In London in the 1990s, a balding alcoholic with an unsteady American accent introduces himself in pubs and other social settings as Stanley Kubrick. Drinks and meals are suddenly on the house or paid for by an admiring person, usually a man, whose costumes, band, acting abilities or what have you, Stanley finds fascinating. He's actually Alan Conway (1934-1998): we watch him parlay a self-confident manner and a small amount of movie knowledge into a persona whom others immediately hang their dreams on. In exchange, Stanley asks only that they pay the bill. Will he be exposed? Do prosecution and prison await? Or has the National Health something else in mind?Written by
Something of a labour of love, Colour Me Kubrick is a short biopic of con-man Alan Conway who successfully posed as Stanley Kubrick during the director's lifetime. Played by John Malkovich at his most enduringly camp, Conway charms the socks, money and underpants from a string of wealthy suckers and gay young men. A master of his game, he gets people to write large cheques to cover fictitious donations to charity dinners as readily as conning twenty quid off a rock band to buy them (and him) fags and alcohol.
Wildly exuberant and certainly colourful, the film is well directed and acted. Its main shortcoming are two fold. The plot, such as it is, comprises a series of extended sketches until Conway's eventual apprehension, which lends an air of repetitiveness. Secondly, although Malkovich's intensely colourful campness is a remarkable achievement, he stage centres in practically every scene and if you cannot fall completely in love with it, the effeminate preening eventually can look dated and rather irritating.
Colour Me Kubrick is a traditional camp comedy with lots of cross-references for film fans. If you enjoy the first five minutes you will love it, otherwise it may have you climbing the walls.
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