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August 1995, Week 5


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 27 Aug 1995 11:10:26 CST
text/plain (41 lines)
Forwarded by Jeremy Butler.
______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Author:  NORMAN TAYLOR <[log in to unmask]>
Date:    8/27/95 11:26 AM
On Aug 21 Tony Williams wrote:
>A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is not officially banned in England. Stanley Kubrick>
<has withdrawn it from theatrical and video release. He is fed up with the>
<ways in which it is usually reductively understood, especially in being>
<regarded as the first "video nasty." England is now one of the most>
<censored countries in the world. The cultural level has really declined>
<after 16 years of Thatcherism and the increasing domination of Rupert>
<Murdoch on media and newspapers.>
 <Kubrick basically withdrew his work in despair at what is going on.>
I fully agree with Tony's assessment of the censorship/ cultural situation in
the UK, but Kubrick's action on ORANGE is a separate issue.   Culturally
speaking the film is a landmark whatever your views on it, but my average UK
film/ cultural studies students do not even know it is there.  Of course there
are plenty of bootleg copies floating about with dutch or french, german etc.
subtitles, but I cannot show these.  Since Kubrick holds the rights to it, and
has recently prosecuted a private film club and prevented Channel Four from
showing extracts, I am unable to take the risk of him finding out and sueing the
pants off me.  Of course I can understand Mr. Kubrick's frustration.  But every
artist has to take the risk of having his/her work misunderstood.  Now if he had
restricted its showing to educational institutions only . . .
By behaving like thepetulant kid in the play ground who won't let you play with
his ball, Mr Kubrick is contributing to the very situation that he purports to
deplore in the UK.
Norman Taylor
Bristol  UK
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