I’m watching one Stanley Kubrick film a day in order of their release. So far I’ve gone through Fear and Desire and Killer’s Kiss. Both of them aren’t anything special. There are a few moments of “brilliance” in both of them.
In Fear and Desire it is easy to see why Kubrick was so embarrassed by the film that he tried to buy back every print. From the opening shot the dialog echoes the words “pretentious” and “amateur” throughout the forrest the soliders are trapped in. Some of the sentences the characters say make me question if anyone actually read aloud the script before shooting. But the screenplay here isn’t important in my mind. Its looking at a diamond in the rough filmmaker. Someone who has a burning passion, goes out with limited resources and fucking does it. Honestly I feel that if Kubrick didn’t direct it people wouldn’t read into the scenes where more creative shot/editing choices are made. At times I see Rashomon influencing some of the shot choices. For example the tracking shots of the tree line from the forrest floor or the POV shots of the soliders hiding in the bushes. In the end I felt like the film didn’t add up to anything more meaningful like his later films. There is something inside the film that wants to crawl out and say something important it just doesn’t know what it wants.
Stay tuned for my thoughts on Killer’s Kiss.