Touring Stanley Kubrick exhibit lands at LACMA and it's a cinephile's dream
LOS ANGELES – If LA film lovers are looking for something to do this holiday, look no further than the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A touring treasure trove of artifacts from the famed filmmaker's career that has already made stops all over the world, from Frankfurt to Berlin, Melbourne to Ghent, Zurich to Rome, Paris to Amsterdam, it has set up shop in LA through June 30, 2013 and is well worth the $20 admission price.
As soon as you walk through the giant glass doors you're met with a career spanning three shorts and 16 features, including the uncompleted "Napoleon" and "Aryan Papers," as well as the Steven Spielberg-directed "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence," which Kubrick developed. A pair of video walls in a dark room greet you first, with clips from a number of films to get you in the right frame of mind. Then the journey really begins.
There is a separate room or wing dedicated to most of the features. A brief wall with elements from the shorts and "Killer's Kiss," as well as a glass case featuring "The Killing" soon gives way to the first considerable presentation: 1957's brilliant "Paths of Glory." Twisting and turning through the exhibit you're met with costumes from "Spartacus," miniature models from "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," bright white statues from the Korova Milk Bar of "A Clockwork Orange," art department elements from "2001: A Space Odyssey" including a simian costume and the star child model, the giant, NASA-developed lens used to capture mere candle light for "Barry Lyndon" and much, much more.
Off in one alcove is a thoughtful presentation of Kubrick's use of pre-existing music to sometimes eerie, often visceral effect in films like "The Shining" and "Eyes Wide Shut." There you'll hear the sounds of György Ligeti's "Atmospheres" or Krzysytof Penderecki's "De Natura Sonoris No. 1" and "No. 2." Another detour offers pre-production imagery and an interview with a would-be star of "Aryan Papers."
Screenplay drafts, notes, production boards, sketches and models litter the expansive collection. One case is dedicated to Kubrick's many cameras and lenses, while another wall features numerous posters from his (relatively) small but potent portfolio of work.
Most arresting is a scale model of the bedroom suite from the finale of "2001: A Space Odyssey," wonderfully lit and impeccably detailed. Though a major stand-out is the vast collection of "Napoleon" materials. It would be the most extensively researched film of Kubrick's career, with a pre-production boasting so much that Taschen dedicated a coffee table book to it. Yet it would never be made, and Kubrick would use the natural light cinematography techniques he was developing for the film on "Barry Lyndon" instead.
Also intriguing are the many informative elements regarding production design. Whether it's Anton Furst's creation of a bombed-out Vietnamese town at a strategically detonated factory in England for "Full Metal Jacket" or the gimbal rig used for the space station sequence in "2001: A Space Odyssey," Kubrick's films were marvels of design, and that isn't lost on the exhibit. You could spend countless minutes peering into the scale model of the hedge maze from "The Shining." (The room for Kubrick's Stephen King adaptation features Jack Torrance's typewriter bearing one of the countless pages indicating his descent into insanity, as well as the framed photo of the Overlook Hotel's July 4th ball that eerily closes the film.)
Further to all of that, there is an entire wall dedicated specifically to the director's use of the color red throughout his career: the eye of HAL-900 in "2001: A Space Odyssey," the redcoats of "Barry Lyndon," Gomer Pyle's post-suicide blood splatter from "Full Metal Jacket," it's all thoroughly, fascinatingly analyzed.
As you walk through the final areas featuring elements from "Eyes Wide Shut" and "Aryan Papers," past a wall of film markers from the set of a handful of films, you might heed the security guard's warning: "If you go out here it's exit only." I humbly suggest turning around and going right back through the exhibit on your way out the entrance, because for Kubrick fans -- indeed, for fans of cinema -- once truly isn't enough.
Check out a gallery of sights from the exhibit below.
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Let Streaming Genie help you.