Coudal’s Kubrick Collection: An Online Treasure Trove of Kubrick Ephemera

Last year, the Los Ange­les Coun­ty Muse­um of Art wrapped up a bril­liant, exhaus­tive exhi­bi­tion about Stan­ley Kubrick. It was a ver­i­ta­ble cor­nu­copia of Kubrick mem­o­ra­bil­ia, rang­ing from grainy black and white pho­tographs he took for Look mag­a­zine as a youth, to a creepy plas­tic Star Child from 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the blood soaked dress­es of those hol­low-eyed twins in The Shin­ing. The exhib­it was a mas­sive suc­cess. It’s hard to imag­ine any oth­er direc­tor, with the pos­si­ble excep­tion of Alfred Hitch­cock, who would not only get an exhib­it in a major art muse­um but also be able to pack the hall week after week.

Part of his allure, no doubt, is Kubrick’s care­ful­ly-honed pub­lic per­sona – a reclu­sive genius who con­trolled every ele­ment of his movies, from the font on the open­ing titles to the design of the poster. His movies, espe­cial­ly his lat­er ones, are dense, deeply-lay­ered works of such com­plex­i­ty that they con­tin­ue to unpack them­selves after mul­ti­ple view­ings. Heck, there’s an entire doc­u­men­tary, Room 237, that presents nine stark­ly dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tions of The Shin­ing.

Kubrick’s movies seem designed to appeal to a cer­tain breed of obses­sive film geek. So if you count your­self a mem­ber of this tribe (as I do) and you didn’t hap­pen to catch LACMA’s exhib­it, you’re in luck. The Chica­go design firm Coudal Part­ners has cre­at­ed a whole online trea­sure trove of Kubrick ephemera. We’ve culled a few cool things from their site.

Above is a cheesy, behind-the-scenes movie for 2001. The 20-minute pro­mo sets up the movie as if it were an episode of The Out­er Lim­its. “It is the year 2001, you’re on your way to a space sta­tion for busi­ness,” intones the nar­ra­tor. “This is but one exam­ple of what life would be like in 2001.” What fol­lows is a series of inter­views with the sci­en­tists, experts, and crafts­men involved in cre­at­ing Kubrick’s vision of the future with only fleet­ing footage of the film­mak­er him­self at around the 18-minute mark­er. Though it does give you a lot more infor­ma­tion on the nuts and bolts of the astro­nauts’ space­suits, the short movie, one can’t help but think, is set­ting up the audi­ence for dis­ap­point­ment. It does lit­tle to help view­ers under­stand that the first half of 2001 is about the strug­gles of ape men on the plains of Africa and does even less to address the psy­che­del­ic freak­out of the movie’s last reel.



Also found in Coudal’s col­lec­tion is a site that has com­piled all the fonts that Kubrick, a not­ed typog­ra­phy enthu­si­ast, used in his movies. We’ve post­ed a cou­ple. He liked Futu­ra and Goth­ic a lot, appar­ent­ly. The title card for The Shin­ing was designed by Saul Bass.


And on this site, some genius has cre­at­ed sweaters, ski masks, and door­mats from that odd, geo­met­ric car­pet pat­tern from The Shin­ing. Pre-orders have sad­ly closed, but hope­ful­ly they’ll start sell­ing them again. I want the cardi­gan.

kubrick set

And then there’s this behind-the-scenes shot of the direc­tor and Sue Lyon on the set of Loli­ta accom­pa­nied by a quote from Kubrick about the actress.

“From the first, she was inter­est­ing to watch—even in the way she walked in for her inter­view, casu­al­ly sat down, walked out. She was cool and non-gig­gly. She was enig­mat­ic with­out being dull. She could keep peo­ple guess­ing about how much Loli­ta knew about life.”

kubrick subway

And speak­ing of pho­tos, here’s a few pic­tures Kubrick took of the New York sub­way sys­tem back in 1946 for Look mag­a­zine. Com­pare these pho­tos to his ear­li­est movies like Fear and Desire and Killer’s Kiss. Both his ear­ly flicks and these pic­tures have the same grit­ty imme­di­a­cy.

There is much, much more there at the Coudal Part­ners to keep any film nerd and Kubrick maven occu­pied. Check it out.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Fear and Desire: Stan­ley Kubrick’s First and Least-Seen Fea­ture Film (1953)

Stan­ley Kubrick’s Daugh­ter Shares Pho­tos of Her­self Grow­ing Up on Her Father’s Film Sets

Stan­ley Kubrick’s List of Top 10 Films (The First and Only List He Ever Cre­at­ed)

4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.

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