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A Clockwork Orange


CaveGirl
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Seeing Malcolm MacDowell recently on a tv commercial made me want to watch Kubrick's take on the Anthony Burgess novel, even though I've seen the film quite a few times.

 

Wanted also to see if TCM showed the unexpurgated version, which they did.

 

Any opinions by first time viewer droogies or devotchkas on the TCM site would be instructive and interesting.

 

P.S. The Wendy Carlos/Walter Carlos musical connection and the back story there would have also made a nice basis for a film

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They were certainly available at the time. But I'm thinking Kubrick

didn't want anything to derail the movie and take away from its

'this is a very significant film' vibe. I like it, I just wasn't in the mood

last night to watch the whole thing. So the future of music is not

MP3 players but mini cassettes. Okayyy.

 

No, it's vinyl.

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CaveGirl, here's the text from my thread, TCM, all grown up, now.:

 

Highly controversial when released for its violence and sexual content, it may seem quaintly archaic, or laughably tame, by today's standards.  I think what so shocked the sensibilities of the time was mainly the themes it addressed, having the audacity, or effrontery, to transgress the contemporary norms in its exploration of deviance, violence, and conformity.  The picture's daring, or nerve, was so disconcerting, it created great division among critics whether this picture was any good or simply a piece of pornographic trash.  I suppose even today, people may be similarly divided.  Regardless of one's opinion of the movie, it can't be denied it was critical (for good or bad) in breaking down taboos in subject matter and themes in movies.  We can thank it, or curse it, or both, for a lot of what we have in movies today.  And ultimately, there's also no denying the quality of the movie, or Malcolm McDowell's abilities as an actor.

 

There are two things it is interesting for me to ponder--comparing A Clockwork Orange with two other movies.  One is Dr. Strangelove.  Both are equally powerful, satiric, cynical, and pessimistic observations on humanity.  Strangelove, conforms to the production code, with no profanity, or graphic images.  A Clockwork Orange is explicit in its depictions of sadistic, sexualized violence.  I certainly am opposed to censorship, or restraints on expression.  But I am ambivalent about the need to be explicit, or graphic to accomplish artistic goals.

 

The other movie I compare it to is Taxi Driver.  Both movies present the anti-hero's unexpected triumph as a chilling, sarcastic criticism of contemporary society.  The inversion of morality elevates what simply are sociopaths to heroic status.  Because of what happens to them at the impersonal hands of government (in the case of Alex), or what they do in response to an indifferent government (as in the case of Bickel), they become the darlings of the media and public, standing on their head conventions of decency and propriety.

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Anytime any movie gets made that shows me something I haven't seen before, I'm glad of it.

 

No matter how other people felt about it; no matter what critics had to say, 'A Clockwork Orange' was different from what I had seen before.

 

That used to happen quite a bit after 1965.

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I wish it was. I still like vinyl, even with the inconvenience of

flipping those things over. I still have all my vinyl records from

back in the day. I've read that vinyl is getting a little more

popular, but I doubt it will ever be like it was before the other

formats took over.

 

I'll bet there were some critics back in the early 1970s who

thought the western world would soon be overrun by gangs

of violent teenagers who would wreck mayham on society,

sort of like what was thought about motorcycle and urban

gangs of the 1950s. Didn't quite turn out that way. Not that

it does any damage to the film, but there is a marked lack

of social media. These magpie squirrels don't even have

cellphones. :)

 

 

Vinyl is fully 1% of music sales now (woo! hoo!).  I heard a story on the radio about how people are scrambling to find the last remaining relic presses.  For me, I could never tell the difference between analog and digital sound.  I imagine that's the same for most.  I remember in order to keep my records from going to snap, crackle, popland, I had to treat them immediately upon opening (even before the first spin) with this stuff from Memorex.  It claimed to be a self-limiting protectant developed in the space program (as are so many of our modern life's amenities).  And what do you know? it worked!

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