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#1
Old 10-25-2001, 02:08 PM
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is this good by consensus or bad?

what is the meaning of the movie? society creates monsters or doesnt deal with them or what?

what does "clockwork orange" mean?
#2
Old 10-25-2001, 02:14 PM
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1. The critical consensus is that it's a good movie.

2. The movie is about free will. Making Alex good by brainwashing isn't making him good at all.

3. It's not explained in the movie, but in the book, the phrase refers to something that looks natural on the outside but is mechanical on the inside. In Alex's case, he's a good person only because of the mechanism, not because he's reformed.
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#3
Old 10-25-2001, 02:20 PM
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Quote from Anthony Burgess:

Quote:
The book was called A Clockwork Orange for various reasons. I had always loved the Cockney phrase 'queer as a clockwork orange', that being the queerest thing imaginable, and I had saved up the expression for years, hoping some day to use it as a title. When I began to write the book, I saw that this title would be appropriate for a story about the application of Pavlovian, or mechanical, laws to an organism which, like a fruit, was capable of colour and sweetness.
Consensus seems to indicate that a central theme is that of free will versus predestination - about whether people can be reshaped and 'forced' to be good, and at what cost.

Me, I find it classic and trashy. It's a more interesting film than many, many others, and has some harrowing scenes that made me think twice about whether people can be truly evil or can be reformed. On the other hand, it hasn't aged well and the assorted cast members seem to pop up in TV soaps and drama series' with worrying regularity these days.


(from this FAQ)
#4
Old 10-25-2001, 02:20 PM
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#5
Old 10-25-2001, 02:28 PM
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1. To my sensibilities the film HAS aged quite well. It's classic Kubrick and the novel is a masterpiece.

2. Free Will and criminal rehibilitation/recidivism. Unfortunately Kubrick's film was based on the American publishing of the book which omotted the final chapter which, of course, completely changes the ending.

3. Crusoe's got it, Burgess based the title on the brit phrase "as queer as a clockwork orange".

Rent or buy this movie!
#6
Old 10-25-2001, 02:36 PM
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It's a bit of both. It's a classic for its masterly handling of innovative and challenging material, and its lack of glaring compromises. As for the trashy aspects... well, YMMV, but I'd say not all of Kubrick's touches have aged all that well, and not all the actors give a top-notch performance.
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#7
Old 10-25-2001, 02:47 PM
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Sumac!,
how does it end in the book?
#8
Old 10-25-2001, 03:01 PM
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This is one of those subjects that I've been battling with my friends over since I first saw Clockwork Orange. I personally think that what they did to Alex was the perfect solution to a nasty problem (in this case, Alex himself). That he was turned from a murdering, vile, nasty hoodlum into a person who has a nausea response everytime he thinks violent thoughts is, in my opinion, the greatest example of justice. Sure, he was left defenseless, but let's remember that he quite frequently attacked innocent and defenseless people. Add to that fact that most of the people who were beating him up after the procedure were his victims, and you have a very ironic and effective implementaion of justice. What I really thought was dark and scary was how popular opinion turned against this form of justice very quickly, although I would sort of understand this happening because of the policy of turning hoodlums into cops. My friends completely disagree though, and so we never came to an understanding about this movie.

(As a side note, I also thought that the society described in Brave New World was a good one, but my friends and I disagree on this issue too. Oh well!)

[slight hijack]
Who else thinks that this movie will be remade (ala Planet of the Apes) soon? I'm thinking a Clockwork Orange set in South Central LA.
[/hijack]
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#9
Old 10-25-2001, 03:26 PM
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It's a classic in the Mark Twain sense of the word: a film that everyone wants to have seen but that nobody (or at least not many people) actually wants to watch.

I sat through it in film school mainly because it got discussed in seminar and was an "important" film. Not to my taste at all.

One element that hasn't been raised on this board is that Alex's artistic sensibilities are intricately linked to his violence. That premise strains credibility: how many street punks with a passion for classical music have you ever seen?

I'm inclined to agree with JustPlainBryan: if stripping this cretin of his ear for Beethoven can allow the rest of us to live in safety, then so much the better. That's far kinder than the fate he inflicts on a series of innocent people.
#10
Old 10-25-2001, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
It's a classic in the Mark Twain sense of the word: a film that everyone wants to have seen but that nobody (or at least not many people) actually wants to watch.
Well, I guess I'm one of the "not many". A friend of mind said that he finds it ironic that I'm basically such a mellow, laid-back type of person, but two of my all-time favorite films are "A Clockwork Orange", and "Natural Born Killers".

I think the film is visually stunning (as are all Kubrick's works), features excellent music, and is highly thought-provoking.
Quote:
One element that hasn't been raised on this board is that Alex's artistic sensibilities are intricately linked to his violence. That premise strains credibility: how many street punks with a passion for classical music have you ever seen?
I disagree.
Granted, I've never met one, but I don't see why it seems so impossible that such a person might exist.
Also, I don't think it was the point that his music is "intricately linked" to his violent tendencies. After the treatment, he could not listen to Beethoven's 5th, one of his favorites, because that work had been used as the sound track on one of the films used to condition him.
#11
Old 10-25-2001, 04:05 PM
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Re: How the book ends

You can read the last chapter here.

Or, here's a summary:

But there is a last chapter that was left out of the movie and the earlier American printings in which Alex is hanging out with new hoodlums after being cured, but realizes that something is missing. He goes for a walk, and meets the third of his friends who set him up so long ago, and finds out that he has been married and is now living a happy life. This is what has been missing in Alex. The need to settle down falls over him, and in essence… he grows up.

- from here.
#12
Old 10-25-2001, 04:25 PM
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Oops, that should have been Beethoven's Ninth.
#13
Old 10-25-2001, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scampering gremlin
One element that hasn't been raised on this board is that Alex's artistic sensibilities are intricately linked to his violence. That premise strains credibility: how many street punks with a passion for classical music have you ever seen?
Well, the Nazis loved Wagner. The point is that we associate high art with goodness or decency. But as Alex shows, you can enjoy the finer things in life and still be an immoral sociopath.

As for the meaning of the film, among other things its a condemnation of societal hypcrosy. Alex is a brutal thug, so he needs to be repgrogrammed. His fellow Droogs, on the other hand, end up in the police force, where they perform the same kind of violence they always did, but now it's under color of authority. In other words, the state condemns violence by individuals but condones violence perpetrated by representatives of the state.

The reason people have trouble with the movie is that Alex is not an "innocent" victim; to a large extent, he brings about his own troubles. In an interview long ago, Kubrick said (I'm paraphrasing from memory) that old western movies took the easy way out when they showed that lynching was wrong because it might kill an innocent man. In Kubrick's view, lynching was wrong even if the victim was not innocent. That's the point he was trying to make in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Whether or not you agree is another matter, of course.

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#14
Old 10-25-2001, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ferrous
I think the film is visually stunning (as are all Kubrick's works), features excellent music, and is highly thought-provoking.
True enough. Other than this one I'm a sucker for Kubrick films.

Quote:
I don't think it was the point that his music is "intricately linked" to his violent tendencies.
I've been told that element plays a stronger role in the book. It doesn't seem to translate very well on film, partly for the reasons you mention.

Stepping over to ScriptAnalyst's comment, Hitler was also a vegetarian who loved his dog...

PETA

Fine observation!
#15
Old 10-25-2001, 05:46 PM
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Re: Alex's love of music

I think the point here is the man/machine theme so common in many of Kubrick's films. When the enjoyment of music (certain music, anyway) is stripped from Alex, it serves as one more illustration of how Alex is no longer a man, but merely a pre-programmed machine. Also notice that a significant amount of the music in the soundtrack is synthesized; music, a human creation, has been downgraded to a simple task for a machine! Finally, there's the odd juxtaposition of the gang fight with The Thieving Magpie for background music; there's music, representing the goodness of humanity, and violence, representing the bad. However, remove the choice to create, or remove the choice to destroy, and he ceases to be a man. Listen to the preacher man!

But all that's probably just a load of bullshit, anyway.
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#16
Old 10-25-2001, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
One element that hasn't been raised on this board is that Alex's artistic sensibilities are intricately linked to his violence. That premise strains credibility: how many street punks with a passion for classical music have you ever seen?
You're applying realistic logic to a nonrealistic work of art. Alex is not supposed to be a "realistic" street punk. Further, the fact that he likes classical music makes him a more interesting character, since he doesn't fit the stereotyep.

Finally, the choice of Beethoven doesn't really matter. If it were some music you thought was more appropriate to the character, the movie would have still had the same message.
#17
Old 10-25-2001, 10:08 PM
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My $.02.

I read the book (except for the missing last chapter, fie!) before seeing the film and "got it". Unfortunately I think that a lot of younger people seeing the movie without knowing the Big Issue saw it as a bunch of good old ultra-violence with synth background music. Kubrick didn't convey enough of the "society" issues. (Hey, and my last post was to the "i before e" thread!)

Alex was a result of society. Society "engineered" him to adapt to it, but didn't like the adaptation. Take away his "skills" and now he can't function in society. (Note that two of his droogs became policemen without really further changing.) In short, you can't drastically re-program someone without pretty much making them helpless to cope. (Note that the crippled guy is also an example of this.)

An example: Has seeing the movie permanently altered your reaction to hearing "Singing in the rain"? -Smirk-
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