Fear and Desire ★★

I’m not going to entertain the idea of actually dissecting this, and the fact I could even watch a mass-marketed restoration this well rendered displays many a betrayal, not least my own for watching it. Kubrick attempted many times to destroy every negative of his feature debut, but to no avail. If you absolutely must, watch guiltily for the silent film elements of Griffith and Kubrick’s delectable compositions, everything else is a total shambles, almost singlehandedly proving why he was notorious for shooting so many takes. If anyone ever proved to be an example of never making the same mistake twice, it was Stanley. Come to think of it, ruling out some misfirings on Killer’s Kiss and Spartacus (the one film which famously wasn’t fully his), he never really made any mistakes again. That’s more than a learning curve. That’s obsession.

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