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  Words in the News
  Film maker Stanley Kubrick died at the age of seventy. His films included Clockwork Orange and The Shining. We heard from film critic John Marriot.
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A Clockwork Orange

11th March 1999

This week: Reviewing Stanley Kubrick's work

NEWS 1   He was interested in man being dehumanised, society being dehumanised, whether that was one of the early films like Paths of Glory with Kirk Douglas, one of the best anti-war films ever, in fact one of the best war films ever. Or if you take pictures like Clockwork Orange or Full Metal Jacket, he is clearly interested in men becoming machines, and becoming kind of unthinking robots. So that certainly is a kind of running theme.

dehumanised: having had human qualities taken away. De (as in dehumanise) is one of many prefixes that operate in the English language, and when added to the front of a verb it means to take away or remove. For example, 'debug' means to remove faults, from a computer programme.

anti-war: a prefix 'anti' means to be opposed to or to be against something

if you take: 'take' has the meaning here of 'consider' or 'think about'. Often used when you are giving an example

robots: in this instance a machine-like person is a robot

NEWS 2  

He was a buccaneer, he was a maverick, he was a complete obsessive. Like all complete obsessives, he went on and on and on, a bit too long. And you look at films which are more throwaway like The Shining, The Shining with Jack Nicholson would have been a great ninety minute thriller. It did very well, one of the films that did best for him because it had Jack in it. But really to go on for about 146 minutes - it didn’t warrant it. He had great difficulty with length.


buccaneer: an adventurer

maverick: an unorthodox person

he went on and on and on: when a person goes on, they continue to do or say something so much that it becomes boring

throwaway: unimportant. Often used in the phrase "a throwaway comment"

warrant: to warrant means to deserve. In this instance the critic is saying that Kubrick's film "The Shining" should have been shorter

    Read about the background in BBC News Online

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