“Vanguard – The foremost or leading position in a trend or movement.”
Enjoy symbolism through stark depictions of violence, filmed with scrupulous attention to detail for the sake of emotional release and other psychological effects? Thank Stanley Kubrick. Without him there would be no Haneke, no Von Trier etc. Even Pasolini’s Salo would NEVER have been filmed if it weren’t for the massive sensation that “A Clockwork Orange” had caused a few years earlier. Kubrick was a boundary breaker, not in the sense of experimenting with how boring a film could be while still considering it watchable, but rather with what a viewer could consider watchable while simultaneously having their sensibilities utterly destroyed. Numerous icons of the French New-Wave were absolutely appalled by the film upon it’s release. Supposedly, Jacques Demy even cried after seeing it. But realistically, were they offended, or is it fair to consider the possibility that they just couldn’t comprehend the fact that they could never personally create something so wild and mind-blowing? Something that dug so deep into the rawest elements of the human condition, that most people could never bare to explore those parts within themselves in order to put the vision onto film. After all, human beings often respond to intimidation with hostility. Otherwise they would have reacted to it with indifference, rather than so much blabbering. Keep in mind Kubrick never felt the need to answer back to any of their criticism, the film speaks for itself. And is it coincidental that the non loud mouth French New-Wavers, who made it perfectly clear they have no inferiority complexes fueling their work (ie Truffaut, Resnais) absolutely loved it? This is one of the most out there narrative films I’ve ever watched, and is an eccentric classic regardless of how many people who live outside the esoteric film realm see it. 5 stars, and a great way for people unfamiliar with film as an art form to be introduced.