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This article is taken from PN Review 212, Volume 39 Number 6, July - August 2013.

Stanley Kubrick: Telling the Truth Frederic Raphael
The apotheosis of Stanley Kubrick, after his death in 1999, appears to be consummated in the travelling show now lodged, until the end of June, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Reading the fat catalogue, I was reminded of Geza Vermes' latest book, Christian Beginnings, which depicts the charismatic figure of Jesus of Nazareth becoming the focus of veneration by his followers and then by their followers. After his death, he acquires quasi-divine status and, later, through the pious scriptural refiguration of his character, purpose and nature, He is rated identical with God Himself. Through this process of being praised literally to the skies, Jesus was finally detached from the Jews, amongst whom he lived and to whom he preached exclusively. He even came to be blond and 'Aryanised' in Hitler's Germany.

Aryan Papers is one of several projects which Kubrick never realised, although it came very near to production. The 1993 script was based closely on Louis Begley's novel, Wartime Lies. Begley, who was born Ludwik Begleiter, survived the Holocaust to become a US citizen and a successful New York lawyer. His novel has his alter ego, Maciek, and his aunt deceiving and lying their way to survival, at the price of mental and moral self-mutilation. Kubrick once said to me that he wasn't Jewish, he just happened to have two parents who were. He never made a Holocaust movie, but it was not for want of trying.

The catalogue to the Kubrick Show, ...


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