Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Strangelove, Cristina Recommends

We no longer know how to make mock movies. Artists fail to work in close proximity to the ludicrous by exposing it through clever scripts, which are depicting the fine borders between social sanity and glaring (collective) defect. The only mock films seen by me on the big screen in the last years, with admitting that I am not an avid film consumer, are the Borat series, or whatever they are called, an amalgam of vulgarity and abrasiveness in a  parody on bad taste. The lack of wit and subtlety is what annoys me, though I understand that statements as such make me sound like a movie snob. Fine, if it strips me of 2 hours, give or take, it better be good (where good is subjective, they say, and I keep my mouth shut for I have my guilts...) Actually, I only buy the ticket for the popcorn (sorry Aston Martin fanatics and Jugh Jackman schoolgirls fans) - except for 300, of course, the only sexy movie I approve of (a girl has weaknesses: male models on a catwalk scene) I might have to turn to foreign movies, or watch US black and white exclusively.

Back to Dr Strangelove, because this became my reference in film caricature - it was planned and produced in '62-'63 (no, you are not on Wikipedia...) at a time when - do go to Wikipedia, though, if you have to read further - the Cold War was on steroids:



Life magazine had ads for fallout shelters for only $700 ea (more rudimentary were cheaper), equipped with all necessary anti-bomb and radiation supplies, depicting a happy family living perfectly well in this temporary protective heaven. Russians were using a skeleton Uncle Sam to portray America, and some of the biggest powers were slaving their scientists and spies in the hope of making The Bomb. Look at the Eisenhower farewell message and you'll understand the hysteria ("A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction." - 1961)
 

And while all these happened, Kubric came up with this dark comedy project, a criticism on anti-Communism paranoia, nuclear technology, and general brainwashing. He was Shakespeare-careful with details, so that even characters' names are full of significance (see: Caliban). Examples: Muffle, Ripper, Kissov, or Sadesky, Major King Kong (more about the topic in Macklin, Sex and Dr Strangelove) 
Sarcasm at its best.

.....The following is just (this-is-not-my-laugh) funny finding, hided between Cold War propaganda ads: