Close Up

5 May 2017: Killer's Kiss


Killer's Kiss
Stanley Kubrick
1955 | 64 min | B/W | 35mm

"Written, edited, shot, produced and directed by Kubrick for a mere $75,000, his second feature is a moody thriller shot on location in the streets of New York, effectively capturing the dark underbelly of the city at night. The story concerns a down-at-heel boxer falls for a night-club dancer after saving her from being raped by her boss, who consequently determines to put an end to their romance. Kubrick employs gritty black-and-white photography, flashbacks and dream sequences, and the surreal climactic fight in a warehouse full of mannequins is unforgettable." – Dundee Contemporary Arts

"(...) a tale of two lonely hearts – a boxer and a dancer – rescued by the kind of transformative love and coincidence patently denied in Kubrick’s subsequent films. Kubrick channelled his precocious talents as a commercially successful still photographer into his work as cinematographer on Killer’s Kiss, conjuring a dreamy black-and-white vision of Times Square that captures the neon glow and vernacular fantastic so beloved by contemporary New York School photographers, who were similarly drawn to the sad, gaudy poetry of the city’s movie marquees, late-night coffee shops, and decrepitly archaic burlesque theaters." – Haden Guest

Part of our retrospective on Stanley Kubrick