We all have projects that we're more proud of than others. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, things go awry. That's part of the magic of creating. And no one is left behind in these feelings unless they're delusional. Even Stanley Kubrick felt this way.
Kubrick is legendary for how precise he wanted his films. He did many takes, obsessively edited, and we got to reap the benefits. But there was almost a Kubrick film we never saw.
As legend has it, Kubrick hates his first feature film, Fear and Desire. You can watch it below, for free.
Released in 1953, the movie was self-financed through money Kubrick made selling his photography. It was a scathing anti-war film that starred Paul Mazursky. Even back then, Kubrick was developing his legend.
Mazursky recalled, “I thought he was a crazy guy with black eyes.”
To get additional funds for the movie, Kubrick even hustled chess games in Central Park. Kubrick always wanted more money to work on the film. Mazursky recalls to Far Our Magazine, “He got so determined—‘I’m going to get the five. I’m getting the five thousand’—that he spat on the windshield. That kind of determination I’ve never seen."
But in the end, when Kubrick assembled the film, he was not enthusiastic about the overall product. It wasn't the way he wanted it to be, and therefore, he never wanted anyone to see it. The best way to make that possible? He was going to destroy it.
According to Marzursky: “Stanley tried to have the negative burned. He hated the movie. Hated it."
The film did come out, but as Kubrick got more famous, he was successful in pulling the film from circulation. In fact, he was so successful in this endeavor that it used to only be available through bootleg.
After Kubrick's death, private copies began to resurface, and now the film has moved into the public domain.
Have you watched it? Let us know what you think in the comments.