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A Clockwork Orange and The Player

The films A Clockwork Orange and The Player reflect the interests and styles of their respective directors, Stanley Kubrick and Robert Altman. The two filmmakers are very different in their methods of filmmaking--Kubrick is a former photographer with an eye for composition and control, while Altman prefers improvisation and the power of the moment, often a moment created by the actors themselves as they interact with one another and with the material. A Clockwork Orange is very much a controlled work showing the hand of Kubrick in every frame, while The Player shows how Altman improvises and relies less on control and more on spontaneity. Both filmmakers are commenting on cultural and social values they see in the world around them, and both see the values of the past, and the values that actually have value, as being eroded by various forces in the culture itself. Kubrick's film is set at some time in the future, but its message and interests are relevant to the world in which we live, just as Altman's film satirizes elements in a particular sub-culture of that world, the sub-culture of Hollywood, while doing so in a way that says much about society at large.

The openings in both films are instructive about the methods of the filmmakers and about their thematic concerns and how those concerns are to be addressed. The opening sequences of A Clockwork Orange look to the near future, extrapolating from our own time to one where many young people have become urban marauders, taking out their frustrations in violence and living completely amoral lives. Alex is the leader of this group, and he serves as narrator as well, telling his own story in a way that is chilling because of the apparent saneness of the voice describing the most horrifying acts of violence, which can also be seen in the carefully controlled images of the film. Each of the crimes committed in the opening frames will serve as models for later scenes in the fil...

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A Clockwork Orange and The Player. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:55, December 06, 2021, from