passed away. For seventeen-year-old Stanley Kubrick, it was not only a dramatic moment in history but the day that changed his life. With a camera permanently hung round his neck, Kubrick took a photograph of a dejected-looking news-seller framed by newspaper headlines proclaiming Roosevelt’s death. Selling the image to New York’s Look magazine for $25 while still a student at William Taft High School, it kick- started a career as a photographer. The photomag subsequently took on Kubrick as an apprentice.

Born in the Bronx, New York City in 1928, Stanley Kubrick grew up to become one of the world’s greatest film directors. From a very early age, he was fascinated with the movies and photography. Concerned about his history of poor attendance at school, his father had given him his first camera in the hope of stimulating him. Rarely seen without it, the teenager would search the streets snapping pictures of his neighbourhood. He was fascinated with the work of Walker Evans and, crucially, Arthur Fellig, otherwise known as ’Weegee', New York’s famous news photographer who beat the police to the scene of every crime. He was the man who, in the early 605, Kubrick approached to advise on the making of Dr Strange/ove.

Kubrick showed tremendous enthusiasm and talent for photography. Once described as a ’filmmaker born of photographic spirit’, Kubrick revealed his talent early on. ’I saw in Kubrick a certain eagerness, a certain feeling for the use of the camera as an art medium, like an artist uses his palette, his canvas and a brush,’ recalled his school art teacher Herman Getter. ’The camera was his medium and he painted with it.’

With poor grades, Kubrick found difficulty getting into a New York

undertook for the magazine. From the corny to the significant, Kubrick’s work perfectly captures the era of post-war America in all its contrasts of wealth and poverty. But more importantly, the works could quite easily be a moment from a film. .

’This show is really a small sensation,’ says Crone speaking from Germany. ’It very clearly shows how cinematographic he already was at a very early age. All these photographs are not individual documentary shots as with Walker Evans and Euguene Smith, but they are thought out in dramaturgical terms.’

With a strong narrative running throughout, Kubrick presented us with a series of intriguing and compelling images. From the ordinary man in the street to the Hollywood celebrity Montgomery Clift, Kubrick’s photographs told a story. He captured people sitting nervously awaiting the dentist’s chair. He snapped passengers in New York’s subway, documented an orphanage in Chicago, and took photographs at Salvador Dali’s preview exhibition at the Bignam Gallery.

But one of his most remarkable assignments is a series of photographs under the headline ’The Day Of The Fight’ which takes the viewer through a day in the life of a prize fighter. Kubrick had a passion for boxing, and for the piece he chose a 24-year-old middleweight, Walter Cartier. It ran as a pictorial in 1949, containing 20 black and white photographs. As the photo story unfolds, we see Cartier and his trainer Bobby Gleason prior to the fight, the gloves are on, the mood is tense. Cartier weighs in. The fight begins. Kubrick captures the saliva dripping from the opponent’s mouth. Cartier catches breath in the corner of the ring. Then in complete contrast, Kubrick photographs Cartier on an outing with his girlfriend and sharing a moment with his twin brother.

‘The camera was his medium and he painted with it.’

college. Turning to Look magazine, he was taken on as a staff photographer which proved invaluable, not only in terms of learning more about the medium, but of gaining experience in being out in the world.

But for many years, little was known about Kubrick’s photographic career. After long and laborious attempts to locate the photographs, curators Rainer Crone and Petrus Graf Schaesberg are bringing back into the public domain over 100 pictures taken for Look between 1945 and 1950. And Scottish audiences are privileged to see their first and only UK showing at Edinburgh’s Inverleith House (backed up by a Sunday matinee film series at the Cameo Cinema; see panel).

Rainer Crone, professor of 20th Century Art at the Lugwig Maximilian University in Munich, an internationally active curator and founder of the International Center for Curatorial Studies (ICCARUS), chose Inverleith House over London’s Tate Gallery. Having a longstanding relationship with the city he curated a show of pastels and watercolours by Francesco Clemente in 1984 at the Fruitmarket Gallery - Crone was impressed by the gallery space and its programming.

Highlighting over 100 photographs from a possible 950, the exhibition reveals the range of diverse assignments that Kubrick

10 THE UST 18 Jan—l Feb 2001

But Kubrick’s real passion was to make movies. And staff at the magazine knew that too. In 1951 at the age of 23, he went back into the ring with Walter Cartier to make his first short, a 16-minute documentary film entitled Day Of The Fight. Self-financed from money saved from working at Look, Kubrick was cameraman, director, editor, sound effects man you name it, he did it. The climax of the film the fight with Bobby James was shot live on 17 April 1950. Kubrick sold the film to RKO Pathe for $3,900, netting a profit of $100. This was just the start of his filmmaking career, but at this exhibition shows, his early years in photography shaped his unique cinematic style.

’This is really the first comprehensive study on his photography,’ explains Crone. ’Nobody knew about them, they were forgotten. We haven’t exhausted anything of the depth of his photography, only just scratched the surface and we hope that other people will pick up on that}

Good things come to those who wait.

Stanley Kubrick Still Moving Pictures Photography 1945-1950, Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Sat 27 Jan-Sun 1 Apr.