During the 1990s, a Londoner named Alan Conway successfully convinced countless victims that he was the reclusive Stanley Kubrick, deceiving some with offers of work on his movies, and taking eager advantage of the star-struck generosity of others. In Colour Me Kubrick, the debut feature from Brian W. Cook, Conway is embodied by John Malkovich, who romps his way through the “true-ish” story of Conway’s adventures.

Much of the movie is simply a series of vignettes, during which Conway lies to people, makes promises, and disappears, usually with at least a night of good food and drink -- sometimes sex, and posh holidays -- as payment for his deception. On one hand, then, the movie is a sprawling travelogue through Conway’s rather absurd life as Kubrick, a character he creates as very fey, bizarrely dressed, and equipped with a dizzying array of very bad accents. On the other hand, however, it’s an incredibly depressing story of one man’s lack of individuality, and the bizarre eagerness of his victims to believe they’re in the presence of greatness. Perhaps the film’s most disturbing element is just that -- the awesome gullibility of those deceived by Conway. One could understand their willingness to believe in his Kubrick if they were doing so after being promised stardom, money, or even friendship. The fact is, though, that the believing begins at the moment Conway introduces himself as the director, well before any promises have been made. It’s so strange and so illogical that an internal chorus of “WHY?” might sometimes threaten to drown out what is happening on screen.