Dr. Strangelove, 1964

The film Dr.Stangelove, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb was released in 1964. Originally this film was supposed to be released in 1963, but due to J. F. Kennedy’s assassination it was released later. The film is in black and white and is a comical story about an unintentional nuclear attack.  This film takes place during the Cold War, which was the all around continuing conflict after World War II. One of the actors in the cast of the film is Peter Sellers. He has the role of playing three characters: Mandrake, Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove. Along with all his characters, he and the rest of the cast, make many witty remarks in the film, which makes it humorous and entertaining to watch. This infamous film also demonstrates how technology can get of control and dominate civilization.

Dr.Strangelove was filmed during the post-war era. The cinematography in this film uses Direct Cinema and Avant-Garde Cinema. Direct Cinema is a style of film that is primarily used in documentaries using 16mm and 35mm cameras. Even though this style was mainly used for documentaries Dr.Strangelove was also filmed using 16 and 35 mm cameras. Hand held cameras were used to create this style of filming to capture specific angles and to give the viewer a particular feel. This technique gives the audience an intimate feeling toward the story. The method of direct cinema became most popular during the mid 1960s. With both the method and technology Direct Cinema has a big influence around the world. Avant-Garde Cinema, which is often referred to as Experimental Film, is the production of common commercials and documentaries. Avant-garde Cinema was big during the 1960s and was previously unheard of.

The opening scene in the film is of two airplanes flying through the air. They are attached together on different heights. During this black and white scene, the clouds look beautiful and the camera is steady moving, carefully capturing this moment. To add to the striking sight of the airplanes, there is beautiful music playing in the background. Even though it is the very first scene in the movie, it’s beautiful because of its pureness, simplicity, and innocence, which is ultimately, ironic. The camera appears to be sitting on its own cloud in the sky watching these planes pass by. The cinematography in this scene is outstanding because of this amazing illusion and the way the bigger lens captures so much scenery and movement.

Another scene in Dr. Strangelove that shows its exemplary filming is when the camera films the interior in of one of the B-52 bomber planes. While on call, one of the crewmembers on the plane seems to be in deep thought while reading, waiting for a job to do. At this point the camera zooms in on his face. His face is serious and the man is head to toe, fitted in his uniform. The camera moves down from his face into his hands where there lies a Playboy magazine. Yes, while waiting on duty for potential battle this man is deeply engrossed, looking serious, and is looking at a magazine full of nude women. This adds to the comical aspect of the film.

Overall, from the style of cinematography to the historical time period, which is created in good humor, makes Dr. Strangelove an American classic. The juxtaposition of humor and battle makes this film all the more interesting.


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