Stanley Kubrick’s films attract a particular kind of speculation on the part of some fans. An excellent compendium of same can be found in Rodney Ascher’s documentary, ROOM 237, which focuses on the many theories of hidden meanings within Kubrick’s THE SHINING. I take no stand on the veracity of any of them, but when I spoke to Tim Heptner, exhibition curator, editor, and project manager at Deutsches Filmmuseum, who put together STANLEY KUBRICK: THE EXHIBITION, one thing I had to ask was about one particular item on display. It’s the sweater worn by Danny Lloyd in that film that depicts an Apollo 11 rocket. It’s central to one of those theories, and wanted to know if its inclusion was a nod to the theorists of some sort. The answer was not what I expected. It was even better.
Most of our conversation on July 1, 2016, though, concerned the trick of editing down the physical artifacts of Kubrick’s 50-year career, the choices that had to be made, and how the exhibit differs from city to city as it makes its way around the world, particularly in France, where PATHS OF GLORY was banned for many years. We finished up by talking about why Kubrick’s films hold up through so many viewings, his first, perhaps fateful, encounter with A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and the items in the exhibit that moved him the most.
STANLEY KUBRICK: THE EXHIBITION brings together memorabilia from over five decades of Kubrick’s filmmaking, including props, shooting scripts, and Kubrick’s early work as a photographer at Life Magazine, the traveling exhibition provides insights into Kubrick’s body of work both in the context of its times, and as a reflection of Kubrick’s own particular genius that makes his work intellectually challenging and timeless. Heptner is the exhibition curator, editor, and project manager at Deutsches Filmmuseum.