Dr. Strangelove

Topics: Nuclear weapon, Dr. Strangelove, Slim Pickens Pages: 4 (1428 words) Published: April 11, 2014
The Cold War lasted for 44 years, but it was never truly a violent war. No combat between the Western Bloc and the United States ever happened, but there were constant arguments between the two. They were two rival bullies trying to prove which one was better than the other. Kubrick took the Cold War and satirized it in his highly acclaimed Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. An effective piece of satire “seeks to create a shock of recognition and to make vice repulsive so that the vice will be expunged [...] whenever possible this shock of recognition is to be conveyed through laughter or wit”(Harris, 1990). Dr. Strangelove is an effective piece of satire because it targets a very serious topic, the Cold War, and pokes fun, belittles, and degrades it through use of sexual, macho imagery and dialogue. Kubrick’s targets are the egotistical testosterone-pumped generals, while the vice that he is attempting to “expunge” is the Cold War and its ridiculousness. Although Kubrick doesn’t provide a cure for the vices, he doesn’t necessarily need to. He portrays them so outrageously that the viewer finds them repulsive. The connection that the director makes creates a ridiculous pairing of ideas that becomes very humorous. Sex and stereotypical power-hungry Americans are funny because they make us feel uncomfortable, and Kubrick takes advantage of that by using them quite often as a satirical device throughout Dr. Strangelove. The movie opens with an image of two large Air Force planes refueling. Kubrick’s use of different filming angles creates a questionable interpretation of the two aircraft carriers. The planes are literally mating, with a long fuel tube that connects the two planes in a penetration fashion. We never see these two planes ever again, regardless of whether or not they have any significance. This scene sets the stage for a satirical film. Kubrick’s contrast between big Air Force planes and sexual,...
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