10.28.12

A Starry Night: Los Angeles Honors Stanley Kubrick

Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, and Robert Pattinson on Saturday night attended the LACMA Art + Film Gala, which honored the late Stanley Kubrick. By Isabel Wilkinson. Plus, photos.

The Shining, A Clockwork Orange: there’s something deeply haunting about many of Stanley Kubrick’s best films. So it comes as no surprise that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art would launch a sweeping new exhibition about the late filmmaker right before Halloween.

Stanley Kubrick, which opened at the museum this week, is the first retrospective of the filmmaker’s work in the United States. It consists of clips and stills, countless posters, props, and cameras from his many films. There are set pieces and costumes from 2001: A Space Odyssey, artifacts from A Clockwork Orange, and costumes from The Shining.

The Art + Film Gala on Saturday night, which was hosted by museum trustee Eva Chow and Leonardo DiCaprio (and sponsored by Gucci), honored both Kubrick and artist Ed Ruscha, who is the focus of another show currently on view at the museum, Ed Ruscha: Standard.

Robert Pattinson may have been in attendance—but the special guest of the evening was undoubtedly Kubrick’s widow, German actress Christiane Kubrick, who fell in love with the filmmaker after he cast her in Paths of Glory in 1957. Though the retrospective has traveled around the world, she admitted that it was still strange to see her husband’s personal belongings in a museum. “The first time I saw [the show] in a museum, it was upsetting in a way, to see his personal stuff spread out before an audience,” she told The Daily Beast. “It felt a little weird. But we were thrilled.” Many of the objects in the show are personal notes, annotated scripts, and letters. “This was the stuff I was climbing over,” she says. “I was sitting there, whinging and crying looking at these boxes, wondering, what can I do with it? And then I learned what I could do with it.”

The show's much-anticipated arrival in Los Angeles felt like a homecoming of sorts—a welcoming of Kubrick back to Hollywood. And Hollywood it was: there was Jennifer Aniston and her new husband, Justin Theroux; Cameron Diaz setting up shop with one elbow on the bar while the party revolved around her; Pattinson deep in conversation with Florence Welch (who performed during dinner); and Evan Rachel Wood—singing a few sultry songs during the cocktail hour—who was immediately wrapped into a warm hug from Salma Hayek and lavished with praise. “My husband is an artist, so I like to stay current in the art world,” said Amy Adams as she circulated the room. “We’re members, and we just brought our daughter here.” “I’m a huge Kubrick fan,” said the model Karlie Kloss, who had flown in for the event. “My favorites are The Shining and Lolita.” Noted.

Many of the guests circulated through the Kubrick exhibition after dinner, tweeting and posting photos to Instagram. But it wasn’t without a twinge of irony. Kubrick was, as his wife put it, “the last person who wasn’t digital,” creating his films without computer effects. Amen to that.

There was a touching moment when, earlier in the week, The Daily Beast sat down with Kubrick’s 23-year-old grandson, Jack Hobbs, an aspiring music producer living in London. Hobbs recalled childhood memories of his grandfather. “I went through my last year of university thinking how much I have to live up to,” he said. “But I have everyone telling me, you are who you are. It’s another level of complete personal endeavor and commitment to something that he loved.” He paused, smiling. Kubrick “never worked a day in his life, because he enjoyed it too much. And that’s something I've really kept to heart.”