Production: USA, 1965
Director: Andy Warhol
Category: Experimental
Warhol’s bizarre (and unauthorised) interpretation of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, starring Gerard Malanga as the vicious delinquent Alex (here, called Victor), plus Edie Sedgewick, and Ondine as Scum Baby, amongst others. Malanga performs his famous “whip dance” before his arrest and subsequent deprogramming, and the whole story is given a distinct sado-masochistic twist with plenty of torture. The film is also notable for opening with Warhol’s first ever moving camera shot – a slow zoom out from Malanga’s face – although after that he reverts to his usual static camera positions (the whole 70-minute film contains only 3 takes). Warhol was not the only underground figure interested in the Burgess novel; Rolling Stones photographer Michael Cooper, along with writer Terry Southern, had also planned the first official film version of A Clockwork Orange, with Mick Jagger as Alex and the other members of The Rolling Stones as Alex’s gang of droogs. The project was eventually shelved after the screenplay was returned (apparently unread) by Britain’s Lord Chamberlain, with a note indicating that he would not allow the film to be made because it dealt with “youthful incitement”. This followed another abortive Stones film project in a similar vein, a proposed adaptation of David Wallis’ teen apocalypse novel Only Lovers Left Alive. Photographer David Bailey – who shot the “Satanic” group shots used for the cover of the US release of “Jumping Jack Flash” in 1968 – was also touting his own film idea for a while, a project with the Ballardian title The Assassination Of Mick Jagger.

Posted by Captain Nightshade

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