Monday, December 21, 2009

Just in time for Christmas, it’s the greatest movie never made, and you can own it. Confused? What if I told you its from a director whose been dead for over 10 years? Even more confused?

Upscale book designers Taschen have released a monumental set of books that capsulate the late great Stanley Kubrick’s (2001: A Space Odyssey) unproduced epic work, Napoleon. Upon finishing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick planned to make a large scale biopic starring Jack Nicholson as the French Emperor, with hopes of it becoming the “greatest movie ever made.” Kubrick worked tirelessly for almost two decades on writing the script, gathering historical research, and trying to find a studio daring enough to take on the ambitious project. Ultimately, the film was never made. Some of Kubrick’s visual research for Napoleon was recycled into his 1975 period drama Barry Lyndon, however the rest of his vision just remained untouched for years in the Kubrick archives.

The collection includes 10 smaller books hidden away inside one massive hardcover book. Included in the books are collections of thousands of location scouting photos, research materials, costume studies, script drafts, and the final draft of Kubrick’s screenplay for Napoleon. Another book includes the original treatment for the film as well as Kubrick’s personal notes and correspondences, and essays about the script, Kubrick, and Napoleon in Cinema. Each copy is individually numbered, and only 1000 copies have been printed. As amazing a collection as this is however, it is slightly inaccessible to the average film buff with its price tag of $700 per copy.

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