Filmworker (2018)


Critic Consensus: Filmworker offers long-overdue recognition to one of Stanley Kubrick's key collaborators while opening an often troubling window into the director's demanding work.


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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.

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Critic Reviews for Filmworker

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (17)

"Filmworker" is a first-rate account of the ongoing creative process some call dysfunctional. Well, anyone would call it that, actually. But some would also call it worth it.

Jun 2, 2018 | Full Review…

"Filmworker's" greatest value lies in pulling the lens back to allow viewers to understand film as a deeply collaborative medium, one in which even the most venerated auteurs cannot accomplish their greatest feats alone.

May 30, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Next time you watch a Kubruck movie, take note of the high-contrast black and white, or of how consistent the colors have remained over the decades. Thanks, Mr. Vitale!

May 25, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Tony Zierra's fond and slightly unsettling film is, among other things, a reminder of the egolessness necessary for great egos to flourish.

May 24, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

But as a portrait of a man who surrendered his career and much of his life to the service of a master, "Filmworker" proves compelling, particularly for those with a passing interest in Kubrick.

May 17, 2018 | Full Review…

As [Vitali] recalls these experiences, we get behind-the-scenes glimpses of Kubrick at work on his last films, though how substantive these are depends to an extent on who's interviewed (or not).

May 11, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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