Essay About Dr.Strangelove

Stanley Kubrick: "Dr. Strangelove" Essay

Stanley Kubrick's movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stope Worrying and Love the Bomb is based upon the thriller novel Red Alert by Peter George. In his book the author describes the fear of many Americans. A theme that was hot since the beginning of the cold war and got even hotter after the Cuba crisis in 1962 when the world stood at the edge of destruction. The book is about an almost unchained atomic war and its avoidance in the last minute . If Kubrick would have followed George's pattern the movie would approximately look like this: Because of a misunderstanding or a crazy idividual the superpowers reache the brink of an atomic war. In the very last moment staid politics and haeroic fighters can avoid a disaster. This is the material out of which Hollywood made hundreds of eposes until today. The question is: If there would be staid politics and generals leading our superpowers, could the world ever come into such a situation? In this question lies the up-to-date potential of Kubrick's movie. Our society is not dominated by a fear of atomic war anymore, but the people sitting in the international headquarters today are the same as were the people during the cold war. The madness does not lie in a single person, but in the system itself. "Could there be something more absurd then two superpowers ready to erase humanity, because of a hap-hazard," Kubrick must have asked himself before shooting the movie. On the instant he must have seen the impossibility to let reasonable figures act on this fundament. There was only one possibility to emphasize the system's dementia, to portray it in the whole extent of its cynanthropy. Therefore the only adequate form for the subject was the satire. The paradoxicality is that the satire was the only form that could show the matter realistically. Kubrick did not have to exaggerate, he just had to bring the things to boil. One of the most typical examples, how Kubrick uses satirical instruments is simultaneously one of the highlights of the movie. When captain Mandrake finally decipher the code, which can hinder the atomic war, he cannot inform the Pentagon about it, because all telephones have been destroyed. The only working phone is a phone booth, but Mandrake does not have the needed change. So a coke machine has to be cracked. This is absolutely against the conviction of corporal Bat Guano, who assures Mandrake that it is not allowed to damage private property. After a long discussion Guano agrees, but not without warning Mandrake that he will have to account for this to the Coca Cola Company. In Dr Strangelove Kubrick confronts deadly earnestness with every day triviality. Here we have somebody with the key to save the world, but he does not have the coin to call his government. It is the huge gap between the seriousness of the problem and the banality of the impediment that creates the satirical sharpness of this...

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Essay on Satire and Black Humor in Dr. Strangelove

1261 Words6 Pages

Even though Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb screened in the midst of the sobering Cold War, critics were keen on praising the film for its mastery of humor applied to such a sensitive matter. The film is exceedingly loaded with metaphors, innuendos, and allusions that nothing can be left undissected or taken for face value; the resulting effect is understood to be part of Kubrick’s multifarious theme. Kubrick has stated that what began as a “the basis for a serious film about accidental war ” eventually birthed an absurd and farcical classic comedy. The director fuses together irony, satire, and black humor to create a waggish piece but most of all the situation of the times and its…show more content…

In fact, sex weaves itself into the entire film: the survival kit the bombers are given contains female articles and prophylactics, the opening scene is of two planes “mating ”, and the missiles themselves become phallic when Major Kong rides one like a thrilled cowboy. Kubrick’s intent to mix in sex with the looming war plot is compelling because these two acts are primitive characteristics that are still inherently man: the desire to fornicate and the desire to compete/kill. Why audiences should find this uproarious despite the serious matter at hand is exactly because war and lust are crude leftovers despite millenniums of evolution; it is pathetically instinctual that humans create trouble regardless of their intellectual genius. Kubrick employs all techniques of humor but most notably black humor, parody, and irony. Each character is employed to be the amplified version of their real-world counterparts. Americans are military cowboys, Russians are haughty drunks, scientists are insane, and the only woman in the film happens to be a sexy secretary. Regarding the culture of nuclear threat that was present during the time of this film, the characters were necessarily exaggerated to satirize the political dynamics permissible by the

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