Cinemalphabet: B is for Barry Lyndon
Barry Lyndon is the Kubrick film audiences and critics deserved – measured, sterile and utterly precise after the mess they made of his polarizing 1971 masterpiece A Clockwork Orange. Lost in the endless and ongoing debates over cultural violence, misogyny and dystopian visions of human interaction were conversations regarding the artistry of the film. As a Kubrick scholar and a feminist, at times I find the discourse surrounding the problematic aspects of the film and source material a bit exhausting. It’s a film about bad people who do bad things and do so with seeming impunity. I’m not exactly sure how you depict that without showing some of those bad things. And seriously, do we have to preface every conversation with these criticisms? This is not to suggest I haven’t gotten my own licks in as it relates to A Clockwork Orange. Certainly feminist whiners who can get past the erasure of race on Mad Men, the ableism and race fail on Glee can cut Kube and his A Clockwork Orange a little slack. Or maybe they can’t. Oh yeah, I called them a bunch of whiners.