The Fear of Flying Affected Stanley Kubrick’s Career

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Fact: Stanley Kubrick’s Fear of Flying Affected His Career

The producer and director was responsible for some of Hollywood’s finest movies had a really serious flying phobia that affected nearly every aspect of his life, including his film making projects. After moving to England and settling there, Kubrick refused to take a flight to any part of the world. Instead, he opted for boat trips. The phobia affected various of his movie making projects. Numerous developments after Spartacus were all filmed in England to accommodate Kubrick’s phobia. The Vietnam-based film Full Metal Jacket is one example of a Kubrick movie that was fully shot and produced in England.

Kubrick’s phobia is incredibly ironic because during his early years, the brilliant producer obtained a pilot’s license. The process of acquiring the license only increased the lack of trust in commercial airlines, Kubrick said numerous times. According to Kubrick, commercial airlines were making compromises with safety margins. He often explained his phobia with the awareness of mortality – a distinctively human characteristic that could have quite incredible psychological impact.

In a 1968 interview with Playboy, Stanley Kubrick was asked about previous movies he has directed that dealt with space travel, his reply to his fear was

“I suppose it comes down to a rather awesome awareness of mortality. Our ability, unlike the other animals, to conceptualize our own end creates tremendous psychic strains within us; whether we like to admit it or not, in each man’s chest a tiny ferret of fear at this ultimate knowledge gnaws away at his ego and his sense of purpose.”