Modern Culture25 Aug 2009 03:34 pm
Any movie buff worth his salt has seen Stanley Kubrick’s classic, A Clockwork Orange (1971), the trippy adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s dystopic novel of the same name. However, few of even the most diehard cinephiles know that Andy Warhol also adapted ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ in the black-and-white 1965 experimental film, Vinyl, staring Factory mainstays Edie Sedgwick and Gerard Malanga. Vinyl is often credited as featuring Sedgwick’s debut (she has no speaking role in the film), but she actually had previously appeared in a handful of earlier, even lesser known works of Warhol. However, Sedgwick was allegedly so magnetic and beautiful to look at during filming, that Warhol subsequently decided to make her a star.
There is some debate regarding whether Warhol was able to purchase the rights to ‘A Clockwork Orange’ before filming. Some claim that Warhol purchased the rights to the novel from Burgess (for a paltry $3,000.00), while others allege that he was unable to score the rights, and thus elected to make his own unofficial loose “interpretation” of the novel. Either way, Vinyl hardly even bears a passing resemblance to its source material; only a few selected scenes of violence and the “brain-washing cure” are culled directly from the novel. Filmed in one day on a shoestring budget, the actors did not even rehearse their scenes before shooting. Suffice it to say, the film was never released commercially, and has garnered universally lackluster reviews from those who have seen it. In sum, Vinyl is worth a watch if you are a diehard Warhol or Sedgwick fan. If you do not fall into this camp, stick with Kubrick’s version, or if you are feeling really brave, take a crack at the novel.
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