ALAN CONWAY IS A CONMAN WHO SUCCESSFULLY PASSED HIMSELF OFF AS THE FAMED & NOTORIOUSLY RECLUSIVE DIRECTOR, STANLEY KUBRICK, FOR THE LAST DECADE OR SO OF THE FILMMAKER'S LIFE, DESPITE KNOWING VERY LITTLE ABOUT KUBRICK. IT'D BE A FARCE OF THE HIGHEST ORDER, IF IT WEREN'T SOMEHOW BASED ON A 'TRUE-ISH' 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