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Fear and Desire

Fear and Desire

Dir/Prod/Pho/Ed: Stanley Kubrick
Scr: Howard Sackler
Cast: Frank Silvera, Paul Mazursky, Kenneth Harp,
Steve Coit, Virginia Leith
USA 1953 B&W 35mm English 62min

 

The Seafarers

showing with
The Seafarers

Dir/Pho/Ed: Stanley Kubrick
Scr: Will Chasan
Cast: Don Hollenbeck, Paul Hall
USA 1953 Colour Digital file English 28min

The first feature film by Stanley Kubrick offers a neat encapsulation of his progression from acclaimed magazine photographer to documentary filmmaker, to the director, photographer and editor of some of cinema's most unique, important and greatest works. The setting is Wartime - "not a war that has been fought, nor one that will be, but any war" as the voiceover describes it. A group of soldiers are stranded in enemy territory but these are enemies "that do not exist unless we call them into being...these soldiers that you see keep our language and our time, but have no other country but the mind..." Beautifully composed shots of figures in a landscape first give way to documentary-like portraits of the individual characters and then the capture of a peasant girl introduces a classic Hollywood set up of increasing tension and drama. Only then does Kubrick begin to explore the murkier existential depths of fear, doubt, madness and death, although it is still a long way to the fully rounded triumphs of Paths of Glory (1957) and Full Metal Jacket (1988). Experiments in visual and sound techniques show a desire to explore and extend the moviemaking boundaries with a passion that the largely self-taught director had first displayed as the teenager who had immersed himself in the visually stylish and complex films of Max Ophuls, the dramatic social realism of those of Elia Kazan and the montage sequences of Sergei Eisenstein. The latter is also appropriately evident in the union meeting sequence of the self-proclaimed "simple and dramatic" The Seafarers , Kubrick's first documentary short film in colour, which was sponsored by the Seafarers International Union.

Date Time Location
3/4/2016 (Sun) 2:00pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

 

Post-screening talk with Ka Ming



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