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Dr. Strangelove, LFF 2006

openDemocracy Opendemocracy
15 October 2006

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Still from "Dr Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1964), showing at the 2006 London Film Festival

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Film poster, "Dr Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (dir Stanley Kubrick, 1964)

"No fighting in the war room!"

That Stanley Kubrick's 1964 end-of-the-world comedy classic Dr Strangelove is showing as part of the BFI London Film Festival this month is particularly timely. With global nuclear tensions on the rise and cheery thoughts of atomic terrorists and imminent apocalypse keeping us under our desks, Kubrick's "nightmare comedy" provides a raucous satire on the relationship between power and paranoia, neuroses and nuclear capability in the political-military establishment. Mad scientists, sexually frustrated generals, bumbling presidents, and gung-ho bomber pilots are all deliciously sent up as the increasingly crazed action escalates towards all out nuclear war. The absurdity of Mutually Assured Destruction is never funnier.

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