Thirty three years ago, December 19, 1971 marked the premiere of Stanley Kubrick’s classic film A Clockwork Orange. At one time an officially “X” rated movie, the movie nonetheless recieved Oscar nominations for best picture and best director.
Kubrick worked his adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel like a very deliberate chess game. He pitted first government authority, then religion, and then psychology against the vagaries of free will. Cutting to the chase, free will wins.
Widely regarded as a classic, negative commentaries on this are especially interesting and rare. So I particularly recommend THIS CONTEMPORARY ROGER EBERT REVIEW of the movie.
Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” is an ideological mess, a paranoid right-wing fantasy masquerading As an Orwellian warning. It pretends to oppose the police state and forced mind control, but all it really does is celebrate the nastiness of its hero, Alex.
Ebert doesn’t just say this, but explains specifically and technically some of the techniques Kubrick used to set Alex up as somehow heroic, despite his utterly wicked behavior.
Really, you got to love Alex. He’s today’s Tom Sawyer.