It’s not every day you walk into an art museum and encounter the chilling, psychologically shaking imagery of Stanley Kubrick‘s films. But that’s exactly what happens when you walk into the Los Angeles County Museum of Art‘s current show on the director. The impressively large exhibition explores h Kubrick’s directorial journey through photos, props and other artifacts from his iconic films.
Visitors first walk into a dark room where clips from movies like “The Shining,” “Barry Lyndon,” “Lolita,” mesh with quotes as an introduction – or reminder- of Kubrick’s film aesthetic and his lasting influence. The quotes come from Kubrick himself and other figures, including director Martin Scorsese.
The show succeeds in following Kubrick from his beginnings as photographer through to the developing of his unique directorial voice. It includes everything from costumes to script pages with scrawlings all over them. The art angle comes in at certain points, especially in the “Barry Lyndon” portion where viewers can see how works from William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough and others influenced the film’s look.
The show also announces precludes the upcoming opening of a separate film museum at LACMA West. While I first wondered why an art museum would focus on a film director the second time I walked into the exhibition and watched the clips it became clear – Kubrick’s works seem like works of art in and of themselves. There’s something unsettling yet intriguing about them, frightening yet enticing. Even the short clips hint that Kubrick looked to do more than make a great movie – he wanted to create something psychologically resounding, something that would make viewers react. To me, that’s what any great piece of artwork does. Seeing Kubrick’s films is like looking at a complex piece of art – you can’t pull your eyes away even when you’re not quite sure what is going on. That’s the beauty of it all.
Top: prop from “2001: A Space Odyssey”
“Stanley Kubrick” runs until June 30 LACMA 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Mon and Tues 11 AM to 5 PM
Thursday 11 AM to 5 PM
Friday 11 AM to 8 PM
Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 7 PM
General Admission $20, under 18 free