Analysis of the Film The Power of A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick

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A Clockwork Orange (1971) helped establish director Stanley Kubrick as one of the most innovative filmmakers of all time. For him film must be a work of art, and art exists for its own sake. The film has no goal beyond its own enjoyment. Given its subject matter—political corruption, hedonism, violence, and the elusiveness of moral certitudes—one might even go so far as to call A Clockwork Orange a nihilistic film in both form and content. This style of filmmaking would later heavily influence the “New Hollywood” directors. The film is an adaption of Anthony Burgess' 1962 novella in which, the novel's teenage anti-hero (Alex) gives a first-person narration about his violent exploits and his experiences with state authorities intent on reforming him (Books). Additionally, the film differs greatly from the novel in that, it is far more ambiguous then the novel. The film tries to move away from, coming up with a final moral or conclusion to the story conclusion and tries to leave the story more open to interpretation. This decision for a more ambiguous ending is a very conscious decision on the part of Kubrick, who also chooses not to include the final chapter of the novel. In the final chapter of the novel Alex sees the error of his way and turns his life around. He omitted this chapter from the film not only because the American edition did not include it, but also because this ending would not work with his idea of what the film was to convey. More specifically, the film depicts nihilistic elements and does not have one central theme (save revelry in the cinematic spectacle itself) nor does the film convey any overarching moral or social lesson. People often feel uncomfortable when there is no message in a film. They do not know ... ... middle of paper ... ...ork was thematically complex, formally innovative, morally ambiguous, anti-establishment, and rich in mythic resonance. Moreover, these directors spoke for a generation disillusioned by the Vietnam War and disenchanted by the ruling elite. Lastly, he paid amazing attention to detail and was always an endless pursuer of the perfect scene. He though that editing was as important as filming, because it allowed him to make film an art form. Additionally, he was the master of every genre and thanks to him a new set of directors would be influenced by his use of special effects, lighting, and use of music, his ability to make films that dealt with issues that were in the public mind or soon would become apparent to society. Moreover, Kubrick’s biggest influence on the “New Hollywood” directors was that he placed in them the importance of the artistic value of film itself.

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