[Original works from the Stanley Kubrick Estate.
Stanley Kubrick and Geoffrey Unsworth developed a system for calculating from the grey tones of b/w Polaroids the right lighting for filming
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Newsletter No. 2, December 2003

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

This second newsletter is already the Christmas edition. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season we are focusing on two films by Kubrick: THE SHINING, in which Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duval, and Danny Lloyd work their way through the snowed-in Overlook Hotel; and on EYES WIDE SHUT, in which Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman spend the days before Christmas testing the limits of their marriage. Both films revolve, more or less, around the topic of family around the perils it is exposed to, the horror it can turn into, and the slim hope for its survival…

"Finally", writes German film director Edgar Reitz in his catalogue entry about EYES WIDE SHUT, "I understand why Kubrick reset Schnitzler's story from sometime during the year to the holiday season. He has done so, not just because this justified the light effects, but also because of the spirit of love. Christmas is much more than this commercialized holiday of expensive gifts. In my own films, again and again, I have depicted Christmas as a time meant to make children's dreams come true, not least of all the dream of the small happy family."

1. Work in Progress

Most of the objects that have been selected from Kubrick's estate to be shown in the exhibition arrived in Frankfurt at the end of November. Dozens of containers, suitcases, and boxes have been sent from St. Albans and unpacking to our curators is "like Christmas" to say the least. Unexpected finds are made every day. As many of these as possible will be made accessible to the public.

The exhibition, however, will not only present these materials from the archives. Some objects will be especially crafted for the exhibition, in many cases entire sets will be reconstructed. These include the interior of the Korova milk bar from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, the insides of computer HAL as well as the centrifuge from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. There will also be a rebuilt model of the labyrinth from THE SHINING. The hedges have been cut from a special kind of foam rubber coated with green paint and placed in the proper order following a complicated map. In the movie Jack Torrance looks at such a model in the entry hall of the Overlook Hotel while Wendy and Danny are walking in the actual labyrinth in the garden. Later on Jack traces his son's footsteps there in the snow.

All these objects will be integrated into spatial installations referring to the respective films. The area dedicated to THE SHINING will be dominated by beamer projections and sound recordings. In this design the curators of the Deutsches Architektur Museum, Bettina Rudhof and Falk Horn were inspired by Bill Viola's work The Stopping Mind. The area reserved for EYES WIDE SHUT comprises two rooms, one of them being lit in blue, the other in orange light. These rooms connected by a doorway are meant to represent the realms of dream and reality respectively.

2. This Month’s Object

Without a doubt the most beautiful and spectacular props from EYES WIDE SHUT are the various masks that are being worn in the film by the participants of the secret orgy. Many of these will be shown in the exhibition in a frieze of masks. A special role is attributed to the mask of the protagonist (Photo right: © Deutsches Filmmuseum/Uwe Dettmar). Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) buys it together with a black cape from a rather shady costume rental shop owner. In the course of his adventures the mask is lost. When later he discovers it on the pillow next to his sleeping wife Alice he breaks down crying confessing the whole story to her.

In the exhibition there will also be original props taken from THE SHINING: the typewriter of Jack Torrance, the axe he chased Wendy with, as well as the knife she used to defend herself from him. A special highlight, however, are the little dresses of the twin sisters whom Danny meets riding his tricycle in the hotel corridors and who remind us of a famous photograph by Diane Arbus. Our curators have come up with an exciting presentation for the two dresses.

3. Celebrity Statement

Our Season's Greetings for the exhibition come from actor ¬ Sky du Mont. He is known in Germany for his appearances as the type of the elegant bad guy in television crime series like Derrick and Der Alte and lately for his comic role in DER SCHUH DES MANITU, the best-selling German movie. Du Mont was born in Argentina, trained as an actor in Munich, and had theatre, film, and television engagements, many of them abroad. Kubrick himself cast du Mont as the Hungarian seducer who dances with Nicole Kidman in an early scene of EYES WIDE SHUT. The actor thinks of this role as "the most significant event in my career". Du Mont can soon be seen on the screen in a satire playing side by side with John Malkovich. COLOUR ME KUBRICK tells the true story of a man who for the two years of the shooting of EYES WIDE SHUT pretended to be Stanley Kubrick (without even looking like him) and was quite successful doing so. The film is directed by Brian Cook, the co-director of EYES WIDE SHUT, and the script was written by Anthony Frewin, Kubrick's long-time personal assistant.

4. Miscellaneous

One Kubrick-classic which is customarily shown on German television during the Christmas holidays has not found its way into the program this year: SPARTACUS. However, at the beginning of the new year there will be a chance to see THE SHINING on German TV (Friday, 2 January 2004, 10:15 p.m., Kabel1). The movie Kubrick shot right after, FULL METAL JACKET, will also be broadcasted around that time (Monday, 29 December, 10:15 p.m., Sat1).

For those who would like to re-watch and own the other films we have put together the currently available versions perhaps something to put on your wish list still? Apart from Kubrick's first work, FEAR AND DESIRE, all his films are still available for purchase. The titles from Warner (LOLITA, DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BARRY LYNDON, THE SHINING, FULL METAL JACKET, and EYES WIDE SHUT) are offered in a large DVD-box supplemented by a bonus: Jan Harlan's documentary STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE IN PICTURES. MGM too released a DVD box, this one containing the three early films KILLER'S KISS, THE KILLING, and PATHS OF GLORY. SPARTACUS can be purchased individually.

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