Subtleties of satire can be powerful and I discovered that with Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. In this film, Kubick gives us an insight about Cold War (and ‘Mutually Assured Destruction‘ with the Doomsday Machine) in a satirical way. When it comes to talk about very serious topics, using satire or black comedy can make people realize how stupid a situation can be. Dr. Strangelove satirizes the Cold War and Kubrick’s attention to detail bring us far beyond the topic of nuclear weapons; sometimes humanity can be its worst enemy.
No wonder why the movie title inspired the title of my blog: ‘How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Inconsistency of Our World. Yet I Can’t Reconcile Myself To It. (But I’m Working On It)‘.
In Dr. Strangelove, each detail has its importance and a meaning: the sexual connotations of the name of the characters (Dmitri Kisof’s / Kissof, Alexei de Sadesky / Marquis de Sade, Merkin Muffley / Muff), the table in the War Room is green like a poker table and so on. Many details most Kubrick fans already know about but they may not be obvious when you first watch the film. You can watch it again and again, and still be amused by the acting of George C. Scott (General ‘Buck’ Turgidson) and the three-in-one character played by Peter Sellers…
Black humor and irony may appear easy but the genre is very difficult to master, if you miss your point, it has no effect. If you do practice irony and black humor you know you don’t score each time; when people look at you and don’t get what you meant, then you know you went too far or wrong. It’s a real challenge (and a real job) to talk about horrific events (death, war) in a comic manner.
I’m not the only one enjoying satire and black comedy movies, and I didn’t watch a good movie in the genre for a long time, so if you have any suggestion about movies I should see, be my guest!