Stanley Kubrick is arguably one of the most important and fascinating directors of all time, both for his films and as the man behind the lens. For the first time in the US, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art celebrates this with a retrospective of the filmmaker’s career.
We asked curator Jarrett Gregory to talk us through a selection of images from the exhibition and share a few behind-the-scenes anecdotes.
Often branded demanding, gentle, tyrannical, and an obsessive — as well as a genius — Kubrick was foremost an artist, exploring the visual and narrative possibilities of filmmaking. Alongside stills from his films, the exhibition — in collaboration with the Kubrick Estate — houses a huge collection of archival material such as works of photography, (his first love, and which from a young age formed his instinct for using light.)
Though the enormity of his cinematic concepts showed off his imagination, it was often the minute details that drew audiences intimately into his world. Here, his legendary perfectionism is recorded in the costumes (his insistence on clothes over costume gave realism to his fantastical worlds), set models, props and the baffling volume of historical research showing his influences from art, design and architecture.
Since his death, Kubrick’s works have been taken by some to have an almost religious mystery, whether searching for hidden meaning in The Shining or pontificating the ‘greatest film that never was’, Kubrick’s Napoleon.
Stanley Kubrick runs from November 1 — 30 June 2013 at Los Angeles County Museum of Art