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Monday, August 31, 2009

This One Is Not For the Ladies (A Clockwork Orange)

One thing I've always wondered about A Clockwork Orange is, what's the big deal? Not the big deal as to why it's such a great movie, but the big deal in terms of why was it so controversial and banned everywhere when it came out. Well, when you've been watching movies from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s, then watch this one, you start to understand.

Until Orange, I believe I saw ZERO tatters. In most cases, it was exciting just to see ladies in lingerie because I knew I wasn't going to get much, but I really didn't think it was going to take until 1971 to see tatters on the big screen. Is this the first movie to show tatters? I'm sure it's not. Is it the first major motion picture to show 10 different sets of tatters? Yes. This time around when I watched this movie, I actually had a running boobage count. I guess I was just excited.

It's going to take much more than 20 tits to get a movie banned though I imagine, even in 1971. So what else? Ultra-violence, of course, thee ol' in out in out and people taking one in the yarbles ... that is, if they have any yarbles. I broke down the first six scenes to illustrate just how violent this movie is.

SCENE 1 - Alex and his droogs are sitting at the Korova drinkin' the milkplus. For the Clockwork Orange virgins out there, the milkplus is basically their designer drug of choice that they get legally through a bar. So scene 1 = drugs.

SCENE 2 - From there the boys go around town and cause trouble. The first stop is beating up a bum. Why would someone beat up a bum? I have no idea. I can't think of a more colossal waste of time and energy, but it's what the droogs like to do, so they do it.

SCENE 3 - Next they find themselves stumbling upon a rival gang who is in the process of raping a nice young devotchka. Although Billy Boy and his droogs never actually start the sexual misdeeds, this scene is still pretty intense for the standards of the day. Fortunately for the devotchka, a gang fight starts between the two gangs and the cheeka has a chance to escape.

SCENE 4 - After a victorious gang fight, Alex is driving around at really high speeds running other cars off the road without a care in the world. Basically, this is glorified drinking and driving.

SCENE 5 - If the near gang rape wasn't enough, well, scene 5 (probably the most famous in the movie) is the one where they get to the house, beat up the old man and rape his wife. It's awful. I don't know what's more awful, how this just seems really violent and grotesque, or the fact that this actually happens on the planet earth. On the plus side, I learned if you're the leader of a gang and you're engaging in gang rape, you get to go first, so no sloppy seconds for you. Sorry, couldn't resist that one.

SCENE 6 - After that, the droogs go back to the Korova and get more milkplus. This time, if those last few scenes weren't enough, even the small details of how they get the tasty beverage are ... well ... very detailed. If you'd like a glass, you go up to a statue of a naked woman that serves it, twist her clit, and out of her nipples comes the sweet sweet nectar.

Other scenes include:

  • The one where Alex kills the crazy cat lady with a gigantic statue of a penis (but if I were to guess on the percentage of crazy cat ladies that meet their fate this way, it's gotta be like 65%)
  • Alex having a threesome in his bed with two girls he meets at the record store.
  • A prison scene in which Alex is forced to strip before the guard to give up his belongings, and you can tell Kubrick wants to be the first penis shower in the history of cinema, but it just doesn't quite get there. So close Stanley, so close.
  • Alex dreaming of being one of the Romans who gets to crucify Jesus, which is pretty gangsta.

So you see, it was a big deal. I understand why that first date with Jenna in 1993 didn't go so well. Still, it's one hell of a movie.

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