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A Clockwork Orange: An Educational Analysis to A Not Very Educational Film

Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" is analyzed by six Intro to Media Critique & Analysis students

T.E. Barcenas

on 7 June 2012

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Transcript of A Clockwork Orange: An Educational Analysis to A Not Very Educational Film

A Clockwork Orange:
An Educational Analysis to
A Not Very Educational Film PRESENTED BY
Teresa Barcenas Cicelle Beemon
Breanne Bennett & Tessa Kayser
Megan Little Gentry Trimble Historical and Critical Record Notable Techniques Symbolism Cultural Context Film Synopsis A Clockwork Orange, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is a 1971 darkly satirical science fiction film adaptation of Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name
The film concerns 15-year-old Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell), a charismatic, psychopathic delinquent whose pleasures are classical music (especially Beethoven), rape, and ultra-violence. Alex commits his violent acts along his droogies (friend-servants) Narrative Force It was one of only two movies rated X, on its original release, (the other was Midnight Cowboy (1969)) that was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award
A Clockwork Orange was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Screenplay, but was defeated in each category by William Friedkin's The French Connection (1971) Generic Expectations
-Audience would want to like
the protagonist, but his
actions and past behavior
haunt him throughout the film
-Audience members are not
accustomed to this, so it would
be difficult to sympathize with
the character Identifiable Iconography
& Archetypes of Myths -Beethoven's 9th -A treatment is
supposed to make
somebody "better", but
in the film it was the
complete opposite Filming Camera Angles:
Break the narrative fluidity, and the illusion of reality
Accelerated action; slow motion
An unusual reliance on ultra-wide angle lenses
To underline the assaultive nature of the film's content, much of its camera work is deliberately in-out, with few pans or much lateral/horizontal movement
The first three sequences are very striking, employing the same zoom pull-back shots, starting from a close-up and ending on the whole set Filming There are many sequences -- for example Alex's return to his parents' house or the prison -- in which the camera is very still and the editing reduced to a minimum "I try to avoid a mechanical cutting rhythm which dissipates much of the effect of editing" - Stanley Kubrick The first-person narrative of the film only shows what protagonist Alex sees. Alex speaks in "nadsat" (the teenage language of the future, composed of Slavic and Russian vocabulary).
The audience gets an "insider's view" to what Alex thinks. The downside is that the audience does not anticipate the other characters' actions throughout the film. Soundtrack Walter Carlos Walter Carlos was given the task to compose the music for "A Clockwork Orange". He made electronic recording of famous works by Beethoven, Rossini and Purcell. Carlos also included some of his own composition like Timesteps, which opens up the film with the slow, booming, otherworldly piece that sets an ominous tone for the entire film. Even though Carlos was credited for his contribution, this contribution was lost after Carlos' sex reassignment and becoming Wendy Carlos. Stanley Kubrick withdrew "A Clockwork Orange" from circulation in Britain about a year after its release after the copy-cat violence the film was blamed for Shortly after the ban...
A 17-year old Dutch girl was raped in 1973 in Lancashire, at the hands of men singing "Singing in the Rain"
A 16-year-old boy had beaten a younger child while wearing Alex's uniform of white overalls, black bowler hat and combat boots Film Theme WARNING Due to the graphic nature of this film, mature audiences only In preparation for a new 1972 release for US audiences, Kubrick replaced about 30 seconds of footage to get an R-rating, as opposed to the X-rating that the MPAA initially assigned to it.
In the spring of 2000, an uncut version of the film was re-released to British screens Night vs. Day Milk Unpawned Jewelry Church The use of night and day is really important to this movie:
All the dirty deeds done in the beginning of the movie are done at night, making them seem secretive and not as noticeable
After Alex gets "cured", all the dark deeds are done in daylight
He is saved at night after the attack of his droogies (now the police) in the Home
-This shows us how life will change in the
future The only people in the film, who are drinking the milk are the "young hoodlums". We never see adults do it, so the milk (which we drink when we were young) shows how the immaturity of Alex and his droogs When Alex opens his drawer to put away the goods he stole, we see that he has not even done anything with them. We see expensive jewelry, gold watches and money.

But why would he have these goods still?

This shows that its not about getting something in return from the things he steals, but about the rush he gets from doing evil Church is the place where Alex seems to act "normal"
Showing that he does know what is expected of him here

When he is the one leading the music it symbolizes how you cannot trust people
Alex, who feels no remorse for his deeds, has a way of being a leader in a place where there is supposed to be no independence

How society acts today
There are pastors who touch little boys and threaten to burn people, but of course not all pastors are alike, showing how society shapes everybody differently Fast-Motion Techniques Today A Clockwork Orange has influenced modern media in many ways

McDowell's performance as Alex was one of Heath Ledger's inspirations for his portrayal of the Joker in "The Dark Knight"
Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs"
-The torture scene was a direct
reference to the scene where Alex
beats the writer and rapes his wife
-In the beginning of the film when
the men are walking in slow
motion, they are referenced as Alex
and his droogs
The Simpsons have many references to this film in multiple episodes The Rolling Stones were supposed to play Alex and his droogs, according to a 1983 interview with Anthony Burgess Society sometimes wants everybody to behave in an acceptable way. The way that is viewed as “unacceptable” is this person’s inborn purpose; a purpose, perhaps, only understood by the person himself.
An analysis of Kubrick’s "A Clockwork Orange" reveals two thematic questions:
If the state can deprive an individual of his free will, making him “a clockwork orange” (robotic and human-like), what does this say about nightmarish, behavioral modification technologies of punishment and crime?
Do we lose our humanity if we are deprived of the free-will choice between good and evil? Can one be actually cured from his inborn purpose? The Final Scene SOURCE: Richards, Jeffrey (1997). "Films and British National
Identity: From Dickens to Dad's Army":Manchester University The Influence of Sex In most of the film, depictions of sex can be found in painting, statues, and other things, as a form of how sex is something normal to see in everyday life because of all the sexual influences everything has today Fast-motion was used in the film to show how depraved actions can be seen with humor The Genre & The Identity:
A Dramatic Dark Comedy SOURCE: Kubrick, Stanley. Interview by Michel Ciment. Web. 26 Apr 2011 SOURCE: Kubrick, Stanley. Interview by Michel Ciment. Web. 26 Apr 2011 SOURCE: Ifill, Gwen. "Culture Shock Theater, Film and Video." pbs.org. N.P. 2009. Web. 26 Apr 2011. SOURCE: Ebert, Robert. "A Clockwork Orange." rogerebert.suntimes.com. N.P., 11 feb 1972. Web. 26 Apr 2011. SOURCE: Soheback, Vivian C. “Décor as Theme: A Clockwork Orange.” Literature Film Quarterly 9.1 (1981): 92-102 SOURCES: Gehrke, Pat J. “Deviant Subjects in Foucault and A Clockwork Orange: Congruent Critiques of Criminological Attempts.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 18.3 (2001): 270-85

Hong, Liu. “The Perplexing Choice in Existence Predicament: An Existential Interpretation of Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange.” Studies in Literature & Language 1.8 (2010): 29-38 SOURCE: Barker, Martin, and Ernest Mathijs. “Understanding Vernacular Experiences of Film in an Academic Environment.” Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education 4.1 (2005): 49-71
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