PP¬ 1 of the most enjoyable films
PP¬ Cause I’m Alex, O my Bro’er (theatrically flies away)
After a few similar conversations I am able to translate his ideas on the film.
He thinks that because of the way the film was made (and the book written) you enjoy it despite its violence and cynicism.
Alex, the main hero, witty and strangely handsome, appears to be simply a violent hooligan. Nonetheless, after a couple of minutes of watching him beating and raping people, you realize that he is in search of beauty. Seeing the red blood and bodies in brutal fights fills him with a purely aesthetic pleasure. The beauty of violence constitutes his basic moral principle.
Dazzled by the wonderful manifestation of power, he forgets the basic human feelings of empathy and identification with his victims. The brutal acts have, for him, the same elevating quality as the classical music, and indeed, he considers them to be an art as well as the symphonies of Ludwig van. When Alex decides how to repress the rebellion in his gang (in a scene I HAVE TO link here), he says: ‘suddenly I viddied [saw], thinking is for the gloopy [dumb] ones and … the oomny [skilful] ones use like inspiration and what Bog [god] sends’. Therefore he knocks his fellows into the river as a result of his supremely intuitive verdict.
Pleasure parrot is counting the shots. ‘4teen, and no close-ups! + Love George’s stick falling from his hand!’
Now, Clockwork Orange does not keep Alex’s guilty pleasures confined in the safety of fictional narrative. It exposes them precisely in the style and presentation that PP so admires. You watch Alex’s crimes with a well-educated modern eye keeping our suspension of disbelief precisely at the point where you do not need to worry about the moral consequences (I mentioned this strategy in the review of I Saw the Devil). However, it is the refined grace of the film’s style that makes you forget (similarly to Alex) about the horrors you see (Devil avoids this method).
Each scene of violence is at the same time a performance. Alex acts it out for your, as well as his own pleasure. His ‘O my Brothers’ puts you into the same shoes of a criminal and villain. Will you allow him to entertain you that way?
The moral dilemma seems to be rather theoretical. However, it lies in the core of now widely accepted and enjoyed violence in cinema.
Parrot reminds the gaze of the EYES (WindOws of the sO’l) and the shiny moloko glasses.