minds
Stanley Kubrick’s Annotated Copy of Stephen King’s The Shining
Rare 1960s Audio: Stanley Kubrick’s Big Interview with The New Yorker
Stanley Kubrick’s List of Top 10 Films (The First and Only List He Ever Created)
Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow.
Her score for Full Metal Jacket was suitably tense, claustrophobic–especially of course the night scene in which Private Pyle loses it…
That’s a good one.
An aficionado of Bernard Herrmann scores for over 50 years, I put Vivian’s FMJ ultra-minimalist score on that summit, too.
She actually made the documentary of the making of The Shining at 18 years old.
I weighted if I should write this, and you can guess my conclusion.
I have researched The Shining very thoroughly over the last decade. Put I just cannot remember where and what evidence I collected, but I still have to say the conclusion.
Vivian Kubrick filmed Making of The Shining, but that documentary is partially scripted and directed by Stanley. It’s used as “meta The Shining” to describe that the true horrors of the movie are real, and it is like key that helps to unlock the film.
Before I started to research Making of The Shining, I expected it to confirm many theories and evidences that I found in the film. And sure enough, those were in the documentary.
As experienced researcher, I don’t say these things lightly. I strongly suggest analyzing Kubrick’s films and really going through all the information there already is, with open and receptive mind.
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