Monday, July 04, 2011

Clockwork Orange on UK TV!

hey everyone

in an unusual move, i offer thanks to Mr John "Payney" Payne for alerting me about this most curious incident!

as has been discussed at length, and indeed around the world, the relationship between Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece of a film adaptation of the novel A Clockwork Orange and the UK has been a strained, mythical and certainly controversial one. i say has, for it seems that it has finally become a normal one with news that the film was broadcast on standard, "free to air" terrestrial television over the weekend!

i mean, sure, it was on subscription satellite tv about ten years ago, but this is something quite different and worth noting.

this incident reminds me of all the trouble caused by trying to see A Clockwork Orange in the UK prior to the sad passing of Stanley Kubrick in 1999. a good friend of mine obtained a reasonable, 2nd generation tape of the USA release in the early 90s. infamously, of course, the celebrated Scala cinema in London decided to hold a screening of the film in 1993. they were quite aware of the implications, advertising it only as a "mechanical, fruity masterpiece". Kubrick instructed Warner to sue the cinema for holding this screening and the fine they got led to the closure of the cinema for a while.

any sympathy you have for the Scala cinema trying to bring an important artistic work to an audience should, however, quickly evaporate when you remember that, all of a week after the passing of Stanley Kubrick, they pushed to be allowed to screen the film legally, as they were, as far as they were concerned "now an indelible and important part of the mythology of the film".

as for ITV screening it, well, an interesting choice of Sunday evening entertainment. i would imagine that anyone who had wished to see the film in the UK would by now have done so - from 2000 onwards it has been freely available in the UK on video and DVD. it also, as i recall, had a rather successful cinema run around that time too.

it must have been particularly odd watching Kubrick's masterpiece punctuated with adverts too, to be honest. i had always assumed that if it ever aired on UK TV it would have found a natural home and target audience on BBC2. guess not!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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