8:00 PM, 5th August, 2006
In the late 1990s, while Stanley Kubrick filmed Eyes Wide Shut, Alan Conway made a lot of money, got a lot of free stuff and fooled a lot of people by passing himself off as the legendary director. In Colour Me Kubrick, John Malkovich plays Alan Conway.Youd be right in quietly thinking "John Malkovich doesn't look much like Stanley Kubick". He doesn't. Then again, nor did Alan Conway. Not in the slightest. Nor did he know terribly much about the real Stanley Kubrick. None of these facts stopped a lot of people believing him.Written and directed by two of Kubrick's frequent collaborators, Colour Me Kubrick manages to tell this bizarrely true tale in a manner that is very true to Kubrick's own style. It's frequently difficult to tell who is being taken advantage of, the compulsive liar Conway or his witlessly vain and pretentious victims. At times you don't know whether to laugh or cry as wannabe actors and well-to-do patrons of the arts swallow every word that comes from Conway's mouth, while Conway himself swallows a plenitude of free dinners.Colour Me Kubrick is a film that Stanley Kubrick would have enjoyed as much as you and me, and I certainly enjoyed it!
9:23 PM, 5th August, 2006
Heres Johnny!When struggling author/recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance (Nicholson) gets a job as caretaker of a mountain resort over winter, he hunkers down with his family as they get snowed in and gets to work. It's not long before the isolation and creepy spirits in the old building get to Jack. Luckily for his wife and son, the boy has the ability to "shine" - a weird premonition come telepathic ability that warns them that something bad is coming. Even with the shining, there's only so much it can do to save them under 10 feet of snow...Stephen King notoriously considers The Shining to be his least favourite adaptation of any of his works. Pretty much everyone else considers it to be the best. It's certainly the creepiest. It's certainly the scariest. It's certainly the most carefully constructed. It's arguably the best written. It avoids gore for genuine creepiness. Jack Nicholson turns in one of the performances of his life (it IS Jack Nicholson I'm talking about - most actors could only dream of pulling this one off). I doubt anything I write here will convince you to see The Shining more than the film's reputation probably already has. This is one of a handful of movies that everyone has to see once in their lives (hey, there is a reason this is the cover picture of David and Margaret's 1001 movies to see before you die).