Sunday, 6 January 2008

Task 12: Historical Text - A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The facts:

  • 'A Clockwork Orange' is a 1971 film directed by Stanley Kubrick.
  • It features 'disturbing, violent imagery to facilitate social commentary on psychiatry, youth gangs, and other topics in a future dystopian society'.
  • At the time of its release, the film recieved mix reviews. Whilst it was nominated for numerous awards, it was the subject of great controversy due to the film's explicit sexual and violent content.
  • The film was released as a rated X in America. In Britain, the film was withrawn from UK distribution. Regardless, 'A Clockwork Orange' had firmly established itself as a 'cult classic' by the time of it's re-release in 2000.

What's it got to do with my independent study?

  • The film's status as a 'science fiction' film is disputed. The 'Internet Movie Database' has it tagged under genres such as 'crime' and 'drama'. As 'Sight and Sound' [a magazine focused on the science fiction genre] argues; the film is set in the future, portrays a dystopian society and provides social commentary on what current issues can evolve into in the future [identical to what 'Children Of Men'], surely these are characteristics necessary for a film to be classed as science fiction?
  • 'The science fiction film genre has long served as a useful vehicle for "safely" discussing controversial current issues and often providing thoughtful social commentary on potential unforeseen future issues'.
  • A major factor behind why the film packed so much individuality at the time of it's release was that unlike sci-fi films during the 70s, 'A Clockwork Orange' neglected placing significant emphasis on advanced technology and completely ignored themes of 'artificial intelligence' and 'alien/robot invasions'. The film instead focused on comtemporary issues at the time such as youth culture and psychological conditioning, using them to create a future dystopian society by presenting them in the horrific and shocking manner. 'Children Of Men' does the same thing, focusing instead on immigration and terrorism issues.

Other historical texts equally as important:

  • Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
  • Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang)
  • The War Of The Worlds (1953, Byron Haskin)
  • Frankenstein (1910, J.Searle Dawley)

No comments: