11. A Clockwork Orange

11. A Clockwork Orange  

Where do I even begin? I was pleasantly surprised by this movie because I usually end up not liking the movie as much I like the book. And A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was my original favorite book. It still is one of my favorites. I’ve read it twice before and I plan on reading it again in the future. I mean, I worship this book. So like all the other movies based on my favorite books, I was expecting a lot of discrepancies that would just be too bothersome to ignore. And I was expecting to complain about how it’s not accurate with the book and how it’s not as good and how you absolutely need to read the book first or else it’s a sin.

But.

Maybe.

There’s room for an exception?

I mean, I believe this movie was a work of art itself. I learned a new phrase today: mise en scene. It is used to describe the way visuals are used in a movie or play to tell a story. The opening scene itself already got me interested in the setting of the story. It opens up with Alex and his droogs in a milk bar. Everything is dark except for men dressed in all white. The tables are white, naked female mannequins in the crab walk position. Does that paint an accurate picture of what the first scene looked like?

Does this?

Anyway, I guess you sort of get an idea of why this is rated R. Well, if you think you have an idea, you don’t. I have never seen so many naked women in my life. And what’s more awkward? Having to watch it with your parents. But never mind that. The fact is, the amount of sex and violence in this movie was actually done with a purpose. I think it really helped to accurately portray what kind of world Burgess had in mind. Even though it was a bit 60’s/70’s in style. I really can’t pinpoint one exact decade (and if i try to cheat, I see that the movie was released in 1971, so it’s borderline). But I can sort of describe it as an acid trip. Or what I think an acid trip feels like. It was very “psychedelic.”

There are so many visual elements that come at you all at once, and in a way I want to use the word “synesthetic” because they would accompany the feeling of pain, for example, with music. So you’re feeling music. Literally. Like when the police, who used to be Alex’s droogs, were beating him up, every time they hit him with a baton, music would play. I don’t know, I just noticed it and found it very interesting. You’re not hearing metal hitting skin hitting bone, you’re hearing music. Which is sort of the same thing they did to Alex when they used the Ludovico technique on him. They played Beethoven as they showed him World War II slides and so he associated that music with pain.

Hmm.

I’ll repeat it again. This movie was a work of art in and of itself, which is why I think it can stand up on its own without the support of the book. While certain aspects of the book were changed in the movie, I really didn’t mind it because it led to the same thing. Some movies just completely change the ideas of the books and it’s a big deal. Here though, they just changed a bit of the process, but the ultimate idea was still presented in the same way. So I do like it. I did thoroughly enjoy it. Especially since Alex was so damn cute. At first I wondered what exactly it was about him that made me like him, and that made me feel like I’ve met him before. And then I realized:

Alex
Alex
Andrew VanWyngarden

No, but seriously though, they do look insanely alike.

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