Monday, 14 December 2015

Stranger’s Kiss

A 27 year old Stanley Kubrick filming Killer’s Kiss in 1955… I watched Kubrick’s second feature over the w/end and what an evolutionary leap in style and maturity from the godawful Fear and Desire. Watching the film jogged a memory of the 1983 film Stranger’s Kiss which intriguingly is based on the making of Kubrick’s film. I discovered this obscure film leafing thru the Time Out Film Guide and despite my best efforts I haven’t been able to track down a copy thru the usual unofficial channels or investigated the indifferent looking Italian, Spanish and Polish (?) DVDs. Still, I’m eager to see the film and Tom Milne’s review nicely sets up the trailer:
Fascinating film structured a little like a series of Chinese boxes. First comes the fiction of a young director in Hollywood (Peter Coyote) trying to set up an independent B movie about a young boxer's noir-ish efforts to save a taxi dancer from her villainous protector. This, given the date 1955 and a marked resemblance between the two plots, merges into a speculative 'history' of the circumstances surrounding the making of Kubrick's Killer's Kiss. Then life begins to imitate art as the villainous realtor backing Coyote's movie, in which his girl is playing the lead, realizes that she is falling for the actor playing the boxer; and art begins to give life a stage direction or two as Coyote encourages this perilous triangle in the hope of lending emotional conviction to his film. Marvelously shot and finely acted, it grips simultaneously as a critical extension of Kubrick's film, as a comment on movie-making mania, and as a dark thriller in its own right.


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