On ITV4 tonight at 10pm
If you visited Movie Talk yesterday you probably noticed that I was having a Victor Meldrew style moan about my experiences of contemporary teen speak. Well, look at what’s showing tonight. I don’t believe it!
Famously withdrawn for years because of its controversial subject matter, this Stanley Kubrick movie adaptation of the futuristic novel by Anthony Burgess, is a perfect illustration of how youngsters assert independence from mainstream society by creating their own independent languages.
It stars Malcolm MacDowell as violent young thug Alex DeLarge who is arrested and reconditioned using a revolutionary form of mind control. Once he is released back into society, Alex is rendered powerless when his former victims begin to exact their revenge on him.
In writing his novel, Anthony Burgess chose to use a unique youth language (Nadsat) to emphasize narrator Alex’s independence from society. Apparently, he avoided the use of contemporary street slang and chose to create his own language so that it wouldn’t age.
The use of Nadsat in the film isn’t as pronounced as that in the novel. Kubrick toned it down to make the film more accessible.
If you want to learn to speak Nadsat, click here.