It's a rare person who would give up fame and fortune to toil in obscurity for someone else's creative vision. Yet, that's exactly what Leon Vitali did after his acclaimed performance as Lord Bullingdon in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. The young actor surrendered his thriving career to become Kubrick's loyal right-hand man. For more than two decades, Leon played a crucial role behind-the-scenes helping Kubrick make and maintain his legendary body of work. The complex, interdependent relationship between Leon and Kubrick was founded on devotion, sacrifice and the grueling, joyful reality of the creative process. By entering their unique world we come to understand how the mundane gives rise to the magnificent as timeless cinema is brought to life at its most practical and profound level.
This film may not look entertaining on the surface but is an excellent auto/biographical portrait of Leon Vitalli, a successful and highly promising actor who became fascinated by the mechanics of film production after working with Kubrick and gave up acting in order to work with the great director as a personal assistant involved in every aspect of movie making. This sacrifice - which is what it seems in many respects - takes some explaining but that is what is so interesting. Well worth a look if you want something a little different from Hollywood action movies or art film pretentiousness.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
For those interested in the minutiae of film making.
- Film Worker review by JR
Leon Vitali gave up success as an actor to become Stanley Kubrick's right- hand man and remains an archivist of Kubrick's oeuvre. There are tantalising mentions of Kubrick's cruelty and abuse of the blindly adoring Leon, to the point that we're told Leon almost dies of overwork. A more interesting film would have been an exploration of the psychology and motivations of both Kubrick and Vitali.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
There is nothing in this movie about ...
- Film Worker review by BS
How Stanley Kubrick was involved in filming the staged Moon landings, I'm afraid. It's almost entirely based on Leon Vitali's memories of working with the legendary director, and so you get some interesting insights into the genius of Kubrick, but also some of his human failings too. Such a shame old Stan had to leave, and that we never got to see all of Eyes Wide Shut, due to some scenes being edited out, but he will live on, every time we look up at night, that's for sure.