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Colour Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story
Directed by Brian W. Cook
Produced by Brian W. Cook
Michael Fitzgerald
Written by Anthony Frewin
Starring John Malkovich
Marisa Berenson
Jim Davidson
Richard E. Grant
Terence Rigby
Release date(s) 2006
Running time 86 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Colour Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story (released in the US as Color Me Kubrick) is a dramedy film released in 2006 (March 23, 2007 in the US). The film stars John Malkovich as Alan Conway, a man who had been impersonating director Stanley Kubrick since the early 1990s. The film follows the exploits of Conway as he goes from person to person, convincing them to give out money, liquor, and sexual favours for the promise of a part in "Kubrick's" next movie.

The soundtrack features four songs of Bryan Adams.

Contents

Plot

Colour Me Kubrick begins with a direct homage to A Clockwork Orange with the after-effects of one of Alan Conway's (Malkovich) minor cons: two thugs are sent to collect a bar bill that Conway has generated by impersonating Kubrick. Conway has provided the address of an elderly couple as Kubrick's home address. Conway is nowhere to be seen, and the thugs are arrested by the police for causing a ruckus outside the house.

After this event, the audience is taken through several of Conway's scams, including tricking a fashion designer, members of a heavy metal band, and a popular bar owner. All of the victims are deceived into giving in to "Kubrick" for sums of money, free food and drinks, and even sexual favours. Conway actually knows little about Kubrick or his movies, so he simply puts on a different persona — from reserved English gentleman to flamboyant Jewish stereotype — with each victim. Conway deceives just about everyone he meets into thinking he is the reclusive director, except for a rent boy at a bar, who tests Conway by saying that his favourite Kubrick film is Judgment at Nuremberg; when Conway begins an anecdote about directing the film, the young man tells him that Judgment at Nuremberg was directed by Stanley Kramer, and walks away.

Conway also has a run-in with Frank Rich (William Hootkins), a journalist from the New York Times. He meets Rich and his wife in a restaurant and confronts him about an article the New York Times ran on the real Kubrick. He is personally offended that the paper called Kubrick a recluse, and wants them to know that he shaved off his beard. After this chance meeting, Rich investigates Kubrick to look further into the identity of the man he met.

One of the biggest scams is when Conway promises to help establish Lee Pratt (Jim Davidson) as a performing star in Las Vegas. Pratt is a British entertainer that has seen limited success as a flamboyant dancer and stage singer. Pratt is described as a "low-rent Liberace with an Elvis gleam in his eye."[1] Conway makes huge promises to get Pratt a permanent seat in the spotlight in Las Vegas. While Pratt, Conway, and Pratt's manager try to decide how to conquer America, Conway lives a life of luxury on Pratt's bill. He sleeps in a high class hotel consuming endless vodka and cigarettes, until Pratt's manager becomes suspicious and catches Conway in the act. Conway is thrown out of Pratt's life and off a pier in another homage to A Clockwork Orange.

From there, Rich exposes Conway's lies, and Conway is sent to a hospital after an apparent nervous breakdown — which, of course, is another of Conway's elaborate ruses. His case is published by his doctor and he is sent to the Rimini Clinic, a centre where famous celebrities go for rehabilitation. Conway is shown to be living the good life, and the movie ends with him relaxing in a hot tub (with the Ray Noble Orchestra with Al Bowlly version of "Midnight, the Stars and You" playing on the soundtrack, harking back to the finale of The Shining).

Cameos

Colour Me Kubrick has several short cameos by some famous names.[2]

Full Name Character
Ken Russell The Man in a Nightgown
Honor Blackman Madam
Peter Sallis The Second Patient
Marc Warren Hud

Production

The idea and screenplay for Colour Me Kubrick was conceived during the filming of Eyes Wide Shut. Alan Conway had been impersonating Kubrick for many years, but it was during the filming of Eyes Wide Shut that the information reached the director. Kubrick's assistant, Anthony Frewin, had been receiving various calls and complaints of people who had met with Conway, while he was impersonating Kubrick, and were offered money, gifts, or even parts in upcoming movies.[3] Frewin brought the information to Kubrick, who asked to find those affected. Very little progress was made in reprimanding Conway, however, because none of the people who were conned would come forward. Frewin decided to write these accounts and stories into a screenplay, which would later become Colour Me Kubrick.[3]

Brian Cook, an assistant director that worked with Kubrick on many films, including Eyes Wide Shut, read Frewin's work and enjoyed it. Cook also knew of Conway's actions, and how they affected Kubrick's work and personal life. He mentioned that one of the worst incidents was "when he signed Stanley's name on a bank loan for a gay club in Soho".[3] Cook helped Frewin produce and direct the movie, in his directorial debut.

Release and Reception

Colour Me Kubrick was released in 2006 to various countries (France, Russia, Portugal) and on March 23, 2007 in the United States.[4] The film received mixed reviews to negative reviews. Colour Me Kubrick, as of April 2009, has an average Metacritic score of 57 of 100.[5] Most critics criticised the story for a lack of depth. Tasha Robinson of the A.V. Club stated "it literally only has one idea in its head, and when that idea runs dry, it's as lost as Conway is without his plethora of Kubrick masks."[6]

The critics seemed to agree that Malkovich's performance was the high point of the movie. Brian Tallerico of UGO said "even if the film is essentially a one-man show, a one-man show starring John Malkovich is bound to be really damn good."[7]

References

External links








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