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Killer's Kiss (1955)

Year: 1955
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Country of Origin: U.S
Rating: Un-Rated
Time: 67 mins.

Stanley Kubrick's sophomore feature Killer's Kiss displays the first layer of the strikingly visual blueprint of his iconic film styles, foreshadowing the unparalleled and multi-faceted films of a future brilliant auteur. Killer's Kiss is a simple film noir that outshines it's usual mold by the uncharacteristically naturalistic and stylistically immersive depiction of a Boxer Davy Gordon (Jamie Smith) who falls in love with nightclub dancer, Gloria Price (Irene Kane). They make plans to leave New York City but Gloria is lusted after her ex-employer, Vince Rapallo (Frank Silvera) who won't take no for an answer. With a measly budget of 40,000 that Kubrick borrowed from his uncle, this black and white film noir was shot mostly at night and on location. Like a documentary, the events unfold with uncanny realism on the rugged and bustling streets of the New York night. It is clear that Martin Scorsese took some points from Kubrick when shooting Raging Bull (1980) as Kubrick pulled the audience from their secure seats and into the chaotic and freewheeling ring, letting the audience get knocked and bruised right next to the boxer. Kubrick lets the camera run free in his usual iconic voyeuristic style but in a warm-up fashion, penetrating into the confort zones of these two characters to reveal their most withheld secrets and insecurities. The story doesn't go any deeper than two men fighting over a woman but it is the elegantly unique and distinct eye of Kubrick that creates unlikely depth to this simple story. B-

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