Friday, February 05, 2016

Like Clockwork

Nothing is more predictable than people claiming a movie nominally set in the future successfully saw what was coming.  Especially when it's a negative outlook--a film like Network, or Brazil, or, as in this article, A Clockwork Orange.  In it, lead Macolm McDowell discusses how the film saw what was coming.

The nationwide release of “A Clockwork Orange” was 44 years ago — on Feb. 2, 1972 — but today its star, Malcolm McDowell, says the movie was more prescient than it seemed at the time.

Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess, the Stanley Kubrick film shows “a world in which all older people stayed indoors with their televisions on,” McDowell told the News. “And that’s basically what happened.

This is just silly.  A Clockwork Orange--published as a novel in 1962--was simply reporting on what had been going on already.  Yes, there's exaggeration, as there was in Network and Brazil, but the trends were already firmly in place.  But as far as Malcolm is concerned, everything was rosy back then:

The book was released in 1962 and shooting for the film began in 1969, “so this is really before huge gang violence and drugs happened,” McDowell said.

Wait, drugs began after the 60s?  And gangs, too?  People have been complaining a long time about roving gangs of youths menacing the population and making the streets unsafe.  There were countless scare stories in the news (in America and elsewhere) about the rising tide of juvenile delinquency in the 1950s, and how things were going to hell like never before.  Anthony Burgess was well aware of this. If anything--in America, anyway--things have calmed down a fair amount in the last few decades.

Why has it calmed down?  I don't know. Some would claim it's because cops and courts have gotten tougher here.  What does Malcolm have to say about that?

"I don’t see any aversion therapy thank god [he's referring to the Ludovico treatment his character goes through in the movie], but it’s amazing how there’s so many people incarcerated in America,” McDowell said. “We are so backward in our thinking, we are so medieval.”

I'd love to hear his forward-thinking solution, if it's so obvious what's wrong.  But watch out, Malcolm, or A Clockwork Orange might start looking even more prescient than it is now.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malcolm is an actor. History has shown we should pay no heed to actors' opinions

5:37 AM, February 05, 2016  
Blogger New England Guy said...

Today is not like Clockwork Orange. It is, however, exactly like Rollerball

6:25 AM, February 05, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Now *there's* a timeless movie.

5:04 PM, February 05, 2016  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

And I thought Star Trek had it right, butthen we didn't have a eugenics war in the 1990s.

8:48 AM, February 08, 2016  

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