Color Me Kubrick

Director: Brian Cook

John Malkovich relishes in his joyfully campy portrayal of con artist Alan Conway, a British alcoholic homosexual who spent several years in the 80’s and 90’s pretending to be the reclusive master director Stanley Kubrick in what the film describes as a “true…ish story.” Directed by Brian Cook, a former assistant director to the legendary auteur on Barry Lyndon, Eyes Wide Shut and The Shining and written by Anthony Frewin, Kubrick’s personal assistant, the film is brimming with cinematic and musical references to Kubrick’s most famous scenes and films, opening with a chilling homage to Clockwork Orange, that unlike the original film, doesn’t end with brutal violence but instead with the realization that more unsuspecting Londoners have been “had” by the impersonator Conway. The film, which is more of a character piece than a straight autobiography, allows Malkovich plenty of room to shine and go way-over-the-top with glee. As depicted onscreen it appears that Conway mostly used Kubrick’s identity to name-drop and bed hop in order to charm young, attractive men and dazzle wealthy Brits into picking up the tabs of bar and restaurant bills, hotel suites, etc. while promising each that he would collaborate with them on the next “Stanley Kubrick production.” While he is caught from time to time, having to duck out the back of clubs and restaurants, Conway mostly gets away with the ruse although there’s a memorable scene wherein a young film buff at a bar catches him in the act by citing a Stanley Kramer film and watching Conway not recognize the slip-up until he is confronted and advised to do more research on his “alter ego.” Color Me Kubrick, which earned director Cook a nomination for a 2006 Golden Hitchcock Award at the Dinard British Film Festival doesn’t really shed any light on the legendary director or too much about Conway’s background for that matter but it will definitely appeal to Kubrick’s legions of fans around the globe, not to mention those who enjoy Malkovich being… well, John Malkovich.