So I saw A Clockwork Orange for the first time this weekend.

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Travis Hedger, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

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    HDNet was showing this movie so I told my HD Tivo to record it.

    I can now say with confidence that I know why you never see this movie on regular TV.

    It's rather disturbing but strangely fascinating.

    One thing I don't understand at the end was the conversation at the end. Wasn't that the minister that was cutting the deal with him? I thought he was all for the reformation treatment.

    I thought the musical score was rather good as well. I found myself listening to the music as much as I was watching the film.
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Well, the minister was a proponent of the Ludovico treatement until the public backlash against the state sanctioned aversion therapy due to Little Alex's attempted suicide. He then abruptly changed positions to curry favor with the electorate.

    Yes, the music is brilliant. This film, many many years ago, served as my introduction to Rossini; with the Thieving Magpie being one of my favorite pieces in the film.

    - Walter.
     
  3. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    In a more cliched fashion my fav piece is the 9th. The film helped hook me into it even more and it became my favorite of Beethoven's work.


    The film is perhaps the most "Kubrick" of all his films based on visual style, IMO.

    As Walter points out the end (the whole film actually) is a criticism of the state, especially in regards to individual's rights. After all, Alex is the protagonist and it is he who we are supporting, even if we dislike him in his most brutal moments. Similar to Eyes Wide Shut, CO features a character revisiting similar scenes, events and characters from a new outlook, pointing out parallels or flaws.

    For example, in EWS a kindly hooker with a heart of gold captures Cruise's interest, but when he revisits her later he finds out that he has narrowly avoided being exposed to HIV with her which spoils his image of her as an inviting sexual opportunity (which happens over and over, rogue sexual encounters take on an uglier form on revisit starting at the party).

    In CO every person that Alex preyed upon comes back to prey upon him with equal conviction. It doesn't justify Alex's actions, but it does point out that things aren't as B&W as they appear in the first 3rd of the film. Getting rid of evil isn't as easy as curing people like Alex, and is such a cure even right?

    In the end both the state and the church are exposed as insincere institutions that care more about maintaining power over the people than in solving the real issues. In other words, they are Alex too.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Can you still view and listen to Singin’ in the Rain the same way? [​IMG]
     
  5. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    You make a good point Lew. The fact that my associations with Singin' In The Rain were indelibly and irrevocably altered by this film is one aspect of this work that I've carried with me since my initial viewing over 20 years ago. Kubrick's ability to make a protagonist out of a character as despicable as Alex is another aspect of the film that has never failed to impress me.

    But the most intriguing theme of the film, for me, is the philosophical question of whether or not good ( and by extension evil ) can exist without free will and the theological implications of this question.

    - Walter.
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    That scene, repellent though it is, is one that I can call up in my mind’s eye at any time.

    Perhaps we need a thread dedicated to the issues of the movie—there was the beginnings of a discussion in antoher thread somewhere. Personally I’m not terribly concerned that Burgess was disappointed (actuly did not like) with the movie. After all Kubrick used the initial ending of the novel. And besidesm he is making a somewhat different (IMO, of course) point.
     
  7. LanieParker

    LanieParker Supporting Actor

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    I enjoyed this film when I first saw it (highschool), but after viewing it again as an adult, it's not a movie I would choose to ever watch again.
     
  8. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Nope. The Burgess novel was concieved of with 21 chapters (21 being the age of adulthood), divided into three groups of 7 chapters (give me a child until the age of 7, I'll give you the man.)

    The American version cut the 21st chapter, Kubrick read that version, and made the film. He didn't know about the existence of the final chapter until the film was completed.

    But it's not much of a loss. The final chapter seems to almost dismiss everything Alex goes through as a phase he grow out of. It's a bizarre redemption for Alex that is completely unwarranted by the previous chapters.

    Perhaps I could have bought it had Burgess developed the story further - perhaps another seven chapter section - so that we could see the process by which Alex changed. But, having chosen this particular structure, Burgess was committed, and thus the novel's ending seems more like an absurd happy ending. Kubrick's ending, whether deliberate or accidental, was much more appropriate.
     
  9. L. Anton Dencklau

    L. Anton Dencklau Second Unit

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    hmmm. You know, really, with all we know about Kubrick's obsessive ways...

    Perhaps "I only knew about the American version of the novel" is a convenient excuse for him not wanting to use the last chapter in the film.

    I'm not so sure that he wasn't aware of the different versions. [​IMG]
     
  10. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Do you know, it's like a lightbulb went on, and suddenly I'm starting to question everything I know about ACO. That makes sense. Everything I have read says that he didn't know about the ending, but you're right, it would be surprising for Kubrick to not know about it. Especially since he was living in the UK at the time, and it was the US that had the final chapter cut.

    Especially since the story about Kubrick not knowing came, from memory, from Burgess talking about how he told Kubrick about the ending. Perhaps it was just Kubrick trying to appease an angry author. Who knows.
     
  11. Shane D

    Shane D Supporting Actor

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    the only thing that really bugged me about he movie was when they wre holding his eyes open with the contraption. I have a thing about eyes and that just wierds me out every time. I can't even look at someone elses eye without tearing up myself.
     
  12. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    :makes the ending and the entire novel itself a little clearer doesn't it?
    A man trying to understand what could make young people turn to this kind of violence and whether they can "grow out of it"....I don't know...I prefer the more cautionary ending but I am a bit of a cynic.
     
  13. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Second Unit

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    I have the EXACT same 'thing'. Weird.
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, life and art can be difficult at times. This film is perfect. Also, remember the impact on audiences then. The maker of this film was on a roll, scoring his fourth critical success in a row. It was stunning to behold.
     
  15. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    It's still one of my favourite movies.

    One part I found hilarious is the prison guard's reaction when the topless girl shows up on stage. For some reason, that often repeated scene seems to work only in this movie.
     
  16. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Boy, don't ever watch ZOMBIE then!
     
  17. Agee Bassett

    Agee Bassett Supporting Actor

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    Not saying that you don't apportion him at least some of the credit in making Alex DeLarge a sympathetic character, Walter, but since no one has mentioned it in the thread, I think it only fair to give a shoutout to McDowell himself. Like Jack Nicholson's turn as the psychotic Jack Torrance in The Shining (perhaps Kubrick's attempt at [unsuccessfully] recreating the formula that made his earlier ACO so successful), McDowell is so charismatic and playful in the lead role that, in spite of the graphic horrificness of his actions, we can't help but root for him, ultimately.

    It is precisely this paradigm which renders ACO and TS dangerous viewing, and Kubrick's adaptations more than a little irresponsible.
     
  18. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Well, a toaster can still be a toaster without the will to choose it, so I believe in a similar manner a person can be a "good person" or "evil person" without freewill.

    Then it becomes a game of semantics in tyring to determine what we mean by "good/evil". Is it the actions of a person or the choice to take those actions, and that is the point you seem to be getting at as I read it.

    I'm not sure if CO really answers that question entirely. Maybe Alex becomes "good" but being removed of his freewill (or the illusion of it one might argue) denies him his humanity.

    Then we spiral down the freewill debate going between "real choices" or the illusion of choice.

    For me its the same difference in practical examples, if you can't know if you really had a choice or not then its just as good as actually having the choice in terms of how a person experiences life, ie the human condition.
     
  19. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    The score was composed by Wendy Carlos who went on to create the score for 1982's TRON. Wendy started life as a man by the way. Probably one of the only film score composers who had a sex change.
     
  20. Ron Price

    Ron Price Auditioning

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    I wrote this prose-poem six months ago. It seemed timely to place it here in response to some of the above discussion. I hope it rings some bells, is enjoyed by some of the 'all-and-sundry' and is seen as yet another of life's 'in-outs.'
    ________________________________

    A CLOCKWORK ORANGE AND BLACK

    Anthony Burgess has bookshelves which sag under what looks like a story of blistering success: more than thirty novels, many published to international critical acclaim; dozens of non-fiction titles, from a discursive study of beds to a two-volume, 1,200-page history of English literature, written in Italian; the long entry for the Novel in the Encyclopaedia Britannica; librettos and musical scores: symphonies, song settings, sonatas; translations into and out of English; screenplays, documentaries and lectures; and countless reviews, thousands and thousands of them, a sample to be found in two collections, Urgent Copy (1968) and Homage to Qwert Yuiop (1986). Penguin have awarded modern classic status to Earthly Powers (1980) and A Clockwork Orange (1962). The latter owes its fame to Stanley Kubrick's brutal, stylish film. The musical score of this film insinuated itself into my psyche quite unbeknownst to my waking self. -Ron Price with thanks to Roger Lewis, Anthony Burgess: A Life, 2004.

    As I come to my late adulthood
    I look back to 1962
    as the year of great beginnings,
    not that I knew it at the time.
    I did not know much then, at 18
    as the world came close to the edge
    of giving it all to the cockroaches.
    Was it Kennedy who saved us in October?

    Was Clockwork Orange a wake-up call
    to a new anti-utopian world
    of violence and state control
    emerging, then, as I struggled
    to control a embryonically massive id
    that was exercising its own control?

    I did not know, then, busy as I was
    trying to pass nine grade 13 subjects
    in my last months of freedom before
    a bi-polar disorder rushed into my life
    with its own controlling factor,
    its own clockwork orange and black,
    its own violence, emotional disarray
    and a fear and confusion as deep as
    the one you portrayed Anthony/Stanley.

    Ron Price
    16 April 2004
     

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