Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Subliminal messages in Kubrick films

I miss Stanley Kubrick, and I’ve probably seen the movie “AI” at least five times.

On every viewing I catch something new, some little crumb of Kubrick’s genius.

Kubrick loves to have fun with the viewer, and sometimes his messages have deep meaning while at other times he is just messing with the viewers.

I was re-viewing “Dr. Strangelove”, a timeless classic, and I clearly noticed that the B-52 was casting the shadow of a WWII B-17 bomber against the Siberian snow.

The B52 casts the shadow of a B17

It’s also incredible that the B-52 has been so successful that the USAF plans to keep them flying for 100 years, and not fully retire the B-52 until the 2050’s:

The B52 Bomber - 100 years of service to America

It’s hard to imagine that Kubrick would even know, or care about American bomber history.

I love Dr. Strangelove because most folks don’t notice that Peter Sellers plays three critical roles in the movie:

According to Pulitzer Prize winner Neil Sheehan, “Jack D. Ripper” the crazy Brigadier General in Dr. Strangelove was modeled after USAF general Curtis LeMay.

It's also obvious that General Tirgidson (played by George C. Scott) was Bernie Schriever, the pilot who flew in a famous bomnbing mission with my father over Rabaul harbor in WWII.

The real General Tirgidson was Ben Schriever
father of Mutually Assured Destruction

Dr. Strangelove also shows the war room at NORAD, inside Cheyenne mountain.

Cheyenne Mountain NORAD war room

When I was teaching graduate school at Wenster University at the Air Force academy campus, a senior officer invited me to see the NORAD war room in person.

The real war room looks different, but it's truly amazing.

There is always a general in the war room, and I was shocked to meet him as I walked in!