6 Degrees Recommends: Films to beat the Coronavirus Blues

6 Degrees of Film

Stuck inside for the duration? Here’s a list of some films on Turner Classic Movies  that are recommended for the month of March:

Starting this week on Turner Classic Movies:

Battleship Potemkin is a classic silent film about a Russian mutiny that triggers a revolution around the nation. The famous film is directed by Sergei Eisenstein and gives one a taste of what real revolution is about!
Captain Blood is one of Errol Flynn’s first films and one of his best. It is the gold standard for the swashbuckling films of the thirties, and Olivia De Havilland is a personal hero of mine, one of the #MeToo movements founding members as she pioneered a lawsuit in Hollywood that ended discrimination against women long before Harvey Weinstein arrived. (This is recounted at length in my book, 6 Degrees of Film)
Bonnie and Clyde is a groundbreaking film of the sixties directed by Arthur Penn, and starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in some of their best performances. It was one of the first that revolutionized the point of view from the anti-heroes perspective, and triggered a whole new wave of Hollywood rebel films and stars.
Breathless is another groundbreaking film of the French New Wave. Directed by Jean Luc Godard and starring Jean Seberg, another #MeToo heroine who is featured in a new bio pic, along with French superstar Jean-Paul Belmondo in one of his earliest roles


The Getaway/Soldier in the Rain/Bullitt: All part of a Steve McQueen Armchair Film Festival to record and re-watch. Steve McQueen was such an enigmatic figure, legendary in his own day and someone who came from the sixties class of anti-heroes who came after the Method acting rage that brought in Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando. McQueen and Paul Newman re-defined the meaning of ‘cool’ forever.

Scott as General Buck

Dr Strangelove is a good film to watch if you have a sense of humor, and can take some really dark black humor to heart in this day and age. It became a dark comedy after director Stanley Kubrick read the straight drama screenplay and felt it was so absurd that only a comedy could do justice to the work. A great call, and George C Scott and Peter Sellers really dive into their respective parts as Gen Jack D. Ripper and the dual roles that Sellers plays of mild-mannered President as well as the diabolical Strangelove. A must see for all times…
• The Brain that Wouldn’t Die- There has to be a Bad-B movie in here somewhere. Just to lighten the mood, this one is unbelievably bad, but also tells a tale of the #MeToo era for all the feminists who realize you are taking it to another level when the ex-boyfriend is trying to trap you into staying by just keeping your head around. This is probably a bad plan to begin with!
Across the Pacific- One of my favorite under-valued films of Humphrey Bogart is one where he stars with Mary Astor, yet another #MeToo heroine who is wickedly funny in her banter with Bogey, and the scene where she is seasick and he keeps teasing her about it is not to be missed!

These are some of the gems to watch during any self-enforced quarantine. Enjoy and till we meet again, stay safe and see you at the movies!

Seinfeldian Moments in Strangelove


Pickens on the bomb

Dr. Strangelove plays this month on Turner Classic. If you have ever reminisced about the Seinfeld moments in your life, you might appreciate these Seinfeldian moments in the film, Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and love the Bomb.

Scott as General Buck

1) The Big Board: General Buck Turgidson is completely paranoid about the Russians being able to see “the Big Board”. Haven’t you ever thought about how childish the rules and games are that the highest in command play as they move people and entire cultures around on their imaginary chess boards?

Jack Ripper

2)Precious Bodily Fluids: I can never think of fluoride in the same way after hearing Sterling Hayden as the deranged Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper talk seriously about how fluoridation of the water was sapping his “precious bodily fluids.”

Strangelove bomb

3) Slim Pickens is for ever immortalized as he is riding the rocket at the end of the film. It’s been reported that Pickens was not told he was acting in a comedy, but simply read his lines straight. His classic take-away line after reading a checklist for his survival kit was,”Shoot, a feller could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff!”

Scott as General Buck

4) General Turgidson again, in one of George C Scott’s greatest roles, is talking about the possibility of nuclear war. After Peter Sellers, as President Muffley, exclaims that this is Mass Murder, Turgidson answers with, “I didn’t say we wouldn’t get our hair mussed!”

5) President Muffley (Sellers) in his finest ironic mode: “ Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!”

Dr Strangelove

The music that plays us out at the end, We’ll meet again also closed out Stephen Colbert’s final show. Dr. Strangelove lives with us on a daily basis. When Kubrick read the script for the thriller, Red Alert, he decided the only solution was to make a comedy. It was just too absurd in parts.
Unfortunately, like Kubrick, we can only see the way the super powers play games with entire nations and instead of shrieking or shrugging our shoulders, the only thing left to do is laugh at the absurdity of it all.