What are some brief insights on DR. STRANGELOVE?

-- Removing a literary reference:  The Bombs have the words "Dear 
   John" and "Hi There" scrawled on them. In George's novelization, one 
   of the bombs is nicknamed "Lolita."


-- The B-52 interior was classified at the time of the film's 
   production. But apparently, Kubrick's researches found a photo of the 
   interior published in a British aviation magazine, and the end result 
   was the extremely accurate set we see in the final film.

-- Kubrick on game theory: "I started out being completely unfamiliar 
   with any of the professional literature in the field of nuclear 
   deterrence. I was at first very impressed with how subtle some of the 
   work was -- at least so it seemed starting out with just a primitive 
   concern for survival and a total lack of any ideas of my own. 
   Gradually I became aware of the almost wholly paradoxical nature of 
   deterrence or as it has been described, the Delicate Balance of 
   Terror. If you are weak, you may invite a first strike. If you are 
   becoming too strong, you may provoke a pre-emptive strike. If you try 
   to maintain the delicate balance, it's almost impossible to do so 
   mainly because secrecy prevents you from knowing what the other side 
   is doing, and vice versa, ad infinitum . . ."
                         (submitted by B.S., quoting Alexander Walker)

-- Kubrick on game theory II: "Two men get on a train in different 
   cars -- they know the rules but they can't communicate. And the game 
   is this: that if they both get off at the first station, man A gets 
   ten dollars and man B gets three dollars. If they both get off at the 
   second station, man B gets ten dollars and man A gets three dollars. 
   But if they don't get off at the same station, in other words if they 
   get off differently, neither one of them gets anything. So here you 
   have a situation where you have mutual conflict and mutual interest 
   and great chances for misunderstanding, even under the circumstances 
   where one side was willing to give a little more than the other, or 
   than he was willing to take."

                                                     (Ciment, p. 88)

   For an article on THE PRISONERS' DILEMMA (to which this example is
   very closely related), go to

       ftp.netcom.com, /pub/kr/krusch/home.html

-- Kubrick on why DR. STRANGELOVE is a comedy: "As I tried to build 
   the detail for a scene I found myself tossing away what seemed to me 
   to be very truthful insights because I was afraid the audience would 
   laugh. After a few weeks of this I realized that these incongruous 
   bits of reality were closer to the truth than anything else I was 
   able to imagine. After all, what could be more absurd than the very 
   idea of two mega-powers willing to wipe out all human life because of 
   an accident, spiced up by political differences that will seem as 
   meaningless to people a hundred years from now as the theological 
   conflicts of the Middle Ages appear to us today?
   And it was at this point I decided to treat the story as a 
   nightmare comedy. Following this approach, I found it never 
   interfered with presenting well-reasoned arguments. In culling the 
   incongruous, it seemed to me to be less stylized and more realistic 
   than any so-called serious, realistic treatment, which in fact is 
   more stylized than life itself by its careful exclusion of the banal, 
   the absurd, and the incongruous. In the context of impending world 
   destruction, hypocrisy, misunderstanding, lechery, paranoia, 
   ambition, euphemism, patriotism, heroism, and even reasonableness can 
   evoke a grisly laugh."

   (Submitted by B.S., quoting Alexander Walker, p. 34, and Nelson, p.
    81. This is actually a composite quote, the two sources juxtaposed)

                        VOYAGER LASERDISC -- DETAILS

-- Voyager-Criterion issued a remastered laserdisc of DR. STRANGELOVE 
   in 1992. This version was struck from Kubrick's personal print of the 
   film (one generation removed from the original negative). The disc 
   jacket reads: "The film was shot using in-camera mattes with 
   alternating aspect ratios, between 1.66:1 and 1.33:1. A new digital 
   film-to-tape transfer was created using a 35mm duplicate negative and 
   35mm 3 track magnetic master."
   The different mattes for the film's different aspect ratios are 
   probably best noticeable at the top of the frame, in the shots where 
   Major Kong puts on his Stetson hat. Also, as Kong rides the bomb, the 
   bomb can be seen jumping "over" the background matte plate.
   The Criterion disc also includes a wealth of materials outlining 
   the civil-defense plans of the early 1960s, including still frames of 
   various pamphlets, the famous short "Duck and Cover," and an early 
   "video" of George McCulvey's "My Teenage Fallout Queen." There is 
   also a British Film Board-approved trailer advertising Strangelove, 
   which -- unique for its day -- includes photos of Kubrick himself. 
   Best of all is an account of the film's laser remastering, as well as 
   a frame-by-frame representation of an early STRANGELOVE script. The 
   cover of the Criterion disk was also designed by Kubrick.

   An early draft of the script -- written by Kubrick, before Southern 
   was brought in -- can be read frame-by-frame on the Voyager-Criterion 
   laserdisc. In this early draft, the film is presented as a recovered 
   record found by aliens on a dead planet called Earth. (The opening 
   credits describe a "Micro-Galaxy-Meteor" logo with a squalling alien 
   head. Amusing, in light of the stylized MGM logo used in 2001.) This 
   script is clearly less than the final product; a great deal of the 
   final film's better lines clearly came from Southern's later 
   contributions, including General Ripper's "bodily fluids" obsessions. 
   Although there is a character named Turgidson, a character named 
   "Buck" Schmuck gets most of what eventually wound up as Turgidson 
   dialogue. (Interesting note: in this early script, one General is 
   named "Toejam." So is a Marine in FULL METAL JACKET.)


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