After eight months, the Deutsches Filmmuseum’s exhaustive Stanely Kubrick exhibit has closed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in preparation to head to its next stop. The product of more than a year of curation in conjunction with the Kubrick estate, this travelling exhibit features in excess of a thousand items from Kubrick’s life and career, from annotated scripts and design sketches to collections of cameras, personal letters, and photographs.
Amazed that so much time could have passed since I mentioned the program earlier this year, I made the drive to LACMA yesterday to take in the exhibit. The exhibition design, created by Patti Podesta, began with immersion, funneling guests through a dark theater playing clips of Kubrick’s films overlaid with quotes, before opening into the main exhibit. The displays are then organized thematically, grouping film by influence, approach, and style, through the evolution of Kubrick’s career.
“…we wanted to take on the question of how one represents film in a museum setting. I devised an experience through which one could be inside the eye, mind and hand of Kubrick, using image and text, fracturing and intensification, memory and association. I emulated cinematic qualities in the gallery: Looking up at a luminous screen, constructing sight lines that generate relations between object and image, forming tableaux for a perceptive viewer.”
Of course, I was partial to the collection from The Shining (original props on display included the Grady girls’ costumes, axes used by Jack Torrance, Wendy’s knife, and, of course, Jack’s pivotal Adler typewriter), but overall it was a fascinating exhibit of the meticulous research and craft that went into Kubrick’s films, especially the level of familiarity and control that he had over all aspects of production.
Also particularly exciting was a collection of photos from his early work during the 1940’s as a photographer in New York City for Look magazine, which crystallized how thoroughly Kubrick’s photographic background influenced his later approach to lighting and framing in cinema.
You can read an in-depth review of the exhibit by Jay Weston for Huffington Post here and see more of Yosi Pozeilov’s photos at LACMA on the official Kubrick exhibit site. While the site is unfortunately unclear as to the exhibit’s next stop, if it doesn’t end up in a town near you, this lovely three-part video of the exhibit created by MrChopper0077 is the next best thing to being there. Enjoy.