Two newspaper articles
From: The Observer - 14 March 1999
James B. Harris met Kubrick in the early Fifties when the latter was a photographer and budding director; Harris, fresh out of the army, wanted to produce. They formed Harris-Kubrick and, during a decade's work together, released Kubrick's early run of brilliant films, The Killing, Paths Of Glory and Lolita. Kubrick eventually wanted greater control, and to produce his films himself; Harris went on to direct, including 1987's James Wood-vehicle, Cop. He spoke to The Observer on Thursday just before leaving Los Angeles for London and his friend's funeral.
'I've spent a lot of this week reading about a man I don't recognise. I haven't read about the guy I would watch football with, have a beer with, talk about music with, the guy who was my pal. Until the end, we still spoke to each other a lot, and my favourite time was when I was working on a project, and I wanted his opinions. What might surprise people is that he was always watching movies, new movies. They would come to him. He would get prints. He also knew what was going on in Los Angeles, would read the trade press. The beauty, though, as he saw it, was that he didn't have to deal directly with all the people in Hollywood.
I had an army buddy who knew him; who figured we should meet up and talk films. We hit it off, and I was impressed by his seriousness, at least with his work - how this young guy in his twenties already knew so much about film-making. Forming the company was straightforward. [They found an office in Manhattan.] What I wanted to bring were good books that Stanley could adapt. Eventually, of course, we did Lolita. Which took him to England, a good thing for him, even if, after he settled there, it meant he would always be at a distance. He settled in England because (a) He speaks the language; (b) there were no technical problems in terms of film-making; and (c) it was a better place to bring up children. [Kubrick has three daughters.] But it had to be a major city; he was a city boy. Sure, he ended up in Hertfordshire, but he liked the fact that London was close by.There are many things to say about his film-making - his incredible range; how he anticipated social shifts; countless individual powerful scenes, the flying bone in 2001, for instance. But what I most remember is the fun I had speaking to him. Football one minute [American mostly, but it seems that Kubrick developed an interest in Arsenal's fortunes], then next he would tell you about what was going on in the world of thermo-nuclear development... You were never bored.
Excerpt from: The New York Times - 4 July 1999
Title: What They Say About Stanley Kubrick
(Referring to Toba Metz, Stanley Kubrick's first wife) Ruth was an over-the-hill ballet dancer who wanted to be an art director. So Stanley indulged her in that stuff. She couldn't understand why her name wasn't on the door of our office because Stanley's and my name were on there. They split up and he left. We left our wives together. He was rehearsing me on how to break the news. We were leaving for L.A. and we wanted to go out there on our own.
We were not only partners, but we became best friends. We'd do all the usual stuff, like touch football, Thanksgiving dinner with our girlfriends or family. Stanley would start reading up on something that interested us and he'd become an expert on it. He'd get books on how to play poker and study them and then sit in a killer game, and hold his own.
When we first got together, he said: "We should never have a falling out and we should never have any kind of dispute that reaches an impasse because we're both intelligent, we're both articulate and one should be able to convince the other. If both people are intelligent they should be able to buy the other's argument if it's on the right track." So I must be the most intelligent person in the world because he convinced me every time.
(referring to Christiane Kubrick).. They fell for each other, and that was it! She was kind of inhibited because she felt she didn't speak English well enough. She was a very beautiful actress. They've been together ever since. It was kind of a nice love story.
.....I assume he must have been very confident because he always wanted me around next to him. The whole [fear of flying] thing came about when he was a kid and he had a pilot's license. He used to go out to Teterboro and fly those one-engine jobs where he had an experience: He started to take off and he was running out of runway and almost crashed into the fence. He had forgotten to turn on one of the magnetos. That developed in his mind. He thought that if he -- who is so meticulous about everything -- forgot to do something like that, then the pilots could make these errors. If he could do that, then anybody could do it.
.... I didn't speak at the funeral. I don't think I could have stayed composed enough to do it. I sat there and I listened to all these other people that I felt didn't really know him. I felt that I was the only one there aside from his family that knew him. And I was listening to all that stuff and I'm thinking: It's great, heads of studios and major movie stars and all this. And I'm the guy that played Ping-Pong with him, and went through the marriages and the divorces and all of that stuff. Knowing how Stanley was such a perfectionist -- he may have killed himself on this picture.
I forgot my raincoat in the tent, and I went back to get it, and the six guys who had walked in with the casket, peculiar-looking guys dressed in morning coats or whatever, finishing up the grave. And I'm thinking: "Jesus, this is what it's come to. Six strangers dumping the dirt on him."