Tag Archives: Stanley Kubrick

Pulp Friday: A Clockwork Orange

It has been a while between posts, I know. This site, as well as a number of other things in my life, has taken a back seat in order for me to meet a few pressing deadlines, in particular, working on a monograph for a English publisher on Norman Jewison’s 1975 dystopian science fiction classic, Rollerball.

While Jewison was not a great fan of science fiction he was impressed by two science fiction films, both of them made by Stanley Kubrick: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange, released in 1971 (although it was not released in Australian until 1988). It is this latter film that is the subject of today’s Pulp Friday post.

Published by Anthony Burgess in 1962, A Clockwork Orange is set in a near future dystopian England suffering from an epidemic of extreme youth violence and economic stagnation. The book’s teenage protagonist, Alex, narrates the story of his various criminal exploits and the subsequent efforts of the conservative state authorities to rehabilitate him, in a made up language Burgess called ‘Nadsat’.

Burgess’s own politics were conservative, with a streak of anarchism running through his thinking. He wrote A Clockwork Orange in three weeks, influenced by his views of the growing youth culture in early sixties England.… Read more

Jodorowsky’s Dune: the greatest film ever not made?

Original-Dune-posterThere are so many ways to read Jodorowsky’s Dune, the documentary of cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s doomed effort make the film version of Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction epic, Dune.

It is, by turns, a love letter to seventies science fiction; a study of the clash between Hollywood filmmaking culture and the mores of the European avant garde; and a celebration of unrestrained creativity and artistic determination. I don’t mean to sound trite, but it is a film every creative, whatever they do, should see. The overall effect, for this reviewer at least, was akin to artistic vitamin shot. I walked out thinking, ‘if Jodorowsky was prepared to go to such lengths to realise his vision, hell, I can, too’.

Jodorowsky’s Dune is also wonderful glimpse into one of the greatest films never made, a list that includes Stanley Kubrick’s adaption of the Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, Sergio Leonie’s M, the Rolling Stones’ short-lived attempt to make the little known but excellent 1964 dystopian novel Only Lovers Left Alive, and Terry Gilliam’s take on Don Quixote. But more on this particular aspect of the film later.

You can read the rest of this review here at the Overland Magazine site.

Warren Oates, Gloria Grahame & other subjects for fiction anthologies

OatesThe recent release of Crime Factory’s LEE, an anthology of crime fiction inspired by the life of iconic actor Lee Marvin, has got me thinking about who else would be a good subject for similar treatment.

There’s already been a bit of chatter on Twitter about other actors people would like to see as the subject of their own fictional anthology, and several authors have contacted me with ideas.

There are only two criteria involved I can think of in choosing a subject.

First, the subject concerned has got to be deceased, preferably passed a while ago. It’s just too complex, legally and other ways to do an anthology based on someone living.

Second, there’s got to be something about them. Not just an interesting body of cinematic work and an interesting life, but an ongoing cultural resonance or zeitgeist that sets them apart from other actors and allows crime writers discuss broader issues.

Here are my picks for actors I think would be good subjects. And I should stress, these are just my musings and in no way reflect what Crime Factory will do in the future.

That said, you never know….

Warren Oates

There’s already been a bit of social media chatter about the possibility of a Warren Oates inspired anthology.… Read more