Color Me Kubrick Brian Cook

Color Me Kubrick Brian Cook

Here’s a great example of how much stranger truth is than fiction and how fictionalising the truth tends to make it more extravagant. John Malkovich, in his most self-aware role since Being John Malkovich, plays Alan Conway playing Stanley Kubrick. It’s astounding what this man gets away with and that he was able to trick so many people for so long while knowing next to nothing about Kubrick. Conway’s genius was in picking a figure so mythically imposing yet visually unfamiliar to the majority of people. His victims had to be more naïve than himself and a long string of rent boys, aspiring actors and struggling musicians succumbed to Conway’s ruse. Practically, the man was clever enough in gaining confidence and making promises that he could seemingly keep, until he got what he wanted, but his cockiness proved to be his downfall, pushing the wrong people too hard. Malkovich is in self-referred "uber-thespian” mode as Conway, amping his character’s flamboyance up to such ludicrous levels that he must have been picking the scenery out of his teeth for weeks after shooting. Most intriguing of all about this project is how involved most of the crew were with Stanley Kubrick and the actual experience he had with Conway. The sole special feature, "Being Alan Conway,” mostly focuses on the real Conway. Screenwriter Anthony Frewin was Kubrick’s assistant when Conway surfaced and was charged by the director with finding out about the impostor. Director Brian Cook was Kubrick’s assistant director for three films and much of the cast had some prior involvement with at least one of the reclusive icon’s projects. Interviews with people who actually met and were tricked by Conway, including Jim Davidson, who bravely plays a version of himself in the movie, are a hoot. A 1996 interview with Conway wraps up the feature with his hope to be included somewhere in Kubrick’s history. (Peace Arch)