How Does ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Demonstrate An Initial Willingness To Flout Censorship Rules? Film Studies Research Paper

509 words - 3 pages

In what way does Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ demonstrate an initial willingness to flout censorship rules?
Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 work ‘A Clockwork Orange’ (ACO) is a film that incited controversy and mass debate in relation to the top of censorship, in a way that was, at the time, unprecedented throughout the history of British Cinema. The film, billed as “the adventure of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven” (Miller 2013, p.19), depicted the actions of a gang of young anarchists, “raping, mugging and vandalising their way through a futuristic dystopian Britain” (Bugge 2017). The film both received critical acclaim and sparked public outrage, preoccupying the attention of the media, the church, politicians, youths and police authorities alike. In the face of extreme societal pressure the film was banned from public exhibition, raising the questions: In what way did Stanley Kubrick willingly flout censorship rules; why was it such a sensation; and should the film have been banned at all?
The sixties was a decade fraught with social and political upheaval throughout the Western world. The voices of the dissenting and disaffected replaced those of fifties post-war conformity, with the feminist and civil rights movements alongside the politicisation of the youth ushering in a new era of change and possibility, as though “a revolution had bought about a permissive age” (Bugge 2017). As the social political landscape was reshaped and redefined, the film industry too began to change. The resultant era of the “Hollywood Renaissance” saw filmmakers express through their work the changing social political...

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