Today’s Poster. In memory of artist and satirist Tomi Ungerer, who died yesterday, the 9 February 2019.
The film ‘Dr Strangelove’ is way too complex to tackle here, but here is the poster, by Ungerer.
Although it’s not his strongest work in my opinion, and highlights some of the less critical elements that made the film significant then, or now. That said, it’s a good reminder that one of Ungerer’s main oeuvres was iconoclastic anti-war, protest art and writing, as well as his remarkable children’s books and his adult erotica.
For the poster, it’s ironic that Ungerer chose multiple examples of the very distinctive silhouette of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress as a key element of the poster – here rearranged for the landscape format version. (A point, I think misused as the film ultimately hinges on one B-52 and its crew, not a mass attack.)
That’s ironic (in a film redoubled with ironies) because in the film itself the shadow silhouette of the B-52 (a Cold War swept-wing jet bomber) is actually of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (a World War Two straight-winged piston-engined bomber) that the background film was taken from! Utterly different, and even so, utterly unimportant given the power of the film’s story and themes.
It is a further irony that an international artist so active in English has had his death almost entirely missed by the English language media, while French, German, Spanish, Italian (and many more) sources are carrying it. So no English language link to an obituary, yet, so just vale, Tomi, 1931 – 2019. I loved, and love your children’s books. [Edit: Now we have a couple of obituaries. New York Times, and the Boston Globe.]
James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.
Images from various internet sources, ultimately from the filmmakers.