XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Stanley Kubrick => Topic started by: Weak2ndAct on December 12, 2003, 07:48:06 PM

Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: Weak2ndAct on December 12, 2003, 07:48:06 PM
Finally caught this.  The copy was a crappy copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-etc., but still watchable.  Lots of lofty ideas, a little too forced (Mazursky's 'decent' into madness), a little underdeveloped, but still a sort-of interesting mess-- at least from the standpoint of watching the evolution of a filmmaker.  It has a couple decent moments (the way an ambush is shot/edited), but they were few and far between.  I wanted to turn it off, but forced myself to finish just on principle's sake.
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: Slick Shoes on December 30, 2003, 11:42:42 AM
I saw it. We probably saw the same bad tape. What video store do you go to?

Anyway, I pretty much agree with everything you said. A lot of it does feel forced.
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: modage on March 16, 2004, 11:07:34 AM
According to Harry at AICN, Fear and Desire will be getting a DVD releases soon as he has received a review copy.
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: ono on March 16, 2004, 04:35:37 PM
Then Stanley's gonna be rolling in his grave, and his beneficiaries rolling to the bank.  Or something.
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: modage on March 16, 2004, 04:37:47 PM
"In other news - Kubrick's FEAR AND DESIRE is coming to DVD - I just got a preview copy of it today - after SXSW - I'll check it out and let you know how it is. "
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: MacGuffin on November 27, 2004, 08:25:44 PM
From Entertainment Weekly - Buried Treasure issue:

Stanley Kubrick
Why his debut Desire went missing.

Stanley Kubrick loathed his 1953 first feature, Fear And Desire, and it's easy to see why. Brimming with stilted hyper-intellectual dialogue, corny overacting, and muddy sound, the $40,000 movie about a marooned platoon in a fictional war hardly fits alongside polished masterpieces like Dr. Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange. "It's sophomoric," says director Paul Mazursky, who played a psycho-rapist soldier in the film. "But even with limited equipment, Stanley" --then just 22-- "had a great eye." Though Desire landed a respected distributor and opened in Rockefeller Center to decent reviews, Kubrick resented its amateurishness and blocked it from being screened. (Bona fide copies do reside in a vault at the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., and at the Library of Congress, but neither place regularly screens them.) "He didn't want it to be shown," says Jan Harlan, Kubrick's longtime associate. "He didn't like it anymore."
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: cine on December 14, 2004, 04:13:44 AM
you gotta stop drinking.. these poems are terrible.
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: Lord Rocksavage on March 27, 2005, 10:07:07 AM
I just bought two DVD copies of Fear and Desire off eBay.  They haven't been delivered yet but I'll write again about the quality.  I also bought the Stanley Kubrick Collection (1951-1953) which has Fear and Desire on it plus his short films.  All were under thirty dollars.

Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: cine on March 27, 2005, 10:11:53 AM
im getting kubrick deja-vu.... im pretty sure you already told us this.
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: Pubrick on March 27, 2005, 11:02:38 AM
Quote from: Lord Rocksavage
They haven't been delivered yet but I'll write again about the quality.

just the once will be fine thanks.
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: Brazoliange on April 04, 2005, 09:17:35 PM
A friend of mine posed a moral thought:

If Kubrick didn't want this to be seen, even if they're re-releasing it should we abstain out of respect for him?

Personally though, I'll be buying a copy.
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: ono on April 04, 2005, 09:33:42 PM
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: Brazoliange on April 04, 2005, 09:36:01 PM
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: Lord Rocksavage on April 05, 2005, 02:33:52 AM
Yeah, your right.  I posted it once and didn't think it worked so I did it again.  Sorry.

I got in three copies from two different sources and they all look the same.  Contrasty and many generations down.

I have many books on Kubrick and they all say that Fear and Desire was beautifully photographed.  Content is a different story.  I would like to no the story of the transfer to tape.  Was it sanctioned by the owner?  I've seen silent films from the 20s that looked superior.

I sent one copy off to a friend and am keeping the other two.  I am glad I have it.

Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: Boutros on April 21, 2005, 04:54:25 PM
Has anyone purchased this (http://store.elusivedvd.com/fearanddesire.html) DVD? WOndering about quality, reliability, etc.

Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: Pubrick on April 21, 2005, 10:54:45 PM
just download it.

it sucks anyway.
Title: Fear and Desire
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on April 23, 2005, 09:24:42 PM
Is it even worth watching other than having the ability to say I've seen it?
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: Reinhold on February 15, 2006, 11:55:18 PM
Is it even worth watching other than having the ability to say I've seen it?

yes, but only because it satisfies your own curiosity.

one of very, very few surviving prints is available to the public "for educational purposes" in Rochester, NY through the eastman museum.  i hear they have a relatively nice 35mm print that you can get screened there, but kubrick told them not to include it in events.
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: ono on October 13, 2009, 04:05:58 AM
Short documentary about a guy going to see it at the Eastman House:

Oh, look, it's actually on YouTube, too:

Surprised it's been up for 6 months (and another version's been up even longer, apparently).
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: Bethie on October 14, 2009, 12:40:28 AM
this doc is amusing. i imagine this is what you guys are like. i cant make fun though b/c ive been to the eastman house. ohh raaacaacaa
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on September 24, 2010, 02:21:59 PM
New Negative Found For Stanley Kubrick's 'Fear And Desire', Will Film Finally Get A DVD Release? (http://theplaylist.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-negative-found-for-stanley-kubricks.html)
The Playlist
Stanley Kubrick enthusiasts and fans, rejoice a little bit, because the director's first feature film, "Fear And Desire" may finally be getting a proper DVD release.

Following a screening of the film at the Los Angeles’ American Cinematheque, Caroline Frick Page, curator of motion pictures for the George Eastman House who hosted the screening hinted that a complete restoration of the film in conjunction with a DVD company isn't out of the question saying, “I think that a major restoration effort probably will be undertaken between George Eastman House and probably another company. I think you could potentially see a high-quality DVD that’s a collaboration between the country’s biggest archives [because] there is now apparently a negative. It’s not necessarily complete, but there is a negative.”

Apparently a new, partial negative of the film has been found in a long closed film lab in Puerto Rico and in addition to the George Eastman House negative, which is believed to be the only copy in existence, there is now some material to go on to produce a proper restoration. As for the film, it's a tale about four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines and the madness that ensues (themes he obviously revisits more than once later in his career).

But there are some hurdles. Firstly, while the Kubrick estate having no claim on the copyright to the film (it's owned by the children of the film's distributor), they will undoubtedly still be an important voice and one that anyone trying to get a DVD made will want to have on their side. Kubrick was famously rumored to have tried to buy up all the prints of the film to destroy them, but generally speaking, he didn't hold much regard for his early, lesser known works and shorts that which really only gained interest after he had found his footing as a director.

But the other hurdle is a financial one. Restoration is expensive and it will take a DVD company with the right talent and bank account (ahem, The Criterion Collection) to do the film right. But again, will Criterion (or any other company) want to take on an endeavor with a Kubrick film without the blessing of the estate?

It remains to be seen how this will all play out, but if the DVD release Kubrick's early union documentary "The Seafarers" is anything to go by, it is possible. That film has participation from Katharine Kubrick and features (oddly) a commentary by Roger Avary. And certainly, having a DVD release is preferable to the bootleg copies and YouTube videos that are the only way to watch the film currently.
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: mogwai on September 25, 2010, 07:35:31 AM
It'll be released in 4:3 format, piss poor video quality and no extras. Two years later the Kubrick estate will release a "16x9" widescreen version with a made up trailer, cast information. Skip to a year later the real version is in the hands of the people who give a shit about Kube.
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: Gold Trumpet on September 25, 2010, 02:23:20 PM
If I gave a shit about Kubrick and had Kubrick estate power, I would act as if this film was never made.
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: Pubrick on September 25, 2010, 10:21:15 PM
pretty sure kubrick didn't give a shit about this movie either.

it's a curio at best. seeing it doesn't reveal anything except that even great directors have to start somewhere.

it is only of interest to completists and to people who place too much importance on the EARLY part of someone's career rather than the later parts. i am not averse to obsessing over everything kubrick, but i think there is much more to be gained from a snippet of information regarding The Aryan Papers (for example finding the script for it) than to see the entirety of Fear and Desire restored immaculately. it's pretty much worthless, like The Dirk Diggler Story or Cigarettes and Red Vines. the coolest part of this story is that they found the print in Puerto Rico.
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: tpfkabi on December 13, 2011, 10:54:29 PM
TCM airs this tomorrow.
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: Reelist on December 14, 2011, 03:52:49 AM
Cool! I'll just tune my TV to TCM all day and wait until it comes on..
Title: Re: Fear and Desire
Post by: MacGuffin on August 06, 2012, 04:05:38 PM
Kino Lorber Releasing Stanley Kubrick's Rarely Seen First Film 'Fear And Desire' On DVD & Blu-ray This Fall
Source: Playlist
Get ready Stanley Kubrick completists because Kino Lorber have some very exciting news for you today. Nearly 60 years after it first hit theaters, and then subsequently disappeared, only to be seen in shoddy bootlegs, the company is finally giving the iconic director's first film "Fear And Desire" a proper DVD and Blu-ray release this fall, in a newly stored edition of the film from the Library Of Congress.

But as Kubrick himself admitted, this was a movie that was very much from a first time filmmaker (he was 24 years old at the time). Describing it at one time as "a bumbling amateur film exercise," the movie stars future filmmaker Paul Mazursky and Virginia Leith, the film follows a squad of soldiers who have crash-landed behind enemy lines and must work their way downriver to rejoin their unit. In the process, they encounter a peasant girl (Leith) and tie her to a tree, where she is tormented by a mentally unbalanced soldier (Mazursky).  Before making their escape, the soldiers determine the location of an enemy base and formulate a plot to assassinate its commanding officer.

Rumors spread over the years that Kubrick tried to buy up remaining prints of "Fear And Desire" and have them destroyed, and he definitely did his best to halt public screenings of the picture, but the film should still prove to be an interesting document of a master filmmaker finding his footing. "The ideas we wanted to put across were good...but we didn't have the experience to embody them dramatically," Kubrick told Alexander Walker in 1971. "It was very important to have this experience and to see with what little facilities and personnel one could actually make a film. This experience and the one that followed with 'Killer's Kiss,' which was on a slightly more cushy basis, freed me from any concern again about the technical or logistical aspects of filmmaking."

You'll be able to check it out for yourself when it arrives on home video on October 23rd.