Movies - TV
The Stanley Kubrick Classic That Inspired Michael Mann to
Make Movies
Unlike many of his filmmaking contemporaries, Michael Mann — director of “Thief,” “Heat,” and “Manhunter” — didn’t realize the medium could be his career until he was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1960s. It was when he saw “Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” that he realized film could be a viable job.
For those who may not have seen it, Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" is a satire of the 1960s arms race, mocking all international parties involved. Kubrick was keen to send up the casual nature of the world's obsession with nuclear annihilation, showing how trivial things would lead to complete nuclear destruction.
In a 2012 interview, Michael Mann recalled how his first encounter with "Dr. Strangelove" opened his eyes. Mann said, "I wasn't really interested in cinema until I saw 'Dr. Strangelove' [...] the idea of directing, of shooting a film myself? Never. Prior to 'Strangelove,' it simply had not seemed possible that you could work in the mainstream film industry and make very ambitious films for a big mainstream audience."
Wisconsin-born Mann went to the London Film School and graduated with his master’s in 1967. Though he has never made a biting and comedic political satire akin to “Dr. Strangelove,” Mann seems most inspired by Kubrick's penchant for stark, realist aesthetics, which were quite evident in Kubrick's early days as a journalist-photographer.