Although originally from the Bronx in New York, home for Stanley Kubrick was the quiet countryside of Hertfordshire from 1961 until his death in 1999.
During this period London served as a source of inspiration and the backdrop to some of his most iconic scenes where he morphed the city into something entirely new each time.
2001: Space Odyssey (1968)
The hotel room, that lead character Dr David Bowman enters at the end of 2001: Space Odyssey, was designed using photographs that Kubrick took of his suite and other rooms at London’s Dorchester hotel, where he was staying during filming.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The brutalist architecture of the Thamesmead neighbourhood and Southmere Lake in South-East London became the dystopian stomping ground for Alex and his droogs’ violent tale. The Brunel University campus in Uxbridge, also designed in the brutalist style, was used as the rehabilitation centre for the troubled young man.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The battle scenes from Full Metal Jacket, set in the Vietnamese city of Hue, were in fact filmed at Beckton Gas Works, near the Isle of Dogs. Palm trees were planted and road signs were changed to Vietnamese to achieve the transformation.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
For Kubrick’s last completed film, he turned Worship Street in East London and Hatton Garden in the City, into parts of Greenwich Village in New York. Madame Jojo’s cabaret club in Soho was used as New York’s Sonata Café and even Hamley’s toy shop made an appearance in the film’s finale.
A key element of Kubrick’s pre-production process was location research. For his final project Napoleon, he gathered over 17,000 location scouting photographs, for Barry Lyndon the entire village of Lavenham was photographed and his nephew Manuel Harlan photographed gates and doors for about a year in preparation of Eyes Wide Shut.
Location research boxes and photographs will be on display in Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition.