If
this all works out as hoped, we’ll all have to give serious thanks to
some random Puerto Rican film lab for being able to finally see Stanley
Kubrick’s seldom-seen, 1953 debut feature film, Fear and Desire, in all its glory.

Apparently
the negative for the film was found in the library of said film lab
that closed shop years ago, which then was screened on Sunday at the
American Cinematheque in Los Angeles.  Afterward, Caroline
Frick Page, curator of motion pictures for the George Eastman House,
announced that “plans were underway to restore the film and eventually release it on home video.

The
story goes that Kubrick did all he could to keep this movie from seeing
the light of day.  Given his track record of eccentricities,
who knows what his reasons were.  Personally, I dig that he was
always like that — even in the very beginning before he became the
cinematic god he ended up being.  I’m sure the guy had his
reasons, whether or not we would agree with him; but for Kubrick fans,
having a rarely seen entry in his canon fall into their laps like this
would be manna from heaven.

Page says that “[r]estorations are a very expensive process, but it’s one of those things
that I actually think would be great to have a collaboration on that
particular title, to see what can be done.


This
is one of those things that blows me away — that film labs can have
total treasures in their possessions and just not even realize
it.  I just picture these cans of film stacked up in a dusty
backroom of a film lab, no labels, no organization whatsoever,
accumulated over years and years of screening, cutting, and processing
celluloid, wasting away, hoping to be discovered.  And I wonder
what the digital equivalent will be in the future.  Someone
finds a lost work of art on a random, thought-to-be-wiped DVR?

No
word on how long before we could hope to see this released. 
At least we now know it’s in the works and, since it is Kubrick, it’ll
be well worth the wait.

Source | The Wall Street Journal – Speakeasy