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The appeal of boxing to a fan is explained before the question is asked: what is the appeal of boxing as a career? Some of the many negatives of it as a career are the inherent violence, that it only has a limited shelf life as it is a job for the young, the fact that only one percent of the six thousand professional boxers in the United States makes a good living at it, and that making a good living is predicated on an improving record which means always needing to win. It is perhaps that last point which draws many to it as a career: that want to be the best in a competitive environment. A day on the job of one such boxer is presented, twenty-four year old middleweight Walter Cartier. This day on the job will end with a bout, which will either improve his earning potential through a win, or lessen it with a loss. Some of what Walter has to go through this day are legal in ensuring he meets all the state requirements to go into the bout. But most of the day is spent on mental and ...Written by
In these hours he can feel his body tightening, but it's a tightness that does not come from lack of confidence, it's the pressure of the last waiting. Here in a place where the walls are so close a man can barely move his body around. If only the fight would come, then everything else would not be so bad -- not really bad at all.
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This was Stanley Kubrick's first foray into film, a 13-minute short following the minor boxer Walter Cartier the day of a fight. This short was based on Kubrick's pictorial layout for Look magazine entitled "Prizefighter", where Kubrick had followed Cartier around before a previous fight.
The short is in black and white, which serves the subject beautifully. Not much happens throughout the short film. Cartier, and his twin brother Vincent, walk to church, eat breakfast, and eat lunch, among other things. However, there were a few moments that stood out, one being the short part where Walter is looking at himself in the mirror. He messes with his hair, and then plays with his face and moves his nose around. This reminded me of the scene at end of "Raging Bull" when Jake LaMotta is contemplating himself in the mirror.
The action starts to pick up right before the fight. The editing builds the tension as we and the fighter wait. Then before we know it the fight has begun and is over. All day's preparation for 90 seconds of action. Luckily our hero comes out on top, and film ends.
A promising start to a legendary career.
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