Kubrick is a Horse of Perfection

Kubrick’s genius comes from the way he plays and manipulates with all the small things. To some filmmakers, sound is thought to be irrelevant for cinema is all about the shot and all about the illusion of movement, because all a camera is device that takes pictures and when put under a light bulb moving at 24 frames per second we get the illusion that people are moving. Films that did not have sound such as the early works of Buster Keaton and Chaplin had their own genius for the main effect would be visual in acting, or in movement.


The beauty of sound in A Clockwork Orange is the underlying irony riding on it’s back like a jockey on a horse. I’m going to run with that metaphor. Just as a jockey is small and to some meaningless (I mean who was the guy that rode Sea Biscuit?), the jockey is important none-the-less. Sound is the same way, one does not pay attention to it as much as the visual content presented but it influences the out come of the film. Sound can make or break a film, and so could an unorthodox jockey, imagine Dim from the movie as a jockey he would literally break the horse not because of his stupidity or his bulldog looking appearance but mainly because he is a husky lad (sound could also over power). Kubrick is the horse of perfection; he has done the training and is ready for the race. He has perfected the details,(the race has begun) he has made Beethoven’s work a motif through out, (Kubrick is coming from behind) he has made the sound psychologically unsettling, (Kubrick takes the lead) he has got me in the sick head of Alex, and back out, and back in (I guess that is the old in and out). But more than all he worked with the details such as the doorbell that ring’s in the writers home, is no other than Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. ( Kubrick wins! “Hey I won, where’s my Oscar?”)


2 thoughts on “Kubrick is a Horse of Perfection

  1. Your use of wordplay here is undeniably entertaining.

    Sound is not only important to the film in order to perceive the current situation, but also powerful in its form to evoke all sorts of emotion from the viewer. However, although I do understand your metaphor between sound and director (jockey and horse, respectively) neither will suffice alone without the other. Yes, Kubrick put sound on his back and took it for one hell of a ride in A Clockwork Orange, however just like a jockey (no matter who it is) their has to be some sort of relationship between the horse and its rider.

    I believe shots, angles, and sound are all equally important in a film if each are used correctly to portray a certain situation. Even in Chaplin and Keaton there were no sound in the usage of words but, music added to the actors sharp movements and distinct facial expressions.

    So although the horse races along the track racing for the win, the jockey is there to continue its motivation to move forward (using a riding crop), to know when exactly along the race to motivate the horse the most, and most importantly direct the horse towards the railings or towards the opposite side if it wants more space (camera shot).

    Oscar nomination granted.

  2. Sea Biscuit is a horse? I always thought it was a film about a small bed and breakfast overlooking the ocean. Which made watching it rather confusing.

    Sound, I would say, is the metaphorical icing on the cake. It can either perfect the experience, or overpower it, and you are correct, Kubrick does sound in this film very well. Actually, let us give credit where credit is due, he does sound well in every film.

    Beethoven’s 5th is a very angry, brutal, and unorthodox symphony, one that perfectly matches and even foreshadows the writer, a yet-to-be revealed vengeful revenant. And of course, the omnipresent theme of the 9th, which is, as you have mentioned, cruelly ironic in all its forms.

    One more interesting musical note, the main “Clockwork Orange” Theme contains repeated fragments of “Dies Irae”, (which can be heard in full at the beginning of The Shining) a haunting Catholic chant for the dead.

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