Kubrick, Katharina


Kubrick, Katharina
(1953– )
   Katharina is the first daughter of CHRISTIANE KUBRICK by her first marriage, to German actor Werner Bruhns. After Christiane married STANLEY KUBRICK in 1958, Kubrick regarded Katharina as his daughter, and she has always considered him her father. She recalls, What I remember very profoundly was him sitting me on his lap, and saying, “It would be nice if you would call me ‘Daddy,’” because I called him “Stanley” like my mother did . . . It’s funny, because several years later I was on the set of The Shining [1980], and I called him “Daddy,” and he said, “Call me ‘Stanley’ on the set. ” So we had come full circle. In fact, to this day she alternately refers to him as “Daddy” and “Stanley. ” In a 1999 interview with Nick James, she recalls,“He could easily have sent us off to boarding school” [referring also to her sisters, ANYA KUBRICK and VIVIAN KUBRICK], but Kubrick wanted his daughters to live at home. “He was interested in almost every aspect of our lives. He was a bit strict with me, his oldest daughter, about parties. I now have a teenage son who worries the life out of me. So not only do I understand why he was strict, although I resented it bitterly at the time, but I also think he probably wasn’t strict enough. ”
   Partly influenced by her mother, Katharina studied art at college, and she has been painting ever since. She favors the still life and paints with meticulous, exacting detail. She explains, “If I tell you that the 16th- and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painters are my heroes, it gives you some idea. I’m into water drops, reflections, textures, glass and metal, and all that stuff. ”
   For 10 years she also enjoyed a rather successful career in the British film industry, in the art departments of such films as Midnight Express (1978), Supergirl (1982), The Dark Crystal (1982), Saturn 3 (1980, for directors JOHN BARRY and Stanley Donen), The Sphinx (1981), and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977, working for production designer KEN ADAM). On the last, she designed the teeth for the “Jaws” character, played by Richard Kiel.
   She also confirms that Stanley Kubrick helped with the lighting for the interior super-tanker set on The Spy Who Loved Me, as a favor to Ken Adam: It was a huge set, and the lighting cameraman [Claude Renoir] was actually losing his eyesight at the time and didn’t know how to light it. So Ken called in a favor. And so Daddy came very, very lowkey—“ the man who wasn’t there”—and made a few suggestions, and it worked perfectly. And of course, Daddy did the thing he always did: he used the practical lights, the lights that “would be” there. Katharina Kubrick also worked on her father’s films, mostly doing location scouting and prop buying. Kubrick sent her to Alaska to find second-unit locations for The Shining, but that footage ended up being shot in the United Kingdom, as Anchorage had no snowstorms that winter. She also traveled to the American Southwest to acquire Native American rugs and other objects to be used as set dressings. Her work was more extensive on Kubrick’s previous film, BARRY LYNDON (1975), for which Katharina did a great deal of location scouting. She recalls: I was in art school by that time, and Stanley didn’t want me to stay home, because the whole family was going over to Ireland. Anya and Vivian are younger than I am, so he said, “There’s no way you’re staying here; you’re coming with us. ” So we all went to Ireland, and I was put to work in the art department, sticking hundreds of location photos together to make “pans,” and putting them along the walls of the long corridor outside the art department rooms—which were actually the top floor bedrooms of the Ardree Hotel in Waterford. Stanley had shown me how to take pictures and develop them . . . And so I looked for locations, photographing everything from 18th-century-looking muddy tracks to stately homes . . . Stanley said,“Take photographs of the houses in such a way that I can say to the second unit cameraman, ‘Shoot it from this angle. ’” So I would cover it 360, but then I would say,“Look, I think this is the shot. ” While working on Barry Lyndon, Katharina met PHILIP HOBBS, who was catering the picture. They dated for a while, but Kubrick did not want his daughter “fraternizing with the crew,” as she recalled. So Hobbs and Katharina split up, and she left the shoot to return to art school. Some 10 years later, she and Hobbs met again and rekindled their romance. On March 10, 1984, they were married. White Hare on Green Metallic Card, by Katharina Kubrick, oil on canvas, 36 x 26 cm (Katharina Kubrick) They have three sons:Alexander, Joseph, and Jack. Alexander Hobbs, the oldest, appears with his mother in a cameo in EYES WIDE SHUT (1999). The scene occurs early in the film, in the office of Dr. Bill Harford (TOM CRUISE). Alexander plays a patient who is having his sore throat examined, and Katharina plays his mother.
   Katharina’s other major contribution to the film is that four of her paintings hang, alongside her mother’s, in the Central Park West apartment of Bill and Alice Harford (NICOLE KIDMAN). Her most noticeable painting in the film is of a cat, Polly, a beloved family pet that lived to the age of 22. She explains:
   Polly loved Dad. She would sleep on his chest if he let her. I painted the picture of her for his 60th birthday . . . I consider his placing that painting in such a prominent position in Eyes Wide Shut as a huge compliment, and a “thank you” from Stanley. Along with other members of her family, Katharina Kubrick has found the misrepresentation of her father in the press to be maddening. “What Daddy didn’t know about females was not worth knowing,” she says,“yet people say he was a misogynist, and he didn’t know about women. ” As for the old chestnut that Kubrick was a recluse, she responds that, “he knew an extraordinary amount of people, and when we were children we had writers and scientists and actors and zoologists and anthropologists visiting Stanley. We were exposed to all these interesting people. ” Katharina Kubrick appears in the documentary STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE IN PICTURES (2001), produced and directed by her uncle, JAN HARLAN. She is also seen in a “making-of ” documentary that appears on the DVD release of The Spy Who Loved Me. She contributes to an online “FAQ” (frequently asked questions) about her father, sponsored by the discussion group alt. movies. kubrick.
   In May 2001, she represented the Kubrick family at a ceremony inducting her father into the Bronx Walk of Fame. The honors took place on the Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York, in the same neighborhood where Stanley Kubrick spent his boyhood.
   References
   ■ Baxter, John, Stanley Kubrick:A Biography (New York: Carroll and Graf, 1997);
   ■ “Katharina Kubrick,” Internet Movie Database, www.imdb.com;
   ■ James, Nick, “At Home With the Kubricks,” Sight and Sound 9, no. 9 (September 1999): 12+;
   ■ Kubrick FAQ, www.visualmemory.co.uk/faq/;
   ■ Kubrick, Katharina, interview with Rodney Hill, New York, May 18, 2001;
   ■ LoBrutto, Vincent, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (New York: Da Capo, 1999).

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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