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The metaphor of dance in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket

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Abstract:

This article is centred on the role of music in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Full Metal Jacket (1987). In these films music becomes audible and images seem to emanate from it. Dialogue and voice-over seem to be used, in the majority of cases, in the same way as music, because they are adopted for their rhythm, for their signifier, and not for their signified. The mise-en-scène, the editing, the dialogue and voice-over seem to obey the rhythm of music. Moreover, thanks to these cinematic features, the style of the source novels A Clockwork Orange (Burgess, [1962] 2000) and The Short-Timers (Hasford, [1979] 1980) is, respectively, translated and highlighted in A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket. Thus, these two films become emblematic examples of the director’s deep sensibility to the style of the adapted books.

Keywords: Burgess; Clarke; Hasford; Kubrick; adaptation; music

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jafp.5.1.51_1

Affiliations: University of Bergamo

Publication date: May 8, 2012

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  • Adaptation, or the conversion of oral, historical or fictional narratives into stage drama has been common practice for centuries. In our own time the processes of cross-generic transformation continue to be extremely important in theatre as well as in the film and other media industries. Adaptation and the related areas of translation and intertextuality continue to have a central place in our culture with a profound resonance across our civilisation.
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