Kubrick by Candlelight film review

★★★★

Directed by: #DavidOReilly

Written by: #DavidOReilly

Starring: #DarraghOToole #AmyHughes #MarkLawrence #BrianCox

Film Review by: #AnnieVincent




Well, what a short film we have here! Winner of multiple film festival awards and nominated for a barrage of others, #KubrickbyCandlelight is #DavidOReilly’s homage to film director #StanleyKubrick. As a romantic short, it is engaging and amusing. As a tribute to Kubrick’s work for audiences who know his films well, it is a cornucopia of film trivia and will have you reminiscing over classics such as #FullMetalJacket, #EyesWideShut, #2001ASpaceOdyssey and #AClockworkOrange.


That’s not to say that the film itself, in terms of content, is much like those specific films. Taking place on the set of Kubrick’s film #BarryLyndon, which he shot back in 1973, #KubrickbyCandlelight follows the brief romantic triangle between Irish extra Paul (O’Toole) and English Assistant Film Director Mary (Hughes). Like the characters of the Barry Lyndon film (which was based on the 18th Century novel by William Thackeray and is therefore quite different in style to Kubrick’s cult classics) Paul and Mary are social echelons apart. Using only his Irish charm, Paul manages to capture Mary’s attention, much to the frustration of Mark, another Assistant Director who wants Mary for himself. These three actors bring this charming romantic comedy on apace, with enough chemistry for all the smiles and chuckles you’d want from such a film. It’s a sweet nod to old romances - a worthy watch with all the production polish you could want and a great 70s soundtrack to boot.


But if you know Kubrick’s films, look behind the performances of these three to the panoramic shots, pay attention to some of the sets and listen carefully to narrator Brian Cox, and you may well spot a number of the 90 references to Kubrick’s filmography which are clever, amusing, maybe even sentimental, but pleasing all the same. The only criticism I can offer is that if you don’t know Kubrick’s films, the ‘climax’ may seem a little confusing and the romantic comedy you’ve been watching may feel like it has rushed to an abrupt end. In that case though, get online and read a little about Stanley Kubrick and the filming of Barry Lyndon – it will be an interesting education at least.