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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange - a music and audio-centric movie

As an old obsession of mine, Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" movie represents a sort-of mistery... I guess saw this very film more than 5 and less than 10 times in my life, yet this evening, while enjoying lazily this film again, I discovered a world in hidden messages and details I never noticed before.

Audio-sake, I'm not talking about the miniature Deutsche Gramophone cassettes in Alex' hands or the superb "Transcriptors Ltd" turntable in Alex' room... no... nor I'm talking about the embarassing, almost ill matching of music and images, mostly violence-hinting, linked to L.v. Beethoven's 9th Symphony...

... but when Alex walks, sooo cool and dandy-sh in his purple coat, with club in his hands... it's there that Maestro Kubrick gives some hints...

The records shop where Alex goes for checking a record he ordered is a masterpiece in itself: new, space age with old time technology, Vertigo "swirl" logo on counter ceiling and vinyl records everywhere... and for a long moment, in record shelves you can notice a Kubrick's own "2001 Space Odyssey" OST's disc and... at its right side... John Fahey's green cover of "The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death", his seminal 1969 record, possibly on cool, sought-after Transatlantic pressing - arguing this, as the movie was shot in Pinewood Studios, UK in '70/'71...

Why, I wonder... WHY?!?! on earth the people involved in scene dressing showed, among the zillions records existing... WHY?!?! they showed THIS very record: chance, handy choice, will... whatever?!?! Sure, as they choose 2001's O.S.T., they also choose John Fahey's! But why?

This very movie, like many other S. Kubrick's movie, contains - like best books - more you're able to appreciate and absorb at first look!

They're often multi-level masterpieces, containing several director "divertissement", where these hints are both serious and foolish... misteriously, deeply foolish.

Also the matching of Hitler/nazi/violence with music is opinable and possibly biased... but, at some (low) artistic level, understandable for narration purpouses...

What surprised me, during, or better, after Kubrick's Malcolm McDowell masterpiece acting, is the definite feeling he truly neared the ideal replying to the question: "How can music be showed in a movie?"

Like a video clip... maybe! Using rock or classical music it's only a matter of personal tastes, who knows...

How... HOW I'd wish to know who and why choose THAT John Fahey's record; something possibly hinted by some "Milk Plus" drinking on and out of the set, as well?!?

A joke? A message?


(written at a later date...)
I received, when in Tokyo;-), a message from Mr. Michael Gammon, son of the late founder and designer of Transcriptor's turntable I quoted above... I'm VERY pleased to announce that these gorgeous turntables are still proudly produced and maintained... pls find more infos here or contact mr. Michael Gammon, Managing Director at: Transcriptors Limited, 45b Broadfields, Calverton, Nottinghamshire, NG14 6JP, UK, Telephone : +44 (0)7787 225 656
Thanks, Michael.

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