Though the exhibition faithfully chronicles Kubrick's career from his low-budget crime dramas of the 1950's to the much-hyped erotic thriller "Eyes Wide Shut," released after his death, the most interesting section concerns a film he never made, "Napoleon."
In the course of a three-decade quest to film a biography, Kubrick pored through more than 18,000 documents and books about Napoleon's life. He amassed a card file that recorded every significant event in the life of Napoleon, day by day.
Back in March, the Guardian ran a piece about Kubrick's pack-rat palace by Jon Ronson, a BBC documentarian who has actually looked inside the billions of boxes in which Kubrick stored his film research.
"Look closer at the books," says Tony.
I do. "Bloody hell," I say. "Every book in this room is about Napoleon!"
"Look in the drawers," says Tony.
"It's all about Napoleon, too!" I say. "Everything in here is about Napoleon!"
I feel a little like Shelley Duvall in The Shining, chancing upon her husband's novel and finding it is comprised entirely of the line "All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy" typed over and over again. John Baxter wrote, in his unauthorised biography of Kubrick, "Most people attributed the purchase of Childwick to Kubrick's passion for privacy, and drew parallels with Jack Torrance in The Shining."
This room full of Napoleon stuff seems to bear out that comparison. "Somewhere else in this house," Tony says, "is a cabinet full of 25,000 library cards, three inches by five inches. If you want to know what Napoleon, or Josephine, or anyone within Napoleon's inner circle was doing on the afternoon of July 23 17-whatever, you go to that card and it'll tell you."
"Who made up the cards?" I ask.
"Stanley," says Tony. "With some assistants."
"How long did it take?" I ask.
"Years," says Tony. "The late 1960s."
The exhibit is up until July 1, and there are still no plans to bring it to the States.