Stanley Kubrick – Chicago City of Contrasts, 1949

In the late 50s, the Look magazine sent its star photojournalist on assignment to shoot pictures for a story documenting people’s life in the city of Chicago.

S. Kubrick - People arriving at a Chicago theater for show starring, in person, Jack Carson, Marion Hutton, and Robert Alda, 1949

S. Kubrick - People arriving at a Chicago theater for show starring, in person, Jack Carson, Marion Hutton, and Robert Alda, 1949

Stanley Kubrick started to work for Look by chance. After having bought his photograph from a of mournful mananewsstand owner on the morning following Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, the magazine decided to employ him as an apprentice photographer. In 1945, Kubrick’s first piece for Look appeared.

In the 1949 “Chicago City of Contrasts” serie,  snapshots in Kodak Super XX Large format film depicted street life, workers routine, boxe fights. Portraits of the deprived, the doomed, and the winners. Many night scenes. As the title says, this photo essay was supposed to bring a new look on Chicago, focusing on the unknown aspects of its unhabitant’s life. But beyond the subject of each photographs, it seams that it is the role cast for every of the protagonists which especially inspired the film maker.
This is how in 1950, He dropped out this freelance job in order to pursue film making.
Here a selection of the “Chicago City of Contrasts” serie:

Credits : Stanley Kubrick, LOOK Magazine Collection, Library of Congress

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