Stanley Kubrick was one of the greatest ever directors, so I was never going to miss an exhibition that celebrated his extraordinary vision and the intense attention to detail that helped him make such incredible films. And that was even without the five star reviews from The Guardian, The Times, Time Out, BBC website and The Evening Standard.
I’d never been to the Design Museum before, but it was easy to get to and the weather was great. When entering the exhibition the first thing you’ll see is a wonderful one minute montage of Kubrick’s films set to Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, but best known for being the theme tune to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The main room covers Kubrick’s interests, including his books and his chess set. The American was good enough to play for money when younger and later took on actors during breaks in filming. His Academy Award is also on show, as is the Steenbeck editing editing table he would use and his directing chair.
What is made clear is that Kubrick was more than just a director. He was also a writer, producer, cinematographer and editor who was heavily involved at every stage. The exhibition also highlights how London influenced him, even though most of his films weren’t set there. The New York-born Kubrick had moved to the capital in 1961.
The exhibition then divides itself into rooms that highlights all of his major films. Each room has a huge banner, which has a distinctive colour and then a quick summary text. There are then videos with collaborators on-screen and off, a quote relating to that film and all kinds of cool props and photographs. My favorite Kubrick film Paths of Glory lacked a little here in props and visual flair, but that certainly wasn’t the case with Spartacus.