Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: S IS FOR STANLEY

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By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

I consider Stanley Kubrick one of my favorite filmmakers of all time.  As many of his films that I and other fans have seen, most of us know so little about the enigmatic filmmaker who created such masterpieces as A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick, the filmmaker, definitely had a reputation as a perfectionist and difficult person to please.  S is for Stanley is an endearing documentary about Emilio D’Alessandro, Kubrick’s personal assistant and friend who, besides Kubrick’s wife, probably knows him best.  Director Alex Infascelli offers an insightful look at the director and the relationship he shared with D’Alessandro.

D’Alessandro, a native of Italy, moved to England with his wife where he began working as a cab driver while aspiring to become a professional race car driver.  He would eventually get a job as a chauffeur, crossing paths with the ingenious director who would hire him as his personal driver.  As Kubrick gave D’Alessandro more responsibilities beyond driving, his role changed to that of personal assistant.  Though Kubrick was a rather difficult and demanding boss, D’Alessandro considered him a friend and confidant and reflects upon his many years working for the director with great fondness.

Even though Infascelli’s documentary doesn’t reveal everything about Stanley Kubrick, it does give its audiences a glimpse at Kubrick’s more personal and caring side as Emilio D’Alessandro describes the close bond they shared.  D’Alessandro does recount some rather amusing and some seemingly crazy demands and requests of the director, but he also shares the experiences that reveal a more tender, human side of the filmmaker.  Infascelli’s film is full of heart and respect for its subjects.  It is an absolute must-see for Kubrick fans or those simply wanting to learning more about him.

 

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