I wish there were two more films in my Barry Lyndon, Shining, Clockwork Orange rotation.
Posts tagged stanley kubrick
Stanley Kubrick Showgirls at the Copacabana Club, New York City 1948
It may be hard to believe now, but Kubrick’s original intention was to do a straight, serious movie. In the late fifties, he became obsessed with the possibility of an accidental nuclear war (he even thought of leaving New York for the greater safety of Australia). In 1959, he bought the rights to a 1958 novel called “Red Alert,” by a former British R.A.F. pilot and intelligence officer named Peter George. “Red Alert” provides the ground plan for “Strangelove” (crazy general, American-Soviet coöperation, etc.), but it was dead serious, and it ends with a big sigh of relief—the rogue aircraft does not launch its bombs… Kubrick did enormous amounts of research. He read forty-six books on nuclear strategy; he conferred with experts, including the dread Herman Kahn; he studied military magazines to get an idea of how the cockpit of a B-52 might look. As he began working on the screenplay with Peter George, however, he gagged on the idea of a straight version of the material. As he said later, “My idea of doing it as a nightmare comedy came in the early weeks of working on the screenplay. I found that in trying to put meat on the bones and to imagine the scenes fully, one had to keep leaving out of it things which were either absurd or paradoxical, in order to keep it from being funny; and these things seemed to be close to the heart of the scenes in question…. The things you laugh at were really the heart of the paradoxical practices that make a nuclear war possible.”
The Half-Century Anniversary of Dr. Strangelove (via The New Yorker)