MovieChat Forums > A Clockwork Orange (1971) Discussion > This movie's biggest failing for me

This movie's biggest failing for me


Let me start off by saying that this movie doesn't have many failings with me. I ADORE this movie, and watch it frequently. I'd say it's likely the one movie I've seen more than any other.

Okay so, the one failing I do find in this movie is that it's supposed to be a dystopian future, but I just don't see that. Nothing about the movie makes it feel like the future to me. And no it's not the technology. I'm not an idiot. It's just the overall feel of the world. It feels more like a generic "present day" setting. I don't know if Kubrick just didn't care about that aspect, nor do I know if it's more emphasised in the book (haven't read it. Never come across a copy come to think of it). All I know is that it doesn't look futuristic to me. I'm not even sure what would qualify as futuristic. The only thing that seems unusual to me is that all of the older women in the movie seem to be sporting unnatural hair colors like blue, green, and purple.

I thought I could paint it red, but I couldn't find enough goats.

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the dress code of Alex and the droogs, and especially the decor of the Korova Milk Bar with its' vaguely pornographic depiction of naked women with their legs apart, are ideas of society that 'civilization' over 40 years later still has to catch up with.


Some of the architecture chosen for location work looked 'futuristic' at the time. Some of the artefacts like the womb-like chair used by Mrs Alexander still looks a bit beyond our time.


But otherwise I agree with you: most of the movie after the beginning looks like it was shot cheaply on location, which looks deliberate.

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What chair are you referring to?

I thought I could paint it red, but I couldn't find enough goats.

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when the droogs make their way to HOME, the camera cuts indoors to the couple who get assaulted by the droogs.


The first time we see the writers' wife she is inside the chair.

Its about ten minutes in or so.

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Some of the futuristic aspects are less noticeable now than in the 70s.
The decore of the film is often cited as being too 70s but to those that were there the 70s never looked like a clockwork orange.
There are many elements that were futuristic than not now like Alexs micro cassette sound system, or the Durango 95, or the old people wearing the fashions that were hip with contemporary 70s youth.

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I thought it looked only vaguely futuristic, but that did not bother me.

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If the future is dystonian, why would expect there to be advancements of any kind? The people have regressed and society had become cruel and vulgar.

There were still some things that were futuristic for the time - The car the droogs were in, the police vehicle, the music store, the mini-cassette, and some of the furniture at his house.

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Shablagoo!

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It looks absolute magnificent. What hipster would not give his left nut for getting his apartment decorated like this and hang out in the Korova Milk Bar.

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"I'm not an idiot. "

u sure?

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I think it's the right kind of futuristic approach for this material.
I haven't read the book nor do I care to for this film's sake, so I'll just consider the film and what's in it: it's not 2001, a future with space stations and video phones where we're shooting beyond jupiter. It's a dystopian future of a not so faraway future, and I believe Kubrick wanted to stay close to english reality of the 70s without making it sci fi. So it's regular everyday life, only they speak a weird slang, they have weird values n habits, they dress weirdly, but the rest is our world.
The house decoration, the hairdos, cars etc, are futuristic but still familiar (blue hair but no flying car nor robot house). That adds a lot to the shock value of the events, or it would be too unfamiliar for us to connect: it's our world, just a couple of years from now, and look at the state of humanity!

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It looked like what the future was imagined to be in the 70’s, much as with other contemporary sci-fi like Soylent Green. There were actual ahead-of-their-time items like Alex’s cool turntable and speakers, and stereo Deutsche Gramophone microcassettes (ooooooh!). I don’t believe those last were ever a real music format, but it was a credible leap. And the Durango 95, that record shop, and of course, the Korova. There’s a reason that scene comes first — to really orient you in this future world and make you believe.

Update: Turns out, there *were* “high fidelity” stereo microcassettes — in 1982. So this 1971 flick correctly predicted a future tech development 11 years prior.

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If it's not about the technology or the future not matching our personal present experience then your argument has no legs to stand on.

The dystopian future displayed in this story reflects an embedded establishment of intellectuals running a large populace dominated by half-witted citizens who are easily swayed by propaganda and tranquilized with mindless pop culture. As you stated you know that the aesthetic doesn't quite age well as nobody knows what the future is going to look like and every movie that attempts this usually becomes a victim of its time and perception. Even Bladerunner has a lot of 70s/80s post-apocalyptic aesthetics that today wouldn't feel familiar to someone under the age of thirty (even though retro-wave music celebrating 80s aesthetic has a younger fanbase).

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In the other post on this board, they said it was an alternate 70s, not the future.

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in the book that it's based on it is set in the "near future", not an alternate 70s reality. Even if that's what Stanley Kubrick intended or wrote in a synopsis he never stated or showed that in the movie itself.

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