Dr  Strangelove

Dr. Clio Andris

Science and Urban Planning Expert; Assistant Professor of GIScience, Penn State University

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb— The Shifting Attitudes Toward Science and Technology

In conjunction with a multidisciplinary exhibit Atomic Surplus, this presentation explored the shifting attitudes toward science and technology. Using the evolution of social mapping as a point of reference, the speakers used the film to demonstrate how population shifts reflect and drive cultural shifts, which was especially true during the postwar period when the film was made.

Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, NM

Film Synopsis

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

Loaded with thermonuclear weapons, a US bomber piloted by Major T. J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) is on a routine flight pattern near the Soviet Union when he receives orders to commence Wing Attack Plan R, best summarized by Major Kong as "Nuclear combat! Toe to toe with the Russkies!" On the ground at Burpelson Air Force Base, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) notices nothing on the news about America being at war. He soon discovers that the order was given by the insane General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), who believes that fluoridation of the American water supply is a Soviet plot to poison the US populace. Meanwhile, President Merkin Muffley (also Sellers) meets with his top Pentagon advisors, including super-hawk General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott), who sees this as an opportunity to do something about Communism in general and Russians in particular. However, the ante is upped considerably when Soviet ambassador Alexi de Sadesky (Peter Bull) informs Muffley and his staff of the latest innovation in Soviet weapons technology: a "Doomsday Machine" that will destroy the entire world if the Russians are attacked. This acclaimed political satire black comedy from director, producer, and co-writer Stanley Kubrick was nominated for four Academy Awards.

About the Speaker

Dr. Clio Andris is a science and urban planning expert and an assistant professor of GIScience at Penn State University. Her research interests include human behavior, institutions, and social systems. She received a PhD in urban information systems from MIT.