A Clockwork Orange
Alex DeLarge's eyes fixated on a camera lens as it's slowly pulled back over his very delicately and slang riddled monologue describing himself and his droogs will forever maintain its grip in the minds of all film enthusiasts. Every small moment, such as Alex carelessly walking through the rubble of his apartment complex, to the major, as he brutalizes the homeless and old ladies alike, completely seals in the legacy that is "A Clockwork Orange". 

It is no doubt that many of you have heard of or at least have seen this beautiful, yet horrifying, masterwork film which not only riddled and caused clash with politicians and media alike upon its arrival, but also became a pop-culture reference from the time of its release till now. Whether it was Die Toten Hosen's concept album "Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau", Quentin Tarantino borrowing the slow motion walk the droogs performed for a scene in "Reservoir Dogs", to practically every other industrial band utilizing a sample, title, or theme from the film, "A Clockwork Orange" has been around to everyone. 

Based on a novel written by Anthony Burgess (which so happens to stand out as an amazing book itself), Stanley Kubrick was able to bring the book to the big screen. No doubt several changes were made to adapt the novel to the screen, but the fact remains that all the themes stayed in tact and none were really jostled with. 

Being one who was against abuse of power by authority or military figures, Kubrick was able to purpose Alex and all characters revolving him. Morality, choice, and the lack of both are all major, major themes raised throughout "A Clockwork Orange", and each one can greatly make a watcher question themselves. I think, in a matter, the brilliance of the film comes around just by viewing another as they gaze upon "A Clockwork Orange". I, myself, have seen one too many people begin to question themselves as they sat and looked upon such a menace of a film. It's here that you can see that, though the film was shot back in the seventies, both the acting and Kubrick's ahead-of-times skill is able to both repulse, but also make a viewer ask themselves in modern times, 'Why am I even watching this?'

However, Kubrick's views and points alike, it was also his wide angled shots and use of slow motion and sped up scenes that was able to really pack in a punch every so often. Taking a view at the droogs as they walk across town right before a bit of ultraviolence, to Alex's sexual encounter with the two young ladies he met at the bizarre, or (in part of one of my favorite scenes) the meet he had with Billy Boy and his gang at the derelict casino, each shot is perfectly placed, timed, and not at all a waste. 

There in lies the fact that Kubrick also focused in on a few close-ups here and now. Each close up that Kubrick chose to place within the film had such intense facial expressions, from the Prison Warden's look of shock, embarrassment, and interest during the stage performance of the Ludovico Technique's effects, to the droogs as they fight, and even victims of their crimes, each close up was well placed and used to maximum efficiency. 

But, it was not only Kubrick who brought the magic to camera, but it was the actors who were able to sink in the roles of their characters that has made "A Clockwork Orange" such a fine, fine film. Most notably would be that of Malcolm McDowell's Alex DeLarge, the lead character of the film and perhaps the most wicked of them all. 

Though Kubrick was known for making his actors work, retaking scene after scene after in meticulous form, McDowell was able to catch on quickly and thus "A Clockwork Orange" became Kubrick's shortest shot films. So natural was McDowell in the role of Alex DeLarge that he was able to transform Gene Kelly's innocent and fun 'Singin' in the Rain' into a horrorshow of its own. Every facet of this character, every swift intention that Alex DeLarge was made to perform or do was captured perfectly by McDowell, and thus goes down as one of Kubrick's best written, and McDowell's best performed character.

The supporting cast of characters was very well chosen as well. Whether it was the master-blaster like characters of Dim and Georgie-Boy (played by Warren Clarke and James Marcus, respectively), to Aubrey Morris' P.R. Deltoid (whose attraction to Alex has been questioned), Patrick Magee's Mr. Frank Alexander, Godfrey Quigley's Prison Chaplain; just, everyone attached to this film was able to fulfull their roles completely. 

Now, the only complaint that I really have in regards to "A Clockwork Orange" would be Pete's role. Seen as sort of the fourth, unspoken droog of the group, his character seemed useless in the grand scheme of the film. After certain events play out and Alex is shipped off to prison, he is never seen nor heard of again in the entire of the film. This is one element that I wish were not changed from the novel; in the novel, as you can guess, Pete plays more than just a minor role, especially in the final chapter which was omitted from the U.S. version of the novel for quite some time, as it was not included in the film's adaptation. 

However, other than that, Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" is beautiful for making such sickening and perverse sights available to audiences for entertainment, but at the same time provides a warning message to masses, only to have that same point fly over many, many people's heads. It's quite ironic, I would think, that an artist like Kubrick who lived to deliver political thought and themes through art, would have his words pass through others' heads. Nonetheless, it's a process of art. 

Some will view this movie, and just to be edgy, will say that the violence is what sucked them into it in the first place and that it doesn't bother them at all. And then there are others, the stoners and the junkies who will absolutely munch on this film and state that they understand everything the film has to offer. Those two groups can go fuck themselves as anyone with decency will come away from "A Clockwork Orange" with something different to attest to. A change of mindset, a new moral system in place, or simply just a new thought will arise to them. 

Anyway, "A Clockwork Orange" has managed to be a film of intense discussion, controversy, and debate ever since it's release back in 1971. As the film ends and Alex's haunting voice closes out the film, your left wondering just one, simple question, 'When will the droogs come visit me?' And, often times, the answer is simply that a bit of Alex lies within all of us. What to really ask is whether or not you will show it, or oppress it. The choice really is yours. 

9.5/10
5
Brutal Resonance

A Clockwork Orange

9.5
"Amazing"
Genre: Horror, Crime
Alex DeLarge's eyes fixated on a camera lens as it's slowly pulled back over his very delicately and slang riddled monologue describing himself and his droogs will forever maintain its grip in the minds of all film enthusiasts. Every small moment, such as Alex carelessly walking through the rubble of his apartment complex, to the major, as he brutalizes the homeless and old ladies alike, completely seals in the legacy that is "A Clockwork Orange". 

It is no doubt that many of you have heard of or at least have seen this beautiful, yet horrifying, masterwork film which not only riddled and caused clash with politicians and media alike upon its arrival, but also became a pop-culture reference from the time of its release till now. Whether it was Die Toten Hosen's concept album "Ein kleines bisschen Horrorschau", Quentin Tarantino borrowing the slow motion walk the droogs performed for a scene in "Reservoir Dogs", to practically every other industrial band utilizing a sample, title, or theme from the film, "A Clockwork Orange" has been around to everyone. 

Based on a novel written by Anthony Burgess (which so happens to stand out as an amazing book itself), Stanley Kubrick was able to bring the book to the big screen. No doubt several changes were made to adapt the novel to the screen, but the fact remains that all the themes stayed in tact and none were really jostled with. 

Being one who was against abuse of power by authority or military figures, Kubrick was able to purpose Alex and all characters revolving him. Morality, choice, and the lack of both are all major, major themes raised throughout "A Clockwork Orange", and each one can greatly make a watcher question themselves. I think, in a matter, the brilliance of the film comes around just by viewing another as they gaze upon "A Clockwork Orange". I, myself, have seen one too many people begin to question themselves as they sat and looked upon such a menace of a film. It's here that you can see that, though the film was shot back in the seventies, both the acting and Kubrick's ahead-of-times skill is able to both repulse, but also make a viewer ask themselves in modern times, 'Why am I even watching this?'

However, Kubrick's views and points alike, it was also his wide angled shots and use of slow motion and sped up scenes that was able to really pack in a punch every so often. Taking a view at the droogs as they walk across town right before a bit of ultraviolence, to Alex's sexual encounter with the two young ladies he met at the bizarre, or (in part of one of my favorite scenes) the meet he had with Billy Boy and his gang at the derelict casino, each shot is perfectly placed, timed, and not at all a waste. 

There in lies the fact that Kubrick also focused in on a few close-ups here and now. Each close up that Kubrick chose to place within the film had such intense facial expressions, from the Prison Warden's look of shock, embarrassment, and interest during the stage performance of the Ludovico Technique's effects, to the droogs as they fight, and even victims of their crimes, each close up was well placed and used to maximum efficiency. 

But, it was not only Kubrick who brought the magic to camera, but it was the actors who were able to sink in the roles of their characters that has made "A Clockwork Orange" such a fine, fine film. Most notably would be that of Malcolm McDowell's Alex DeLarge, the lead character of the film and perhaps the most wicked of them all. 

Though Kubrick was known for making his actors work, retaking scene after scene after in meticulous form, McDowell was able to catch on quickly and thus "A Clockwork Orange" became Kubrick's shortest shot films. So natural was McDowell in the role of Alex DeLarge that he was able to transform Gene Kelly's innocent and fun 'Singin' in the Rain' into a horrorshow of its own. Every facet of this character, every swift intention that Alex DeLarge was made to perform or do was captured perfectly by McDowell, and thus goes down as one of Kubrick's best written, and McDowell's best performed character.

The supporting cast of characters was very well chosen as well. Whether it was the master-blaster like characters of Dim and Georgie-Boy (played by Warren Clarke and James Marcus, respectively), to Aubrey Morris' P.R. Deltoid (whose attraction to Alex has been questioned), Patrick Magee's Mr. Frank Alexander, Godfrey Quigley's Prison Chaplain; just, everyone attached to this film was able to fulfull their roles completely. 

Now, the only complaint that I really have in regards to "A Clockwork Orange" would be Pete's role. Seen as sort of the fourth, unspoken droog of the group, his character seemed useless in the grand scheme of the film. After certain events play out and Alex is shipped off to prison, he is never seen nor heard of again in the entire of the film. This is one element that I wish were not changed from the novel; in the novel, as you can guess, Pete plays more than just a minor role, especially in the final chapter which was omitted from the U.S. version of the novel for quite some time, as it was not included in the film's adaptation. 

However, other than that, Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" is beautiful for making such sickening and perverse sights available to audiences for entertainment, but at the same time provides a warning message to masses, only to have that same point fly over many, many people's heads. It's quite ironic, I would think, that an artist like Kubrick who lived to deliver political thought and themes through art, would have his words pass through others' heads. Nonetheless, it's a process of art. 

Some will view this movie, and just to be edgy, will say that the violence is what sucked them into it in the first place and that it doesn't bother them at all. And then there are others, the stoners and the junkies who will absolutely munch on this film and state that they understand everything the film has to offer. Those two groups can go fuck themselves as anyone with decency will come away from "A Clockwork Orange" with something different to attest to. A change of mindset, a new moral system in place, or simply just a new thought will arise to them. 

Anyway, "A Clockwork Orange" has managed to be a film of intense discussion, controversy, and debate ever since it's release back in 1971. As the film ends and Alex's haunting voice closes out the film, your left wondering just one, simple question, 'When will the droogs come visit me?' And, often times, the answer is simply that a bit of Alex lies within all of us. What to really ask is whether or not you will show it, or oppress it. The choice really is yours. 

9.5/10
May 11 2015

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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