Filmworker

By Gleiberman, Owen | Variety, May 21, 2017 | Go to article overview

Filmworker


Gleiberman, Owen, Variety


CANNES CLASSICS

Filmworker

Director: Tony Zierra

Cast: Leon Vitali, Stanley Kubrick, Ryan O'Neal, Matthew Modine, Danny Lloyd, Stellan Skarsgärd

Stanley Kubrick had many compulsions, like his famous fear of flying, and one of them was privacy. Considering what a unique superstar of a filmmaker he was, he succeeded in leading more or less his entire life outside the media fishbowl. That's why after a certain point (around the post-"200l" late '60s, when he was still transitioning from major Hollywood director to monomaniacal living legend), there is so little up-close coverage of who he was, on and off the set. Recently, though, a lot of Kubrickiana has begun to seep out of the woodwork, some of it gathered into termite-art documentaries like "Stanley Kubrick's Boxes" (about his vast collection of memorabilia) or "S Is for Stanley" (about Kubrick's relationship with his Italian chauffeur and personal assistant).

"Filmworker" is the best of these films yet. Directed, shot, and edited by Tony Zierra, it's a portrait of Kubrick's righthand man, who devoted himself to the religion of all things Kubrick, but beyond that the film has a special value: It ushers you into the world of how Kubrick put his movies together.

Fittingly, it's the story of an obsession. In the early 1970s, Leon Vitali was a pouty young British actor who was just handsome enough to be a popular presence on British TV. He had a thriving career, and was even a bit of a teen idol, when Kubrick cast him in "Barry Lyndon" as Lord Bullingdon, the stepson of Barry.

Vitali describes meeting Kubrick for the first time, shaking his hand and feeling an almost menschy warmth. That feeling never went away, but other feelings - like fear and intimidation - soon joined it. Vitali, like almost any actor, leapt at the chance to work with Kubrick, and he got an early taste of what that was like when the director shot endless retakes of the scene in which Ryan O'Neal's Barry beats the crap out of Bullingdon. Kubrick kept telling O'Neal, "You're not hitting him hard enough." But Vitali didn't mind; even before that, he had joined the cult of Kubrick. In "Filmworker," he tells a story seeing "A Clockwork Orange" and getting so caught up in its plastic operatic sadistic theatrical glory that when the movie was over, he turned to the friend he'd come with and said, "I want to work for that man."

As the "Barry Lyndon" shoot was ending, Vitali asked Kubrick about the possibility of working for him, and Kubrick told him to go out and get some experience. So he did, sitting in on the editing of a "Frankenstein" movie he was starring in. When he reached out to Kubrick again, Stanley had an assignment for him: to cast the role of Danny Torrance in "The Shining."

Vitali, who is now in his late 60s, took his first assignment from Kubrick and ran with it, organizing an audition for the role of Danny that encompassed thousands of kids. Right away, we learn something important (and rather counterintuitive) about Kubrick: For such an infamous control freak, he could be quite a delegator. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Filmworker
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.