Archives for posts with tag: A Clockwork Orange

More Jolly creations.

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Things my talented friend has created for me over the past year.

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An embroidered fabric patch in grey and orange, depicting the cover of Anthony Burgess’ classic book, A Clockwork Orange. This is the image from the 1972 print designed by David Pelham. One of my favourite books and films.

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An origami raven created with delicate Japanese floral print paper.

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A ‘Steampunk Softie’ produced with the aid of this book. This Softie has been customised with personal touches such as a cameo button, and even comes with a name – Lenore Veidt (named for the Edgar Allan Poe poem and the actor Conrad Veidt) – and back story: she’s a detective!

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Inspired by the current three-part BBC4 series, Sound of Cinema: The Music That Made the Movies, I decided to compile my own list of favourites. Let me know what you think and tell me your favourites.

Midnight Cowboy (1969, Schlesinger)
Whilst there are a couple of great songs in Midnight Cowboy, including the recurring sound of Fred Neil’s ‘Everybody’s Talkin”, it’s the compositions by John Barry, such as the foreboding ‘Science Fiction’ that are most resonant. The bluesy, lingering ‘Midnight Cowboy Theme’ played on harmonica elevates the music in this film from good to brilliant.

A Clockwork Orange (1971, Kubrick)
The classical score featuring re-worked pieces by Beethoven (Alex’s favourite) and Rossini is in direct contrast with the (ultra)violence in the film, which makes it all the better. ‘The Thieving Magpie’ by Rossini is put to very good use in one such scene. Alex’s death-grip stare at the beginning of the film is heightened with the use of ‘Funeral Music For Queen Mary’, and ‘Singin’ In the Rain’ will never be heard in the same way again.

Cruising (1980, Friedkin)
The soundtrack to Cruising is quite significant. As the film is set predominantly in gay clubs in the late 1970s one might expect stereotypical disco tracks. Instead it features American punk and garage acts like the Germs and the Cripples. The film struggles a bit in parts (it was subject to numerous cuts) but Al Pacino is excellent as undercover cop Steve Burns.

Christine (1983, Carpenter)
Not a brilliant film but a brilliant soundtrack. Christine is a rock ‘n’ roll lover’s dream of Richie Valens, Dion and the Belmonts, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Thurston Harris. Combined with the 1950s demonic car it’s the perfect combination. If you like this soundtrack you’ll also like American Graffiti and The Outsiders.

Betty Blue (1986, Beineix)
For me the highlight of this film is the score by Gabriel Yared. The use of the merry-go-round music (‘Maudits Maneges’) at the beginning of the film sets it up well – you know you’ll be taken on a journey, albeit a slightly deranged one that doesn’t really go anywhere. I think my favourite track from the soundtrack is ‘C’est le Vent, Betty’, which kicks in when Betty and Zorg flee their burning beach hut. It connotes a sense of freedom, romance, and recklessness, which links directly to the plot.

Casino (1995, Scorsese)
Scorsese films tend to be backed up with strong musical choices. The Casino soundtrack is a mixture of mostly 60s and 70s hits, with lots of Rolling Stones as well as the Animals, Roxy Music, Ray Charles and many more. But it’s the offbeat choices, such as the use of Devo’s cover of ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ on top of a slowed down scene of Robert De Niro making his way across the casino floor, that really surprise.

Lola Rennt aka Run Lola Run (1998, Tykwer)
A high-octane soundtrack for a high-octane movie. ‘Running One’ is an exploding techno concoction that introduces Lola to the audience as she pounds the streets of Berlin in search of 100,000 Marks to save her boyfriend’s skin. Much of the score is the director’s own conception with Franka Potente (Lola) providing vocals, which makes this film more interesting as a result.

Requiem for a Dream (2000, Aronofsky)
The music by Clint Mansell in this film complements it so well. ‘Coney Island Dreaming’ is chilling and makes a grim scene even more depressing, whilst the main theme ‘Lux Aeterna’ is truly epic. ‘Lux Aeterna’ is used throughout Requiem for a Dream and is effective in every scene.

Amelie (2001, Jeunet)
Funnily enough, a very Parisian sounding score (lots of accordion) by Yann Tiersen. This is a very uplifting soundtrack, which sums up Amelie’s joyful personality. ‘La Valse d’Amelie’ is probably the most recognisable song, but there are so many that take you straight to the top of la Tour Eiffel.

Gegen die Wand aka Head-On (2004, Akin)
Traditional Turkish music interspersed with Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy and the Birthday Party. Random but it works. If you haven’t seen this film, the main characters, Sibel and Cahit, are at odds with their traditional Turkish heritage and their current German citizenship, which makes the soundtrack more significant. The modern day action in the film often cuts to a scene of folk musicians in Istanbul, reminding us that the characters are constantly struggling with two conflicting nationalities.

My next collection was started over twenty years ago and includes brooches, pins and badges in a myriad of styles, shapes and sizes. Like hats, I feel that brooches are a very underrated and underused accessory.

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This is a real domino with a pin attached (you can buy brooch pins from craft shops or art stores). I enjoyed playing dominoes as a child, and still indulge in a game once in a while. I was surprised when an Asian man once asked me what it was as I assumed that dominoes was a worldwide game. Quite what entices me to the domino as an image I am unsure of, perhaps the balance – or imbalance – of the numbers (the numbers on the brooch have no significance). This brooch, along with the old Domino Sugar factory in Manhattan, influenced the name of this blog.

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The skating teddy is a brooch I’ve had since childhood and is a firm favourite. I love the jewel colours, especially the sapphire blue. I also love winter sports, especially ice sports, and attending the Winter Olympics is an ambition of mine.

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This is actually a collar chain, which came as part of a set of collar accessories from H&M. I usually wear this on my hand-me-down denim jacket (circa 1980). The collar pin from the set has the words ‘The City’ attached, and the use of the bowler hat and the cityscape on the yellow badge hark back to a time when people were more put together and conservatively dressed. It reminds me of one of my favourite films, A Clockwork Orange, due to the bowler hat that Alex wears, and also the high-risers.

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{Pumpkin pin and Zero badge from The Nightmare Before Christmas}

Although we don’t really celebrate it in the UK in the way our cousins in the US do, Halloween is probably my favourite holiday. When I was at primary school I couldn’t wait to dress up, and wore all kinds of costumes, from Minnie Mouse to Cleopatra. My most-loved childhood movie was The Nightmare Before Christmas, and watching this was not confined to Halloween and Christmas!

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Many of my brooches are charity fundraising pins. This particular one was issued for the British Heart Foundation and shows three paintbrushes and three hearts. Once again, I am drawn to the image of the red heart, but this also represents my growing fondness for art.