Stanley Kubrick, exposition of a unique demiurge

Stanley Kubrick is the filmmaker of obsessive control. He applied his Cartesian gaze to films that explored dark corners of the mind and human history. His meticulousness did not stop at his work: he recorded each stage of his creative process and each communication with his collaborators. His legacy in that sense is so rich that it has been used to create ‘Stanley Kubrick. The exhibition‘, an exhibition that arrives in Madrid (in Barcelona it could be seen in 2019) after a long international tour.

The exhibition features authentic fetishes from film history such as the ape costume of 2001, a space odyssey, the table of the Korova Milk Bar where the ultraviolent youths of A clockwork orange, or the typewriter that Jack Nicholson was freaking out about in The glow.

“The idea is to immerse yourself in his mind through thematic and formal aspects of his work”, summarizes the curator Isabel Sánchez. “It is about the look, the desire, the humor, the war, the word, the power or the history”. Photographs, shooting plans, camera lenses, correspondence, illustrations, storyboards, notebooks and so on up to 600 objects from the universe of a key creator.

Recreation of the interior of the ship from ‘2001, a space odyssey’. Viktor Kolev

Kubrick returns to Madrid

During the filming of ‘Espartaco’ in Spain. © Universal Studios Inc.

The show boasts that it is the filmmaker’s “return” to Madrid: in the summer of 1959 the filmmaker stayed at the Hotel Castellana with the aim of planning the filming of additional scenes of Spartacusor that were filmed in Colmenar Viejo (scene of the great battle), Casa de Campo, Aldea del Fresno or Rascafría.

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There was really little left for Kubrick to seclude himself in the United Kingdom, where he became a British citizen and shot the rest of his work, be it science fiction, period, horror or even the Vietnam War.

“In Kubrick’s work you can perfectly see the transition from classical to modern cinema, which coincides with 2001, an odyssey in space, which is when he achieves what he would have loved, for example, Orson Welles: having control from the idea to the end, even the dubbing, because I controlled absolutely everything”, Explains the commissioner.

Control of your dubbing into Spanish

Typewriter used in ‘The Shining’. Viktor Kolev

The Spanish adaptation of the exhibition emphasizes in audiovisual interviews those details of his famous manias in dubbing. Vicente Molina Foix, collaborator of the filmmaker on translations, recalls how Kubrick admired so much The spirit of the hive what did i want to Victor Erice to direct the dubbing of The metal jacket But, given the impossibility of having him, they ended up recommending him to the director of Beehive (to dry), that is, to the deceased Mario Camus.

Camus himself remembers how they sent him The holy innocents and Kubrick only had to see 20 minutes to hire him. Kubrick recommended to Camus that ask Warner Bros executives for all the money they want: by contract he could do it.

Kubrick’s humor

The exhibition claims that humor, even if it signed satire ¿Red phone? We fly to Moscow, is a forgotten aspect of his work. “He really liked creating black humor by contrast, he used Peter Sellers in Lolita to create it or at the scene of the assault of A clockwork orange in which they sing ‘Singing in the rain’ ”, says the curator. Kubrick’s smile, defined as a calm but sly guy, can be seen above all in the photographs of the shootings that mark the show.

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Nothing explains the filmmaker’s desire for perfection better than Kubrick’s own 1997 speech upon receiving the DW Griffith Award, in which he stated that perhaps the myth of Icarus should not be construed as a warning about the dangers of flying too high, but from the need to “forget about feathers and wax, and work your wings better“: Kubrick eliminated chance and spread the most powerful wings with which an author has brought the industry down.

Vestuario de ‘Eyes wide shut’

Vestuario de ‘Eyes wide shut’ Viktor Kolev

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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