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A Clockwork Orange

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A Clockwork Orange

Image credit: A Clockwork Orange, 1971

And now for a bit of the old Ultra-Violence. This week’s classic film A Clockwork Orange (DVD/Download) is not for the faint of heart. Believe me- I watched it on a random Tuesday night and felt like calling in sick to work the next day. It’s a film that stays with you, for better or worse.

Adapted from the novel by Anthony Burgess, this is touted as Stanley Kubrick’s most faithful adaptation of literary source material. It’s hard to believe it was made 45 years ago, although I suppose the comparison of 1970’s fresh-faced, long-haired Malcolm McDowell to today’s grumpy old man Malcolm McDowell proves that point. Set in a futuristic, dystopian version of the UK, A Clockwork Orange chronicles narrator Alex and his violent crimes against society. Of course it’ll always be remembered for the horrifying scene with Alex strapped to a chair, his eyelids ratcheted open, being forced to watch violent images in a reverse-conditioning experiment. However, as someone who has actually experienced the dreaded eyelid speculum during various retina procedures, seeing it on screen doesn’t bother me so much. I’m really more troubled by the sick, twisted appropriation of the title song from Singin’ In the Rain. I worry I’ll never be able to watch Gene Kelly twirl his umbrella without thinking of Malcolm McDowell and his fake phallic nose. *Shudder*.

Alex and his merry band of Droogs like to hang out at the Korova Milk Bar, a black-walled mod watering hole decorated with surplus mannequins from Hustler. They drink something called Milk-Plus, a concoction of milk and some additive ingredient that gets them hyped up for violent acts. I’m not sure that I really want to be lacing my cocktails with PCP, so while watching A Clockwork Orange, I recommend drinking a classic Brandy Alexander.

Brandy Alexander

1 oz fresh cream

1 oz Brandy or Cognac

1 oz Dark Crème de Cacao

Nutmeg

Shake chilled ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg.

brandy alexander

If you’ve never seen A Clockwork Orange before, it’s truly a film not one to be missed. Strange and haunting, this is Kubrick at his peak. From the Moog synthetizers to the old Ludwig van, the music pulls you in and never lets go. Which is sort of what happened to Alex, in the end. He was cured, all right. Cheers!

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