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Color Me Kubrick
Color Me Kubrick
Actors: John Malkovich, Jim Davidson, Richard E. Grant, Tom Allen, Scott Baker
Director: Brian W. Cook
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
NR     2007     1hr 26min

John Malkovich gives a hilarious tour-de-force as Alan Conway, a conman who successfully passed himself off as the famed and notoriously reclusive director, Stanley Kubrick, for the last decade of the filmmaker's life, ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: John Malkovich, Jim Davidson, Richard E. Grant, Tom Allen, Scott Baker
Director: Brian W. Cook
Creators: Brian W. Cook, Colin Leventhal, Daniel J.B. Taylor, Donald A. Starr, Luc Besson, Mehdi Sayah, Anthony Frewin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Magnolia
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/27/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Tour de force for Malkovich
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 04/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)


"Color Me Kubrick" will remind you a bit of Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me if You Can," in which Leonardo Di Caprio played a world-class con artist who duped people into believing he was a myriad of Very Important People whom he was really not. In "Colour Me Kubrick," the imposter is a man named Alan Conway who goes about London telling people he is the famed (and famously reclusive) director, Stanley Kubrick, in order to bum rides, free drinks and even sexual favors off of them. I guess it's appropriate that I just happened to catch this film on April 1st of all days.

Written by Andrew Frewin and directed by Brian W. Cook, "Color Me Kubrick" is clearly a godsend for its star, John Malkovich, who seems to be having the time of his movie-acting life doing this role. Malkovich tailors his demeanor and accent to fit the audience to whom he is playing, running the gamut from Capote-esque fey for his gay "clients" (Conway is himself gay) to regular-guy macho for his straight targets. Yet, Malkovich never resorts to mere playacting to create his effect; by fully inhabiting the character, he keeps Conway from descending into a merely clownish figure and allows him to register as a fully developed human being.

Unfortunately, although the screenplay is frequently witty and even downright hilarious at times, the movie itself is never quite as good as Malkovich is in it. Despite its overall originality, there's an innate one-note quality to the setup that the movie cannot completely shake, so that, even at a mere eighty-six minutes, the conceit tends to wear a bit thin after awhile. The filmmakers somewhat make up for that weakness by also showing us the means by which Conway is eventually unmasked for all the world to see. There are also a number of surprisingly poignant moments in the film in which we are shown just how sad, lonely and pathetic an individual Conway really is. The most touching sequence comes when a movie-savvy young man in a bar uncovers Conway's ruse by trapping him with a trick Stanley Kramer question. As Conway slinks away from the scene humiliated and crestfallen, we can clearly see why Malkovich is one of the finest actors of his generation.

Beyond the Conway character, the film provides a gently satirical jab at our culture's overwhelming obsession with celebrity and our willingness to suspend critical judgment on a person or a scheme if we can discern a benefit for ourselves by doing so. For, indeed, virtually everyone who allows himself to be duped by this impersonator has starry-eyed dreams of one day making it big in either the entertainment business or the world of corporate financing. Conway has merely come up with a clever way of exploiting that obsession for his own personal benefit.

There's also something wryly humorous in the fact that, although Kubrick is universally recognized as being one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema, his face was so unfamiliar to both the general populace and even people in the movie industry that Conway was able to pull this ruse off for so long without getting caught. Can anyone imagine an individual trying that same stunt with Spielberg, Tarantino, Scorsese, etc.?

This is a slight but endearing comedy that is a must-see for John Malkovich fans."
Color Me Lavender
H. F. Corbin | ATLANTA, GA USA | 10/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I finally ordered this DVD at the urging of a friend and ardent movie buff. I'm glad I took his advice. Directed by Brian Cook, "Color Me Kubrick" stars John Malkovich as a real-live con-artist whose real name is Alan Conway. As gay as pink lemonade, Conway-- aptly named-- "cons" a lot of people into giving him money and expensive gifts by posing as the reclusive film director Stanley Kubrick. The movie belongs to Malkovich for his camp over-the-top performance that delights the viewer for 90 minutes or so. His costumes defy description and have to be seen to be believed. There are lots of hooty moments here as Conway convinces his unwary victims that he is Kubrick. Only rarely is he found out. In one scene he rattles off a list of his films-- he is always working on some new project and might use the talents of his latest quest-- and includes "Judgment at Nuremberg" as one of his. At least he got the "Stanley" correct since Stanley Kramer directed that one.

There are references here and there throughout the film to Kubrick movies including much of the music he used. In addition to being a sad commentary ultimately about a man who is no one but a no one who gets away with this hoax-- he ultimately meets his waterloo when the American journalist Frank Rich meets him and exposes him-- "Color Me Kubrick" makes a statement about celebrity worship.

Although a much better film, "Six Degrees of Separation" is also based on a true story of a gay man (Will Smith) who poses as Sidney Poitier's son and fools a lot of the pretentious New York art world for a season. While two examples of gay people impersonating the rich and famous do not a significant statistical sample make, perhaps the phenomenon should be further explored."
Color me bored
Kerry Walters | Lewisburg, PA USA | 07/01/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Although it pains me to say it, I sometimes wonder, especially after seeing a film like "Color Me Kubrick," if the Malkovich legend doesn't outstrip the Malkovich talent. He was superb, for example, in the too little known "Klimt" and pretty good in the Hollywood tear-jerker "Dangerous Liasons." But his performance in "Being John Malkovich," an excellent film with some excellent acting by Catherine Keener and Cameron Diaz, was mixed. In "Color Me Kubrick," it's so bad that, to give Malkovich the benefit of the doubt, one wants to think it's deliberately so. But even this doesn't reduce the film's tedium.

Malkovich plays the role of a small-time con artist, one Alan Conway, who scammed his way through a few years by pretending to be Stanley Kubrick. Like all good scam artists, Conway (at least as portrayed by Malkovich) adapted his character to fit the expectations of his marks. But the different persona portrayed in the film--Conway the gay seducer, Conway the entrepreneur, Conway the guy's guy, Conway the Hollywood mover and shaker--are reduced by Malkovich to eventually tiresome caricatures. Conway the gay man comes across as simpering and swishy (reminiscent of the horrible parody of femininity Malkovich presents in one scene in "Being John Malkovich), insecure, weepy. Conway the guy's guy (who tries to scam a couple of metal rockers) is loud and brash and pushy--the typical Ugly American. Conway the mover and shaker is an equally stereotyped portrayal of a guy who can pick up a phone, call somebody in Hollywood, and get things done. All that's needed to fill out the caricature was a big, $10 cigar. And on it goes. Each persona played by Malkovich is over the top. There's no finesse at all in his performances, and one finds oneself glancing at one's watch way before the film is over.

Perhaps the film wanted to make the point that each of the types impersonated by Conway/Malkovich are strawmen, insubstantial ghosts that our insubstantial culture births. Perhaps the director wanted to suggest that our culture's celebrity-mania is so extreme that we'll embrace even the shallowest of persons. But surely both points could've been gotten across without having Malkovich hitting us over the head with his buffoonish acting.

That's the bad news. On the up side is the performance of veteran British actor Peter Bowles (of "Rumpole" fame) as the manager of a posh seaside resort. Although he has a small role, Bowles handles it beautifully.

Two stars, tops."
Colour Me Obvious
C. Harris | 04/05/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A must see for any Kubrick lover solely for Malkovich's telling of Conway's infamous con. The film has an extraordinarily weird and almost cringing feeling throughout partially due to Conway's character and partially due to the affectless acting of several characters.

Based on the teasers I was expecting the movie to be chocked full of Kubrick references but after seeing the film I am sadly disappointed. The Kubrick references are few and far between and most are so obvious you almost feel like you've been slapped in the face. Kubrick tended to see his audience as extremely observant and would leave his films chalked full of details. It's sad that the director of this film couldn't follow suit.

Overall the storyline is hilarious and offers an impressively accurate look into one of the most unique aspects of Kubrick's history.