Saw a Takashi Miike picture called The Great Yokai War. "Yokai" is a Japanese term for monsters from folklore, as opposed to the more familiar kaiju. It's a kids' picture, about a young boy from Tokyo sent out to live in the countryside with his older sister and his intermittently senile grandfather. When a vengeful spirit appears, the boy gets caught up in a war between warring groups of yokai and must find his courage to become the "Kirin Rider", the hero who will set everything to rights. It's not a bad picture - nothing deep, but an amusing story. Some of the yokai are really trippy, Japanese folklore can get pretty "out there", apparently.

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Great musical and great song. Sad to hear it's been made into something violent. Was it used in a crime movie?

It was used three times in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.

Was planning to see that some day but if it makes it difficult to enjoy a film I enjoy then I won't.

It was interesting that Debbie Reynolds didn't do the singing for Jean Hagen, Hagen actually did her own singing, and Reynolds was the one faking it.

It was not my intention to dissuade you (or anyone else) from seeing A Clockwork Orange. A Clockwork Orange is one of three movies that have had the most actual impact on my life (the other two being M*A*S*H and Star Wars).

Both the movie and book A Clockwork Orange are excellent and important. Different experiences, I found, which only accentuates the whole thing.

Jeff, you probably know that the teen slang in A Clockwork Orange is a corruption of Russian (implying that the Soviets were heavily influencing the England of the book, possibly having won the Cold War). Here's a funny thing: The Russian word for teenager is "podrostok," which isn't used in the book. Instead, the teen language was called "nadsat." Do you know why?

In Russian counting, the numbers between 10 and 20 are achieved by taking the numbers 1-9 and adding "nadsat" to the end of the them,  which in some way indicates "+ 10." (Russian for "and 10" would be "ee dessyat," so I don't know where the construction comes from.) One is "odeen," 11 is "odeennadsat." Two is "dvye," 12 is "dvyenadsat." And so on.

Translated literally then, "nadsat" is "teen" in English -- ergo, the "nadsat" slang.

That's just one of the many clever touches Burgess dropped in to give his created world incredible verisimilitude.

I didn’t know that. Thanks!

Anthony Burgess’ book is very deliberately written in 21 chapters, 21 representing coming of age. The 21st chapter of the book was the most important in terms of theme, and it was published with 21 chapters in countries all around the world… except in the United States. The U.S. publisher considered that chapter to be “veddy veddy British” and printed copies without the final chapter! When Stanley Kubrick went to make the movie, even though it was filmed in England, adapted the U.S. version of the book, which, like the movie, ends with an unrepentant Alex declaring, “I was cured, all right!" Since 1986, all U.S. versions of the book include the 21st chapter.

And I didn't know that, so we're even!

Several things here that I didn't know, either. I recently watched the movie on BluRay, and found it just as powerful (and disturbing) as when it came out. The invented world is compelling, and the casual violence still retains its ability to shock.

I have read literally every book Burgess wrote except for A Clockwork Orange--I was just too put off by the polyglot Russian slang. I'll have to remedy that, and now I'll know to look for 21 chapters.

I wouldn't call the earlier Blair Witch sequel "run of the mill,' but it wasn't very good, either. The fake documentary, Curse of the Blair Witch is the one that I found most compelling/disturbing, even knowing it was fake when I watched it. It was supposed to be the first half of the movie, and the "found footage," the second half. The filmmakers found the "found footage" compelling on its own, and released a movie just made from it, using the "documentary" to promote the movie.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

BLAIR WITCH: I saw this on VHS somewhat after the Fact, along with an accompanying “documentary” VHS. It was a unique film at the time and I enjoyed it, but I never watched it a seond time although I own it. I don’t think anyone has mentioned it yet, but there has already been a Blair Witch sequel, just a run-of-the-mill teenage slasher-type film.

I really hope you take another look at the book despite the nadsat slang, Mark -- it's worth it. Most of it is pretty intuitive through context anyway, but there are editions with glossaries in the back, so look for one of those.

Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) said:

Several things here that I didn't know, either. I recently watched the movie on BluRay, and found it just as powerful (and disturbing) as when it came out. The invented world is compelling, and the casual violence still retains its ability to shock.

I have read literally every book Burgess wrote except for A Clockwork Orange--I was just too put off by the polyglot Russian slang. I'll have to remedy that, and now I'll know to look for 21 chapters.

A few years after The Blair Witch project, each of the two directors put out his own mildly entertaining film.  I think they were both direct to video and neither made it to bluray but I enjoyed them:

Daniel Myrick made Believers which is an eerie drama about a doomsday cult and Eduardo Sanchez put out a creepy sci-fi/horror flick called Altered which has kind of a reverse alien abduction plot. Not classics by any means, but the worst way to spend a few hours. 

..

“I recently watched the movie on BluRay, and found it just as powerful (and disturbing) as when it came out. The invented world is compelling, and the casual violence still retains its ability to shock.”

The juxtaposition of the violence and “Singin’ in the Rain” is both compelling and repulsive.

“I have read literally every book Burgess wrote except for A Clockwork Orange--I was just too put off by the polyglot Russian slang.”

Here’s a suggestion: try reading it aloud. When I read it for the first time (of many), I had a little trouble with the slang, too, despite having seen the movie multiple times and having no trouble with it there. When I grew tired of beating my bruised and kroovy rookers against unfair Bog in his heaven, I made up my razoodocks to read it aloud, then went off on my oddy knocky to enjoy some real horrorshow violence and dirty twenty-to-one.

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