Walker, Alexander

Walker, Alexander
   Born in Ireland, British journalist and film critic for the London Evening Standard Alexander Walker was named “Critic of the Year” in 1970. The following year, he produced a substantial study of Kubrick’s career to A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (in production as the book was being written). Entitled Stanley Kubrick Directs, the book was published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich as part of the short-lived Visual Analyses of Film Techniques series and included a filmography plus 350 stills and photographs. (A second book in this series was John Simon’s Ingmar Bergman Directs, published in 1972, putting Kubrick on par with Sweden’s greatest film director. ) At the time he wrote the book,Walker had known Kubrick for 10 years and had interviewed him extensively. The goal of the book was to reveal Kubrick’s thoughts on filmmaking in his own words, augmented by Walker’s analyses. After Kubrick’s death,Walker brought out a revised and expanded version, working in collaboration with editor and journalist Sybil Taylor and award-winning designer Ulrich Ruchti, entitled Stanley Kubrick, Director: A Visual Analysis, published by W. W. Norton in 1999. This book brought the career up to date and claims to be “the only book ever written with Kubrick’s cooperation. ” But Gene Phillips’s Stanley Kubrick: A Film Odyssey and MICHEL CIMENT’s Kubrick also were written with Kubrick’s collaboration. Walker makes the point that although Kubrick was “stereotyped as a ‘recluse’ by the media, he was far less reclusive than other creative people with famous names but almost unidentifiable faces,” such as writers J. D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon. Walker reports that “well over 100” friends and associates attended the private burial at Kubrick’s country home on March 12, 1999, a very large turnout to pay tribute to an alleged “hermit. ” Walker’s book is a loving tribute to a director he obviously admired.
   J. M. W.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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