A Clockwork Orange

Year: 1971
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writer: Alex Burgess/Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee
It's hard to know what to say about movies so many people consider a classic. At times, all you can talk about is whether it made an impact on you. And hearing a lifetime of other people raving about what a classic it is is bound to affect the impact.

It sounds like I'm setting this review up to say the movie was rubbish, and I'm not. I can see how it was a myopic vision of both youth and politics of the near future. If nothing else, Burgess deserves credit for adding to the pantheon of popular culture with the vernacular he invented for the story, a blend of Russian and street slang.

Four young men (Alex and his 'droogs' - friends) dress in quasi-Hitler Youth uniforms and spend their nights listening to Beethoven, bashing tramps in the street for fun and raping women.

Arrested for the murder of one of his victims and having burnt bridges with his friends after sensing their impending betrayal of him, Alex volunteers for revolutionary crime prevention treatment where he's forced to stare at horrible and disturbing images for hours on end. It works too perfectly and he then becomes a dangerous part of the scandal that erupts surrounding the government over it's having taken place.

With all Kubrick films, it's more about the image than the story, and some of those - from the Kordova Milk Bar to the lidlocks - are part of the mythology to cult film fans. There's a reason Kubrick was never a studio hack, and Clockwork Orange is a classic example of it.

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