His movie often haplessly jumps from one incident to another, as if connective scenes were axed by either budgetary or intellectual limitations. It relies too heavily on music cues from Kubrick flicks (such as the Moog classicals of 1971's A Clockwork Orange) and in-joke cameos (Marisa Berenson, Ken Russell). Still, Cook's earned the brownie points and then some necessary to make this film: he was Kubrick's assistant director from 1975's Barry Lyndon through the posthumously released Eyes Wide Shut (1999). (Scenarist Anthony Frewin also worked as Kubrick's researcher, from 1968's 2001 on.) Cook's résumé is juicy with stellar successes, famous flops (Orca: Killer Whale, 1977), and cult flicks (1973's original The Wicker Man, 1980's Flash Gordon, the 1979 Who documentary The Kids Are Alright). He's worked for Michael Cimino (1980's Heaven's Gate onward), occasional auteur Sean Penn, Brian de Palma, and Mel Brooks.
The world may not suffer greatly if Cook never directs another movie again. But if he doesn't eventually write a tell-all professional biography, I will cry. I nearly cried during Colour Me Kubrick but only because John Malkovich was almost too funny to bear. *
COLOUR ME KUBRICK
Opens Fri/23 at Bay Area theaters
See Movie Clock at www.sfbg.com