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Coloring "Kubrick"

Posted at 3:50 PM on March 23, 2007 by Euan Kerr

A subtle cruelty runs through "Color Me Kubrick." Much of it comes from Alan Conway (John Malkovich) a former travel agent who found his way into the hearts, wallets, and occasionally the beds of people he convinced he was Stanley Kubrick. Brian Cook's film shows Conway romping through London, conning people out of drinks, money, favors, indeed anything he could get, simply by telling people he was the notoriously reclusive Kubrick.

The rest of the cruelty comes from the people who are ready to take advantage of Kubrick's fame for their own ends. There are many of them.

The film is based on material gathered by Anthony Frewin, at the request of his friend Stanley Kubrick, as the director was shooting his final film "Eyes Wide Shut."

Kubrick found out someone was using his name to bilk people. Frewin amassed a lot of evidence, but even with that in hand Kubrick couldn't stop Conway because none of his victims were prepared to admit in court how easily they had been conned.

Frewin wrote a screenplay as 'an exercise' as he called it. He forgot the script until after Kubrick's death when he passed it on to Cook.

The film is hilarious at times, desperation-filled at others. Malkovich laps up the role, revelling in Conways shifty unpleasantness.

Fans of British character actors will enjoy the cameo appearances several well-known faces make as the plot unfolds. Richard E. Grant is great, and watch for Peter Sallis, voice of Wallace in the "Wallace and Gromit" films.

This film won't change lives (unless you are looking for tips on how to get into the con game,) but it might make you think 'There, but by the grace....."

March 2007
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