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For some, it is a cinematic masterpiece that exposes some difficult-to-stomach ideas about the human condition and our capacity for moral or immoral behavior.

However, in A Clockwork Orange was withdrawn from circulation in the United Kingdom, at the request of Kubrick himself. Poster of A Clockwork Orange taken from the original trailer. It appeared as if some copy cats were on the loose.

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A Clockwork Orange - Wikipedia

Paul Farrell in the trailer for A Clockwork Orange. In addition, according to The Telegraph, a year-old boy was found guilty of killing an elderly homeless man, after claiming that he had heard about a similar scene in the movie. The association of real-world acts of violence with the movie was deeply upsetting for Kubrick, and he decided to pull A Clockwork Orange from the British market.

The movie reinvigorated an old debate about the potential societal impact of depictions of graphic violence.

A Clockwork Orange: the look that shook the nation

Kubrick himself had anticipated many of these critiques in the early publicity for A Clockwork Orange , and he was initially adamant that his film could not be responsible for so-called copycat violence. Kubrick argued passionately that art and literature had always depicted violence and horror, citing the Bible, Shakespeare and the Greek myths as prime examples.

Art could not create evil or violence, rather, the capacity for these violent acts had to be there in the subject beforehand. He completely rejected the notion that a work of art or popular culture could create a psychopath where one had not existed before. Kubrick uses the wide-angle lens almost all the time when he is showing events from Alex's point of view; this encourages us to see the world as Alex does, as a crazy-house of weird people out to get him. When Kubrick shows us Alex, however, he either places him in the center of a wide-angle shot so Alex alone has normal human dimensions, or uses a standard lens that does not distort.

So a visual impression is built up during the movie that Alex, and only Alex, is normal. Kubrick has another couple of neat gimmicks to build Alex into a hero instead of a wretch. He likes to shoot Alex from above, letting Alex look up at us from under a lowered brow. This was also a favorite Kubrick angle in the close-ups in " A Space Odyssey ," and in both pictures, Kubrick puts the lighting emphasis on the eyes. This gives his characters a slightly scary, messianic look.

And then Kubrick makes all sorts of references at the end of "A Clockwork Orange" to the famous bedroom and bathroom scenes at the end of " He is photographed from the same angle Kubrick used in "" to show us Keir Dullea at dinner. And then there's even a shot from behind, showing Alex turning around as he swallows a mouthful of wine.

A clockwork orange - I'm singing in the rain (HD)

This isn't just simple visual quotation, I think. Kubrick used the final shots of "" to ease his space voyager into the Space Child who ends the movie.

The nearly 200-page manuscript was discovered at author Anthony Burgess' house in Bracciano, Italy

The child, you'll remember, turns large and fearsomely wise eyes upon us, and is our savior. In somewhat the same way, Alex turns into a wide eyed child at the end of "A Clockwork Orange," and smiles mischievously as he has a fantasy of rape. We're now supposed to cheer because he's been cured of the anti-rape, anti-violence programming forced upon him by society during a prison "rehabilitation" process.

What in hell is Kubrick up to here? Does he really want us to identify with the antisocial tilt of Alex's psychopathic little life?


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In a world where society is criminal, of course, a good man must live outside the law. But that isn't what Kubrick is saying, He actually seems to be implying something simpler and more frightening: that in a world where society is criminal, the citizen might as well be a criminal, too. Well, enough philosophy. We'll probably be debating "A Clockwork Orange" for a long time -- a long, weary and pointless time. The New York critical establishment has guaranteed that for us. They missed the boat on "," so maybe they were trying to catch up with Kubrick on this one. Or maybe the news weeklies just needed a good movie cover story for Christmas.

I don't know. But they've really hyped "A Clockwork Orange" for more than it's worth, and a lot of people will go if only out of curiosity. Too bad. In addition to the things I've mentioned above -- things I really got mad about -- "A Clockwork Orange" commits another, perhaps even more unforgivable, artistic sin.

It is just plain talky and boring. You know there's something wrong with a movie when the last third feels like the last half. This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr