Kubrick footage




The premiere of Stanley Kubrick Exhibition opened October 31, 2014 at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) – Bell Lightbox at Reitman Square, Toronto and runs till January 2015. TIFF considers this comprehensive look at his oeuvre, Stanley Kubrick: a Cinematic Odyssey, a retrospective seen through the minds of Jan Harling, Kubricks Brother in law and long time producer, his sister and Kubrick’s widow Christiane Kubrick, and Kubrick’s  defacto colleagues, Special Effects Visionary, Douglas Trumball, British Actor Allan Cummings, Author Michel Ciment, Toronto film Critic Adam Weyman and TIFF Director of Film Programs Jesse Wente.  These Kubrick experts will discuss his life and his work.


This exhibition reveals the incredulous meticulous majesty of Stanley Kubrick ‘s film and photographic treatise . The Exhibit is a crash course in “Kubrickian”. He pioneered many technical photographic techniques and equipment aside from his films. His cinematographic work is eclectic in its profundity.   His work after 25 years has received a stunning worldwide acceptance of reverence and a downright, cultish level of adulation. 


The maverick Director has unanimously globally arrived. His colleagues think that Stanley himself would have understood his “late” acceptance. Words that defined him almost at the same time belittled him, Genius, ahead of his time, controversial and brilliant.  His daughter, Anya Kubrick, stated in 1999,as she received on behalf of her deceased  father the British Guild of Directors, Life Time Achievement  Award, My father,” he did not relish the attention of those who thought he was something special” .


Kubrick was always attributed to as an auteur and it seems he was destined to be out of sync with his audience and time. Stanley knew this and Martin Scorsese agreeing states, “ If Stanley Kubrick had made only 2001: A Space Odyssey or Dr. Strangelove, his cinematic legacy would have been assured. But from his first feature film, Fear and Desire, to the posthumously released Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick created an accomplished body of work unique in its scope, diversity, and artistry, and by turns both lauded and controversial.”



Kubrick received many nominations from European and international Film Award societies. He was American and his American peers at the time seemed almost indifferent to his vast acumen. Recently in 2003, Film historian Michel Ciment considered Kubrick’s films  “among the most important contributions to world cinema in the twentieth century” and Canadian director himself a Torontonian, Norman Jewison claimed he was one of the “great masters” that America has produced.


The Encyclopedia of all things Kubrick suggested that Kubrick simply took pictures: that catapulted him into becoming an auteur cineaste, inclined to the provocative, the controversial and .the profoundly disturbing.



Xinhua, correspondents spoke with Stanley’s widow, the charming, if reluctant spokeswoman for her husband, Christiane Kubrick, on what Kubrick would have thought of all this newfound interest. She paused, and thoughtfully answered, ‘Stanley received very little praise for his work. He tended to attract, a lot of negative attention at the time. His work was controversial and disturbing, She, suddenly smiled, “But this, This he would have found incredible, unbelievable, really fantastic. He barely won an Oscar”, referring to the1969, Oscar for Special Effects, for his film epic 2001.  He received two Life Time Achievement Awards.  In 1997 from the Directors Guild of America and in September 1999, the Directors Guild of England.”Well.”…  “But by then of course he had died.” She, ruefully smiled.


A long standing credo exists that, Artists that were deemed geniuses seemed to receive the belated recognition in death long after their original works were released. Kubrick died in 1999 after wrapping “Eyes Wide shut” Many awards were received posthumously that continues to present times, 25 years later.


It was clear that Kubrick, as he discussed, was inspired by the multifaceted, fluid camerawork of the famed directors Max Ophüls, and Elia Kazan crediting them as formative inspirational icons.  Kubrick’s film list at the  exhibition is prodigious, starting with  Fear and Desire (1953), Killer’s Kiss (1955), The Killing (1956) Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980) Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Each film is showcased with amazing priceless cinematic object d’art, specific to the era and to the production.



The Kubrick Exhibition draws on the complexity and scrupulous attention to detail that you experience, as you enter the Kubrick Maze on TIFF main floor.  The exhibition leads you on a directed but meandering walk through Kubrick history. Every film played pays virtual homage and was showcased with its accompanying literary and cinematographic icon simultaneously presented to you. Two worlds collided, the real and the surreal.


Film artifacts included costumes, scripts, props, renderings, pre and post production notes, and letters from the Actors. A history of our shared modern life vis a vis Kubrick is reflected back to us. Hollywood names littered the walls, creating  a dazzling cornucopia of fame that includes Kirk Douglas, Jack Nicholson, Peter Sellers, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise to mention a few.


The TIFF exhibition fills 7,000 square feet on 2 floors. The 4th floor features, Kubrick’s, assortment of cameras and lenses that he used and adapted to his unique specifications. This shares space equally with his Look Magazine photographs. Stanley Kubrick at age 18 was the youngest photographer hired by Look Magazine, as he sold a photograph of a news vendor’s reaction to the death of then American President Eisenhower. His stills are remarkable in their ability to capture story-telling, leading directly to his career in film. Jan Harlan, Kubrick’s Best friend and brother in law remarked that Kubrick always knew who he was as a film artist, “Stanley sold Look that now famous first picture for $25.00. Look Magazine hired him and the genus of his film career is seen in all his stills.” There are also featured unfinished projects such as Napoleon and A.I. with exceptional storyboards, renderings and production notes.


Center stage on the 4th floor exhibition is Kubrick’s beast of a Camera that includes the hi-speed Zeiss Planar 50mm F0.7 a lens originally developed by NASA for space photography that Kubrick adapted to shoot the candlelight scenes in his movie Barry Lyndon. NASA in 1985, paid homage to Kubrick naming the space Shuttle Discovery after the epic 2001: A Space Odyssey own spacecraft.


With over 1000 artifacts on exhibit Stanley Kubrick: a Cinematic Odyssey, is TIFF’s largest exhibition.


Written by Cristoph De Caermichael

Toronto –Canada

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