ESPN's Bill Simmons came up with the idea of the "Tyson Zone" - the point at which any story, no matter how outrageous, can be perfectly believable and unsurprising if it's about certain celebrities. (Britney Spears entered the Tyson Zone earlier this year.) The late Stanley Kubrick is rarely mentioned in the same breath as Britney or Mike Tyson, but his reclusiveness and eccentricities made it easy for people to expect the most unusual behavior from the great film director - and Color Me Kubrick shows how a con man took advantage of this in the late 1990s.
Around the time the real Kubrick was working on Eyes Wide Shut, a fellow named Alan Conway convinced many a Londoner into believing he was Stanley Kubrick - and that he was ready to give them work on his next film. He had a bad habit of, er, forgetting his wallet, but his star-struck new friends were more than willing to buy him dinner and vodka (lots of vodka), especially if it could get them lucrative gigs designing costumes or composing heavy-metal songs for Kubrick's next project.
In Color Me Kubrick, directed by Kubrick's longtime assistant Brian Cook, John Malkovich plays Conway as a shameless huckster who put remarkably little effort into impersonating one of the world's most famous filmmakers. (He even takes credit for making Judgment at Nuremberg - directed by Stanley Kramer.)
Maybe some of his victims were suspicious of his thrift-shop wardrobe, unusual "projects" like a "science-fiction drama-comedy-love affair caper movie set in the future" called All Night Prescriptions, an exaggerated "American" accent, or his none-too-subtle homosexuality. But the real Kubrick was so mysterious, and his films so open to interpretation, that people bought it. (After an encounter with Conway, one aspiring actor assures a friend that HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey was gay - a hidden clue about Kubrick's sexuality, of course.)