The Stanley Kubrick biography his lawyers blocked in 1970 is finally published

Director Stanley Kubrick was famously perfectionist and infamously unpleasant to work with, and this extended to an early biography of him written by Neil Hornick, now published as The Magic Eye: The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick originally worked with Hornick but ultimately threatened legal action in 1970, and it was cancelled. The publisher had foolishly agreed to give Kubrick the final say, and that was that.

But, after seeing a draft of the book, the film-maker changed his mind and blocked its publication. He complained that the book had "a summary of the good things about [each] movie followed by a summary of the bad points, which, in [Kubrick's] view, always outweigh the good on account of the overly emphatic way in which such criticisms are presented."

Tantivy had signed an agreement with Kubrick stating that it would not publish anything "until such time as its entire contents have been approved in writing by me [Kubrick]". … Kubrick estimated that the "unacceptable" criticisms amounted to a third of the 70,000-word manuscript. But he never specified what had caused such offence and Hornick was bewildered as he believed the criticisms were not that extensive

They gave him the right to can the project in return for extensive access to him, so there's only so much sympathy one can have. But it is interesting just how much the perception of Kubrick's genius follows from his hard-nosed control of it.

Previously: Stanley Kubrick explains the endings of 2001 and The Shining in unreleased 1980 documentary footage