SCREEN-L Archives

August 1995, Week 5


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
NORMAN TAYLOR <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 29 Aug 1995 23:27:16 EDT
text/plain (69 lines)
On Monday 28 Aug Tony Williams asked us to consider Kubrick's perspective:
>If you directed a complex film with overtones of violence would you want your
smeared on the front page of Rupert Murdoch's THE SUN (along with the NEWS OF
THE WORLD, THE STAR, DAILY MIRROR and all the mind-polluting tabloids in the
U.K. - plus the abysmal level of market-forces television now endemic) and see
it distorted,
defiled, trashed out of all recognition without having the benefit of an
intelligent discussion?<
If I directed a film that I believed in, then frankly my dear I wouldn't give a
damn about what
the likes of Murdock's mind-numbing minions thought.  And like I said; every
artist runs the
risk of being misunderstood.  But don't get me wrong.  Let me say that I agreed
Kubrick's action originally - especially in the light of what Mick Broderick
says about the
decision to withdraw the film stemming from repeated death threats against
Kubrick's family (by
rightwing 'moral watchdogs') and a legal defence "mounted by thugs to try and
argue in court
cause-and-effect after watching the film."(Tues, Aug 29)  Kubrick's gesture was
to treat the
UK with the childish punishment it deserved - slap their hands and take the ball
away before
more windows are broken (to extend my metaphor).  As for what Tony Williams
calls "a British society now noted for crudeness, vulgarity, viciousness, and
right-wing reaction."  This is true from inside the UK, but after spending some
time in the US I get the impression that it is
viewed as a quaint little enclave that actually believes the Murdock comics that
countries (yes, like America) relegate to the supermarket checkout queue.
Despite the
British electorate's obsession with voting in the same people who have been
punishing them
(by striving to keep things the same) for the last 15 years or so, things have
moved on apace
since 1971.  Oliver Stone, for example, did not suffer from having NBK - a work
that is
arguably just as complex, and with more than a smattering of violence
contributing to claims
of copy-cat violence - smeared by the British "mind-polluting" tabloids.  Stone
Murdock at his own game (and perhaps there is an inherent danger here).  And,
lets face it,
the violence in ORANGE is going to seem pretty tame to 1996 audiences, which
will have
the benefit of hindsight to aid an interpretation of its polemic.  It may be
old, but maybe it still
has the power to change things.
So my point is that the effectiveness of Kubrick's original gesture has worn
off, and the
"benefit of an intelligent discussion" is only being prevented now by Kubrick
"Perhaps he is waiting for a change in society???"  Hey, Stanley, how about
having another
go at trying to make it change.
Norman Taylor
Bristol  UK
To signoff SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message.  Problems?  Contact [log in to unmask]