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93 Clockwork Orange, A 1971 
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Post 93 Clockwork Orange, A 1971
see James review

Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:22 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:17 pm
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Post Re: 93 Clockwork Orange, A 1971
Like James said, this is not an easy picture to swallow. The first time that I saw it, my first reaction was "why is there so much sex? Get over it already!". I'm not a squeamish or prude person by any means, but it was just kind of weird because there was so much of it. It had a point though.

The other film that comes to mind when I think Kubrick is 2001; however, I think that Clockwork Orange is a better picture. First of all, this is a very character-oriented film compared to 2001. We witness the events that transpire through the lens that Alex gives us. He does terrible things, but he is a sort of tragic hero, and we pity him.

There is so much that stands out in this film; its difficult to get it all down. I think in general, this dystopian future is harder to swallow than most. I had no trouble with 12 Monkeys, V for Vendetta... any of them really, but this one required effort. I think it's because this appears to be very close to reality, just super Kubricked-up, if you know what I mean. It doesn't really feel like the future at all; instead, its a painting of every single bad thought that you keep to yourself.

I really appreciated the message that Kubrick was sending regarding choice and morality. If a man looses his ability to make a decision between right and wrong, he becomes less than a man and cannot function in society.

Oh yeah, and Singin' in the Rain is ruined because of this. What the hell.

Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:17 pm
Post Re: 93 Clockwork Orange, A 1971
For close to two years I've called A Clockwork Orange my favorite movie. That may not seem like a significant amount of time for you, but it's been a lifetime for me. After all, without A Clockwork Orange I wouldn't be who I am today. ACO was the movie that made me interested in classic film, directors, and the production side of the business. Without this movie and Dog Day Afternoon (Which I watched the day after I first saw ACO and had almost as great an effect on me) I'd still be watching your flavor-of-the-week blockbusters with gleeful abandon. Obviously, this is a debt I will never be able to repay Kubrick or his film, and for that I imagine it'll remain in my favorite movie fold just on principal.

However, on a recent rewatch, my mind was changed. A Clockwork Orange is not my favorite movie any longer, having been upstaged by both Andrei Rublev, 8 1/2, and perhaps others. I still hold the belief that, when it comes to creating a cohesive world that runs parallel to our own, no movie does a a better job than A Clockwork Orange. However, this is not the kind of world one could lose themselves in. Kubrick intentionally keeps the viewer at arms length. This shows most clearly through the narration, which is directed directly at the viewer. A Clockwork Orange doesn't just want us to be voyeurs to its events, it forces us into the role. On that same count, ACO works because it draws no conclusions about its problems, instead simply showing them to us, forcing us, in a moral panic created by the sadistic display in front of us, to create our own solutions. The world it shows is so overrun with hedonism, sadism and corruption that fixing it would be impossible. And yet, it mirrors our own, using a slick, modern aesthetic and classical score to make sure it never feels dated or old. We watch it with morbid curiosity, like we watch a car crash or horrible news footage, shrugging it off simply because it isn't happening to us. They say the devil's greatest trick was convincing the world he didn't exist, and on a similar count Kubrick's greatest trick is convincing the viewer that the whole thing is fictitious, a alternate world other than our own, instead of blackened view of ours. No one wants to believe that this could really happen, but I believe Kubrick's whole message is that it is happening, an inescapable reality born from the boredom present in a technologically advanced society.

Artistically, ACO may be the crown jewel in Kubrick's filmography. With 2001, he made a world completely unlike our own, one the viewer could lose themselves in. With Dr. Strangelove, he satirized the government, showing them as incompetent, corrupt, and crazy. With Paths of Glory he presented a terrifying situation born of hubris and a lack of empathy. With A Clockwork Orange he made a world which mirrored our own, an elaborate satire of every form of excess, lust and want, a satire of man as ape, the snarling beast caught in an endless loop of destruction toward himself and others. A Clockwork Orange is not a cautionary tale about what could happen, it's a cautionary tale of what is, and that's why it's so scary. Not very fun to watch though. 9/10

Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:52 pm
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