Photos: How Stanley Kubrick Saw Chicago In 1949
By Kate Shepherd in News on Oct 22, 2015 10:00PM
Before he made movies like Dr. Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick was a photojournalist who traveled to Chicago on assignment in 1949. Viewing the post-World War II city through the eyes of the legendary director is an eye-opening experience.
Now anyone can see all the photos he took while a photographer for "Look" magazine from 1945 to 1950 through the Library of Congress. The photographs give us a seemingly candid glimpse of everyday life like Vivian Maier's work.
Kubrick started his career with Look when he sold the magazine a photograph of a news vendor reacting to the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to Twisted Sifter. He then became the youngest staff photographer in the publication’s history. Many consider his career there as formative to his unique storytelling and filmmaking style.
In Chicago, he documented everything from a wrestling match featuring "Gorgeous George" to traders on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade during the visit to the city for a story called "Chicago City of Contrasts", according to the Tribune.
Kubrick touched on entertainment, business and poverty. Wrestler "Gorgeous George" was one of the biggest stars of his day, so it's not a surprise that crowds flocked to see his match in Chicago. He was known for his looks, flamboyance and charisma. He was inducted into the Professional Wresting Hall of Fame in 2002.
Kubrick also closely documented the Chicago Board of Trade. Men were bustling around the floor in a way we don't see in the automated world of trading today.
And Kubrick also took pictures of an African-American woman in her four children. During this time period, many African-Americans were moving from the South to northern industrial cities like Chicago for work. Many lived in poverty in Chicago's "Black Belt"on the South Side. Outrage against that inequality helped spark the civil rights movement in the '60s.