Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition

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The work and legacy of Stanley Kubrick, one of celluloid’s greatest film directors, is celebrated at London’s Design Museum. The Fizz takes a sneak peek…

BY DEE IVA

With its futuristic sets and intelligent technology, epic 1968 sci-fi movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, by legendary US film director Stanley Kubrick, has always been a firm Fizz fave. Rotating stairwells, pre-iPad tablets and spaceports with distinctive ‘Djinn’ chairs by Olivier Mourgue are just a few details which have become iconic design moments on the silver screen, while the HAL 9000 computer (arguably the movie’s biggest star) is a precursor to Alexa and Siri.

Now ’Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition’, proving a hot ticket at London’s Design Museum, goes behind the scenes to show how Kubrick created his masterpiece along with other classic movies including ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘Barry Lyndon’ and ‘The Shining’. Running until 15 September, the must-see exhibition dedicates a room to each film displaying handwritten notes, early scripts, costumes, props and models. Rejected designs by US graphic designer Saul Bass for promotional posters for 1980 horror flick ‘The Shining’ are on show, as is a recreation of Howard Johnson’s Earthlight Room from ‘A Space Odyssey’. The droog (gang mate) costume from 1971’s dystopian crime film ‘A Clockwork Orange’ still has a certain frisson today from its associations with ‘a little of the old ultraviolence’.

ABOVE: The gravity-defying rotating stairwell from Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
ABOVE RIGHT: Artificial intelligence in the form of the HAL 9000 computer from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
BELOW FROM LEFT: English actor Malcolm McDowell as chief droog Alex in ‘A Clockwork Orange‘; A droog costume in the exhibition

Kubrick liked to exercise total control over each of his projects, which almost always drove him to recreate places and spaces on a sound studio rather than go on location. Many of ‘The Shining’’s Rocky Mountains-set scenes in The Overlook Hotel were shot at the UK’s Elstree Studios as were the infamous Dawn of Man ape scenes from ‘A Space Odyssey’. An ingenious projection method was devised to create the illusion that the ape footage was shot outside, just one example of Kubrick’s many experimental processes explored here.

BELOW: The entry to the Design Museum exhibition features a montage of scenes from Kubrick’s films demonstrating his signature ‘one-point perspective’ technique

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ABOVE: Stanley Kubrick directs Jack Nicholson on the set of cult classic ‘The Shining’

Kubrick’s ground-breaking design collaborations, including his work with acclaimed German-British talent Ken Adam on set designs for 1964 black comedy/political satire ‘Dr. Strangelove’, are also celebrated in the exhibition. Since Stanley Kubrick’s death in 1999 few film directors have made as big a mark as the great auteur. We highly recommend heading over to the Design Museum to discover why.
designmuseum.org

‘Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition’ is on now until 15 September 2019 at the Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, London W8. Book in advance online to avoid disappointment as select dates are selling out fast.

Pictures: Warner Bros Entertainment Inc; Ed Reeve