Home > Film & stuff > Stanley Kubrick’s Film Treasures Are Coming to L.A.

Stanley Kubrick’s Film Treasures Are Coming to L.A.

I received some tremendous news in the mail the other day from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Starting October 28th (earlier for members like myself), the museum will unveil a retrospective of the work from genius director Stanley Kubrick. It’s events like this one that make me glad I live in LA.

From the description on the LACMA website, “Stanley Kubrick is the first large-scale retrospective of the filmmaker’s work in the United States. Developed in collaboration with the Kubrick Estate and the Deutsches Filmmuseum, the exhibition provides access to Kubrick’s extraordinary vision and working methods. Early photographs made for Look magazine in the 1940s suggest an obsession with historical research and visual detail, which characterize Kubrick’s groundbreaking directorial achievements of the 1960s through the 1990s. Each of Kubrick’s main film projects is examined in detail through archival material, costumes, set models, and props. The exhibition also includes sections dedicated to projects that were never completed as well as to the special effects (visual and auditory) developed by Kubrick and his team.” More on the details of the exhibit can be found here.

From the looks of this map from the show in Paris, the exhibition will be divided up into numerous categories that span Kubrick’s career. Many, if not all, of his films will be represented, complete with wardrobe, props, manuscripts, and myriad photographs. The particular museum layout seen on the map seems to present the section dedicated to The Shining as a miniature maze, which I hope will be a motif that carries over to the Los Angeles presentation. I can’t wait to explore the treasures of the other films as well, in particular A Clockwork OrangeDr. Strangelove, and Eyes Wide Shut. What may hold the most intrigue, however, is a section dedicated to Kubrick’s unfinished projects. His years of work on a Napoleon-centric film is legendary, though I’m even more interested in what he had in mind for his never-realized film about the Holocaust. Sadly, I can only imagine what his take would have been, but this exhibition will certainly shed a bit of light on a part of his career that few know anything about.

Kubrick’s meticulous nature is well documented, and from the sound of things, the curator of this retrospective might share similar sensibilities. The detail involved in accumulating the material to make this show possible must be staggering. LACMA has been doing a fine job of putting together a film program recently, so I hope they accompany the many artifacts from his films with some stellar screenings as well. I saw The Shining on the big screen a while back with Joe Turkel (aka Lloyd the Bartender) in attendance. He told some fantastic stories, so maybe the caché of the exhibit will attract some more collaborators who’ll offer his/her own tales about the auteur. I know it’s still early and October is a long way off, but I’m thrilled at the whole idea.

In the months leading up to the museum’s unveiling, I hope to write some thoughts about Kubrick as a director and about each one of his films. I have seen them all (at least the ones accessible on DVD) and I’ve seen most of them many times. However, it would do me good to go back and watch them all again. If you’re a fan of film and film history, it would do you some good, too. In all honesty, if I don’t get to them all by October, I’m sure I’ll have seen Eyes Wide Shut and The Shining at least three more times by then… they tend to be on constant rotation on my TV.

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