The Eyes wide shut mask in a documentary film
The documentary film produced by FormaCinema and created thanks to the support of crowdfunders of Produzioni dal Basso, is the result of simple desire: to find the artisans who collaborated to Stanley Kubrick’s film. Unlike those who, given the success of the film, started to claim they had closely collaborated with the director, we have always preferred to stay focused on our products and not to pay attention to the publicity that attracted the people who passed by.
The authors of the documentary film, Massimiliano Studer and Filippo Biagianti, came to Venice and maybe found the inspiration for their work precisely in this lack of ostentation.
The story of Tom Cruise’s mask
The authors’ determination made it possible to retrieve from our memory information that dated back to more than ten years ago. The documentary film tells the well-documented story of the collaboration among Josie Sherabayani, a Kartaruga collaborator in London, Marit Allen, Kubrick’s costume designer, Edda Del Greco and, obviously, Franco and Francesca Cecamore.
extract from a phone call that took place in January 1998: Stanley Kubrick called Mrs. Sherabayani’s shop in Camden Town
After a couple of months I got a call from Stanley Kubrick, which was quite a surprise. He asked me if there was anyway that I could make the nose space inside the mask bigger, as Tom Cruise was complaining about how uncomfortable the mask was. The Mask was from Kartaruga and was a normal male “volto” beautifully decorated. I explained that there was no way I could make the nose space bigger as the mask was not very thick. I suggested that I could take a mould of Tom Cruise’s face and recreate a similar mask. Stanley liked this idea though he did keep moaning about his fussy actors. It was an honour for me to speak to Mr Kubrick. A couple of weeks later he decided that his main actor did not need to have the mould made, which I have to say was a relief to me as I was quite nervous about covering Tom Cruise in plaster!
Thanks to this small and independent production company the true side of this almost mythical story sees the light, not only for the benefit of our city but of all Kubrik’s fans.