Round two! This time, Maria chimes in on “Deadpool” and “Spirited Away”, Lee watches the original 1973 “The Wicker Man” in honour of its passing director, and Shane and Lee give their two cents on Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange”.
Really enjoyed Deadpool, the realistic chemistry between the main couple was my favourite element. As far as origin stories go, one of my favourites. I thought the American slapstick jokes became grating as the film wore on. I’m not sure whether Ryan Reynolds was acting or being filmed secretly.
While at first being taken in by the beautiful animation, delightful characters and careful sound design; this film quickly lost my investment. The story didn’t have any clear cut plot, instead meandered from scene to scene somewhat lackadaisically and without purpose. I felt robbed of that magical movie feeling by the time we left the cinema, and wished it had been a tighter story and meaning.
The Wicker Man
Leaving a film so open to interpretation often hinders a pointed narrative, but here it only amplifies the horror. Officer Howie is no more right than the Pagans; his God never intervenes, nor is proven to exist, and we’ll never know if the crops will survive. His inability to see past that condemns him almost as much the cultists that intend to burn him.
“The Wicker Man” is as terrifying, as brutal as a clash of ideologies should be. Downright creepy is just how clever the writing is; every bit character has a role, an identity and a rulebook. There’s so much lore compressed into narrative here, it’s a miracle it never feels bloated or overlong. Coupled with all the upbeat music and upbeat sex and upbeat faces; it’s the true image of unhinged humanity. With some of the most simple, perfect cinematography and camerawork; this movie is a true marvel and still every bit as unnerving today as it must have been in its debut.
Also: the final shot is incomparable.
A Clockwork Orange
Five years ago I attempted to watch “A Clockwork Orange; I failed. Then a year later I tried again; failed. The cycle continued annually until something changes more recently, on possibly my fifth attempt. Perhaps it was the fact I had since watched “2001: A Space Odyssey” and now understood Kubrick’s insanity/genius a little better.
Turns out past the hour mark the extreme, random violence that dominated the opening act gives way to a somewhat tame yet brilliant analogy of the everyday scoundrel being warped into an upright citizen by ‘the system’. Its imagery and ideas ask nowhere near as much of the viewer as “2001”, but it still manages to keep your mind pondering every line and shot.
If you are looking for a film that makes you ponder the little things “A Clockwork Orange” definitely isn’t entry level material, but if you have acquired taste for the stranger side of film, it is guaranteed not to disappoint.
Let’s not get too deep into this; leave that for the experts.
I find a lot of humour in “A Clockwork Orange”, after all the sex and violence and sexual violence has relented a little. Sure, it’s dark. Pitch black. Alex’s family and his speech and his giant dick fight and his songs and his absolute passion for Beethoven; it’s all grim a second later, but the set-ups are hilarious. Kubrick must have been aware of it; grandeur in filmmaking can only highlight humour, and for such a low, chaotic story, there is something quite grandiose and hefty in Clockwork’s craft.
It’s a classic psychological horror, one that genuinely robbed me of sleep the next night. A character study that so thoroughly understands the joy of its terrible character, it’s hard not to get swept up in it all. Just a shame it explores post-therapy Alex just a little too long leaving us deprived of his true victory; it gets a little dull, in other words.