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Color Me Kubrick

36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Malkovich gives a hilarious tour-de-force as Alan Conway, a conman who successfully passed himself off as the famed and notoriously reclusive director, Stanley Kubrick, for the last decade of the filmmaker's life, despite knowing very little about Kubrick. It'd be a farce of the highest order if it weren't based on a true story.

Color Me Kubrick tells the slyly amusing and "true-ish" story about a brazen impostor who pretended to be one of the world's greatest filmmakers. As British comedies go it's a bit of a trifle, but constantly enjoyable for cinephiles devoted to Stanley Kubrick and his films. In a foppishly flamboyant performance, John Malkovich dons a fab-ulously colorful wardrobe and uses a comical variety of voices as Alan Conway, an eccentrically gay outcast who spent most of the 1990s convincing his gullible targets that he was Stanley Kubrick, despite bearing no resemblance to the real Kubrick and knowing next to nothing about the director's celebrated films. Preying (with startling success) upon their ignorance and their fawning desire to seek favors from this "legendary filmmaker," Conway conned his mostly gay victims into giving him money, sex, and other kinds of ill-earned appreciation, and Color Me Kubrick (completed two years before its simultaneous release to theaters and DVD) does a terrific job of showing how Conway managed to maintain this charade for nearly a decade before he was "outed" by New York Times columnist Frank Rich, whose own encounter with Conway would eventually lead to the faux-Kubrick's undoing.

It's pretty slight stuff, as comedies go, but it boasts plenty of authority behind the camera: Both director Brian Cook and screenwriter Anthony Frewin were close associates of Kubrick's for decades, and they have terrific fun by peppering their film with a variety of Kubrickian in-jokes, from the frequent use of music featured in Kubrick's own films to a variety of visual in-jokes that Kubrick worshippers will instantly recognize. Add to this Malkovich's crazily unhindered performance, and you've got a nice little cult comedy that will keep you laughing if you're in the right mood. Keep your eyes wide open for cameo appearances by Marisa Berenson (who appeared in Kubrick's Barry Lyndon), Peter Sallis (the voice of Wallace in the Wallace and Gromit films), and director Ken Russell, among others. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • "Being Alan Conway" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: John Malkovich, Jim Davidson, Richard E. Grant, Tom Allen, Scott Baker
  • Directors: Brian W. Cook
  • Writers: Anthony Frewin
  • Producers: Brian W. Cook, Colin Leventhal, Daniel J.B. Taylor, Donald A. Starr, Luc Besson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MNOX9O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,479 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Color Me Kubrick" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Foster Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 15, 2007
Format: DVD
I finally ordered this DVD at the urging of a friend and ardent movie buff. I'm glad I took his advice. Directed by Brian Cook, "Color Me Kubrick" stars John Malkovich as a real-live con-artist whose real name is Alan Conway. As gay as pink lemonade, Conway-- aptly named-- "cons" a lot of people into giving him money and expensive gifts by posing as the reclusive film director Stanley Kubrick. The movie belongs to Malkovich for his camp over-the-top performance that delights the viewer for 90 minutes or so. His costumes defy description and have to be seen to be believed. There are lots of hooty moments here as Conway convinces his unwary victims that he is Kubrick. Only rarely is he found out. In one scene he rattles off a list of his films-- he is always working on some new project and might use the talents of his latest quest-- and includes "Judgment at Nuremberg" as one of his. At least he got the "Stanley" correct since Stanley Kramer directed that one.

There are references here and there throughout the film to Kubrick movies including much of the music he used. In addition to being a sad commentary ultimately about a man who is no one but a no one who gets away with this hoax-- he ultimately meets his waterloo when the American journalist Frank Rich meets him and exposes him-- "Color Me Kubrick" makes a statement about celebrity worship.

Although a much better film, "Six Degrees of Separation" is also based on a true story of a gay man (Will Smith) who poses as Sidney Poitier's son and fools a lot of the pretentious New York art world for a season. While two examples of gay people impersonating the rich and famous do not a significant statistical sample make, perhaps the phenomenon should be further explored.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on April 1, 2007
Format: DVD

"Color Me Kubrick" will remind you a bit of Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me if You Can," in which Leonardo Di Caprio played a world-class con artist who duped people into believing he was a myriad of Very Important People whom he was really not. In "Colour Me Kubrick," the imposter is a man named Alan Conway who goes about London telling people he is the famed (and famously reclusive) director, Stanley Kubrick, in order to bum rides, free drinks and even sexual favors off of them. I guess it's appropriate that I just happened to catch this film on April 1st of all days.

Written by Andrew Frewin and directed by Brian W. Cook, "Color Me Kubrick" is clearly a godsend for its star, John Malkovich, who seems to be having the time of his movie-acting life doing this role. Malkovich tailors his demeanor and accent to fit the audience to whom he is playing, running the gamut from Capote-esque fey for his gay "clients" (Conway is himself gay) to regular-guy macho for his straight targets. Yet, Malkovich never resorts to mere playacting to create his effect; by fully inhabiting the character, he keeps Conway from descending into a merely clownish figure and allows him to register as a fully developed human being.

Unfortunately, although the screenplay is frequently witty and even downright hilarious at times, the movie itself is never quite as good as Malkovich is in it. Despite its overall originality, there's an innate one-note quality to the setup that the movie cannot completely shake, so that, even at a mere eighty-six minutes, the conceit tends to wear a bit thin after awhile.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Miller VINE VOICE on April 1, 2007
Format: DVD
"Color Me Kubrick" is the true story of a how a man pretended to be Stanley Kubrick, during the time Kubrick was filming "Eyes Wide Shut." The man was Alan Conway, who looked nothing like Kubrick (a known recluse) and knew little about his films. In "Color Me Kubrick," Conway is played by John Malkovich, sporting several phony accents and whose performance is campy, but accurate. The film is low on plot; We simply watch Conway con people into thinking he's Kubrick, so he can take advantage of them for free money, free drinks, free cab fare, free sex, etc. Eventually, as his victims begin to grow in number, newspapers begin to catch on. Since John Malkovich is in almost every scene of the film, he's the person that truly carries it. Any fan of Malkovich will tell you that his performance works best when he's using his regular voice; There's a cold, reserved, iciness to it...It seems whenever he breaks away from his bad guy roles into his good guy roles, his voice will change ('Of Mice & Men' & 'Shadow of the Vampire'). Here it changes a lot, but his performance is nevertheless great. The story is very interesting too, because Conway managed to convince so many people and actually ruined people's lives as a result of pretending to be someone he wasn't. In a bit of irony to end all irony, Conway died three months before Kubrick of a heart attack. The film, which was released on DVD and in some theatres at the same time (usually, in my opinion, a bad sign to the quality of the film), is very well made; Filled with in-jokes and little bits of Kubrick trivia. The movie uses a soundtrack that frequently incorporates legendary music from Kubrick's films (music from "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "A Clockwork Orange," and more...).Read more ›
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