I Can’t Believe it’s on YouTube! Day of the Fight
Story: A day in the life of a boxer is like any other job.
Why You Should See It: Stanley Kubrick overheard a friend tell him how much the March of Time was paying for short documentaries. $40,000 at this time. Stanley’s eyes lit up and saw dollar signs. A photographer for Look Magazine, Stanley quit his job and decided to make short documentaries with his savings.
The calculating Kubrick called the camera rental houses, Kodak, etc, and figured he could make a short doc for about $5,000 and rake in a huge profit. The future master would only make two of these goldmine documentaries, because, as fate would have it, companies were not paying 40 grand, but about 3. The March of Time would go out of business, and Kubrick would have to revert to hustling Chess to put food on the table.
“Day of the Fight” would be his first documentary, already demonstrating a keen eye and great editing sense. As well as a cinematic intuition about what’s interesting enough to put on the screen. For example, the boxer had a twin brother (like the girls in “The Shining”) which was included for no other reason than it was just weird.
The fight is reminiscent of “Raging Bull” except that this is decades ahead. The use of natural light puts you right in the middle of the action, the trademark that would catapult Kubrick into “greatest filmmaker who ever lived” status. Any movie he made, whether it was “The Shining,” “Barry Lyndon” or “Day of the Fight,” you feel like you’re right there. I Can’t Believe It’s On YouTube.
Written by: Norith Soth