1. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    What did you think of A Clockwork Orange?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Thomas Kitchen, May 6, 2013.

    Hi everyone,

    So today I finally plucked up the courage to watch Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange today, and was surprised to find such taboo subjects in the film, even though I had been warned. For example, there is a rape scene and an attempted rape scene in the first fifteen minutes. This was in 1971!

    I was just wondering what your thoughts were on the film as a whole, and why you think it managed to get into some cinemas (even though Kubrick himself withdrew the film from Britain for a long while). I was quite mesmerised by the whole thing, mainly by its controversy, although I did think that Malcolm McDowell's acting was fantastic.

    Thoughts? Criticism?
     
  2. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    I thought this would be about (seeing how this is suppose to be a writing forum) Anthony Burgess' 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange--which would have been a more interesting thread than about the movie. And yes it was rather controversial when it was released also. If you have not read it, then do. It is extremely well written.

    And for the rape & violence, films of the late 60's and 70's were rife with rape and violence.
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I just thought as I put this in the 'Lounge' section, where we are allowed to talk about anything, I thought it would be okay to create this thread. I understand that that era had those things, but seeing as it was banned/withdrawn from certain places while other films with the same content weren't, I was just wanting a quick discussion of why that was.

    And thanks, I will probably read the book now. :)
     
  4. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    In that time period, many of the movie "bannings" were attempts to boost ticket sales--or a brief and distant flash of full frontal male nudity--which again was about ticket sales. And the book bannings were nearly always because of bad language (the F-word).
     
  5. BUDDY GORGEOUS
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    BUDDY GORGEOUS Active Member

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    Hello my fellow Droog! ;) ha-ha.

    ACO is a great film, I'm a big Kubrick fan so this could be seen as being a little biased but it is great even with all its ugliness. I don't know everything in fine detail but I do remember reading a book about Kubrick when I was in college years ago from a friend of mine. When released it was rated 'X' but in America during the 80's the movie was rated 'C' for 'Condemned' by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting because of its content. Being rated 'C' forbade Catholics from seeing it. The rating was abolished not long after but have then rated other films that have excessive violence, sexual or otherwise, 'O' meaning 'Morally offensive'. That aside I don't think (and I might be wrong) it was banned in the US but it was in the UK. It was seen as having extreme content at the time and its banning started from what was called 'inspired copycat behaviour' when a thirteen, fourteen and sixteen year old boy were accused of manslaughter of one of their classmates and referred to ACO being the influence. The UK press started banging their drum against the rape scene in the film, its violence and the book it was adapted from. Stanley Kubrick then requested Warner Brothers to pull ACO from UK distribution.... or that is what people were lead to believe..

    In a documentary about Kubrick, his wife was interviewed and it was revealed (though the sources were not) that Kubrick pulled the film because of police advice when the director and his family came under the assault of vicious threats. Some cinema's and theatre’s defied the ban and showed the movie and ended up either paying a substantial fine or had to close down. The DVD was only freely available soon after the director’s death.

    It's not much info but that’s what I can remember from reading the book. I have Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 playing through my head at maximum volume at the moment. I might seek it out again and give it another nosey. Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange is a great book and recommended. I found it difficult to read at first and not at all because of its content but because of its Nadsat slang. But you soon get used to it. People complain that the end chapter is not in the film. Kubrick only read the American edition which doesn't have that particular chapter in it, so it wasn't his fault really (and if you like the movie like me then it’s not 'a drama'). But here's a fact for you; The horrible scene when the lads in ACO break into the writers house and gang rape his wife to death was based on an actual incident that happened to the author's first wife (though Burgess wasn't there at the time) which I thought was in equal parts amazing and horrific. Imagine writing from the point of view of the lowliest, most disgusting of creatures that broke into your home and killed your wife in the most horrific of ways?

    The film is amazing and so is the book. Are you a Kubrick fan? have you read the book yet? Do you have any particularly favourite scenes?
     
  6. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    I'm a huge Kubrick fan and A Clockwork Orange is probably my favourite Kubrick film after The Shining. I feel like I need to make a list of all the books I haven't read but have seen their movie adaptations. I haven't read The Shining either lol.
     
  7. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If anything, the book is more controversial. For instance, remember the threesome scene in the movie with obviously adult actresses? Well, in the book, the two girls Alex has sex with were (if my memory serves me right) around 10-11yo.

    In any case, I liked the movie as well as the book. It's obvious Burgess had English and Russian down from the way he managed to create the Nadsat slang. I read a bit of Russian so it was fun spotting the words and phrases he'd used to come up with the language. Mcdowell did a great job of portraying Alex, and succeeded in delivering some pretty quirky lines credibly.
    My friends sometimes crack jokes about ACO when I order a pint of milk in a pub (I'm on pain meds that don't mix well with booze), but hey, they say it's healthy...
     
  8. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Thanks for your feedback. I'll be honest and say I've not really seen many Kubrick films - 2001: A Space Odyssey I've never watched, but I really should; I have seen The Shining though, and that was an excellent film (although I've heard Stephen King hated it, saying he had a completely different vision in mind...). A Clockwork Orange was very good, mainly because I saw such similarities between it and today's society. 1984 also foresaw things fantastically, in my opinion.

    I haven't read the book yet, but now I plan to! ;) I suppose one of my favourite scenes was the second day Alex was stuck in that chair watching the films...the music going along with the Nazi marches and so forth was such a contrast I thought it hilarious. I also did like (not in a disturbing way) the 'Singing in the Rain' scene, mainly because the acting in this scene was superb, and Malcolm McDowell was told to do anything he wanted for the scene, and came up with that. It worked brilliantly.

    Thanks again for replying. :)
     
  9. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Sorry I'm replying to everyone individually; I have no idea if there's a way to multi-quote members here. Anyway, thanks for opinion - I too like The Shining very much. I will also admit that I haven't read the book either, but it is literally and figuratively on my 'to read' shelf! :p
     
  10. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    I'm not exactly Russian but being Slavic I still recognized many of the words or their roots. In English transcription they looked hilariously funny. Probably not what was intended, but it's one of the reasons I enjoyed the book that much. :)
     
  11. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Wow, I never knew that, that's pretty gross. But I suppose they wouldn't be allowed to show sex with children back then (I'm not sure if they'd be allowed now, but please correct me if I'm wrong). I will, however, be reading the book soon enough, so I'll find out its notorious subjects quickly enough! I agree that McDowell did a fantastic job with his role; I especially liked the creepy tone in his voice... :)

    And don't worry about the milk thing, it is indeed healthy. Haha! :D
     
  12. BlueJay27
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    BlueJay27 New Member

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    Hey everyone. :) Admittedly, I'm with you on this one Thomas, haven't read the book but absolutely loved the film, and after reading this thread the book is definitely going on the list.

    Not sure about a favorite scene, but the whole part after the "therapy" really struck a chord, because I suppose it put the whole thing into context, especially when he returned home to find his room already occupied.

    And surely they wouldn't be allowed to show a sex scene with 10-11 year olds, even now, right?
     
  13. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    I think that everyone loves it simply because it was controversial and to say you enjoyed it might be cool. personally i thought it was one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and am sad that i can't get those few hours of my life back for i would have rather spent them staring at a wall.
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I'm a big Kubrick fan, and I have to admit, this is the film of his that I like the least. There is nothing wrong with it technically, I just can't really be bothered with it. Also, I don't like it how the film misses out the last chapter of the novel. But then again, I'm bit the biggest fan of the novel either, for much the same reason the author didn't like it. You can't talk about Anthony Burgess without having A Clockwork Orange spring up, and that's like talking about Stephen King and always having that essay he wrote about guns always creep into the conversation.
     

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