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'This looks like a bird but no bird looks like this'

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How A Clockwork Orange killed my friendship with Stanley Kubrick
Jeremy Bernstein Scientist
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We were pretty good friends. It kind of had… we kind of had… I don't know, not exactly a falling out, but a cooling off with Clockwork Orange. I went to see the preview of Clockwork Orange and I was terribly disturbed by it. It was the uncut preview, it...was really disturbing. So he said, 'Well, how'd you like the film?' I said, 'Jesus, Stanley, I mean, you know, you can't like that film. It's… you know, it's a terrible experience to see that film'. Then he got quite annoyed with me about that and then that was sort of the end of whatever friendship we had, I'm afraid. It's a pity. And I felt like when I heard Bertrand Russell.... I heard Betrand Russell talk at Harvard and he had a disagreement with [John Maynard] Keynes, and then he said, 'Shortly thereafter, Lord Keynes died'. And I thought, 'Well, that's what happened to me'. Kubrick died. He died.

Born in 1929, Jeremy Bernstein is an American physicist, educator and writer known for the clarity of his writing for the lay reader on the major issues of modern physics. After graduating from Harvard University, Bernstein worked at Harvard and at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton. In 1962 he became an Associate Professor of Physics at New York University, and later a Professor of Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, a position he continues to hold. He was also on the staff of The New Yorker magazine.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick, Bertrand Russell, Immanuel Kant

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: 15th June 2011

Date story went live: 07 October 2011