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May 20 17 7:10 PM
May 20 17 8:44 PM
During its first engagement in Dallas I watched A CLOCKWORK ORANGE with a stunned audience. You could have heard a pin drop during the movie. I was horrified: "Is this what we're coming to?" I wondered to myself. A couple of years later I saw it again on a double bill with DELIVERANCE and realized at that point how funny it was, satiric.
A friend of mine first saw it and was annoyed by Alex. "Why didn't they just kill him and get it over with?" he asked. But later he came to like Alex, at least as a character.
Despite the events we see earlier in the movie, what happens to Alex doesn't seem right. Even though he agrees to the experiment it's an experiment that shouldn't be conducted. The effects leave him helpless and unable to exert his will, for good or bad. Unlike other situations in other movies there is no satisfaction in seeing Alex get his comeuppance from his former fellow Droogs. The fact that these former criminals are now part of law enforcement is, unfortunately, all too true. As is there abuse of their authority. In short, before the irony of the conclusion, Alex becomes the reformed victim.
May 21 17 2:30 AM
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May 22 17 12:10 PM
telegonus wrote:Thanks, Grant. Sometimes, I swear, I think I'm the only one who thinks this way, wonders where dissent went,--and I don't mean Bernie Sanders--in general, in the culture.
May 22 17 2:01 PM
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May 22 17 3:27 PM
Wich2 wrote:With characters like that, I think it's as much a case of the same impulse that leads some to watch a train wreck or a house burn.
Fascination doesn't necessarily imply support.
NATURALISTIC! UNCANNY! MARVELOUS!
May 22 17 3:38 PM
telegonus wrote:Neither do I, Gene. Care for the word or the idea of the a anti-hero. When I think anti-hero my thoughts turn not to Eastwood's Man With No Name but somewhat earlier Sixties guys, the characters played by Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. They can lean toward the good one moment, bad the next. I see them as a response to what Herbert Marcuse called the bourgeoizifiation (sp?) of American mass culture.
Those Newman-McQueen types were against being member of the gray flannel suit fraternity; nor did they in any way aspire make make it "within the system" a la Jack Lemmon in The Apartment or a half-dozen or so other pictures. No, these guys were capable of doing, even on occasion eager to do the right thing, they just wanted to do it their way. Newman could play a rotter like Hud, who has been viewed by some as an anti-hero, and I suppose in a way he is, though far more anti- (as in "agin'" everything) than hero.
Later on, Jack Nicholson joined their company, sort of, though he's always struck me as both too edgy and, when not in attack mode, too sensitive. He just doesn't strike me as a man of action type. Newman and McQueen were more like jocks for hire. Nicholson was never buff like they were even in his youth, and his "attack mode" was more verbal, more attitude, than physically threatening.
At this late date I don't know why I'm even carrying on like this. With the coming of the digital age, the global economy, the end of the middle class (as we know it) in America there's really no "Estabishment" left to rail against. It's a whole new ballgame, and young people are in no position to take on the big boys. Heck, they want to be one of them. The whole concept of the "loner" or the man outside the mainstream is nowadays out of fashion, and I can't see it coming back, or, more accurately, can't see how it can come back.
Heck, nowadays we're all Gunga Dins! Eager to please, respectful of authority, looking for ways to fit in.
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