Fail Safe

Hill Center @ 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

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Join New Yorker staff writer Margaret Talbot and movie critic Nell Minow for the Political Nightmares Film Series.

Though some American movies about politics exhibit a sunny, self-congratulatory patriotism, there s a tradition of looking through a darker lens, too. This was especially true beginning in the Noir 40's and then throughout the Cold War, when anxieties about nuclear weapons, communist infiltrators, populism with a fascist edge, and the outsized power of television all combined to inspire a spate of movies dealing in paranoia, suspense, and acid political satire. Join us for a few choice examples.

Coming out the same year as Dr. Strangelove, a second, more serious movie about a nuclear strike was destined to to be overshadowed. This is too bad, writes Ari N. Schulman in Slate, because as brilliant and grotesquely funny as Dr. Strangelove is, the neglected Fail Safe is the more mature and damning take on the nuclear enterprise. It feels like it could have really happened, and it s terrifying as a result. Starring Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau, and directed by Sydney Lumet ( Twelve Angry Men, Network ).



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