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Stanley Kubrick directing ‘Dr. Strangelove’
08:21 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
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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’
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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