Stanley Kubrick, sobre Laranja Mecânica
Ele fala, nós ouvimos:
What amuses me is that many reviewers speak of this society as a communist one, whereas there is no reason to think it is.
The Minister, played by Anthony Sharp, is clearly a figure of the Right. The writer, Patrick Magee, is a lunatic of the Left. ‘The common people must be led, driven, pushed!’ he pants into the telephone. ‘They will sell their liberty for an easier life!’
But these could be the very words of a fascist.
Yes, of course. They differ only in their dogma. Their means and ends are hardly distinguishable.
You deal with the violence in a way that appears to distance it.
If this occurs it may be because the story both in the novel and the film is told by Alex, and everything that happens is seen through his eyes. Since he has his own rather special way of seeing what he does, this may have some effect in distancing the violence. Some people have asserted that this made the violence attractive. I think this view is totally incorrect.
The cat lady was much older in the book. Why did you change her age?
She fulfills the same purpose as she did in the novel, but I think she may be a little more interesting in the film. She is younger, it is true, but she is just as unsympathetic and unwisely aggressive.
You also eliminated the murder that Alex committed in prison.
That had to do entirely with the problem of length. The film is, anyway, about two hours and seventeen minutes long, and it didn’t seem to be a necessary scene.
Alex is no longer a teenager in the film.
Malcolm McDowell’s age is not that easy to judge in the film, and he was, without the slightest doubt, the best actor for the part. It might have been nicer if Malcolm had been seventeen, but another seventeen-year-old actor without Malcolm’s extra- ordinary talent would not have been better.
Somehow the prison is the most acceptable place in the whole movie. And the warder, who is a typical British figure, is more appealing than a lot of other characters.
The prison warder, played by the late Michael Bates, is an obsolete servant of the new order. He copes very poorly with the problems around him, understanding neither the criminals nor the reformers. For all his shouting and bullying, though, he is less of a villain than his trendier and more sophisticated masters.
In your films the State is worse than the criminals but the scientists are worse than the State.
I wouldn’t put it that way. Modern science seems to be very dangerous because it has given us the power to destroy ourselves before we know how to handle it. On the other hand, it is foolish to blame science for its discoveries, and in any case, we cannot control science. Who would do it, anyway? Politicians are certainly not qualified to make the necessary technical decisions. Prior to the first atomic bomb tests at Los Alamos, a small group of physicists working on the project argued against the test because they thought there was a possibility that the detonation of the bomb might cause a chain reaction which would destroy the entire planet. But the majority of the physicists disagreed with them and recommended that the test be carried out. The decision to ignore this dire warning and proceed with the test was made by political and military minds who could certainly not understand the physics involved in either side of the argument. One would have thought that if even a minority of the physicians thought the test might destroy the Earth no sane men would decide to carry it out. The fact that the Earth is still here doesn’t alter the mind-boggling decision which was made at that time.
Alex has a close relationship with art (Beethoven) which the other characters do not have. The cat lady seems interested in modern art but, in fact, is indifferent. What is your own attitude towards modern art?
I think modern art’s almost total pre-occupation with subjectivism has led to anarchy and sterility in the arts. The notion that reality exists only in the artist’s mind, and that the thing which simpler souls had for so long believed to be reality is only an illusion, was initially an invigorating force, but it eventually led to a lot of highly original, very personal and extremely uninteresting work. In Cocteau’s film Orpheé, the poet asks what he should do. ‘Astonish me,’ he is told. Very little of modern art does that — certainly not in the sense that a great work of art can make you wonder how its creation was accomplished by a mere mortal. Be that as it may, films, unfortunately, don’t have this problem at all. From the start, they have played it as safe as possible, and no one can blame the generally dull state of the movies on too much originality and subjectivism.
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