Last week I (finally) visited the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at TIFF Bell Lightbox and I ended up taking a lot of photos, which I wanted to share here. This amazing exhibition spans Kubrick’s nearly 50 year career and contains everything from original props and costumes, to original screenplays, storyboards, photographs and even ‘hate’ mail. Along with his films this exhibit contained storyboards with Kubrick’s vision for the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence (which he handed over to Steven Spielberg) and his unfinished works Napoleon and The Aryan Papers.
This exhibit was such an amazing experience, as you really felt Kubrick’s passion as a director and his attention to detail and strive for perfection within his films. I think what I enjoy most about his films is they never feel rushed. He takes his time to tell the story, making the emotions and obstacles feel real. This also means most of his films exceed 2 hours (a few pushing close to 3 hours).
Regardless, whether you’re already a Kubrick fan or if you are unfamiliar with his work, I hope you enjoy these images and maybe they’ll inspire you to watch/rewatch some of his films.
I didn’t take many pictures as it didn’t contain any props, but mostly photographs and letters. It contained original letters from Nabokov stating what parts from the book would have to be removed in order to comply with the strict censorships in the 1960s.
Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
This is the only film that won Kubrick an Oscar (Best Effects: Special Visual Effects). They had so many original props, photographs and notes, so I was thrilled.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
After the failure of the Napoleon-themed film, Waterloo, and due to budget restrictions, Kubrick pulled the plug on Napoleon and focused on A Clockwork Orange instead. Kubrick had asked Warner Brothers to pull this film from British Distribution after receiving threats against him and his family. Thus, the film did not reappear in British theatres until after Kubrick’s death, 27 years later. On a lighter note it was funny to read letters from the church listing what scenes they demand to be removed in order for it to be acceptable to watch (aka majority of the film). The only original prop was the cane, which was a little disappointing.
Barry Lyndon (1975)
I actually haven’t seen this film, but after seeing the exhibit I definitely want to now watch it. Though Kubrick scrapped his plans for Napoleon, he did use that (extensive) research for Barry Lyndon. However, what I find most intriguing is the fact he was able to get his hands on lenses developed for NASA, which allowed him to film by candlelight and not use any artificial light whatsoever.
The Shining (1980)
Come and play with us, Danny.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The movie was filmed in England and Kubrick found an area near central London, that was set to be demolished, to create the ruined city of Huế. This picture along, with others, shows the area near London sketched over in black marker.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut is a strange movie and I still can’t decide if I like it or not. The exhibit has all the original masks, which was so cool, as well as the ‘Fidelio’ napkin (didn’t show up well on my camera).
Christiane Kubrick’s watercolours of her husband. Her paintings can be seen in A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut.
Kubrick loved photography and the upstairs gallery had a ton of his cameras and lenses on display. Unfortunately, that stuff doesn’t excite me, but it did have his work from Look Magazine where he worked as a photojournalist in the late 40s, which was very interesting. The upstairs gallery is actually free to the public to come and see.
My Kubrick recommendations? Honestly any of them! Personally, my favourites are Spartacus and 2001: A Space Odyssey—both still play exceptionally well today. I’m not huge on war movies, but I really enjoyed Paths of Glory and would highly recommend it if you’re not big on war movies either (Kubrick also turned me into a massive Kirk Douglas fan).
The Simpsons actually pay tribute to Kubrick’s films in the newest Treehouse of Horror XXV, so after you’ve watched his films (specifically A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut) make sure you watch that episode. It is hilarious.
In the Toronto area and yet to see this brilliant exhibit? You still have a few days! Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition is here until January 25th so make an effort to see it this weekend! For more information check out TIFFs website here.