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The Stanley Kubrick Exhibit is a Treat for Fans

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The entrance to the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA

The extensive Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opens to the public on November 1st, but I had the sincere pleasure of visiting the show a little early. As a  LACMA member, I enjoyed a relatively uncrowded stroll through the museum’s presentation of Kubrick’s career in film. This is the first showing of the exhibit in the United States and I’m thrilled that Los Angeles is its first stop.

Kubrick has long been one of my favorite filmmakers (perhaps my absolute favorite if you pressed me to choose). His distinct vision and obvious obsession with perfection led to countless unforgettable film moments over the course of only a handful of projects. Each of his movies are given some time and space at the show, though obviously his more recognizable and important works take up the most real estate in the museum. In addition to myriad costumes, props, photos, scripts, letters, notes, and equipment, multiple screens are set up throughout the museum that offer various clips from his films and interviews about his work.

Kubrick was quite dismissive of his first film, Fear and Desire, as well as his follow up, Killer’s Kiss, so these are given relatively little attention with only a few photographs and some notes, although themes from both films would carry over into his later career. Where the showcase really kicks into gear is with the director’s first classic, The KillingStarting with that film from 1956, the exhibit forms something of a maze, leading patrons Read more…

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My 13 Favorite Horror Films: Unabridged

April 22, 2012 9 comments

Thank you for all of the kind feedback on the first half of my 13 Favorite Horror Films list. Now, here’s the complete countdown:

I think I’ve been asked, “Do you like horror movies?” more than any other film-centric question. People LOVE horror films of all kinds, but I’ve always felt somewhat out of the loop because I’ve never responded much to them. So when people would ask if I like horror, I generally responded by saying I just like good movies, some of which end up being horrific by genre; meanwhile, all I could think is how much I hate things like Final DestinationI Know What You Did Last Summer, or the Leprechaun films. Torture porn like the Saw or Hostel franchises don’t do much for me either. This overall judgmental attitude was wrong, however, because the term “horror” evoked the wrong feeling in me. I shouldn’t have thought of bad acting, hokey music, and goofy violence when thinking of horror. Just like anything else, there’s good and there’s bad, so I started to focus on what makes a great scary movie rather than what makes a bad one.

Maybe it’s years of systematic desensitization or maybe I’m a born sociopath, but I don’t frighten too easily anymore. Even if a loud burst of music cues while a mirror breaks onscreen, that brief moment of surprise doesn’t leave me feeling scared. I need Read more…

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 Read more…