Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Skuriels Countdown: #15 (tie)

Stanley Kubrick, 1964
[10 votes]

“I first saw Dr. Strangelove when I was 17 and it may speak to my own intellectual deficiencies, but a lot of its jokes and some of its plot went right over my head. Today I think it’s one of the funniest of all movies. Like many Kubrick films, it’s endlessly quotable with everything from ‘Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room’ to ‘the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids’ to ‘Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!’ It’s also one of the most intelligent of all movies. It follows a step by implorable step logic to Armageddon in the most elaborate realization of a central Kubrick theme: the best laid plans, systems, and technology get undermined or repurposed by humanity’s inherent irrationality.

“To see just how distinctive Strangelove is, one only has to compare it to the far more conventional but far from poorly made Fail-Safe, which came out the same year and tackled a similar topic. Next to Strangelove though, Fail-Safe pales in every way. Strangelove’s imagery is now iconic from Major Kong’s last ride to the war room becoming the default look for war rooms in fiction media. Eddie Murphy only wishes he could play multiple roles as effortlessly as Peter Sellers does here. George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, and Slim Pickens make it impossible to entertain anyone else in those parts. Kubrick is right that humanity’s own nature often sabotages our idealized aspirations but sometimes we eke through to the sublime, and Kubrick proved it himself with Strangelove.” ~ George Wu

No comments:

Post a Comment