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EVERY movie should end with the Dire Straits song ‘Walk of Life’. Every one of them

One hardly needs to have survived the ‘80s to know Dire Straits’ totally insipid yet somehow enduringly beloved anthem “Walk of Life”—you hear it at baseball games every time a batter is walked, and I’ll bet all those pennies-per-play in royalties to Mark Knopfler add up real damn quick, which was probably all part of a master plan for a lifelong revenue stream, as the song’s video is full of baseball players. But video editor Peter Salomone has found a new purpose for the cloying composition: he’s been busying himself dropping the song into the endings of dozens of movies, dubbing his endeavor “The Walk of Life Project.” Via Matt Novak at Gizmodo:

“My friend joked that ‘Walk of Life’ would be the perfect funeral song,” Salomone told me over email. “So then I just sort of melded that idea with my love of movie endings.”

“I tried a few (Star Wars, 2001, and The Matrix) and I was surprised at how well they synced up,” he added. “I didn’t re-edit the movie clips visually. I just found a good starting point for the song and the rest just fell into place”

The results are unfailingly hilarious. The song’s vapidly cheerful keyboard intro instantly transforms anything it graces, and the result is just pure comedy gold. I suppose it should go without saying that spoilers follow, since these are the ends of movies. Indeed, for that reason, I’m only linking clips from classics everyone should have already seen by now, especially if you’re fond of Kubrick, but recent films are amply represented in Salamone’s oeuvre, too. The entire collection is viewable at this link.

The Birds
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Weegee’s photos from the set of ‘Dr. Strangelove’

Weegee is most renowned for his brilliant photos of crime scenes as well as other urban subjects from the 1940s, but what you might not know is that Weegee was a “technical consultant” on the set of one of the greatest movies ever made, Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. Furthermore, it seems that Peter Sellers’ vocal pattern for the eponymous character owes more than a small debt to Weegee, whose Hungarian/NYC voice Sellers recorded and apparently inspired him in creating Strangelove’s distinctively foreign accent.

Here is Ed Sikov, in his book Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers, on their vocal collaboration:

As though a satire about bombing all of humanity to death wasn’t gruesome enough, Kubrick brought in as technical consultant the photographer Weegee, who was known for having taken stark, emotionally charged photographs of an estimated five thousand murder scenes over the course of his grim career. Named Usher Fellig at birth, Weegee moved with his family to New York at the age of ten; officials at Ellis Island changed his name to Arthur. As a photographer, he seemed to be clairvoyant in terms of knowing where crimes had been committed; Weegee often arrived on the scene before the police. Hence his nickname (inspired by the Ouija board). Officially, Weegee’s technical consultations involved Dr. Strangelove’s periodically harsh, crime-scene-like black-and-white cinematography, but because he had an unusual accent—German overlaid with New York, all with a nasal, slightly strangled, back-of-the-throat quality—he inadvertently provided technical assistance for the film’s star as well.

I vas psychic!,” Weegee told Peter on the set one day—a conversation Peter was taping for research purposes. “I vould go to a moidah before it vas committed!” Peter’s vocal model for Strangelove was Weegee, whom Sellers pushed further into parody.


Among other things you can see shots of the famous “pie fight” sequence that was filmed but did not make it into the final cut of the movie.

There is a book available called Strangelove’s Weegee, but I don’t know what is in it.



Many more pics, plus a ‘making-of’ documentary of the movie, after the jump…......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Recently unearthed ‘Dr. Strangelove’ promo reel with alternate takes—narrated by Kubrick himself
01:29 pm


Stanley Kubrick
Dr. Strangelove

This fascinating footage was posted about a year ago on YouTube, representing the first time in decades, if ever, that it had been made available for public viewing. It’s a promo reel for Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, lasting roughly 20 minutes (it’s broken up into 2 YouTube videos) that was recorded off the wall from the projection of the scarce 35mm reel with what appears to be Kubrick himself providing a kind of play-by-play for the various scenes that are depicted—many of which have become utterly iconic by this time.

It was the essential blog Cinephilia and Beyond who first spotted this, to my knowledge. The reel includes, as Open Culture’s charmingly Strangelove-obsessed Colin Marshall put it, “the B52s circling constantly, refueling in midair; Brigadier General Jack Ripper’s sudden order to bomb Russia; General Buck Turgidson’s wee-hour departure for the ‘War Room’; the siege of Burpelson Air Force Base; Group Captain Lionel Mandrake’s struggle for the recall code and subsequent confrontation with the ‘prevert’-fixated Colonel Bat Guano; President Merkin Muffley’s bad news-breaking call to Russian Premier Dmitri Kissoff; the titular German expatriate scientist’s plan to restart society after the nuclear apocalypse.”

The footage is undeniably raw—considering it was filmed from a projected image—and some of the takes are unfamiliar. This was a work in progress of one of the most galvanizing cinematic successes of the 20th century, and it’s fascinating to hear the flat, Bronx-bred accent of the master walk the viewer through the movie. It’s not clear what the purpose of this promo reel was, but Cain Rodriguez at The Playlist speculates that the idea may have been “to placate investors since the satirical elements are somewhat downplayed.”

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Dr. Strangelove’ recreated using everyday household objects

Artist Kristan Horton knows Dr. Strangelove well. I mean really well, much, much better than you do: he’s watched it hundreds of times, the natural outcome of a situation that arose when a VHS cassette of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece was the only content he could play on his TV set over a period lasting more than two years.

Horton, who is from Canada, says that this created a relationship to the movie he had to respond to, somewhat like when “Star Wars fans ... log hundreds of viewings and go on to make Storm Trooper outfits for themselves in their living rooms.”

Several years ago Horton decided to make an art project by re-creating hundreds of stills from the movie using ordinary objects you might find in your home. The project is called Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove and was shown at Jessica Bradley Art + Projects and Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery.

Horton had wanted to re-create the movie via animation, but eventually realized that the stills from Dr. Strangelove had a special power and allowed for sober comparison of the original and the imitation:

The project began with an intention to animate [by creating] an animated film. But it was the still that attracted me. The comparison was the exciting part. We can take as much time as we like in making the comparison. Time is on our side, not whizzing by at 24 frames per second.

The project has roughly 200 images, of which we show a small sample here. You can buy the book of Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove and study all of the images at your leisure.

(Click on each image to see a larger view—these are gorgeous, and you’re going to want a closer look.)


More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Stanley Kubrick directing ‘Dr. Strangelove’
11:21 am


Stanley Kubrick
Dr. Strangelove

It wasn’t just the nuclear fallout in the milk that concerned most people during the late 1950s and early 1960s, there was a genuine fear that the world was on the verge of an all-out nuclear war between Russia and America that would end life on the planet or make it rather awful for the few survivors. These anxieties were heightened by the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and were reflected in a series of novels, films, and TV dramas that predicted humanity’s seemingly inevitable nuclear annihilation at the push of a button.

When Stanley Kubrick optioned Peter George’s book Red Alert (aka Two Hours to Doom), he intended to make a faithful film adaptation of the George’s chilling tale of near nuclear armageddon. But as he researched the subject and began work on a script with the author, Kubrick found the proposition of nuclear war utterly absurd and decided to make not a thriller but “a nightmare comedy” that satirized the insanity of two countries arming themselves with such horrific weapons of mass destruction.

Kubrick considered telling the story of Earth’s nuclear demise from the point of view of visiting extraterrestrials, but didn’t think this approach had the right amount of “inspired lunacy.” He then decided to bring in author Terry Southern to write a story using George’s novel as a loose framework to play up the comedy rather than the thrills. The result was Doctor Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb—“the most perfectly written comedic screenplay of post-war cinema,” as critic Alexander Walker described it. Dr. Strangelove was also the film that brought Kubrick’s unique visionary talents as a director to the fore.
Kubrick discusses a shot with camera operator Kelvin Pike and the director’s wife Christiane Kubrick.
Kubrick instructs cast members during filming of the siege of the airbase.
Operating the camera prior to filming a scene with George C. Scott as General Buck Turgidson and Tracy Reed as Miss Scott.
Many more pics from the filming of the Cold War classic after the jump…..

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday ‘Dr. Strangelove’ or: Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece is 50 years old today
08:08 am


Stanley Kubrick
Terry Southern
Dr. Strangelove

Fifty years ago today, on January 29th, 1964, Stanley Kubrick’s film Doctor Strangelove or: How I Learned t to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was released.

In light of the Cold War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kubrick (like millions of others) was deeply concerned at the thought of a possible nuclear war between America and Russia. He decided to make a movie about it, and read numerous books on the subject. At first, he considered making a straightforward thriller about a possible nuclear accident. As this rough idea evolved, Kubrick bought the rights for Peter George’s Red Alert (aka Two Hours to Doom) and began working on a screenplay.

As he researched the subject further, Kubrick began to see the total absurdity of an all out nuclear war, and opted to make “a nightmare comedy.” An original draft opened with extra-terrestrials viewing Earth after a nuclear holocaust. It was to be called The Delicate Balance of Terror. Kubrick then decided the film required a level of “inspired lunacy” within a realistic framework. He therefore brought in “Existentialist hipster” and controversial author of Candy, Terry Southern.

As the late film critic Alexander Walker described it, the result was:

“...the most perfectly written comedic screenplay of post-war cinema.”


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Stanley Kubrick wanted Terry Gilliam to direct a sequel to ‘Dr. Strangelove’

According to Todd Brown at Twitchfilm, an uncompleted outline for Son of Strangelove, a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s immortal 1964 Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, was found among the effects of the legendary screenwriter Terry Southern (Easy Rider, Barbarella) after his death in 1995. The story was set in the underground bunkers discussed in the infamous war room scene of the original film. As tantalizing as it is to wonder how such a film would have turned out had it indeed come to pass, it turns out that Kubrick had Monty Python refugee and great visionary of the dismal Terry Gilliam in mind to direct. Straight from Gilliam himself:

I was told after Kubrick died - by someone who had been dealing with him - that he had been interested in trying to do another Strangelove with me directing. I never knew about that until after he died but I would have loved to.

strangelove sellers
This is my face, just thinking about ‘Son of Strangelove.’

Just imagine the psycho-in-toyland wonders of an underground bunker for post-apocalypse elites as conceived by the deliriously inventive mind behind The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus! It’s sad that we’ll likely never know, but Gilliam fans still have something to look forward to. This winter will see the release of his new film The Zero Theorem, which, per the director in a recent Guardian interview, constitutes the third piece of a dystopian trilogy begun with his 1985 masterpiece Brazil and 1995’s mind bending time-travel drama 12 Monkeys.

The Zero Theorem has already screened to acclaim at the Venice Film Festival. Euronews featured a preview of the film prominently in this clip:

Bonus: Enjoy this lengthy interview with Gilliam from CBC Radio’s Q.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Ken Adam: The Man Who Designed for James Bond and Stanley Kubrick

You will know Ken Adam for the War Room in Stanley Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove. Or, perhaps his car design for Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang. And of course, his unforgettable designs for the James Bond movies - from the specially adapted Aston Martin car, to his vision of Fort Knox in Goldfinger; the jet pack in Thunderball; or his stunning rocket base, within a hollow volcano in You Only Live Twice - Adam has created some of the most brilliant and unforgettable set designs ever filmed.

The 007 Set: A Profile of Ken Adam tells the story of cinema’s best known production designer from his birth in Berlin, between the wars, to his escape to England after the rise of Hitler, his training as an architect, and his career as the Royal Air Force’s only German fighter pilot during World War 2. First broadcast in 1979, this is a fascinating portrait, with great archive and an excellent interview with Ken Adam.

With thanks to NellyM

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Stop-motion LEGO ‘Dr. Strangelove’
11:48 am


Dr. Strangelove

This all LEGO stop-motion version of Dr. Strangelove by YouTuber XXxOPRIMExXX  is really, really well done.

According to the description, these videos were first uploaded to YouTube back in 2010, but were removed pretty much right away due to copyright issues. WTF?

So here it is again in all its glory. Watch ‘em both while you still can.


Via Kottke

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Digitally restored classic films in 4K: Bringing the past back to life with stunning clarity

The restored digital 4K version of Dr. Strangelove will be screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin November 15-18. The Alamo has installed a new 4K projection system and the results are awesome. I saw The Bridge On The River Kwai in a 4K presentation this past Monday and it was stunning. 4K is a 10 megapixel image with a native resolution of 4,096 x 2,400—more than four times the resolution of HD. If your local theater has a 4K system (they’re not cheap) and you have a chance to see a newly restored classic in that format, go for it. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly will be screening at the Alamo later this month also in a 4K restored version and in its original aspect ratio. The flies, the sweat, the squinting eyes, the dust, the nostrils…all digitally restored. I can’t wait.

Watching the restored The Bridge On The River Kwai was a reminder of just how breathtakingly beautiful technicolor films can be when presented in pristine condition. While the digital presentation is not quite the same as celluloid, I still felt I was viewing the film in all of its original splendor (I saw the film as a child and remember it well). The color, detail, depth of field were all enhanced and take on an almost lysergic clarity. And there’s still some grain. Simply gorgeous. Apart from the beauty of the film, the story is powerfully anti-war. Even as a child, I picked up on that. I’m quite sure that my father, a Naval officer, took me to the film expecting a patriotic message. Little did he know.

I’m hoping that this new 4K technology and the digital restoration of classic films introduces them to a new audience. There’s nothing like seeing a widescreen David Lean or Sergio Leone movie on the big screen, nothing.
Animated gif from IWDRM

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment