Baxter, John

Baxter, John
(1939– )
   Born in Sydney Australia, John Baxter, the author of Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (Carroll & Graf, 1997) first worked as a civil servant before becoming publicity director of the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit in 1966. He later moved to London, where he worked with the National Film Theatre and wrote for the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph, and Sight and Sound. An accomplished journalist and commercial writer, he is the author of film biographies of Ken Russell, Federico Fellini, Luis Buñuel, Woody Allen, STEVEN SPIELBERG, and George Lucas. He knew going into the STANLEY KUBRICK project that his work would not be authorized because of the director’s “passion for privacy. ” After discussing his plans with JAN HARLAN, Kubrick’s business manager and brother-inlaw, Baxter concluded that “Nobody was going to talk to me about Stanley. ” But others outside of Kubrick’s inner circle did grant interviews which often became long monologues “during which people wept and laughed—well, mostly wept, really—as they recounted what it had been like to work with Kubrick. ” Baxter, who now lives in Paris, has perfected a cookie-cutter formula for producing such books. His Daily Telegraph colleague BRIAN ALDISS wrote that Baxter “spares us extensive analyses for the sake of the wondrous narrative. ”Novelist J. G. Ballard considered Baxter’s earlier biographies “among the best in their field,” adding “his account of Kubrick’s somewhat tortured soul is written in the same vivid prose” readers have come to expect of Baxter. Baxter’s desire “to unravel the mystery” of Kubrick’s reclusiveness is perhaps understandable, feeding the myth of Kubrick as an eccentric recluse, since Baxter was denied access to the man himself. Baxter’s unauthorized biography contains a wealth of information digested into a readable style.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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