One of the things I plan to do this year, is go to the movies more often. I'm usually so out- of- sync with my friends when it comes to the latest releases. Whenever they're discussing whatever is going on at the cinema, I'm light years behind. Then when I finally catch up, they've moved on.
But anyway, "The Artist" has now been ✔ on my list. Subsequently, I'm game for Oscar Night, come February 26.
And speaking of films, one of my favourite movies of all time is "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) directed by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick is also one of my favourite directors. And my preferred movies in his repertoire, in random order are; the above mentioned, "Eyes Wide Shut", "Barry Lyndon", "The Shining"...I'm forgetting something here...of course, "Full Metal Jacket". Me love you long time!
It's not on the list, and I feel like a traitor for saying this, but, I like Adrian Lyne's adaptation of "Lolita" better than Kubrick's. Please, don't hate me! I think Jeremy Irons' Shakespeare in love reindition of Prof. Humbert Humbert has a lot to do with it. I'll return to Vladimir Nabokov's masterpiece, later.
"A Clockwork Orange" is based on Anthony Burgess novel by the same name. The story, set in the future, is about the Beethoven's Ninth Symphony loving, juvenile menace to society, Alex DeLarge (skillfully played by Malcolm McDowell) and his three friends (or droogs as they're called in the made up language, Nasdat).
After a break and entry gone awry, Alex is apprehended by the police and eventually senctenced to 14 years in prison for his deeds. While incarcerated, he's offered (and accepts) a reduced sentence under the condition that he agrees to be a volunteer for a experimental rehabilitative treatment called the Ludovico Technique, aimed at "curing" criminals within two weeks. Its curative effects on Alex however, remains to be seen.
The film is pretty violent (ultra violent!) and graphic, even by today's standard. But, it's a lyrically and artistically executed production that touches on many themes, such as the concepts of crime and punishment, revenge and retribution, science, politics and religion. As well as other dimensions of human nature. Sheer perfection. And then there's the fashion. How often has Alex's eye makeup, and white outfit paired with combat boots, a bowler hat and suspenders, not been duplicated, replicated, imitated?
The opening scene of "A Clockwork Orange", with protagonist and narator, Alex, et al. drinking "milk" at their favourite spot, The Korova Milkbar, is arguably one of the most enthralling in the history of film: And perhaps only rivaled by the "I believe in America..." scene of "The Godfather Trilogy" and John Travolta's strut in "Saturday Night Fever" (with additional credit to the Bee Gees).
The second best scene, in my opinion, is when the larger - than - life, Alex grips his walking stick in both hands and disciplines his droogs, that is, Pete, Georgie, and Dim (played by Michael Tarn, James Marcus and Warren Clarke respectively), by the flatblock marina. It's to his own demise. Yet, impressive to watch nonetheless. This brilliantly choreographed sequance, is the ultimate testiment to Kubrick's genius. Oh, but there's another. Which brings us to (with instructions on how to emulate):
The Kubrick Stare;
1) Tilt your head down.
2) Look up from beneath your eyebrows.
3) Smile or 3a) Grimace. Make sure the camera is close to your face, too.