This week’s Watercooler Musical Interlude is the Title Music From A Clockwork Orange, Wendy Carlos’ opening salvo in one of the most distinctive soundtracks of all time. A synthesizer version of the march from Henry Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary written in 1695, this piece sets the dark, futuristic tone for everything that comes after it. It’s hard to think of the film without thinking of the soundtrack which mixes Carlos’ synthesizer arrangements of classical music with straight up classical recordings.

Counting the Christmas holiday, it was a pretty big week for new movies. Did anyone make it out to see anything worth talking about? Lay it on me.

8 Responses to “Clockwork Orange Cooler”

  1. Didn’t make it out this week as the family was in town visiting and my niece isn’t a fan of sitting in a movie theater (she’d rather be out playing in the snow). But I did catch Now, Voyager on TCM again (love that movie) and am currently rewatching the Star Wars saga.

    I may try to see Les Miserables tomorrow afternoon before I go to a New Year’s Eve party.

  2. Yep, Carlos’s opening salvo and score is one of the most distinctive for sure, and always a ravishing listen.

    On Saturday morning I drove Lucille and the family up to Newtown, Connecticut to leave flowers at the site of the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dickinson Drive. Set back on a slight hill, the road leading up was barricaded off, but visitors were permitted to walk up to the school building. A wire fence now encircles the one-story building, and many of the windows are now boarded. After we stayed for about ten minutes, a police car came, and an officer politely asked that people leave as heavy snow began falling. My kids will remember this as one of the saddest days they’ll ever experience, and though our intentions were of solidarity and grief, it was a very difficult trip to make.

    Lucille and I (and the kids for all except Tabu, in which we were joined by a friend)

    Les Miserables ***** (Christmas Eve and two times after that) Clifton Commons

    Django Unchained ***** (Wednesday afternoon) Secaucus multiplex

    Tabu * (Saturday night) Film Forum

    Not every shot, not every pan, not every shaky cam sequence works in LES MISERABLES, but I give Hooper all the credit for daring to leave the box, and refusing to confine this theatrical work to its roots. With one of the greatest of all Broadway scores, based on a mighty source, his version of LES MISERABLES soars on the uniformly impressive singing, two audacious directorial decisions that largely succeed and the powerful telling of a story that never loses a timeless appeal. Hathaway, Jackman, Redmayne and Barks are terrific, Seyfried is lovely, and Crowe while the weak link isn’t a serious liability the way i see and hear it. This LES MISERABLES is one of the best films of the year. DJANGO UNCHAINED was a marvelous surprise, though the over-the-top violence (really a send-up of spaghetti westerns) was not well-timed (to say the least) with all the heart-breaking tragedies of the past months. The film was a kind of Tarantinian homage to the famed European westerns of the 60?s, where a hero conmpletes herculean gunsmanship, in this case a pre-Civil War setting. Fueled by some terrific performances by Christophe Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s often hysterical and despite it’s nearly three-hour length one of the most entertaining films of 2012. It’s received some superlative reviews, but I still went in skeptical. One of the most mystifying cinematic perceptions of this past year is how it is possible that a movie as torturous and pretentious as the Portugese TABU has won over so many critics. Some interesting ideas are wasted in a film poorly paced and simplistically visualized. No narrative cohensiveness, labored humor, no emotional connection.

  3. Yep, Carlos’s opening salvo and score is one of the most distinctive for sure, and always a ravishing listen.

    On Saturday morning I drove Lucille and the family up to Newtown, Connecticut to leave flowers at the site of the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dickinson Drive. Set back on a slight hill, the road leading up was barricaded off, but visitors were permitted to walk up to the school building. A wire fence now encircles the one-story building, and many of the windows are now boarded. After we stayed for about ten minutes, a police car came, and an officer politely asked that people leave as heavy snow began falling. My kids will remember this as one of the saddest days they’ll ever experience, and though our intentions were of solidarity and grief, it was a very difficult trip to make.

    Lucille and I (and the kids for all except Tabu, in which we were joined by a friend)

    Les Miserables ***** (Christmas Eve and two times after that) Clifton Commons

    Django Unchained ***** (Wednesday afternoon) Secaucus multiplex

    Tabu * (Saturday night) Film Forum

    Not every shot, not every pan, not every shaky cam sequence works in LES MISERABLES, but I give Hooper all the credit for daring to leave the box, and refusing to confine this theatrical work to its roots. With one of the greatest of all Broadway scores, based on a mighty source, his version of LES MISERABLES soars on the uniformly impressive singing, two audacious directorial decisions that largely succeed and the powerful telling of a story that never loses a timeless appeal. Hathaway, Jackman, Redmayne and Barks are terrific, Seyfried is lovely, and Crowe while the weak link isn’t a serious liability the way i see and hear it. This LES MISERABLES is one of the best films of the year. DJANGO UNCHAINED was a marvelous surprise, though the over-the-top violence (really a send-up of spaghetti westerns) was not well-timed (to say the least) with all the heart-breaking tragedies of the past months. The film was a kind of Tarantinian homage to the famed European westerns of the 60?s, where a hero conmpletes herculean gunsmanship, in this case a pre-Civil War setting. Fueled by some terrific performances by Christophe Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s often hysterical and despite it’s nearly three-hour length one of the most entertaining films of 2012. It’s received some superlative reviews, but I still went in skeptical. One of the most mystifying cinematic perceptions of this past year is how it is possible that a movie as torturous and pretentious as the Portugese TABU has won over so many critics. Some interesting ideas are wasted in a film poorly paced and simplistically visualized. No narrative cohensiveness, labored humor, no emotional connection.

  4. Sam, we’re falling on the opposite sides of the fence this time. I thought “Les Miserables” was a punishing ordeal, a self-conscious attempt to “open up” a theatrical work, and that “Tabu” was damn near a masterpiece. I don’t want to ruin “Tabu” for other people but I thought the device used in the second half (regarding use of dialogue) was really effective, though I can see where one would find it tedious.

    On the other hand, I really liked and respected “Django Unchained”, which has two of the most audacious American performances I’ve seen this year: Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson.

  5. That’s more than fair enough Chuck. I know LES MIS has divided viewers and often in extreme terms. I could use the argument that I am a long-time advocate of teh beautiful score and the stage version (which I am!) but I do know some who loved the stage show and are in your camp with the film.

    At some point I’ll definitely give TABU another go. Your position is in the vast majority.

    Yep, agreed on DiCaprio and Jackson, and I’d add Waltz too. DJANGO was one of the most entertaining films of the year.

    Happy New Year to you and yours my friend!

  6. You too!

  7. I absolutely adored TABU. I think it captured the spirit of silent film much better than THE ARTIST. The silent auteurs were pioneers, constantly changing and challenging conventions. TABU does just that.

    And although I’m a huge fan of the musical, I think LES MISERABLES is probably the weakest of December’s major releases. I did like it though, but I didn’t feel the same connection to it as I did when I saw it on Broadway several years back. It’s really demands to be seen on stage, I think.

    I really enjoyed DJANGO as well. I think it’s Tarantino’s best film since PULP FICTION.

  8. Matthew, on this point I couldn’t disagree with you more. THE ARTIST is a masterpiece, last year’s greatest film (deserving of all the awards it has received from critics worldwide and from virtually every other awards group) while for me TABU is nothing that you describe there. THE ARTIST was deeply moving while TABU was nothing more than an interesting misfire that reeked of pretention.

    But hey, we can agree to disagree.

    I LOVED the Broadway LES MIZ too, which I did see multiple times over the years (during it’s original run and revival) and while it’s tough for any film to match that experience, this one, even with flaws, captured the spirit and the beauty of that ravishing score.

    Yep, DJANGO is probably my favorite Tarantino easily, and this is coming from someone who was not the biggest fan of his work previously.

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