To say that I had a great time at the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA would be a gross understatement. The volume of things…of props, costumes, posters, production artwork, was unbelievable. There was a huge wall full of original theatrical posters (one of my favorite things there). Next to that was all manner of camera equipment along with scripts from Lolita, signed letters from famous actors… the list goes on and on. The exhibition was engrossing; I could have spent days there.
By featuring this legendary film auteur and his oeuvre as the focus of his first retrospective in the context of an art museum, the exhibition reevaluates how we define the artist in the 21st century, and simultaneously expands upon LACMA’s commitment to exploring the intersection of art and film.
The exhibition featured some of Kubrick’s earliest works including some short films that I hadn’t even heard of before. And, of course, all of his classics. This post features some of the incredible artwork from several of his various films:
Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to photograph more than just the poster from Lolita. Many of the props and artifacts from the film were under glass and difficult to access and photograph.
So let’s begin with A Clockwork Orange:
While the film is a little violent for my tastes, I do enjoy the film. I am especially fond, however, of the poster artwork for the film. It’s very iconic.
And one cannot forget some of the film’s most memorable props.
Down to the last detail…
One of my favorite Kubrick films is The Shining. This is, of course, the film I have seen the most times. They had some excellent prop-work from the film, but my favorite piece was this (of course):
The next film on our list is Barry Lyndon. While I haven’t seen this film yet, I am tempted to if only because of the stunning poster artwork.
I hear that the film was shot using special cameras an mostly natural/non-electric lighting and was incredibly innovative for the time.
The cameras that were used in the filming of Barry Lyndon were specially made or modified to work with natural lighting and candle light as their main source of lighting. I cannot even imagine where they began with this endeavor.
In contrast to the technical advances that made this film possible are the extensive notes that Kubrick took relating both to Barry Lyndon and the film concept that came before: Napoleon. The following photographs illustrate the depth and bredth of research that Kubrick poured in to (just one of!) his films. I don’t even have my computer files that organized, much less thousands of little notes.
Each of those drawers is full to the brim!
Each drawer corresponded to a specific point in time. Each color tab was related to a specific character, person, or group.
On the subject of films I have yet to see, next comes Spartacus. I have seen bits and pieces of the film over time, but never in one sitting. That being said, I am still amazed by some of the preproduction work from the film. This includes storyboards as well as matte paintings, which are quite impressive in person.
The areas in black are to be filled in with live-action.
Last but not least comes the masks from Eyes Wide Shut, one of my favorite Kubrick films. These were a wonderful surprise in one of the last rooms of the exhibit. Look at the amazing case that they are being housed in too!