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Stanley Kubrick's films get the once-over twice

LACMA and the Motion Picture Academy are each delving deeply into his catalog for screenings of classics and rarities, as well as special appearances by Malcolm McDowell, Ryan O'Neal and more.

November 07, 2012|By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
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With the expansive Stanley Kubrick exhibition ensconced at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through June 30, both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and LACMA's film department are exploring the visionary director's movies.

On Wednesday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, the academy is offering a tribute to the late filmmaker hosted by actor Malcolm McDowell, who played the thug Alex in Kubrick's controversial 1971 classic, "A Clockwork Orange." Two days later, LACMA's screening series of Kubrick's entire catalog of films begins at the Leo S. Bing Theater.

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"We are going to be taking people through Stanley Kubrick's entire career, from the little-seen 'Fear and Desire' up until 'Eyes Wide Shut,'" academy programmer Ellen Harrington said of Wednesday's sold-out tribute. (There will be a standby line.)

The academy will intersperse clips of his 13 features with in-person conversations with three actors who worked with Kubrick: Paul Mazursky, who starred in the 1953 war film "Fear and Desire" and went on to become a director ("An Unmarried Woman"); Ryan O'Neal, who had the title role in the 1975 period epic "Barry Lyndon"; and Matthew Modine, who starred in Kubrick's penultimate film, the 1987 Vietnam War drama "Full Metal Jacket."

The academy, which is co-presenting the exhibition at LACMA, is also having a satellite exhibition, "Stanley Kubrick: The Ultimate Trip," in the grand lobby of the Goldwyn through March 3. Some of the 125 items were culled from the LACMA exhibition.

"There are a number of interesting original materials that they did not have space to accommodate at LACMA," Harrington said. "We selected some of those items and paired them with posters and other advertising materials from another collection and a few other objects to create an opportunity for people in a very different kind of space to walk through and understand the unfolding of his career through the lens of people who worked with him."

The LACMA film retrospective, "2012: A Kubrick Odyssey," will be screening Kubrick's oeuvre in chronological order to illustrate "how his style develops over the decades," said LACMA assistant film curator Bernardo Rondeau.

Kubrick's films include "Spartacus," "Dr. Strangelove," "Paths of Glory" and "Lolita," but Friday's opening program spotlights three rarities: "Fear and Desire" — Kubrick would later disown it as amateurish — which has been newly restored by the Library of Congress; his first newsreel documentary, 1951's "Day of the Fight," which was based on his 1949 Look magazine pictorial essay, "Prizefighter"; 1951's "Flying Padre," which was commissioned by RKO after the studio saw "Day of the Fight"; and his first color film, the 1953 documentary short "The Seafarers," which was made for the Seafarers International Union.

LACMA will be presenting three other film series next year tied to the Kubrick exhibition: New York film noir, science-fiction films made after his seminal 1968 work "2001: A Space Odyssey," and a remix of the Kubrick retrospective that also features films that inspired him and films that were inspired by his movies. The academy's participation in those series will be announced at a later date.

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