Kubrick and Wells in Second Life

The Kubrick Rooms

I was recently alerted to a couple of small exhibitions in Second Life with could be of interest to lovers of film and of science fiction: The Kubrick Rooms and the Wells Exhibit.

The Kubrick Rooms are the work of Rumpledink Robbiani. As the name suggests, this is something of a homage to legendary film-maker Stanley Kubrick. First opened in 2008 and available to visitors for a year thereafter, the rooms have been in limbo since then. However, Rumpledink’s friends encouraged him to bring them back in-world and he notes that this time, he hopes the money received in donations and from sales will help keep it around for longer.

Rooms is neatly designed around three of Kubrick’s most notable films: The Shining, 2001 A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, with The Shining taking overall centre stage by providing the setting. Visitors arrive at a small anteroom where instructions are offered (set the viewer’s time to midday), together with a single door. Step through this, and a familiar – to anyone who has seen The Shining – hallway from the Overlook Hotel opens up, complete with child’s tricycle.

The Kubrick Rooms

As one would expect of a hotel, the hallway is lined in either side with room doors, some of which have their keys in the locks. They offer access to sets from The Shining – a lounge, the restrooms, the bathroom – as well as to the main rotating hallway of Space Station 5 from 2001 A Space Odyssey, where Doctor Heyward Floyd stops-over en route to the Moon and TMA-1, and another featuring A Clockwork Orange.

Within some of the rooms there are videos which delve into The Shining and 2001 – just ensure media is enabled on your viewer and click the screens as you come across them. A small cinema at one end of the hallway offers the 2014 documentary Kubrick Remembered, looking back on the great man’s life. At almost 90 minutes long, this is more than worth watching, presenting a fascinating retrospective on the man. Alongside of this is a small gift shop.

Wells Exhibit

The Wells Exhibit can be found on the floor above Netera’s Coffee Lounge in Snug Harbour, and is curated by the lounge’s owner, Netera Landar. Use the teleport door set into the wall of the lounge, the disk on the floor, or the outdoor staircase to reach it. Examining the life and works of Herbert George Wells, the English writer, this is a somewhat more modest affair than The Kubrick Rooms, designed to fit within the space provided by the upper floor of the coffee lounge.

Information boards provide biographical information on H.G. Wells while the walls are home to archive photographs of him and a note card giver listing his publications. However, the majority of the exhibit focuses on Wells’ science fiction works. There are posters celebrating The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The Sleeper Awakes (1910), together with small pictures dedicated to A Modern Utopia (1905) and The Shape of Things to Come (1933).  Two slightly larger displays touch upon what might be his most well-known novels: The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1897).

Wells Exhibit

Information on Wells’ writing is actually a little light and could perhaps benefit from two or three additional information boards. However, the Wells Exhibit still makes for an easy-going visit for those with an interest in his work. For those looking for a more unusual outing, it and The Kubrick Rooms might be just the ticket.  

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