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on 22 February 2017
This is probably one of my favourite books I own. It's utterly fascinating to see Kubrick's process and I actually find this more appealing than some of his films I might say. It's another reason why I love the Taschen book about his archive. It's a must read if you're a fan.

This book only covers Napoleon but the amount of research that went into it is staggering.

The book itself is really beautiful. It's quite large and heavy and the binding is lovely. Worth every penny.
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on 20 June 2011
for a film that was never made, this 'making of' book really does cover every available bit of of the production with meticulous details regarding every aspect from concept to scripting to outfitting and location shooting.

there's more than enough information here to make even the most obsessive Kubrick fan drool. Make plenty of room on your bookshelves though..this thing is huge!
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on 24 July 2011
This awesome publication is a must for:
* Fans of Kubrick - proving, amongst many other things, that character motivation was a driving force in his films.
* Students of film - this is how a great director put a film together, even working out how much an extra would be paid per day.
* People with large, reinforced bookshelves.
Just because the film was never made in no way diminishes this fascinating book. It's beautifully put together and arranged, and editor Alison Castle (who must have the best job in the world) has turned the compilation into a compelling narrative.
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on 24 November 2011
This is a wonderful book. Great insight into a brilliant mind and an inspiration to anyone who wants to make a movie. The only drawback for me is a sense of frustration that this movie never actually got made by Kubrick - so much love and care taken in preparation for it. But we did get Barry Lyndon which incorporates a great deal of the ideas and approach, in many ways this book could also be seen as a making of that

The design and quality of the book are outstanding, no surprise where Taschen are concerned.

A great job by Alison Castle in bringing it all together.

I would happily buy similar books for all his films.
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If ever proof were needed that it was a myth that Stanley Kubrick was in a position to make any film he wanted, his oft-thwarted attempts to bring his dream project Napoleon to the screen provide it in ample quantities. It was originally going to go ahead in 1971, but a combination of MGM's operating losses, a huge downturn in moviegoing and the massive box-office failure of Waterloo all killed it off. In later years, even though no Kubrick film ever lost money from Lolita onwards and most made huge profits, the industry wasn't interested in epics though Kubrick tried to prove he could pull it off by making Barry Lyndon - which caused another wave of problems. Although that turned a profit, it also went overbudget (largely because of having to relocate from Ireland after the IRA threatened to bomb the set and/or kill Kubrick and Ryan O'Neal and their families for 'supporting' the status quo by shooting scenes with extras playing the 18th Century British army on Irish soil) and it was around then that the legend that Kubrick's films were endless shoots began, which only deterred studios even more.

Even though he delivered three profitable films in a row after that, he could never really shake studios concerns that a Kubrick-length shoot on an epic wasn't a good bet even though his films were never particularly expensive. It didn't help that he was tied to Warner Bros., who have never been into big period epics in the way other studios have. Yet that didn't stop him working and obsessing over the project, developing it for years and amassing a huge amount of research in the process. After his death, that research was finally published in an the absurdly expensive limited edition ten-book set, but this considerably less expensive one volume set now offers all the contents in a single bound volume that you need to go into weightlifting training to pick up. It's a rather splendid affair - not just Kubrick's screenplay (surprisingly heavy on narration) but as much of the contents of his infamous boxes as they could photograph and transcribe. It's not one for casual readers, but for film buffs there's a wealth of material that it usually takes months to go through in an archive. It's quite an eye-opener to see just how much work had been done on its various incarnations. It may not be the greatest film never made, but it's great to have all the pre-production material put together to give some idea of what could and should have been. And you can bet that the next few Napoleon films and TV shows will all avail themselves of the collected resources.
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on 8 February 2013
This book was purchased in December 2011 (meant as a gift for my friend). Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to make the gesture but I couldn't bring myself to give it away either.
I still haven't had the time to start reading the text sections, but visually this is indeed a sensational piece of work. One can see that the author treated it as a labour of love and with heartfelt respect towards the life and work of Stanley Kubrick.
There's Kubrick pretending to be tossing a rubgy ball on the set of 'Lolita', throwing a custard pie onto a technician's face with amusement on 'Dr. Strangelove' - Christiane, his wife, can also be seen throwing another one on another part of the War Room set, or self portrait photographs taken by Kubrick himself staring at his own stills camera in the midst of filming, and even a full page photo of him up close showing a big and bright smile on the set of 'A Clockwork Orange'.
As a whole, this is a lavish, gorgeous and extremely well designed and researched book, with everyone involved deserving kudos for putting it together, including the Kubrick Estate for allowing the late director's archives to be disclosed and shown.
It is a brave purchase, yet it's really worth every cent spent on it, and of course an essential buy for the Kubrick aficionados like myself and for every serious film buff.
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on 24 November 2009
Taschen, the Kubrick Estate and Alison Castle combine to produce this amazing set of 10 books-in-a-book covering the background material for the movie Kubrick never made.

The sub-volumes are all contained within a reproduction Napoleon book from the 1920s. Inside the shell are comprehensive volumes containing location photos, costume designs, draft shooting script, date files, plans and much more.

Expensive yes, but priceless. The content will last a lifetime.

Now sold out in its print run of 1000 copies, but new copies are available on Marketplace.
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on 12 February 2010
This is the must have book for Kubrick fans - following on from the limited edition Stanley Kubrick Archives.

This book is a rare gem showing all the script, director notes, costumes and much more that went into the film that he never made. Whilst Kubrick abandoned many projects, the work he put into the planning of Napoleon is outstanding. One can only imagine what a movie it would have been had it been made. But then for any Kubrick fans out there you will know there were more films he considered making than he did make but by far this would have been the greatest followed by AI which Spielberg developed from Kubrick's plan and would have approved of.

Once again Taschen have produced an amazing book - would you expect anything less from the greatest publisher in the world.? If you love Kubrick - then you need this book !
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on 27 June 2011
It is, indeed, a fabulous voyage on filmmaking through the eyes of master Kubrick. Pity we do not have Napoleon as a film. Nevertheless, this book wide up our senses.
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on 11 October 2013
This is the best present I ever got. I am a film student and the detail in this book is unbelievable. Every scrap of research and planning Kubrick ever did is in here and by the looks of things it is the best film never made. The screenplay ( by Kubrick ) is also included. Everything you could possibly want to know about planning to make a film is in here. A great read for entertainment and reference value.
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