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A Clockwork Orange

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This is a story about a seventeen-years-old, Alex- the main actor- who lives in London. He and his friends- or better say his “droogs”- steal, beat, rape and even kill other people just for fun. Alex one day gets caught for murder and jailed for twelve years. But after two years before his sentence ends he volunteers to be an experiment in a new brainwashing technique. He goes through this “therapy” successfully and returns back to civilization. From that point and after he becomes sick every time he is about to commit a sexual or violent crime, but also when he listens to the Ninth Symphony of his beloved Ludwig Van Beethoven- which is a minor defect from the brainwashing. After that he commits suicide and being hospitalized, returning to his violent self while the treatment fails to success, because it does not give the people a choice about being violent.

Stanley Kubrick directed the film in 1970 for one year. The setting of the movie is in England in near future- “Just as soon as you can imagine it, but not too far ahead, it’ s just not today, that’s all”.

In this movie Kubrick is trying to define with clarity a society of fevered excess where the older generation clings to a past, ignoring the present and future, while the present is undisguised pillaged by the younger people. This takes as to the first scene if the film, where a bar is transformed and “furnished” with sculpted nudes as tables, pornography and sexual images as wallpapers. Everything, even the music, becomes a continuous clockwork mechanism, a rhythm.

Kubrick is playing with the camera, using tracking shots to open the scenes, like the low-angle spin around the record-shop and the scene with the psychiatrist and her trolley, sweeping through the wards. He is even holding a hand-held camera by himself, when he was filming scenes of urgency and impending disaster, like when Alex is fighting with the old lady that kills and gets caught. And more. Kubrick is using subjective shots, making as part of the film, identifying us with the character- he is lying on the floor, powerless in the hospital, falling from the window in despair. We become one with him, we become Alex. His goal is to ensure that Alex, despite his extreme and brutal behavior, has our sympathy and he is nothing more than a victim of misunderstanding and social injustice.




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