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Entries in Dr. Strangelove (3)

Thursday
May052016

Six Alternate Cinematic Realities More Desirable Than Trump's America

Daniel Crooke here. Just in time for the newest season of Game of Thrones, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich’s presidential aspirations are officially, swiftly deceased – leaving the door open for a brave new world even more horrific than some of the worst doomsday scenarios we’ve seen on the big screen. Now that Donald Trump has ostensibly become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, science fiction has officially become reality. When you consider the inherent havoc in a candidate who makes light of civilian casualties, discards women, ensures bigotry and violence, and endorses straight-up rights snatching – not to mention his microscopic, ahem, vocabulary – many cinematic dystopias and alternate realities once thought to be cataclysmically dreadful begin to sound imminently habitable if he were to actually be elected. Next to the fascist plunder-land of Trump’s America, living in these broken worlds would be downright nirvana.

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

If a clown is going to be elected president, let’s make sure it’s Peter Sellers.

The Duke of Burgundy

Whether BDSM knocks your boots, a world full of lesbians is bound to involve less literal dick-measuring than this one.

Mad Max Fury Road

We’re already well on our way to oppressive weather patterns – from vicious sandstorms to severe drought – and the faux-chismo of Immortan Joe will already inhabit the Oval Office, so let’s wait it out in the desert until Furiosa starts her noble reign and maybe get to know a member of the Vuvalini along the way. Note: null and void if Hillary wins – we’ll have our own shiny, chrome leader and mediocre Trump will go the way of the People Eater.

Battlefield Earth

Better hair.

Children of Men

Trust me. Despite the governmental meddling, guerilla warfare, and international class struggles, living in a world with no children is much more hopeful than passing on Trump’s to the next generation. Plus stoned Michael Caine is exactly the kind of deadbeat loosuh we should keep around.

Planet of the Apes

Fictional tyrannical orangutan > real tyrannical orangutan.

Which otherworldly filmic universe would you rather inhabit than a planet of Trump?

Saturday
May072011

Mix Tape: "We'll Meet Again" in Dr. Strangelove

Andreas from Pussy Goes Grrr here, to talk about one of the most infamously ironic song choices out there. And spoiler alert -- if you care about such things for 47 year old movies -- it's all about the ending.

As Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb reaches its bleakly absurd denouement, everyone is plotting for an imagined future. The Soviet ambassador is snapping photos of the "Big Board," the hawkish General Turgidson is predicting a post-apocalyptic "mineshaft gap," and even the title character, an eccentric ex-Nazi, is rising from his wheelchair and crying out, "Sir! I have a plan!" before adding, "Mein Führer! I can walk!" All of their paranoid schemes are self-evidently ridiculous, and ultimately futile, because that's right when the world ends.

But it doesn't end with a whimper, or with a bang: it ends with British songstress Vera Lynn singing her WWII-era hit "We'll Meet Again" over a minute-and-a-half-long montage of mushroom clouds. In a single blow, Kubrick and editor Anthony Harvey (reputedly working from a suggestion by British comedy legend Spike Milligan) render all of the film's frantic negotiations pointless and greet Armageddon with a smile. It's about the most superficially cheery response to annihilation this side of Life of Brian's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," and like that song, it hides bitterness in its whimsy.

The power of this satirical finale lies in the song's historical roots...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar312011

Distant Relatives: Dr. Strangelove and In the Loop

Robert here, with my series Distant Relatives, where we look at two films, (one classic, one modern) related through theme and ask what their similarities/differences can tell us about the evolution of cinema.

 

Great and powerful leaders

The world is run by idiots. Here’s an observation that is not at all new in the history of comedy or for that matter, humanity. Political satire is more often than not based on the assumption that the people at the top are at best incompetent to enact the right priorities, at worst adamant in their pursuit of the wrong ones. There’s a line of thinking that suggests anyone with the desire to become a politician is, by that virtue alone, unfit to be one. Never is this assertion more comically rife than in times of war, when we’re all scared and confused and asking our leaders to help us through the fog of conflict.

Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and (cue the teasing female voice) Love the Bomb and In the Loop are two films during two times of war, one Cold the other Middle-Eastern, that aren’t exactly overt anti-war political statements. That is to say the films could, I suppose, get behind a war if the people promoting and running it were ever even slightly better than horrible human beings. But in their realities that could never be the case.

Fingers on the big red button

In case you’ve never seen it, Dr. Strangelove starts off with mad General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) giving an unauthorized go code to go nuclear (literally) on the Soviet Union.

Click to read more ...