Just in time for the Oscars, Stanley Kubrick at the Museum

In connection with today’s Oscar presentations, I thought I’d take advantage with a simple sharing of some photos from the recent Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Despite the fact I have absolutely no opinion on who will win an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing or Mixing, and I haven’t seen any of the Live Action Short Films, I will sit throughout the over-inflated presentations with interest. I haven’t seen all of the nominated films and I’m not even sure I can identify all of the nominated actors in the “best performance” categories.

Maybe I watch primarily out of curiosity. Who will walk away with the coveted award, and which talents will be overlooked?

Despite numerous nominations, Stanley Kubrick only won one Academy Award in 1969 for Best Effects, Special Visual Effects for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

He never won an Academy Award for Best Director, but this exhibit certainly cements my impression that he was extremely talented.

The exhibit, featuring more than 1,000 objects pulled from Kubrick’s personal archives, begins with early photographs taken for Look Magazine, and continues on through his many directorial achievements from the 1950s through 1990s.

It surprised me to note how several iconic visuals were extremely familiar despite the fact I haven’t seen many of the movies. Some Kubrick films, like The Shining and A Clockwork Orange, are simply too much movie for me.

Perhaps that was one of my personal “take-aways” from viewing the exhibit. As a cinematic artist, Kubrick’s attention to detail created bold visual images that often make a very strong emotional impact.

So if some of your favorite movies or actors do not come out on top of the award heap tonight, think of Kubrick. He didn’t receive a statuette in the category that most identified his career, but film history will record him as a genius.

How many of the costumes and props can you identify?

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I haven’t seen most of Kubrick’s films, but I walked out of the LACMA exhibit convinced of his artistic genius.

But I didn’t take any photos in the room devoted to A Clockwork Orange…like I said, it’s a little too much movie for me!

34 thoughts on “Just in time for the Oscars, Stanley Kubrick at the Museum

  1. I heard on the radio today that they felt Anne Hathaway would win for best actress… what film it is etc, I have no idea.. but in the light of Lance Armstrong.. I hope she has been tested for all banned performance enhancing drugs..!!

  2. I find Kubrick strange. Talented but strange. What was ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ all about? And you could tell Cruise and Kidman were distancing themselves from the movie by saying, ‘It’s exactly the movie he wanted to make’. They may as well have said, ‘We are not responsible’. I’m looking forward to the Oscars. There are some amazing Aussies nominated this year. As for Naomi, she has donated a hand bag in the fundraiser Archie is performing in. (Actually, so has Nicole). Maybe that hand bag (that has been signed by Naomi) will be worth a lot more if we see her holding a gold statue – we’ll have to wait and see xx

    • Charlie, do the math for me! What time of day do you see the telecast? You surely don’t watch it live? I’m just curious. I saw a spot on the news yesterday showing all the foreign press and camera crews from around the world, and I wondered how the Awards were presented in other countries. With the vast difference in our time zones, I’m wondering how you watch the show, or if you just follow the results? And as for Kubrick, your impressions are exactly as mine! I think he was a genius, but his movies are too intense for me! :-)

    • I’ll probably be sitting here with my computer open and one eye focused on the television! Most of the event is really not that interesting, I do admit. I have a number of friends employed in the industry, and it would be wonderful if more of the behind the scenes folk were honored! :-) I know one thing–I don’t care what they’re wearing. LOL!

    • I was so “wowed” by the Kubrick exhibit I could have fawned, Kate. I did learn one more thing about his researching acumen I’ll share at some point. He was quite the scholar in his approach to writing and directing. He was impressive, whether you care for his films or not! :-)

  3. I, too, am not one for Kubrick films. We had just read “A Clockwork Orange” in high school when the movie debuted. I couldn’t imagine going to the movie to see it and felt much the same about his films that followed. I suppose I’ve missed some epic cinema but that’s OK. As for award shows, right now I’m watching a rebroadcast of the IFC Independent Spirit Awards that were given out last night. Now this is an awards show! Held in a tent — with a great bar, apparently — on Malibu Beach, it’s irreverent and none take themselves seriously. It’s the Anti-Oscars. What it is not, however, is children’s fare. The language and, very often, subject matter is for Grown-Ups.

    • I am quite sure I’ve never watched the Independent Spirit Awards, John, but now you’ve piqued my curiosity! :-) I’ll have to make a point! I’m not too surprised we share the same sentiment about Kubrick and Clockwork Orange. I don’t think we need to be “disturbed” in entertainment. At least I’m not inclined to enjoy that. Of course, by today’s fare, I don’t see too many of the largest grossing films, simply because so much of the industry relies on presenting disturbing images in the blockbuster successes. One of my favorite movies this year was “Moonrise Kingdom,” which had to be very small scale! Those are the little well-crafted stories I tend to enjoy. And if it weren’t for Netflix, I probably wouldn’t even see them! :-) Hope you have a good week, my friend.

  4. Debra, I just love this. The LACMA is an awesome museum, isn’t it? I’ve only been once, but it was such a treat for me. And, so what if Kubrick never won an Oscar. The whole thing is an overblown PR game anyway. Glenn Close is one of my favorite actresses, and she’s never won an Oscar, because she won’t do the PR circuit. That makes her no less talented.

    An interesting aside about me. When I ran a law firm, I was responsible for human resources, among many other things there. I had a huge poster of Jack Nicholson on my office door, the one from The Shining, where he hacked through a door with an ax and said, “Here’s Johnny.” I hoped it would slow down the complainy, teary traffic into and out of my office, but alas, I was wrong…….

    • Oh yes I know that poster! ha! It scares me…I’d have stayed away from your door and been uncomplaining. :-) I don’t think I realized Glenn Close didn’t win an Oscar. I would have thought she might have won for “Albert Nobbs” but I must have forgotten! I know the whole system is political and “for sale,” but I think that fits the industry, doesn’t it?

      I do love LACMA, and if it were just a little bit closer to home, traffic being the obstacle, not miles, I’d be there at least once a week, I’m sure! :-

  5. Debra, I didn’t watch the Oscars as nowadays I am not up to speed with who is famous or care what they are wearing. :) I liked your slide show, have to learn how to do one. I found the mask intriguing.

    • Fortunately they get all the fawning and “glamor fashion” talk over before the Awards begin. I’m not sure who cares about that stuff, but I doubt it’s the average movie watcher. I mostly watch enjoying the musical offerings, and I take note of who/what wins in some of the categories like Short Films and documentaries. If I didn’t watch the award show I probably wouldn’t even know about them! I wasn’t “wowed” last night, but I also wasn’t disappointed. I’ve spent time more frivolously! LOL!

  6. An intriguing post, Debra, and a museum I’m sure I would enjoy wandering through. Like you and several commenters, Stanley Kubrick is not someone whose movies I watch, but, I can still respect the genius of his talent. I guess I’m getting old; I used to stay up until the bitter end of the Oscars. Last night, I fell asleep about an hour along. I did enjoy hearing some of the music, however, and I really, really must see Lincoln. We just don’t get the the show much these days. At any rate, enjoyed your post today.

    • I don’t know that I’d stay up late to watch them either, Penny. It’s a live feed so the Oscars start somewhere in the vicinity of 5:00….that’s pretty painless! LOL! Lincoln is a good movie, to be sure, and almost all the movies are just fine on the small home screen! I would have liked to see The Life of Pi on the theater screen, though. It looks visually so beautiful. Ah well…can’t do it all! :-)

  7. I’m not into awards ceremonies at all, so I don’t watch any of them. Nor am I into celebrity gossip or celebrity fashion, I just don’t find any of it important or worth spending my time on. But I do enjoy watching good movies and discussing interesting films with others, so your slide show was definitely interesting. :)

    • I don’t care at all about the gossip or fashion or even the aura of celebrity, to be sure. We have so-called celebrities on every corner, so one grows unimpressed very early in the game! But I still watch the show. We get the feed really early in the afternoon, and as my husband always points out, “Look at all those union jobs!” LOL! Local economy certainly takes a big boost this time of year and that’s a good thing! :-)

  8. Hi Debra, I loved the slideshow. Great job. Your posts are amazing; so full of information. Thanks for your hard work
    in the research field.
    Love, Kathy

  9. I really look forward to seeing your “Breathelighter” on my email. You really do a great job. Don’t sell yourself short!!
    This is part of your gifting!!! Love, Kathy

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the Stanley Kubrick exhibit slideshow, CCU. It is such a great museum, and this particular exhibit was fascinating to me even though I’m not all that fond of the director’s movies! :-) Thank you for stopping by for a peek!

  10. I agree. i have had no interest in Clockwork Orange at all. There are so many other wonderful movies that have been made since then.

    • I think you’ve hit upon one reason I don’t bother to watch something as edgy as Clockwork Orange. First of all, I don’t enjoy being “disturbed,” but beyond that, there are wonderful movies out there I really would like to see, and I don’t have time to see them! Thanks for commenting, Thea. I’ve been interested to see if anyone comes back to me with high praise for Kubrick, and so far, no one has. LOL!

  11. Dear Debra, I’ve seen a couple of his films and one was Clockwork Orange. I knew nothing about the book or the film but I was teaching in a new place and had no friends there as yet and so one Sunday afternoon I went to the one theater in this small New Hampshire town. Oh, the terror of it. It affected me greatly and led to my resolve not to read certain books or see certain movies because my imagination just took over and did me in! I’ve kept to that resolve for forty years now. I protect my mind from images that are too powerful. Peace.

    • I just shudder hearing your memory of seeing Clockwork Orange. I would be right there with you–traumatized! I’m so protective in the same way, Dee. I once could read “scary” books, because I could let myself get right up to the edge and then I could put the book down and wait until I was ready to proceed. But a movie doesn’t allow that, and yes, some of the images I’ve seen in movies that were too much for me have never left! I came away from the Kubrick exhibit understanding how he used images to create such powerful and memorable scenes, and he was really a film artist, but way too good at it for my taste! LOL!

    • I’m glad you got over to see the exhibit! It was pretty great, wasn’t it? Yes, I saw the Rock! In fact, I’m sharing a little update on that very soon. It’s been a year since I shared the photos of it “on the road.” LOL!

  12. Late catching up on this one Debra, for which I apologise. Stanley Kubrick has provided us with some very thought provoking and sometimes disturbing films – I can fully appreciate the impact of watching A Clockwork Orange!

    I always cringe a little at the Oscars and BAFTA awards because they are a prime example of an industry puffing itself up. As always, in the process, some great talents will get overlooked. There are many in the acting profession who never get to full stardom and are never recognised – though the big stars would get nowhere without them. A couple of recently deceased UK actors that I always appreciated are Jack Watson and Gordon Jackson – both excellent actors. Jack Watson’s performance in The Wild Geese is something to behold and enjoy – it’s a classic piece of ‘character acting’. You probably know Gordon Jackson from Upstairs Downstairs in which he played the ever-discrete butler of the household.

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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