Features and Columns

How ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Captured the Feel of the Future On-Location

Here’s a video about the real futuristic locations and artwork that Stanley Kubrick used for the production design of ‘A Clockwork Orange.’
A Clockwork Orange
By  · Published on June 8th, 2020

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A Clockwork Orange is full of dichotomies: from sophisticated psychopaths to pacifying treatments that rely on violent imagery. Likewise, A Clockwork Orange is set in a futuristic London defined by contradictions: extravagance and decay; exaggeration and realism; glitter and blood. It’s a world that is simultaneously unfamiliar and too close for comfort; a push-pull that underpins the sense of unease that defines Stanley Kubrick‘s film.

There is a simple explanation for why A Clockwork Orange‘s dystopic vision of the future feels so unflinchingly real: the film was shot entirely on location with the exception of four sets (the milk bar, the prison intake, and two rooms in the writer’s house). Armed with a library of British architectural magazines, a fleet of VW minivans, and an army of production assistants, Kubrik scouted the metro-London area like he was conducting a manhunt. The result: dilapidated casinos, experimental apartment complexes, brutalist universities, and bespoke modern homes. Supplemented with the work of pop artists and sculptors like Allen Jones and armed with a camera optimized for location shooting, Kubrick crafted a futuristic sci-fi setting with what was right in front of him.

The video essay below breaks down the real futuristic locations and artwork that Kubrick used for the production design on A Clockwork Orange. The video also details the new technologies Kubrick used in recording sound and shooting on-location.

You can watch “The Real Futuristic Art and Locations Kubrick Found for A Clockwork Orange” here:

Who made this?

Brooklyn-based CinemaTyler has been providing some of the most in-depth analysis of auteur-driven cinema on YouTube for some time now. The channel is devoted to understanding filmmaking through in-depth analysis, and you can check out their YouTube account here. CinemaTyler’s scholarship on Stanley Kubrick, particularly 2001: A Space Odyssey, is noteworthy, and absolutely worth seeking out.

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Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.