Monday, April 20, 2015


Anyone out there ever hear of this one?

Me neither but I found it at the thrift store for ninety-nine cents so I thought I'd take a chance on it. The premise seemed interesting.

COLOR ME KUBRICK is a 2005 British comedy film loosely based on the true story of one Alan Conway, a minor con man who for years went around London and England impersonating legendary film director Stanley Kubrick. At the time (the early 1990s), Kubrick was a notorious recluse and Conway had the good fortune to hit mostly on people who had heard the name Kubrick but didn't really know what he actually looked like. He would use this bizarre charade for money, drugs, booze and gay sex. Oh sure, a few people tumbled to what was going on but no one would come forward and admit that they had been duped because they feared looking like fools.

John Malkovich does a terrific job playing this oddball character and I suspect that Malkovich's performance is even more over the top than anything Conway ever actually said or did. But it's an amusing portrait of a man so hungry for fame and celebrity and the burning desire to be someone else that he manages to pull off the stunt for several years. Of course, his victims are also portrayed as gullible blokes who are so entranced by the reflected glamour and allure of being associated with THE Stanley Kubrick that they willingly go along with his outlandish schemes.

The film offers several visual and musical homages to Kubrick's films and that's not surprising given that screenwriter Anthony Frewin and director Brian W. Cook both had long associations with the real Stanley Kubrick. Cook served as assistant director on BARRY LYNDON (1975), THE SHINING (1980) and EYES WIDE SHUT (1999). As Cook remarks on the special "making-of" featurette on the DVD, Kubrick would appreciate this film and find it hard to believe that it was shot in only eight weeks (Kubrick was notorious for his lengthy film shoots).

COLOR ME KUBRICK features "blink and you'll miss it" appearances by Honor (GOLDFINGER) Blackman and notorious British film director Ken (ALTERED STATES) Russell. The film is episodic in nature, meandering from one con job to the next with no real through line before winding up with a climax that echoes that of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.

 But the real reason to watch COLOR ME KUBRICK is to see Malkovich's utterly outre performance. He's one strange dude in one strange film.

And let's not forget, Ann-Margret.

No, she's not in this film but I just thought I'd mention her.

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