Stanley Kubrick - The Invisible Man (1996)

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Interviewees
| Notes | My Summary | My Review  

Interviewees

Interviewee Profession
Malcolm McDowell Actor
Jonathan Pryce Voice of Kubrick
James B. Harris Producer - The Killing
Michael Herr Author - The Short Timers (Full Metal Jacket)
Bryan Singer Director
Matthew Modine Actor - Full Metal Jacket
David Thomson Novelist and Film Historian
Ken Adams Designer - Strangelove, Barry Lyndon
Matthew Modine Actor - Full Metal Jacket
Leonard Rosenman Composer - Barry Lyndon

Directed by Paul Joyce

Notes

My Summary

Part One

    The documentary opens with Jonathan Pryce playing Kubrick by reading from old interviews Kubrick gave about cameras, photography and his early filmmaking. Pictures are shown from his days at Look Magazine during the late 40s. James B. Harris says what an incredible body of work Kubrick has and how his films cover so many different topics. Michael Herr says his films do not age. Scenes are shown from all his films to Thus Spake Zarathusthra.
    Bryan Singer says there is no point to making films unless you are going to show us something special, otherwise just see a play and Kubrick is one of the only ones who can do it. Matthew Modine says the good thing about him is he isn't influenced by pop culture or Hollywood and is searching for the truth - the underbelly of life.  The clip of Moonwatcher from 2001 smashing the bones is shown.
    David Thomson says he breaks the rules by working in England, being secretive, not being on a schedule and exerts enormous control while not being in the system. He calls him the Howard Hughes type. Malcolm McDowell says, "Having dinner with him he'll start eating stewed pears or something when you are just have the meat. He'll take a piece of pork, piece of ham, piece of cream cake or something else and I ask, 'Why are you...?' 'It's just food. This is how Napoleon ate.' And I went Uh, oh! Uh, oh! We don't have to call you Bonaparte though do we?"

My Review

    The is the first show to tackle a Kubrick documentary and it does a good job of getting a hold of people that really knew and worked with Kubrick. It also features some rare footage of the making of 2001 and Fear and Desire. The only thing is it seems like the director wants to paint Kubrick in a bad light. He centers on all the comments that are negative about Kubrick like that he doesn't go out, doesn't do interviews, is a meglomaniac, is cold etc. It is one thing to let people speak their minds, it is another to edit comments together as to make him look bad. After all, he was a regular guy and a film maker. It doesn't really matter in the end if he made the orchestra do 105 takes of a song for Barry Lyndon. The end result is something spectacular. I don't really care if he was like that because he was a good person, a loving husband and family man who never got involved in any kind of scandal, affairs or any personal nonsense. Look at that old pervert Woody Allen who runs off with his adopted daughter and there are very few people willing to call him despicable. There is a disgraceful person, but because he makes films most people overlook it and line up to work with him even though most everything he has done for a long time has been forgettable. Kubrick's films are still being talked about everyday.
      This is a great special for ACO fans because ACO seems to have gotten the bulk of the discussion. Malcolm is interviewed more than anyone especially with Lolita and Barry Lyndon skipped, Spartacus glossed over and Eyes Wide Shut hadn't been made yet. This attests to the power of the film even with the fact that this was when The Ban was still in effect in the UK. This is the bad thing about this documentary. It is too short, not everything is covered in depth and there seems to be a hidden agenda of slighting Kubrick a bit. I think this is because they couldn't get to talk to the man himself. If he won't defend himself, then they are saying too bad. I respect Kubrick for not wanting to stick his face in the media. I am quite bored with the stars who constantly have to get out there and give their worthless opinions all the time and they end up sounding like nitwits. Kubrick was the smart one as people are more drawn to the mystery.
    Malcolm expands on stories more than he usually does here and even though he is shown sitting down from the waist up he is pretty animated. It seems like he is sitting on a stool in an empty room. The background is a weird combination of like colors - shades of orange and yellow. He has shorter hair than usual and a very light beard.
    Even though Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures was made five years later was officially done by Kubrick's family and was much longer and better, there is ten times more Malcolm here. For some reason Malcolm only has one scene in ALIP and in this he is seen numerous times throughout.  If you are looking for the special with the most ACO then go with this one. If you want the best look at Kubrick then of course go with ALIP which does have many great behind the scenes pictures, but not enough interviews as only Malcolm is interviewed.

Rating 9/10

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