Based on Kubrick's pictorial for Look Magazine (January 18, 1949) entitled "Prizefighter," "Day Of The Fight" tells of a day in the life of a middleweight Irish boxer named Walter Cartier, ... See full summary »
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Based on Kubrick's pictorial for Look Magazine (January 18, 1949) entitled "Prizefighter," "Day Of The Fight" tells of a day in the life of a middleweight Irish boxer named Walter Cartier, particularly the day of his bout with black middleweight Bobby James. This 16-minute short opens with a short (about 4 minutes) study of boxing's history, narrated by veteran newscaster Douglas Edwards in a no-nonsense, noir tone of voice. After this, we follow Walter (and his twin brother Vincent) through his day as he prepares for his 10:00 P.M. bout. After eating breakfast, going to early mass and eating lunch, he starts arranging his things for the fight at 4:00 P.M. By 8:00, he is waiting in his dressing room, where he undergoes a mental transformation, turning into the fighting machine the crowd clamors for. At 10:00, he faces James, and soon, he comes out victorious in a short match which was filmed live on April 17th, 1950. Written by
Marc-David Jacobs <AgentMarcFBI@hotmail.com>
If you look closely, at times you can see Kubrick operating a film camera. See more »
Walter isn't concerned with the hands of the clock now, just his own hands. As he gets ready to walk out there in the arena in front of the people, Walter is slowly becoming another man. This is the man who cannot lose, who must not lose. The hard movements of his arms and fists are different from what they were an hour ago. They belong to a fierce new person. They're part of the arena man, the fighting machine that the crowd outside has paid to see in fifteen minutes.
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The Day of the Fight is rarely seen, but essential viewing for anybody who takes cinema, or Kubrick, seriously. It encompasses one day in the life of a boxer in New York City in 1951, and is beautifully filmed (Kubrick at the camera) and structured, with the audience knowing throughout that the day will end in a fight, so there is built-in tension about that upcoming bout, and who will win. The voice-over is tightly written by Kubrick, and his writing is only one of many suggestions of the scope of the filmmaker's gifts. Two examples: A scene where the fighter is at home playing with his dog while the voice-over talks about the brutality the man employs in the ring-- terrific contrast in moods. And the audio is perfect: the only time Kubrick films with sound is when the boxer enters the ring-- then you hear crowd sounds, announcers, everything. Until then, it's a documentary with voice-over. It really is a minor work of an important genius.
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