Fear And Desire


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     Also known as "Shape Of Fear" and "The Trap".

Stanley Kubrick, one of the top filmmakers to ever make a motion picture. He made such world renowned classics as "2001: A Space Odyssey", "A Clockwork Orange", "Dr. Strangelove: Or How I learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb", or my personal favorite "Paths Of Glory". From 1955 with "Killer's Kiss" to 1999's "Eyes Wide Shut", his name meant high quality filmmaking.

But even Kubrick had to start somewhere.

Financed by his Uncle, a pharmacist, Kubrick then 23, had been a "Look" magazine photographer and made a few short documentaries ("Flying Padre";"Day Of The Fight") now wanted to turn to feature filmmaking. Thus making his fiction film debut with "Fear And Desire".

The story surrounds a group of soliders who confront their demons out on enemy lines, also involving a girl (Virgnia Leith) in scenes that reminded me of the rape scenario in the war film "Casualties Of War"(directed by Brian De Palma).

The film isn't much of a story, just a lot of dramatic lines and flashy, albeit excellant, photography (shot by Kubrick himself, he also edited, co-produced, and co-wrote with Howard Sackler).

The film isn't availible on video, Kubrick had wanted all copies destroyed, but a few copies survived and now bootlegs run rampant.

"Fear And Desire" isn't a good film, and the bootlegs aren't of high quality, but for Kubrick afficianados they may give it an interesting look. Much of the photography is well done and you can sure see Kubrick trademarks.

The film stars Kenneth Harp, Steve Coit, Frank Silvera and Paul Mazursky (who later became a fantastic director in his own right) as the soldiers.

So, in closing, if you are a Kubrick fan and find a bootleg copy for reasonable prices, pick it up and for 68 mins. you'll see early Kubrick trademarks begin to spark.

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