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Vinyl (1965)

 |  Sci-Fi  |  4 June 1965 (USA)
5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 586 users  
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Warhol's strange interpretation of "A Clockwork Orange." Includes Gerard dancing to the Martha and the Vandellas classic "Nowhere to Run" and being tortured by professional sadists.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tosh Carillo ...
Larry Latrae
Gerard Malanga ...
J.D. McDermott ...
Cop
Ondine ...
Jacques Potin ...
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Edie Sedgwick
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Storyline

Loosely based on Anthony Burgess's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, VINYL tells the story of Victor (Gerard Malanga), a "JD", who is betrayed to the police by his sidekick, Scum Baby (Bob Olivo, aka Ondine), and after being tortured by The Doctor (Tosh Carillo), becomes a useful member of society. Written by Wheeler Winston Dixon

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4 June 1965 (USA)  »

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Connections

Referenced in Factory Girl (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Tired of Waiting For You
Written by Ray Davies
Performed by The Kinks
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Warhol's most movieish movie
4 April 1999 | by (los angeles) – See all my reviews

Warhol's adaptation (for lack of a more shambling word) of Anthony Burgess' A CLOCKWORK ORANGE begins with a giant closeup of the glowering droog antihero, then moves backward to reveal him narcissistically preening while a crowd of poshy socialites sits blithely by. If this sounds familiar, it's because it's the same opening Stanley Kubrick designed for his version of the book--except that Warhol, working on a sub-Z budget, could only zoom backward, not track.

VINYL is staged in what seems to be a corner of Andy's Factory loft, where a knot of S&M kidnappers, languid dilettantes, plainclothesmen and JD's act out Burgess' fable of a thug's "cure" through mind control. The moralizing of Burgess' novel gets instantly burned away in the wake of a kooky combination of elegant minimalist mise-en-scene, rough-trade heavy breathing, and the usual Warholian giggling at seemingly blithe freaks and damaged goods

Some of the picture lags under the burden of Ronald Tavel's clunky sixties-off-Broadway writing, but the first sequence is sheer amazement--climaxing with the droog Gerard Malanga's motto-delivering monologue (a pinnacle among Warhol is-this-supposed-to-be-bad? scenes) and his nutty chicken dance to Martha and the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Hide"--played all the way through, twice. (The start-up of rendition #2 gets the movie's biggest laugh.)

As always in Warhol, the stasis of the image gives the picture the feeling of a window onto eternity. And the combination of extreme glamour and fox-in-the-henhouse cruelty, framed in compositions that recall heads in a vise, suggests the excitement this work must have had for an ambitious young Bavarian actor-playwright named Rainer Werner Fassbinder.


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