MOVIE REVIEWS - 1971
1971 saw the release of one of cinema's most controversial films, Stanley Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
After the spectacle of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Kubrick opted for something a little more grounded, but maintained his interest in what humanity could be like in the near-future. Adapting the Anthony Burgess novel, Kubrick explored the world of Alex DeLarge, played by Malcolm McDowell, and his various misadventures, including assault and rape. Eventually caught, Alex is subjected to cutting-edge treatment to curb his vicious ways, but the public outcry of his treatment attracts more attention than any of the crimes he has committed or victims he has inflcited them upon.
The film was banned in many countries due to the conservative exhibition guidelines that were in place at the time.
In response, Kubrick had A CLOCKWORK ORANGE withdrawn from exhibition. For many years, it was only possible to find low-quality, dubbed copies for viewing. It wasn't until the early 1990s that the exhibition ban was progressivley lifted and audiences could make up their own mind about the film's subject matter.
1971 also saw the release of THX 1138, the first feature film from George Lucas.
A masively under-rated film, Lucas also uses a futuristuc society to examine some of the same themes Kubrick did in his film. Set in a subterranean city controlled by computers and bureaucrats, the inhabitants are sedated 24 hours a day to surpress their emotions. Robert Duvall's THX has his sedation altered by his room mate LUH, Maggie McOmie, in order to feel love. THX begans to react erratically, leading to his arrest and conviction for drug evasion and sexual perversion.
THX 1138 plays almost like a documentary, with its unusual camera angles and overlapping soundscape. It's the purest example of what Lucas might have continued to make had STAR WARS not turned into a cultural phenomenon...
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