20/04/2016 Books & Maps
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE AS STANLEY KUBRICK ORDERED IT
Sworders offered a fascinating insight into the working mind of the film director Stanley Kubrick with one of the lots in their Books and Maps auction on Tuesday 26 April 2016.
The sale offered what appeared to be Kubrick’s own annotated proof copy of the first half of the illustrated screenplay to A Clockwork Orange, which he published when the film was released in 1971.
The unique pre-publication volume of reels 1-8 (of 16) is completely disbound and most pages are loose (pages were originally only glued in), but includes numerous hand-written instructions concerning the position and size of the pictures as they should appear in the book, along with corrections to the captions, in handwriting typical of Kubrick (in red and green ink).
Specialist Michael Kousah compared the handwritten corrections in the book to other examples of Kubrick's handwriting, noting that not only did the writing match, but that the corrections made were adhered to in the final printed book.
In the introduction, Kubrick wrote: “I have always wondered if there might be a more meaningful way to present a book about a film. To make, as it were, a complete graphic representation of the film, cut by cut, with the dialogue printed in the proper place in relation to the cuts, so that within the limits of still photos and words, an accurate (and I hope interesting) record of a film might be available… This book represents that attempt.”
The lot, which came to auction from a collector who had owned it for a number of years, also included a paperback copy of the complete printed book. NY, Ballantine, 1972 (reels 1-16) showing that the instructions and corrections were followed.
The hammer price was £920.