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Stanley Kubrick : The Exhibition

Sitting as we do, in the heart of Kubrick country (about half way between his home at Childwickbury and the soundstages of Elstree Studios), we have always felt a strong connection to this phenomenal director.

Whether you are a big fan of his work, or have a passing interest in cinema, “Stanley Kubrick : The Exhibition”, currently on display at London’s Design Museum, is a ‘must see’ show.

Entrance to Stanley Kubrick : The Exhibition

Covering all of his major works, it gives real insight in to the painstaking preparation and constant search for perfection that went in to every one of his movies.

We were also delighted to see that Kubrick's movie posters feature prominently throughout the show.

Movie posters on show at Stanley Kubrick The Exhibition

The Shining

Saul Bass had previously worked with Kubrick on “Spartacus”. For “The Shining”, we see his preliminary design sketches for the movie poster, together with Kubrick’s hand-written comments “Hard to read…”, “Looks like Science Fiction…”, “I don’t think we should use the maze in ads…”

Saul Bass' concept drawings for the movie poster for Kubrick's The Shining 

Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange

For “Full Metal Jacket” and “A Clockwork Orange”, we learn of illustrator and air-brush artist Philip Castle and the role he played in giving those films such distinctive visual identities. The items on show include concept sketches and the original painting of the “Full Metal Jacket” marine helmet.

Philip Castle's concept drawings for Full Metal Jacket

Philips Castle's air brush painting for the Full Metal Jacket movie poster

For “A Clockwork Orange” we see concept drawings (quickly captured in the dark during an early preview of the film) that show Castle already had the ideas that shaped the final poster.

Concept drawings for the movie poster for A Clockwork Orange

Lolita

The movie poster for Lolita played on the public's perception of Nabokov's source novel, portraying Delores in an uncomfortably seductive way, with imagery that was not actually in the film.

Here we see shots from Bert Stern's photo-shoot of Sue Lyon and the now famous lollipop that features prominently on the poster.

A photo from Bert Stern's photo-shoot of Sue Lyon for the Kubrick film Lolita

A photo from Bert Stern's photo-shoot of Sue Lyon for the Kubrick film Lolita

Eyes Wide Shut 

Perhaps the greatest revelation for movie poster fans is the concept artwork for “Eyes Wide Shut” posters produced by Christiane and Katharina Kubrick and taking the Venetian masks of the film as their key theme.

Venetian masks used in the Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut

Their artwork delivers iconic movie poster imagery that mixes the film’s two stars with high-art and the dark and mysterious tones of the film.

Christiane and Katharina Kubrick's concept art for the Eyes Wide Shut poster

They are STUNNING and we would love to know why they weren’t used for the film.

Christiane and Katharina Kubrick's concept art for the Eyes Wide Shut poster Christiane and Katharina Kubrick's concept art for the Eyes Wide Shut poster

 

2001 : A Space Odyssey

The exhibition closes with Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

Some of the 2001 A Space Odyssey exhibits at Stanley Kubrick : The Exhibition

Set within original space-craft models and concept art, we find the HAL 9000. The most human computer ever portrayed in film.

The HAL 9000 computer from Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey

We have inevitably focused on the movie poster elements on show, but there is so much more to take in. It is a fascinating step in to the mind of one of the 20th Century's greatest film-makers. It is unmissable.

The exhibition runs until the 15th September, but, you must pre-book, tickets are selling out days in advance. It is that good.

Stanley Kubrick The Exhibition

 

If you are interested in Kubrick's work, you can see which movie posters we currently have available for Kubrick films here.

 

Adam and the Art of the Movies team.

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