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The film Stanley Kubrick called “the best film I think I have ever seen”


Quite rightly recognised as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time alongside the likes of Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock and Federico Fellini, the influence of director Stanley Kubrick on the cinema of the late 20th century is truly unmatched. Reimagining contemporary horror in his adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Shining whilst asking existential questions of science fiction in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick’s influence extends across several different genres. 

With a cinematic mind like an intricate mechanism that worked to faultless perfection, rarely did Kubrick put a foot wrong, taking inspiration from the history of classical art and literature to bring some of the greatest films ever made to the big screen. In constantly striving to better his own craft, Kubrick dedicated much of his time to enormous amounts of research that included consuming a variety of movies from across the world.  

Having previously listed his favourite films of all time, Kubrick’s collection includes movies from across the wide landscape of cinema, including films from directors such as Ingmar Bergman, Orson Welles, John Huston and Charlie Chaplin. The most recent film on his list of classics that includes I Vitelloni, Wild Strawberries and Citizen Kane, is La Notte by Michelangelo Antonioni, a classic that follows the day in the life of an unfaithful married couple as their relationship slowly disintegrates. 

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If this list wasn’t of favourites wasn’t gushing enough, Kubrick also spoke to Cahiers du cinéma in 1957 to discuss one of his all-time favourite directors, stating, “Highest of all I would rate Max Ophuls, who for me possessed every possible quality. He has an exceptional flair for sniffing out good subjects, and he got the most out of them. He was also a marvellous director of actors”. 

Not included on his list of favourites, however, is the 1979 musical All that Jazz, despite the director calling the classic the “best film I think I have ever seen” as quoted in Stanley Kubrick: a biography by John Baxter. 

Despite having not voiced his love for musicals before, it should come as little surprise that Kubrick did indeed hold a lot of love for All that Jazz, after all the filmmaker didn’t disregard any genre of cinema throughout his career.

Helmed by Cabaret director Bob Fosse, the four-time Oscar-winning film was known as one of the most influential films of the late 1970s, telling the semi-autobiographical story of the Fosse himself, detailing the sordid career of the womaniser Joe Gideon. 

Having covered off science fiction, horror, war, erotic cinema and much more, it’s a shame that Stanley Kubrick never dabbled in the realm of a movie musical, with the sheer possibility of its existence getting us extremely animated. Regardless, take a look at the trailer for the next best thing to a Kubrick musical we’re ever going to get, the movie he called the “best film I think I have ever seen”, Bob Fosses’ All that Jazz.