Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sweet Enemy had never seen Dr. Strangelove before, so she rented it last week and Monday night, she finally got around to watching it. I didn't come in until 1/3 of the way through (where the bombers get their orders from Col. Ripper), but I watched the rest of it even though it meant getting to bed at 1am.
You know what? It's still damned good satire. There has yet to be a satire so good. I think what makes it so darned good is the juxtaposition of the realistic-feeling (The bomber and crew. The President) with the over-the-top (Col. Ripper. Dr. Strangelove). It was still a funny and rather scary film.
Also noteworthy were two small directorial tricks that Kubrik used that nobody used much again for years. The first is the filming of the attack on Burpelson AFB. It was filmed with the camera low, documentary style and it really made you feel like you were in the thick of it. This was just how the battle scenes in Band of Brothers were filmed. Most of the war films between the two were filmed straight.
The other thing was a small thing, but I had to rewind it to see it again. As the B-52 nears it's target of opportunity, the camera is in the rear near the navigator facing the cockpit. When the co-pilot calls "Target in sight! Where the hell is Major Kong?", the camera zooms up to focus on the barely-visible Russian base. For all the world, it looked just like a shot from the new BSG. Totally. Check it out if you don't believe me (at about 1:13).
The drawing was done at work while waiting for code builds. Obviously, no reference for Slim Pickens was used.
Listening to while posting: The clanking of the woodstove.