Tracker Pixel for Entry

​‘S Is for Stanley’ shares stories of Kubrick as told by his driver

by Greg Carlson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cinema | June 28th, 2017

Now available on Netflix following a lengthy film festival run, Alex Infascelli’s “S Is for Stanley” is required viewing for Kubrick obsessives and cinephiles.

Based on Emilio D’Alessandro’s memoir “Stanley Kubrick and Me,” the documentary presents a chronological account of the relationship between the legendary filmmaker and the unassuming family man and driver who would labor as Kubrick’s courier, chauffeur, gofer, and personal assistant for three decades.

D’Alessandro went to work for Kubrick in too-good-to-be-true fashion: he made a safe and timely delivery in inclement weather of the “rocking machine” -- the penis sculpture/murder weapon brandished by Alex in “A Clockwork Orange” -- and the rest is history.

Like some of the anecdotes shared in Jon Ronson’s fascinating, parallel “Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes,” the stories expressed by D’Alessandro -- which often speak to Kubrick’s fastidiousness, intellect, and obsessive note-writing -- are illuminated with complementary images of both the daily minutiae of SK’s longhand and typed instructions as well as numerous physical objects and artifacts accumulated over the years by D’Alessandro.

Kubrick fanatics will love the goofy, endearing missives about getting fussy jacket zippers repaired just as much as the supply of tasks directly related to film productions from “Barry Lyndon” to “Eyes Wide Shut.”

D’Alessandro dispels no myths governing Kubrick’s reputation as an eccentric, offering multiple examples of the spectacularly high expectations set by the director for the devotion, competence, and all-hours availability of those in his employ (one comical aside relates Kubrick’s desire to have D’Alessandro install a telephone in the latter’s farm tractor so that he might be reachable in the field).

But Infascelli and D’Alessandro also take care to reveal Kubrick’s largesse and magnanimity, including an offer of help following a devastating accident that severely injured D’Alessandro’s son.

Infascelli makes good choices with regard to organization and pacing, and displays confidence and comfort in his reliance on D’Alessandro’s on-camera interview as the backbone of the narrative.

Kubrick’s presence, of course, is every bit the movie’s main attraction, and Infascelli uses voiceover by Anthony Clive Riche (and Roberto Pedicini in the original Italian language version) as Kubrick whenever key text is read aloud.

D’Alessandro’s wife Janette Woolmore is the movie’s only other significant subject to appear in content newly shot for the film, and she contributes several insights that whet the appetite and fire the imagination for thousands of fans, who will marvel at the simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary world built by Kubrick (a great example of which is carpet from the Overlook Hotel set of “The Shining” that still covers the floors of the home shared by Woolmore and D’Alessandro).

D’Alessandro is not shy about naming famous names, and Kubrick would frequently ask his opinion of the actors selected for important roles, but Infascelli holds the gossip to a minimum.

Jack Nicholson is torched by D’Alessandro for the twin vices of sexual conquest and cocaine. Tom Cruise shared a brief silver screen moment with D’Alessandro when Kubrick asked the latter to appear as a news vendor. And even though little detail is offered, D’Alessandro and Matthew Modine bonded like father and son.

Aside from the celebrities, Infascelli projects warm regard for Christiane Kubrick, who introduced the documentarian to D’Alessandro. Disappointingly, although not surprisingly, “S Is for Stanley” does not discuss Kubrick’s more well-known personal assistant Leon Vitali, leaving aficionados to speculate as to the nature of the relationships within Stanley Kubrick’s trusted inner circle.

Recently in:

After nearly two and a half years since the people of North Dakota voted to pass the Compassionate Care Act into law in the state, medical marijuana is finally available to patients. Only one dispensary is open right now, but seven…

It was an, “aha,” moment, said Jeremy Jensen. A woman had her vehicle towed into the Fix It Forward Auto Care shop in Moorhead. Jensen and fellow Fix It Forward Auto Care co-founder Matt Carlson had the vehicle on a hoist…

Thursday, April 18, 5-9 p.m.Drekker Brewing Company, 1666 1st Ave N, FargoThe folks at Drekker have partnered with a handful of area artists and the Lend A Hand Up program. A program providing help and hope to families facing…

In 2016, the Rand Corportation’s National Defense Research Institute published a year-long study looking at potential consequences for transgender members to serve within the U.S Military. This study looked at seven different…

The Nordic ModelDr. Thea Hunter, a graduate of Columbia University and an adjunct professor of history at a number of elite colleges and universities, recently died at age 63 of extreme capitalism—and asthma—because of lack of…

Cocktail Showdown

​Yo ho ho!

by Sabrina Hornung

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

After three years Jon Beyer aka “Jonny B” has become the face and the beard behind Jonny B’s Brickhouse in Jamestown North Dakota. Besides the largest selection of craft beers between here and Bismarck, wood-fired pizzas and…

By Gary Usseryusseryg@gmail.comFYB. Three letters, three words, well known by the guys who make up Cascades, and anyone who is a fan of the five-man band. When asked what genre best describes their sound, I was bombarded with at…

Harmony Korine keeps a tight grip on his title as one of the most critic/critique-proof filmmakers of recent times with “The Beach Bum,” a sultry companion piece to 2012’s memorable “Spring Breakers.” Not without its own…

Arts

​Hold your head high

by Sabrina Hornung

“I started to look around at state arts council positions because I felt that even though I had never done that, I felt like it would be a really good blend of skills, so I started to look around in 2016. A few jobs came up but I…

Countless examples can be found throughout the history of great art that was only recognized as such after the life of the artist that created it. Such is true of Georges Bizet’s opera "Carmen."  While its reception during his…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

It seems like the threats to North Dakota’s Badlands never cease. Let’s go back and revisit Wylie Bice. He’s the rogue, rich, rancher up in Dunn County, on the eastern edge of the Badlands, who’s built himself a private…