Kubrick and Politics

Last night1, Turner Classic Movies kicked off a monthlong series called “Party Politics and the Movies,” in which senators are invited to choose and introduce their favorite films. John Edwards was the inaugural guest, and his selection was almost shockingly bold: Dr. Strangelove. … Edwards was bashful about drawing parallels, but host Ben Mankiewicz finally baited the hook for him: “Is there any message you would like President Bush or Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to get from this movie?” Edwards’ answer, delivered in his usual courtly drawl, was a quiet little knife in the president’s ribs: “Human beings are fallible. They make mistakes … That’s why it’s so important to have somebody at the top of the civilian government who understands what’s happening and has good sound judgment.”

Next Thursday night, John McCain will introduce another Kubrick film, Paths of Glory… one of the most virulently antiwar movies of all time.

(Slate: “How John Edwards learned to stop worrying and love Dr. Strangelove,” by Dana Stevens [October 8, 2004])

1 Actually, October 7th.