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Serge
12-12-2000, 12:03 AM
I'm not a great fan of Kubrick's, but I enjoyed A Clockwork Orange. I also enjoyed Eyes Wide Shut, and once I'd seen it, I wondered if the director Kubrick had an admiration for B. In ACO, Ludwig plays a strong role as Alex's favorite composer and the one indulgence that Alex seemed incapable to bear destroyed (associated with extreme violence). In EWS, B.'s opera Fidelio is mentioned as a password to some messed-up quasi-sex-fantasy place. Perhaps Kubrick did have an abiding love of Beethoven.

This brings to mind the idea that Gary Oldman may enjoy B. as well. He makes mention of him as a great composer in movie The Professional (or Leon, in France), and then goes on to play him that same year. Or perhaps it's just coincidence.

One last thing, given the very little exposure in pop culture that our planet's greatest composer enjoys, I find it a great thrill of sorts to see any mention of him made-- even in passing. I don't know why. Same thing occurs (to a slightly lesser degree) to me when I see any mention made of Canada by American media (given how 'often' that occurs!). It is interesting how people can react to little things like that...

Rod
12-12-2000, 05:48 AM
Originally posted by Serge:


This brings to mind the idea that Gary Oldman may enjoy B. as well. He makes mention of him as a great composer in movie The Professional (or Leon, in France), and then goes on to play him that same year. Or perhaps it's just coincidence.



I don't know about Kubric, but Oldman stated in an interview I watched (after IB) that he had no particular interest in B or his music.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

~Leslie
12-12-2000, 11:17 AM
Serge, I only saw this movie once many years ago, and it still haunts me to this very day. I think in some ways Kubrick had an eerie way of predicting the future, and proposed music therapy as a solution to a violent, degenerative society.
I have some very close and dear friends who are presently involved in psychoacoustics,
and research work (some of it is US govt funded)for healing patients with music.
The ancient Greek Pythagoras believed in the healing power of music, and correlated number ratios(numerology) to intervals.
I wish I could elaborate further, but this is not my area of expertise. If you wish to read more, I would be happy to point out the resources. ~

Michael
12-12-2000, 03:35 PM
I think the credit must go, not to Kubrick, but to Anthony Burgess who wrote the original novel, "A Clockwork Orange". Burgess was himself a composer and has written a novel connected with the "Eroica", called "Napoleon Symphony".
I haven't read it and am wondering if anybody out there has?

Michael

euphony131
01-08-2001, 10:33 PM
Ok, I admit I was taken by "A Clockwork Orange" when first seeing it as a teenager. After all, how many films can boast having Beethoven as a character's inspiration? But now that I'm older, I have very ambivalent feelings about this film.

First off, it draws the wrong connotation -- Beethoven equals rape and violence? Let's face it, Alex is one twisted character. Add to that the fact that most of B's music in the film is synthesized into a mockery. Sure, there's some interesting "MTV" style imagery but the message is all wrong and warped. A true lover of Classical Music shouldn't have a problem distinguishing film from fact, but what about the lay people?

No doubt some people came away thinking Beethoven is subversive and disgusting music when it's really the OPPOSITE! I contend we should portray B's music in film without having to resort to images of violence, mayhem and brutality. One of the most distrubing aspects of Clockwork was the associating of the Ninth Symphony with Hitler and Nazism -- in the brainwashing sequence. I know that's not what the music is REALLY about, but can you say the same for the millions who had no prior knowledge of the Ninth?

Clockwork ultimately did far more harm than good when it came to presenting Beethoven to a mainstream audience. Now, not only are we "stuffy" and "elitist," we're also "psychotic" and "homicidal." Not good.

PDG
01-08-2001, 11:25 PM
You are spot on, Euphony. Alex`s character is unapproachable, abnormal, unpredictable, deep, dangerous & mad - so naturally, he has to LOVE Beethoven!

I`m no expert, but Burgess obviously saw a potential way for the public to, somehow, `understand` Alex; simply bracket this social misfit with the great musical enigma (as the public perceives it) that is Beethoven. In fact, it goes further than that: In order for the public to be `frightened` of Alex, his author used the composer who most frightens the same public, as his counterweight.

The public at large is frightened by Beethoven because although it recognises his fame, it knows, in advance of discovery, that his towering greatness would leave it with a feeling of incomprehension, and since the public never likes what it knows it will not comprehend, it leaves well alone. This is exactly how Anthony Burgess trades off the character of Alex with the public`s fear of the unknown.

Peter
01-09-2001, 05:06 AM
Originally posted by PDG:
In fact, it goes further than that: In order for the public to be `frightened` of Alex, his author used the composer who most frightens the same public, as his counterweight.

The public at large is frightened by Beethoven because although it recognises his fame, it knows, in advance of discovery, that his towering greatness would leave it with a feeling of incomprehension, and since the public never likes what it knows it will not comprehend, it leaves well alone. This is exactly how Anthony Burgess trades off the character of Alex with the public`s fear of the unknown.

I don't think Beethoven is the composer people are most frightened of - I would have thought that contemporary avante-garde music holds more terrors! I think most people who dislike Beethoven or Classical music do so not because they're frightened of it, but because they find it boring and uncool - the image of CM is not appealing to most people.

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'Man know thyself'

PDG
01-09-2001, 06:10 PM
Yes, Peter, but modern avante-garde composers are not famous, so the public is ambivalent towards them. The name Beethoven, however, conjures up an instant brooding, menacing image in the mind, & powerful, emotionally-peerless music to go with it. Not everyone may be au fait with Beethoven, but I`d say that everyone is aware of him. They know of his superhuman endeavours allied to his deafness, & this untapped..... admiration, if you will, makes people feel uncomfortable. In other words: How can any human ever have been so supremely talented? It almost beggars belief, so they switch to more accessible thoughts.

Forgive me here, but it`s a little like thinking about God. Or reincarnation. Most people (if not all) won`t give these topics due consideration, because we neither know where to begin, nor where to finish with them; they are imponderables, so we occupy our minds with other, less challenging thoughts instead. I say that the enormity of Beethoven`s achievement is something which the general public knows to be beyond its understanding, so it avoids it.

Peter
01-10-2001, 05:17 AM
Originally posted by PDG:
In other words: How can any human ever have been so supremely talented? It almost beggars belief, so they switch to more accessible thoughts.

I say that the enormity of Beethoven`s achievement is something which the general public knows to be beyond its understanding, so it avoids it.

I don't think the general public is aware of the enormity of his achievement - I think they simply think the music is crap and boring - Only those who know and love his music can possibly be aware of his greatness - Yes, they know his name - but their knowledge goes no deeper than the first few bars of the 5th and the fact that he was deaf.

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'Man know thyself'

~Leslie
01-10-2001, 11:04 AM
Euphony, It has been many years since I've seen this film, but I must say that the overall gist I got from it(although highly disturbing) was that the ninth was used a supposed "cure" for a sociopath, a weird parallel would be the taming the tiger scene in a Hard Day's Night. PDG, is my memory alright? (I hope so)

Ask yourself, is there any other piece of musical work that is up to the task of such enormous emotional impact on the offensive criminal
in Clockwork Orange, as part vengeance and part rehabilitation, as well as a piece that connects well to us, the audience,based on all the archetypes and associations within it, that resonate straight as an arrow to our collective consciousness?????????

Rod, I'm not sure about your overall assessment of the public's view of classical. True, it lacks the hip quotient factor of guitars and rythmic drums, but maybe it's just too cerebral to grasp to the untrained ears of the masses.

Children seem to respond well to classical, until they get inundated by their peers about what is and isn't intrinsically "cool".

Have you ever noticed that most of the younger ppl who appreciate Beethoven and classical music are musicians themselves, in search of the past, often looking for answers to the future?

PDG
01-10-2001, 11:52 AM
Well, Peter, that certainly shut the door in my face http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/confused.gif I know where you`re coming from, but I don`t think you`re completely correct. Leslie just made a couple of good points re the cerebral aspect of great classical music, & also how kids seem able to assimilate & enjoy it until corrupted, musically by their peers.

PDG
01-10-2001, 12:13 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ~Leslie:
[B]Euphony, It has been many years since I've seen this film, but I must say that the overall gist I got from it(although highly disturbing) was that the ninth was used a supposed "cure" for a sociopath, a weird parallel would be the taming the tiger scene in a Hard Day's Night. PDG, is my memory alright? (I hope so) >>>

It was "Help!", Les (The B**tles, of course http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/wink.gif). I think the idea was more to confuse the tiger in that scene. This reminds me of the hilarious "Confuse a Cat" sketch from Monty Python`s Flying Circus.......Speaking of which, & definitely suitable for this forum, what about the rollicking "Beethoven`s Mynah Bird" sketch, with John Cleese as a manic Basil Fawlty-ish Beethoven, again from MPFC? http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/biggrin.gif

Rod
01-10-2001, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by ~Leslie:

Rod, I'm not sure about your overall assessment of the public's view of classical. True, it lacks the hip quotient factor of guitars and rythmic drums, but maybe it's just too cerebral to grasp to the untrained ears of the masses.

Children seem to respond well to classical, until they get inundated by their peers about what is and isn't intrinsically "cool".

Have you ever noticed that most of the younger ppl who appreciate Beethoven and classical music are musicians themselves, in search of the past, often looking for answers to the future?

I have said as much as this myself in the chain in question, the solution lies with yongsters education and cultural influences. It is not that the masses per se cannot appreciate Beethoven, but current cultural trends (getting cheaper and more superficial year by year) in the west (at least) mitigate against it. I know plenty of people from working-class stock who like classical music!

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
01-10-2001, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
I know plenty of people from working-class stock who like classical music!

Rod



This is one of the biggest and most infuriating myths about Classical music - the idea that it is music for the rich or snobs and it does enormous harm - Opera is largely responsible for this with places such as Glyndebourne operating a totally elitist system.

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'Man know thyself'