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Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick
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Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick

3.16  ·  Rating Details ·  316 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
The author describes his experiences working with Stanley Kubrick on his last film, Eyes Wide Shut.
Paperback, 190 pages
Published June 22nd 1999 by Ballantine Books (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 12, 2017 Fabian rated it really liked it
Fan service supreme! Finally my 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, that only someone "under the dragon's wing" could afford to tell us!
Rayan Brantdt
Jun 17, 2012 Rayan Brantdt rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Aug 20, 2007 Ben rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, cinema
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.
Sep 21, 2009 Monty rated it did not like it
fredric raphael is a self aggrandizing windbag.
Le livre aurait plutôt dû s'intituler : Deux ans à travailler sur le scénario d'Eyes Wide Shut. Hormis ce détail, il se lit tout seul et est plutôt intéressant si on veut en savoir plus sur le travail d'adaptation.
Dec 09, 2011 Bryan rated it liked it
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
Jan 11, 2013 David rated it it was ok
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
Cinematic Cteve
Mar 16, 2014 Cinematic Cteve rated it liked it
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
Feb 24, 2015 Bradley rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
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 ...more
Ryan Splenda
Aug 17, 2013 Ryan Splenda rated it liked it
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
Bruce Weinstein
Sep 03, 2016 Bruce Weinstein rated it did not like it
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
May 27, 2014 Chad rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Maria Traficante
Jun 19, 2009 Maria Traficante rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Jun 30, 2012 Greg rated it it was ok
An amazing artifact of self-grandulatory hubris. What's so impressive about this book is that Raphael, as author - has all the power to paint himself in the most flattering light possible yet he still manages to show his ass for the petty, bitter, jaded writer that he is. Worth a read just for the glimpses of what an intimate working relationship with Kubrick is like - however slanted the portrayal.
Dec 04, 2013 DangerPup rated it really liked it
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.
Don Roff
Jan 12, 2008 Don Roff rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Film buffs, clandestine pricks
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.)
Nov 17, 2012 Mike rated it it was ok
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.
May 29, 2012 Colette rated it did not like it
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.
Julio Ortega
May 30, 2015 Julio Ortega rated it did not like 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.
Jul 22, 2012 Greg rated it it was ok
More like a running account than a book. Not a lot of meat on its bones, but worth a peak if you write screenplays.
Interessante se quiser entender como funciona a cabeça do Kubrick pelos olhos do roteirista que conviveu com ele. O que realmente passava pela cabeça dele é um mistério.
Oct 13, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it
Fascinating insight into the creation of the screenplay of one of my favourite films. Kubrick sounds like he would have been very difficult to work with. Definitely worth a read.
Jan 28, 2012 Corey rated it it was amazing
Smart and funny, this is one of the best books I've read on the movies and the fascinating genius of Stanley Kubrick.
Heath rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2012
Colby Allen
Colby Allen rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2010
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Sep 29, 2007
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Jul 24, 2008
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Feb 26, 2013
Jonathan Rocks
Jonathan Rocks rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2011
Manuel Ocando
Manuel Ocando rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2012
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Writer, critic and broadcaster, Frederic Raphael was educated at Charterhouse School and at St John's College, Cambridge. He has written several screenplays and fifteen novels. His The Glittering Prizes was one of the major British and American television successes of the 1970s.
More about Frederic Raphael...

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