Thursday, June 08, 2006

#18- A Clockwork Orange- Stanley Kubrick- 1971

"There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence."

Most people's favorite Kubrick film. For me, it comes in third overall. And that is not to say I don't love it as much as half of those other Kubrick heads out there. Actually, it has so little to do with that at all. For me, A Clockwork Orange is a perfect film. So don't question my ranking of this film. Because it's my list and I decide what to put where.

Anyways, that aside, Clockwork is at first glance a stark, disturbing image. At second glance as Professor Daniel Touey put it so perfectly "You can't help but laugh at how funny it is, although sitting in the IMAX alone and laughing out loud made me feel like a degenerate." It's one of the best satires on how to approach the issues of delinquency. It satirized the time it took place, although the world of Clockwork looks nothing like 71. It looks more like, 76. With all the revolt in the world post 68, it made perfect sense for Kubrick to take some time post-2001 to co-write and direct a film about a rebellious youth with a radical attitude. Sexual revolution made this film also extremely important at the time. Women's rights and equality are all satirized in this showing the state that the world was in at the time the film came out was actually just as brutal as the story in Burgess novel of the same title.

The thing that drives this film into excellence is not only the genius of Stanley Kubrick (that is obvious in all of his films... even boring ones like Barry Lyndon... the man had a talent for putting things on celluloid) was the performance of misfit Malcolm McDowell. The man is a strange wild card among most actors, but its this outside of the social circle that we get the perfect Alex for the film. If it was a big star of the time, the movie would be a glamorization of violence and rape. Instead, we get some no name at the early stages of his career. This should have made things a little hard to digest, but McDowell has such screen presence that we can't but help to love Alex. A terrible human being that becomes one of cinemas heros and most loved characters.

It's the stark exageration of the truth, the amazing shots and angles that Kubrick always dreams up and the amazing acting of McDowell that makes A Clockwork Orange one of the best films of all time.

1 comment:

j. leo said...

if this is 18, what are the 17 before it? so curious!