No film in recent decades has stoked as much controversy as Natural Born Killers . No film-maker, if his critics are to be believed, has quite so. An alpine town, the Eiffel Tower, the whole Manhattan skyline China is replicating the world's architectural gems. But now Zaha Hadid would. Duangrit Bunnag's winning Suvarnabhumi extension design causes fresh copycat architecture controversy. Inspiration or imitation? 5 months.
Copycats Controversy and
David Puttnam who had previously worked with Stone on 's Midnight Express labelled it "loathsome". If the media were looking for a fall guy, they found him in Stone. To his critics, the director was a ready-made hypocrite: His film, too, was derided as hypocrisy in action: Thus the director found himself cast as a wicked Svengali, with Natural Born Killers his murderous instruction manual. Stone is not a man you would think of as a sensitive type.
Eight years on, however, he admits that the flak left him shaken. Such "nonsense" came to a head in a legal action launched against Stone and Time Warner by lawyers acting for the paralysed Byers, and publicly supported by the author John Grisham, who had been a friend of the murdered Savage.
According to the suit, the makers of Natural Born Killers were "distributing a film they knew, or should have known would cause and inspire people to commit crimes". There was, he said, a direct "causal link" between the movie and the murders. Therefore, "the artist should be required to share responsibility along with the nutcase who pulled the trigger". The Byers action was finally thrown out of court in March , and its dismissal rubber-stamped by the Louisiana court of appeal in June of this year.
Stone, who says that Time Warner lost "a lot of money" fighting the case, is mightily relieved. What are the implications for freedom of speech? You wouldn't have any film of stature being made ever again.
He compares the lawsuit to the infamous case of Dan White, the ex-cop who shot San Francisco politician Harvey Milk in He said that he had been eating too many Twinkies and that the high sugar content had prompted him to kill. He got away with a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and served five years.
But you can't blame the Twinkies in the same way that you can't scapegoat the movies. You can't blame the igniter. People can be ignited by anything. And yet this is something we're seeing more and more of in America today.
It's a culture of liability lawsuits. The whole concept of individual responsibility has been broken up and passed around. They differed philosophically on what the violence of the droogs quite means. For Burgess, and the character of the prison chaplain, it's a matter of liberty to choose between good and evil, wherever it takes us: Kubrick talked instead about how Alex "represents the id, the savage repressed side of our nature which guiltlessly enjoys the pleasures of rape", a reading for which the director had to find rampant and joyful stylistic expression.
This emphasis leaves the film open to attack on, above all, feminist grounds: His insolent charm seduces you into Alex's world of looped Ludwig Van and loopy self-gratification. For all the shocking crimes he perpetrates, it's extraordinary how much sympathy Alex still manages to elicit in the film's later stages.
Kubrick drew a comparison with Richard III, though the critic Pauline Kael pointed out that Alex's running over of small animals and raping of underage girls were penchants slyly eliminated in Kubrick's adaptation to make him more palatable. More systematically, the movie eliminates any chance of our sympathies straying elsewhere, largely through wittily horrible caricature.
Alex's parents Philip Stone and Sheila Raynor are vacillating nobodies. Meanwhile, the leftist writer Mr Alexander, beaten to the floor and forced to watch as Alex rapes his wife, becomes a mad widower in a wheelchair, played with outrageously splenetic fervour by Patrick Magee. The only subsidiary characters presented with any compassion, strangely, are the chaplain and the Minister of the Interior, who take opposite views on the choice-eradicating Ludovico treatment: Kubrick protested against the X rating it received in the States, and resubmitted it with 30 seconds trimmed out to achieve an R, permitting a wider release.
Still, even the uncut version got four Oscar nominations , including Best Picture and Director. In a statement, the brand shared, "This week, we debuted our inaugural collection with Japanese brand Kamarq. We acknowledge that certain pieces could be attributed to the work of designer Ana Kras, and out of respect for Ana, we will be removing these pieces from the collection. Kamarq is an ever-evolving brand that will strive to work with many different designers, and we remain respectful of and committed to supporting the creative community at large.
For more on copycat design, check out our features " Knock It Off! Nina Campbell on how the interior design profession has changed. Kitchen and Bath Industry Show Dacor Kitchen Theater Opening. Joanna Saltz explains her vision for the new House Beautiful. Inside Rifle Paper Co.
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