Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scene Analysis-A Clockwork Orange

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In this scene from A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick, the main character Alex and his “droogs” decide to fight a rival gang. The scene starts out with a close-up of Alex with only half of his face dimly lit and the other half in total darkness. It cuts to a medium close-up of Billyboy, the leader of the rival gang as he flicks out his knife. We then get a wide view and darkly lit shot of both gangs fighting one another, with the rival gang appearing in the scene like dark shadows and Alex's gang standing out in their all white outfits.

The rest of the scene is montage-like as it consists of several quick paced shots of the fighting action. We see the characters smashing bottles and breaking chairs, tables and windows which is reminiscent of the violence seen in slapstick comedies. Along with their use of acrobatic moves like tumbling, jumping, and soaring through the air, this turns the violent acts into more of an artistic show. The music that plays in the background of the entire scene is an opera composition which ties in with the theatricality of the scene. It is also appropriate that the setting is an abandoned theater. The camera follows along with the action as it pans over the boys falling, jumping up and down, and being thrown down. It provides some close-ups of the action as well as panning out to provide a wide view of the action. It is also interesting to note how despite all of the falling and tumbling they do, all of the “droogs” can be seen wearing bowler hats in every shot which never fall off and lend to the continuity of the shots.

The editing and direction of the scene give us more insight to Alex's character as the film's plot revolves around his propensity for violence. Just as Alex enjoys listening to classical music like the music playing during this scene, he gets a similar enjoyment out of acting violently. He finds violence to be beautiful and this artful interpretation of violence in the scene reflects Alex's own attitude towards violence.

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