Similarities – Funeral Parade of Roses and A Clockwork Orange

It’s a fact – A Clockwork Orange emulated the visual style of several scenes and elements of Funeral Parade of Roses, which came out several years earlier in 1969. This article will discuss the similarities between the two, and my overall impressions of said “borrowing.”
First of all, this article is not meant to say that A Clockwork Orange is a bad film because of this – the films’ plots and overall constructions of timespace are vastly different, and ACO is still a brilliant film. And besides, many people who have seen Funeral Parade of Roses did so because they heard about how much Kubrick loved and used things from the film.
First there’s the sped-up long take set to electronic, happy classical music. FPR uses it during a scene in which some “businessmen” conducting some kind of illegal operation have to split the scene. They pack up and leave while an electronic version of Orpheus in the Underworld (a.k.a. “the can-can song”) plays.  Sped-up montages set to carnival music of “Did You Ever See A Lassie” are used in two other scenes in the film as well.  In ACO, Alex has an orgy with two girls he picked up at the music store while Wendy Carlos’ electronic version of the William Tell overture plays.  This could be a coincidental similarity, though: the scene in ACO had to be sped up so as to make less of the gratuitous nudity in the scene (even though the film still got slapped with an “X” rating in the end).
Second similarity – art for violence. When Eddy and Leda have their parody “duel” scene in FPR, there are several cuts to the disturbing “mask” artwork from the gallery Eddy was in earlier in the film – presumably to convey the violence of the moment.  In ACO, when Alex fights with the cat lady and kills her with the giant phallus statue, there are some cuts to modern art (presumably from the walls of her house) following the impact.
Third similarity – fake eyelashes.  Eddy has prominent fake eyelashes like every good mod girl-boy. Alex has the same mod kind of fake eyelashes on one eye.  They give a very scary impression especially during the infamous Kubrick stareTM in the film’s opening sequence:

This similarity could also be a coincidence.  Alex is not a transvestite like Eddy, who probably “needs” the eyelashes to look more like a girl.  But there is a similar brief shot (although not nearly as dramatic as ACO’s opening) in FPR where Eddy looks up and lowers the glass he has been drinking from:

So, judge for yourself which are coincidences.

Just see both films before you start dissing one or the other. They’re both INCREDIBLE.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: