Fear and Desire (above in restored full length, includes a five-minute interview with the director) is a 1953 American military action/adventure film directed, produced, shot, and edited by Stanley Kubrick. It is Kubrick’s first feature film and is also one of his least-seen productions, his attempt at filmmaking as a 25-year-old kid who had just quit his full time job at Look magazine. Kubrick reportedly called Fear and Desire a “bumbling amateur film exercise, pain is a good teacher” and therefore didn’t want it to circulate.
In a previously unpublished 2009 exchange, intended for a book that never materialized, Jonathan Rosenbaum and James Naremore talk over Kubrick’s first four features. The best insights come when each plunks down for their favorite of the quartet, Rosenbaum for Fear and Desire, Naremore for Killer’s Kiss. [via Parallax View]
Actor/director Paul Mazursky shares his memories of working on Stanley Kubrick’s first film at “An Academy Salute to Stanley Kubrick” with host Malcolm McDowell on November 7, 2012 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater:
Nearly 40 years before his death and Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick spoke about his life and work:
What led you into filmmaking?
I was born in New York City, where my father was a doctor. My parents wanted me to become a doctor, and I was supposed to go to medical school, but I was such a misfit in high school that when I graduated I didn’t have the marks to get into college. But like almost everything else good that’s ever happened to me, by the sheerest stroke of luck, I had a very good friend at LOOK [magazine], which gave me a job as a still photographer. After about six months, I was made a full-fledged staff photographer. My highest salary was $105 a week, but I did travel around the country, and I went to Europe and it was a great thing. I learned a lot about people and things. And then I made a documentary film — the first one I made — called Day of the Fight . It was about a boxer called Walter Cartier and everything that happened on the day of a fight. I thought there was a great future in making documentaries, but I didn’t make any money on any of the documentaries I made. Then I made a feature, Fear and Desire , and then Killer’s Kiss . That led to The Killing  and my association with [producer] Jim Harris. We did Paths of Glory and Lolita together.
What’s the best preparation for being a film director?
Seeing movies. One of the things that gave me the most confidence in trying to make a film was seeing all the lousy films that I saw. Because I sat there and thought, Well, I don’t know a goddamn thing about movies, but I know I can make a film better than that. —Stanley Kubrick, The Artist Speaks for Himself