There was this great doc that played Fantastic Fest a few years back called S Is For Stanley, which chronicled the life of Emilio D'Alessandro - Stanley Kubrick's personal driver - who became lifelong best friends with the famed director, and whose personal influence helped mold four of the auteur's masterpieces. It's a touching, intimate look at how relationships can impact an artist's work, and is currently on Netflix, just waiting to make you cry.
Now comes Filmworker, which documents the relationship between Kubrick and British actor Leon Vitali, who had a promising start to his career, before landing the role of his life: Lord Bullingdon in Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. After quickly bonding with notoriously fastidious artist, Vitali became a fixture on the set of several classic Kubrick pictures, including acting as his assistant on The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut. He even served as an acting coach for the late R. Lee Ermey and helped mold the Gunney into a classic character actor.
Take a look:
Here's the official synopsis:
"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’sloyal 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."
Filmworker seems like essential viewing for both Kubrick nuts and general cinephiles alike. The doc begins its rollout in theaters on May 11th in New York via Kino Lorber, followed the next week in LA. After that, the film will begin hitting more cities nationwide. Keep an eye peeled for it.