Some of the debate here might be clarified with reference to Charles
Barr's seminal article on English critics' response to STRAW DOGS and
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE,  in Screen, Summer 1972. Barr makes the case
against Clockwork Orange because Kubrik delberately distances the
viewer from the violence; Straw Dogs is better, because we as
audience, are implicated in the violence and  are forced into an
uncomfortable proximity with it. I agree. ORANGE is a poor film
because in the end we want Alex to resume his thuggery if only
because the treatment is so dreadful and inhuman; Peckinpah is far
more ambiguous about violence, admitting some exultation in it, but
also showing us the awful consequences. As for adopting the treatment
techniques shown in ORANGE for real, it makes me ashamed to subscribe
to the same list as some of these people.
Department of Film and Television Studies
University of Warwick
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