great one, this. great faces. how they kept straight faces is beyond me
Watched it last night (second time ever watching it). Some random stuff that struck me this time round:
How tight and consistently pacey it is: there’s almost nothing extraneous, which is usually a given for comedy films since they can more easily afford to go off on tangents for the sake of a laugh. Said pace, and the ramped up absurdity and nightmarishness, makes me draw links with all the times I’d hear stories from parents / grandparents / school / books / wherever about Cold War close-calls and the fact that nuclear war was a very real fear faced by ordinary people.
I noticed this first time, but massive props to Sellers because it’s really easy to forget he plays three different characters. Another thing I noticed first time that deserves mentioning: I always love how the word “fluids” gets a little bit funnier each time it’s mentioned.
I found it interesting how it’s called Dr. Strangelove, considering the character barely has any screen time (and most of that is in the final section of the film). Having thought / read about it, it’s a pretty smart move in that that gives the character an extra bit of significance, and encourages one to think about the total irresponsibility of giving amoral individuals so much power for all the worst reasons, etc.
also, follow-up: a video essay on both this and Lolita (still haven’t seen Lolita)
did anyone find it affected their position on nuclear weapons at all?
I’m already pretty against nuclear weapons and dont think its ethically defensible to have them but imagine watching this if you believe they’re an effective deterrent/necessary might be quite challenging.
I think even for someone who’s ethically / morally against the idea of deterrent / mutually assured destruction; what this film does more than anything is highlight how unbelievably stupid and dangerous it is and how the many mindsets behind it or in control over it (paranoid ideologists, diplomats under pressure, psychopathic opportunists, etc.) are nowhere near qualified to handle the great responsibility posed by the technology
Also kind of ahead of its time in its portrayal of the ridiculousness and danger of toxic masculinity
First time watching this for a good decade probably. Wouldn’t get near my top 5 Kubrick films but I’d say it’s probably the best film from the first half of his career. I actually get quite a kick out of seeing him do things less than perfectly, it’s reassuring for us mortals, but obviously there’s a bunch of stuff which is intentionally a bit crap for comic effect as well.
Sellers is great, obviously. Think Mandrake is the best character in the film for me, found myself laughing at him more than any other but I honestly think it’d be a better film if he wasn’t playing all of those roles. Had always assumed that it was at Kubrick’s behest but it seems not:
Was apparently supposed to play the texan guy in the bomber as well but managed to weasel out of it. Glad he didn’t tbh.
V funny and enjoyable film/10
Remember reading about the set design in this and kubrick spending months getting the set designer to get a particular shade of green for the baize in the war room, despite filming it in black and white. The mad bastard
Enjoy the silly gags in this film as much as anything else.
“Gentlemen you can’t fight in here, this is the war room”
“Now then, Dmitri, you know how we’ve always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the bomb. The BOMB, Dmitri. The hydrogen bomb.”
have you seen ‘the third man’? it does the same thing and is also great
awwww I was thinking of choosing that as my film
(have a shortlist of about five)
The first appearance of Orson Welles is amazing in it
oh no, I ruined the party. sorry
haha it’s ok idk why I thought it needed to be some original idea
pretty sure I know which film I’m going with now (also had to avoid it being another French/belgian/francophone one)
To reiterate the views of many of you
I <3 film club
If you’re chosen for DiS Film Discussion Club #4 have you:
- Definitely got one excellent choice. It’ll be great, guys!
- Whittled it down to 3-5 ish
- Whittled it down to 20-40 ish
- No fucking clue
there seems to be no end to interesting stuff like this about Kubrick films out there
what are your favourite ones?
think I’ve only seen the shining and a clockwork orange and 2001
*, checks these are all actually his films *