If you’re going to devote your career to working with one filmmaker, then Stanley Kubrick would be that person. As described in the first trailer for “Filmworker,” which we are very proud to offer exclusively, many people would give their right arm to work with the legendary director. For Leon Vitali, he didn’t have to give up an appendage. No, the actor just basically had to give up his career.
“Filmworker” is a documentary that follows the life and career of Leon Vitali. The British actor had a promising start to his career, where he landed various acting roles. But that all changed when he landed the part of his life, in Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon.” After bonding with Kubrick on the set of that film, Vitali’s life changed and he became a fixture on the set of several different classic Kubrick films including “The Shining,” “Full Metal Jacket,” and “Eyes Wide Shut.” As seen in the trailer, the effect that Vitali had with actors, and of course Kubrick himself, was immense.
We got a chance to see “Filmworker” last year, and in our review, Jessica Kiang said, “Cinema would be much the poorer without Stanley Kubrick’s legacy, but ‘Filmworker’ emphatically proves that Stanley Kubrick’s legacy would be much the poorer without Leon Vitali.” “Filmworker” is directed by Tony Zierra, who is actually working on another Kubrick doc titled “SK13” focusing on the film “Eyes Wide Shut.”
“Filmworker” begins its rollout in theaters on May 11 in New York, followed the next week in LA. After that, the incredible documentary will begin hitting more cities nationwide.
Here’s the official synopsis (and the first poster):
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.