5 December 2012 8:13 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Some of the best onscreen uses of everyone's favourite bombastic orchestral classic

Adam Scovell is a writer and film-maker who runs celluloidwickerman.com

In his ninth symphony, Beethoven put all of humanity into a piece of art. The fire, the madness, the sheer audacity was there for all to behold. In film history, many directors have used movements of the piece to subvert or comment on the realities they create.

A Clockwork Orange

Music in Kubrick's film is interesting for its importance in the narrative as well as in a non-diegetic sense. Alex the droog is as partial to a bit of Beethoven as he is to ultraviolence. The introduction to the symphony's second movement gives Alex an ecstasy as he apparently masturbates, while later in the film it becomes a pain-inducing leitmotif in his "rehabilitation".

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Nostalgia

Though the ninth is used more famously in Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker, »

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