Kubrick in Black & White
Philip French, The Guardian
Made by the 24-year-old Kubrick when he'd established himself as a photojournalist on Look, and financed on a shoestring by his wealthy uncle, Fear and Desire is an anti-war allegory set in an unnamed country, where a young lieutenant, a battle-hardened sergeant, a tough GI and a nervous young recruit find themselves stranded in enemy territory after a plane crash.
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Conceived as a European-style art film by way of a Hollywood war picture, Fear and Desire follows a squad of soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. Working their way downriver to rejoin their unit, the squad confronts all of the uncertainty and absurdity of war as they’re killed one by one. Writer/director/photographer/editor Kubrick described the film as “a drama of ‘man,’ lost in a hostile world . . . seeking his way to an understanding of himself, and of life around him.” (1953, 72 min, 35mm). It will be preceded by Day of the Fight (1951, 16 min) and Flying Padre (1951, 9 min). “The best education in film is to make one,” declared Kubrick, and these early documentary shorts—about, respectively, the preparation before a boxing match and a priest who uses an airplane to navigate his vast congregation—show Kubrick learning by doing, and hint at the depth and intensity of his future work.

Kubrick in Black & White is presented in conjunction with Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, on view June 30 – October 30, 2016. Enjoy a reciprocal $2 discount when you show your ticket stub.


Four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines must confront their fears and desires.


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YBCA Programs in 16-17 are made possible in part by:
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Additional Funding for YBCA Programs 16-17:
National Endowment for the Arts, Adobe, Abundance Foundation, Gaia Fund, Grosvenor, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

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Lead Image: Courtesy the Library of Congress