Tag Archives: Stanley Kubrick

Things that inspire!

Hello again!

I hope your Tuesday is treating you well.

Like everyone else, there are many times when my creative well runs a little dry. Thankfully, the world is full of inspiration to help “top off the tank”. So, in addition to to using this site to show off what I can do, I also want to occasionally lend some blog space to those things that really fire me up and make me want to paint, or draw, or just be creative!

These are the “Things that Inspire”!

For my first entry, I present the Stanley Kubrick Exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

This is the first retrospective of the filmmaker in the United States. If you live in the L.A. area or are planning a visit in the next few months, I highly recommend taking this in.

Now, I am not a Kubrick fanatic by any stretch of the imagination. My favorite film of his is “Dr. Strangelove”. Beyond that, I love certain aspects of his other films but that’s it. That being said, I can certainly appreciate his importance in the world of cinema. So, I was interested in the exhibition. I just had no idea what to expect.

To put it simply, it is the director’s entire career under one roof. There is a treasure trove of personal memorabilia such as letters and notes from over the years. One huge display case is devoted to his collection of cameras and lenses used throughout his career. They go into great detail about things I, of course, never knew anything about, such as his early job as a photographer for “Look” magazine. It is said that he honed his filmmaker’s eye through the taking of the thousands of photographs(900 actually printed in the magazine) while on assignment. They discuss “Fear and Desire”, a film he loathed so much, that he pulled it from distribution and tried to erase it’s existence.

Naturally, the displays of props, costumes, special effects materials, set designs, and so much more are what really grabs your attention. As a Make-up Effects artist, I really appreciated seeing the “Moonwatcher” costume and mask from “2001: A Space Odyssey” as well as the “Starchild” puppet and it’s exposed eye mechanisms. Being a longtime fan “James Bond” art director Ken Adam, I appreciated seeing his drawings and architectural model for the War Room set from “Dr. Strangelove”. Although, I have to say my absolute favorite thing was also the smallest. It was the combination “Bible and Russkie Phrase book” right next to the survival kit prop from “Strangelove”.

My biggest take-away from the event was the staggering amount of preparation Kubrick went through for each picture, even the ones he never made. There was a bookcase on display from Kubrick’s home that was filled with every book he could find on the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Right next to it was a card catalog Kubrick and his hired staff created to organize the massive amounts of research he was doing to prep for an ultimately unrealized biopic of the French dictator. Next time, I think I have over thought a painting, I will have to remember that bookcase.

The exhibit runs from November 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. Do yourself a favor and go. Here are some pictures to whet your appetite!

-Mark

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