Photo courtesy of Yu Sun Kwon
Why it’s famous:
The screen adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novella offers an electrifying, satirical, and intentionally disturbing comment on violence, psychosis, and free will. It also features a pitch perfect performance from a young Malcolm McDowell.
Alex: I jumped, O my brothers, and I fell hard but I did not snuff it, oh no. If I had snuffed it, I would not be here to tell what I have told.
Alex: I was cured, alright.
Alex: It’s funny how the colours of the real world only seem real when you viddy them on the screen.
Why you haven’t seen it:
You started it. You probably got through the first 10 minutes feeling uneasy, got to 20 wondering why anyone said you should watch it in the first place. By the time you hit the 30-minute mark, you had better things to do. Like binge-watch Breaking Bad.
Why it might be tough to get through:
A Clockwork Orange is decidedly intended to generate a reaction. Teetering somewhere between grotesque satire and obscenity, it does require a certain level of patience, especially if you did not read the book first. Though the levels of violence remain low in comparison to pretty much any action thriller, your stomach will churn watching it, and you will not always know if and when you are supposed to laugh.
Why you should see it anyway:
The things that make this flick hard to get through also make it great. Like a Bukowski poem, it’s about life. It is grungy and real, and it will certainly make you feel.
- The doctor standing over Alex as he is being forced to watch violent films was a real doctor ensuring that Malcolm McDowell’s eyes didn’t dry up.
- The Korova milk bar in the beginning was the only set built for the film.
- The snake, Basil, was introduced into the film by Stanley Kubrick when he found out Malcolm McDowell had a fear of reptiles.