November 2018, arsenal cinema

Newly restored: FEAR AND DESIRE

FEAR AND DESIRE, 1953

In a fictional war, four soldiers must fight their way out of a forest in enemy territory after their aircraft crashes. For decades, Stanley Kubrick’s 1953 feature debut was hardly able to be seen, not least because Kubrick himself didn’t think much of it and, as legend has it, tried to buy up all existing prints. Conceived and shot on a low budget, it represents an important stage in how the photographer and self-taught filmmakers developed into a perfectionistic auteur. “Its structure: allegorical. Its conception: poetic. The drama of ‘people’ lost in a hostile environment – robbed of any material and intellectual basis – and their path to an understanding of themselves and the life around them.” (Stanley Kubrick) The film is showing in a recently restored 35mm film print. (gv) (2.11.)