LACMA has done a great job of collecting and organizing into one spellbinding show all the myriad of letters, ephemera, script notes, stills, set pieces, costumes etc. of Stanley Kubrick’s expansive career. It is awe inspiring to walk through the labyrinthine rooms and realize the tireless nature of a true creative.
If you are able to go, keep an eye out for some hidden gems, easy to overlook when dwarfed by all the elaborate set recreations and looping reels surrounding them. One such find, hidden against a dark wall, are the film negatives for publicity photos of Sue Lyons for Lolita, circa 1962, taken by Bert Stern and Joe Pearce. No more than a couple inches in size, these negatives glow that lovely inimitable 1960s yellow that comes with aged film and beg you to crouch down and take a closer look. Lyons stares at you, fully embodying the character but in poses we never saw on the celluloid, contemporary and iconic. Another happy surprise I found was the signature of design legend Saul Bass on letters passed between him and Kubrick for the Shining poster art. Although not necessarily related to Kubrick, a total joy to discover this hilarious emblem of the designers face on a fish body. Hope you get the chance to see this exhibit before it closes next month.
“In making a film, I start with an emotion, a feeling, a sense or a situation. The theme and technique come as a result of the material passing, as it were, through myself and coming out of the projector lens.” -Stanley Kubrick