Kubrick was a master of the controversial. When Clockwork came out, mass hysteria ensued, bannings off the film took place left, right and centre; it was even banned in areas that didn’t have cinemas.
Naturally themes such as rape, violence and youth gangs are going to be demonised; what is really scary about this film however, is how Kubrick finds a way to glorify them. Despite his actions, Alex DeLarge is still in essence a likeable character. McDowell plays Alex in a innocent and childlike manner that starkly contrasts his highly sexed and violent lifestyle.
This film is work of an auteur, every part of it is a feast for the senses. Seductive statues, sweeping architecture, colour and patterns are everywhere. Rather than the piano, harsh electronic instruments are used to play classical tunes; creating an air of uncertainty and malevolence throughout.
Such erotic symbols and unconventional portrayal of traditional scores are controversial alone, add this to the plot and you are left with a dip into a level of deviance beyond imagination.
Very few films are able to stir such levels of depravity; and for that reason alone, Clockwork is nothing short of a masterpiece.
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