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When did you first see Clockwork Orange?

 
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GUYx1
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject: When did you first see Clockwork Orange? Reply with quote



Seeing as it was banned for so many years, how did you first discover Clockwork Orange?

I remember hearing about it and just Devouring the book.
I the language and just couldn't get enough of it.
When I saw the film, I found it less serious and far less violent then the book, but I loved the style.

Now I am finding that Clockwork Orange is losing it's impact.
It 's like mentioning Pink Floyd or The Clash and not getting any kind of opinion from music fans.

At work I have a couple coworkers who embrace the weird cult cinema genre in a hardcore way. They feel pretty smug about their NETFLIX queues, but they are in their early 20's.
I can whip out random video nasties that EVERYONE knows about, yet they have never heard of. They are young and clearly of another generation, but I am constantly reminded that new generations have only spotty experiences with past eras of film.
I was shocked that people would now view it as "just another film" in a sea of similar films. Like Star Crash ot Battle beyond the Stars.
And that the language was annoying.
I got the same reaction as if I had asked someone - which 1980's Mad Max Italian knockoff was better - After the Fall of New York, or Steel Dawn.

What made clockwork orange so powerful perhaps were the hundreds and hundreds of unmemorable 60's & 70's films to compare it to.
ACO was also Low budget, but ultra-stylish and oh so disturbing in it's subtlety.
Now I am just feeling like I am from a different generation.


Initially tribute images were less common to come by.








But now, what once was cool and edgy is being turned into something trite.

Now the market has been flooded with a ton of licensed material and Clockwork collectibles abound. Has this obliterated any edge that the film once had?






Kozik has gone nuts with ACO stuff


Do toddlers really NEED a coddly Alex doll?



No one finds ACO shocking anymore





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hypnotator



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can’t remember exactly when I got to see it, but I do remember my disappointment. I’m glad you mention the book, as it’s superb in my opinion, but the movie is a stinker.

It is often cited that the book may have been partly inspired by an incident when Burgess’ wife was assaulted by US army deserters during the World War II blackouts and subsequently suffered a miscarriage. This is borne out by the fact that the husband of the woman Alex rapes in the story has an unfinished story called “A Clockwork Orange” on his typewriter. Knowing this throws a very different light on the story; it was possibly an attempt to find catharsis by getting inside the head the perpetrator of evil and also putting him through a series of punishments. The book examines the concepts of good versus evil and free will in all their complexity. In the end, Alex is cured of his enforced pacifism but decides he wants to settle down and start a family, and that all the violence was just a phase he was going through. This, for me, is the ultimate twist.

It seems almost inevitable that a movie made from this story will fall into the trap of glorifying violence, or at least be accused of doing so. But I don’t have a problem with that. I reckon more than half the films ever made glorify violence in some way. I just find the film too long, and despite McDowell’s brilliant performance, it fails to convey the issues that the book deals with so brilliantly. It also lacks the true ending, as does the American publication of the book. The true legacy of the movie, though, is the visualisation of Alex’s world with its outlandish fashions and sexualised imagery.

There was a girl in my class at school who was going out with an older boy, a bit of a thug, and when she dumped him, he went off the rails a bit. At one point he was hanging around outside the classroom window with the trademark Clockwork Orange makeup on one eye. Someone laughed and the teacher said, “Shh! Don’t look at him!” It was actually quite scary. The thing about the Clockwork Orange look is that it’s so ridiculous, with the bowler, braces and makeup, that anyone actually dressing up like that has got to be so hard that they don’t fucking care how ridiculous they look. Go on, laugh at me, it’ll give me an excuse to kick your teeth out.

Great thread.
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GUYx1
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The movie had far more humor than the book, but it is by no means a stinker.
My buddy actually dropped $450 in 1975 for a copy of it on film.
Because it was actually obtainable (yet very subversive) it was like ordering the Anarchist's cookbook from your local book seller.

Definately something to geek out about.
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sf1378



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First saw it when Channel 4 finally showed it on tv. Blown away by it. Its a shame Kubrick didn't include Burgesses original ending as per the book as the twist is an obvious fact of life-we all go through stages of being this or that.....violence to Alex was his 'stage'.

I agree that since ACO has become more accessed by the public it does become less powerful i.e. all the merchandising etc but nonetheless, if you view it rarely-then suddenly do-it still necessitates thought provoking questions on many issues.

Great film and on a lighter note its the only place to see Coronation Streets eponymous Fred Elliot (R.I.P) and Darth Vader (David Prowse as Patrick MacNee's burly carer) in one film!
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Alex77



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw it in about 91 - 92. when I was the same age as the humble narrator. I'd read the book a couple of times, and eagerly hoarded any related media I could get hold of. I'd related to the book, being of the same age and name and being frequently in trouble with the "millicents", even having my very own Mr. Deltoid making sure I was at school each day! (But obviously being not nearly as much of a delinquent as the narrator).

I remember going to every music / video shop in my home town and trying to find someone who had a pirate copy that they would be willing to sell, to no avail. When I finally found a copy, I just found the tone of it really puzzling, I didn't think it was anything like the book. I came round to appreciating the films bawdiness, but still wish it was a bit less choreographed and silly in places.

I love the fact that I can see it on TV every now and again, I forget that it was ever such a big deal to see it in the first place and find it more enjoyable for that to be honest. I don't think it deserves to be in the pantheon of great movies really, more up there with Rollerball, running man, and the other future dystopia pulp films...
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GUYx1
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly my point. The 80's may have this horrifying cheeziness to them, but when I LIVED in the 70's & 80's, the underground scene was cool.
Hypno can attest to this. So can Bazza.

I dunno if you can really describe the impact.
I remember FILM TALK from my childhood and it invariably ended up with Discussions of Witchcraft, Devils, and Children shouldn't play with Dead things, etc.

Sometimes the Movie poster was enough to get your mind racing.
In the end most of those films didn't have any impact.
And modern reenactments of the 70's & 80's period really tend to detract from our credibility.
Right now ACO seems like just another film that your parents found freaky. The 80's styles were so garish at times to appears silly by today's standards.
But film makers in the 70's & 80's (Video Nasties) had a lot more bollocks than they do today. It seems subtle today, but they really pushed the envelope.
I remember seeking out the UK Mag THE REDEEMER for the Clockwork orange tribute. Now you can see that sort of thing everywhere.
It's no big deal.
I remember going into the upper floor of Northern Lights record store where the high end forbidden records were on display and seeing the Anthony Burgess Spoken Word Clockwork Orange LP up on the wall next to Charles Manson's LIE LP and just thinking WOW! Sadly they wanted $100 for it.
And I Gotta pay for Coil, Nurse with Wound & SPK somehow so I couldn't afford it.
But that was before bands like SPK would sell out and become the next Danny Elfman. (A road that Trent Reznor is now going down - seeing him bulked up with short hair in a suit was not the leather bike shorts & fishnets image I will remember of NIN).

But back to the point - Yes The goofy, silly bits in ACO are a bit off. The movie doesn't even hint that he drugged the two girls. Instead the marathon sex scene is done for laughs. But if they did EVERYTHING serious, the film would have NEVER, EVER have been made. It's all about the style and balancing it out.

A lot of films at the time were ballsy and dealing with unleashing intense subject matter, but for some small niche audience, but to be shown to a general family audience. I'm still shocked that at the amount of nudity in even PG films of that era. Like the PG rated film where 13 year old Jodie Foster kills people and keeps them in the basement. Shocking that it was PG, but more shocking that she was nude in that film. Don't think that will be repeated soon. Heck, Even Gene Roddenberry's SPECTRE tv show hinted at Fetish scene with two girls in costumes. And that was for US Television.
Despite the slow pacing, there are a lot of the 70's films just would not get made today. Not sure when someone will pick up the pace and create something as influential again though...
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hypnotator



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Exorcist was the first ‘X’ rated film I saw in a cinema, around 1981. I was fifteen. I enjoyed the movie as a whole but early in the movie they take her to hospital and inject her in the neck. I passed out!

It was maybe 1984 when I stayed over a friend’s house and we watched The Evil Dead, not long before it disappeared from the rental shelves in the “video nasty” furore. It scared the shit out of me. His house was a bungalow which somehow made it scarier.

Around 1987 I was at college and there was a little video rental place that had The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, even though it was banned. I had a portable black and white TV but no VCR; my friend caught the bus over from the next town carrying his. Well worth the effort!

There was another rental place in his town that had Cannibal Holocaust and Destroy All Monsters, but they wanted three proofs of address for membership, and living in digs, I just didn’t have them.
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thebigr



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually recorded and produced a record about ACO in 2009,
which was the soundtrack to a local stage play, based solely on the book.

http://aclockworkorangetheplay.blogspot.com/

My friends did the music, and we released it this past summer:

http://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/beef-oven/id376257725
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micromanzone



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: When did you first see Clockwork Orange? Reply with quote

GUYx1 wrote:


This was actually my first introduction to "A Clockwork Orange" back in the day. Saw this MAD magazine cover in the used magazine/comic bin of a local bookstore and it kind of freaked me out. Still does. The literal orange and clock pieces... There is something very disconcerting about that.

I think Kubrick's film ultimately glorifies the violence so much and without and real comfort or redemption that I find it uncomfortable to watch.

But as I grew older I think I understand the general gist of the Anthony Burgess source material: If you shove these kids into communal housing, give them no real world to participate in and give them a small window to vent their urges, you will get a bunch of sociopaths who binge on violence.

But that said, the last time I saw the film was 10 years ago with some friends at some repertory screening and left the theater feeling 100% dead inside. If that was Kubrick's goal, mission accomplished! But it's not something I understand or relate to.

I wonder if there is a difference between U.K./U.S. acceptance/rejection of the film. And perhaps my Yankee Doodle mind doesn't 100% wrap around it.
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