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Expert Advice: Stanley Kubrick on writing characters

14 September 2010

Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio in "Full Metal Jacket" © Warner Bros.

From The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick by Norman Kagan, Kubrick’s approach to creating, and revealing, character in his scripts:

I think it is essential if a man is good to know where he is bad and to show it, or if he is strong, to decide what the moments are when he is weak and to show it.  And I think that you must never try to explain how he got that way or why he did what he did.”

This thought compliments William Goldman’s belief that movie heroes require mystery.

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