The New York-born filmmaker Stanley Kubrick generally had poor grades in school. He was usually absent from class. Yet, at an early age, he developed interest in the arts. His father gave him a camera for his 13th birthday, which soon developed him to become an avid photographer. His passion led him to doing frequent trips around the many parts of New York to take photos that he would develop in a friend’s darkroom.
His father also introduced him to playing chess. He eventually became a very skilled chess player. His passion for chess would later become an important device in his films. Interestingly, he also utilized it as a tool for dealing with complacent actors on the set. He also used it as an artistic motif in many of his films.
Stanley Kubrick Biography: His Early Years
His Interest in the Arts
Kubrick attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. As he frequently missed his classes, in the spring of 1945, he was reported to the attendance bureau for absenteeism. Back then, his academic performance was very poor with a meager grade average of 67.
His interest in photography flourished during his high school years. He was the official school photographer for a year. He was also a member of the photography club and he was assigned to take photos of sports events and other school-based activities for the school magazine.
Kubrick’s interest in music led him to the percussion section of the school’s band called the Taft Assembly. He also joined a few other bands including the Taft Swing Band.
In 1943, Kubrick also started exploring more of his artistic side by enrolling in a Saturday morning art class at the Art Students League of New York and a watercolorist class by renowned painter Anne Goldthwaite.
Although he frequently missed his classes, he never missed a new movie offering at the local theaters. About twice a week, he frequented the Loew’s Paradise and RKO Fordham to see double features.
Becoming a Photographer
Kubrick met Marvin Traub at the Grand Concourse and they shared the same passion in photography. The two ambitious boys pursued their hobby quite regularly. They used Traub’s bathroom as their dark room.
During his senior year, Kubrick continued to take photographs on a regular basis. After the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, Kubrick happened to stumble upon a chance encounter with a newspaper salesman who was holding a paper with the news about the tragedy. He took this as an opportunity to capture a great set of photos that can symbolize the nation’s despair for Roosevelt’s passing. He sold his photos to Look, a New York-based magazine, for $25. He continued taking photos for Look for the rest of his senior year.
At the age of 17, his works were published quite frequently. He began to associate with Look’s staff photographers and was soon offered a job as an apprentice photographer for the magazine. This would eventually jump-start his future career as a filmmaker.
“Stanley Kubrick,” Biography.com.
“Stanley Kubrick Biography,” The Biography Channel.
“Stanley Kubrick Biography,” FilmMakers Magazine.
“Stanley Kubrick,” Prodigy.com.
“Biography for Stanley Kubrick,” IMDb.
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