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Impersonating John Malcovich

Updated on July 30, 2014

In the staccato progression

of our personal history, we can divide ourselves into as many photo-static memories as we wish, but we can never hide in between the spaces; Nature, which abhors a vacuum, will find a way to fill them in... I know this is hard to believe, especially when the narrative involves more than one self-divided (in-) dividual.

One such famous case revolves around a well known film director and his impersonator who then inspired a film himself (‘Colour me Kubrick’) starring John Malcovich as his impersonator...

Kubrick impersonator, Alan Conway
Kubrick impersonator, Alan Conway | Source

The impersonator

in question, a man pseudo-named Alan Conn (-way), give or take an 'n', became notorious for successfully impersonating Stanley Kubrick in and around London for several years. He also fascinated Stanley Kubrick himself — who probably invited the whole thing by being a recluse — but not enough to inspire him to make a movie about his own impersonation...

However, that may have required another level of ideation challenging his own professional qualifications and the "reality" upon which they are premised. You see, dear reader, sometimes great men borrow their greatness from others without referencing their loan. In this case, Mr. Kubrick only filmed stories written by others. He didn’t actually create anything original.

Hence, Kubrick was a "photographer"

not an artist, which raises the suspicion that there is something amiss about the adulation accorded to a "photo-copier" over and against the original creator. At any rate Kubrick’s reticence invited the copy cat impersonator, Alan Conway to fill the void both in Kubrick and himself, since this latter must have been a better performer than Kubrick (because it is easier to play yourself in ‘real’ life) to pull it off.

But the narrative doesn’t stop there, even though this would have been enough to entertain most people. In a stranger twist, Alan Conway became infamous enough to be played by John Malcovich in a (film) copy of the copy-cat crime, ending up — are we? — twice removed from the original person who was Stanley Kubrick.

John Malcovich in the film, 'Colour Me Kubrick'
John Malcovich in the film, 'Colour Me Kubrick' | Source

And as if this

was not enough, Malcovich — who had exiled himself to France (not unlike Kubrick in London) — had a copy made of himself by Charlie Kaufman’s script which divided him into a full-size in-dividual and a homunculus burrowed inside his own skull. Wherein… Malcovich played a fictional version — hopefully — of himself.

And as if this bizarre chain of narration was not enough — no, nobody is impersonating Mr. Malcovich— but someone, perhaps a stalker, did honour him by making him a character of a script (in which he gets murdered by the author[1]) cascading all the way down, down, down…the stairwell of mimesis and back to the original sin of Kubrick’s non-being which gets decoded by a conspiracy to defraud the American public of a lunar landing (if not a holocaust) to explain his reclusion (from possible assassination by the CIA[2])…

So the great question here is: who is the overarching author of the narrative that intersected all of these men’s lives?

[1] See link below to "John Malcovich on finding a woman in his garden"

[2] See link below to "Stanley Kubrick filmed fake moon footage"

Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey
Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey | Source


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