Thursday, June 14, 2007

Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

I had a long day today, and tomorrow promises to be hectic seeing as how I need to rent a car and go to the dive shop to be fitted for a wetsuit for my open water dives this weekend. But I figured I had time to make a quick post to satisfy all my blog readers.

I was just watching the first episode of the Jewel in the Crown which I rented from Netflix, and hearing the song "We'll Meet Again" made me think of Doctor Strangelove which is one of my favorite movies.

It was directed by Stanley Kubrick who I think was a genius. In my opinion, his adaptations of The Shining, Lolita, and A Clockwork Orange either improved on the book or at the very least surpassed films that merely attempted to slavishly follow the plot of the original novel.

I first watched Doctor Strangelove in my senior of high school in English class. I remember that by the end I was smiling to myself, barely containing my glee, but I might have been the only one in the class. Thus I realized that this one of those rare works of art that embodies my twisted sense of humor precisely.

If you've never seen Doctor Strangelove before, it's a dark comedy about the Cold War raging between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Admittedly, it takes a little while to get into, but once you get past the initial dull scenes you'll be rewarded with the film's wry wit.

For instance, who can forget the classic line "You can't fight in here: this is the War Room!" The amazing, idiosyncratic British comedian Peter Sellers plays three different roles in this movie: the President of the United States; Group Captian Mandrake, a British officer taking part in the officers' exchange program; and Dr. Strangelove, a half-mad, wheelchair-bound ex-Nazi scientist working for the American military and suffering from alien hand syndrome.

Perhaps the most memorable scene from the movie is towards the end where an American pilot sits astride an atomic bomb as it falls towards its target, and ,waving his cowboy hat in the air, rides it as if it were a bucking bronco.

Last TV Show I Watched Tonight: Top Chef
Last song I listened to: B52s - Love Shack
Beer of choice: Stella Artois


Nicole said...

obviously kubrick was a genius. no doubt. i love 'dr. strangelove (or how i learned to stop worrying and love the bomb)'. you know that 'lolita' is one of my favorite books (as a writer i have to say, once again, that it probably has the best openings of any book i've ever read) and kubrick somehow did the impossible-- he made a good book into a good film. but i think we all have to give a sad nod to the fact that he faltered with his last film. not that films like '2001' don't outshine it and make his one flub less offensive but 'eyes wide shut' was just...uuugghhh. tom cruise? again, uuuugghhh. i still love him (kubrick, that is) but i find it difficult to think of him now without thinking of that awful film. who wrote that score? just painful. the whole thing just makes my temples throb. not good. not good at all.

Meeg said...

Did you ever see that crappy new version of Lolita with Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swaine that was partially filmed in New Orleans? That was supposed to be all truer to the novel, and it was way worse.

"Eye Wide Shut" is kind of an enigma. And I love Mystikal's video for "Shake Ya Ass"

Nicole said...

of course i saw that version. it was really really crappy but i do have to say that dominique swaine was much more in line with my mental image of lolita than the girl who played her in the kubrick version. the original lolita (i don't know the girl's real name) just seemed too adult, even in appearance. dominique swaine was great at playing that nymph, the sexy girl-child who was a temptress but clearly a little girl all in one. i think she did a really good job (but she was the ONLY good thing in that film, the rest of it was total crap- shame on you jeremey irons!). and i know they said that the new one was supposed to be truer to the novel but nabokov himself oversaw the production of the original version so...
eyes wide shut is an enigma. i do have to say that i saw it a few times. i think that i would be more enclined to be forgiving about it if it had been cast better. i just can't get over the choice of tom cruise. maybe i'm more brutal about it now than i was when i first saw it as it's only now that we really know how INSANE he is. now i think of him and i just shudder. it's sad but it's tainted my view of every film he's ever been in, regarldess of when it was made. god, he's just such a freakshow!!