Category Archives: Films

The Closing Lines at the End of The Road


As the year 2010 is drawing to a close, The Poplar Tree has decided to file one last post on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

At the very end of The Road the novel closes on an image of brook trout: “They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their back were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again.”

In his closing prophetic lines, McCarthy is reminding us about the fragility of life and the brook trout image represents man’s knowledge of the world; everything we know about time and evolution can be held in the palm of our hand, and is symbolised by the patterns on a trout’s back. Humans unlike any other living being can trace its history and creation back to the earliest details, from the evolution of apes to bits of flint left for millennia under layers of earth in a cave.  It’s astounding to sit and think for a moment about how much history is bound to a little piece of flint or arrowhead – we can glean such a lot from such little things. At the end of The Road, the image of the brook trout is like the piece of flint on a cave floor because it too represents evolution, and more importantly, predates humanity itself. Continue reading

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Missing Thumbs in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road continued…

A couple of months ago The Poplar Tree composed a blog entry in response to the above question – since then there has been a phenomenal response and the comments beneath the entry run far below it. I encourage everyone to read the comment left this evening by ‘Kebman’ – it offers a completely new view on ‘missing thumbs’ which I hope will incite more debate. https://thepoplartree.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/a-few-thoughts-on-missing-thumbs-in-cormac-mccarthy%E2%80%99s-the-road/

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Stanley Kubrick: A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of A Clockwork Orange was released to a furore of controversy surrounding its depictions of gang violence and rape. Nominated for 4 Oscars, Anthony Burgess later viewed the film with disdain saying, “The over-exposure meant that people could talk about it at cocktail parties without having read it.”

Singing In The Rain

But A Clockwork Orange is worthy of such notoriety – whether its author approves or not. It is a film of its time and can be viewed for the 1960s zeitgeist alone. It opens in the Korova milkbar where Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell) and his droogs are sipping on ‘Moloko plus drencom’ (milk plus drugs). The Korova is a gaudy bar with obscene female mannequins posing as furniture, adorned with giant Barbarella-style bouffants that wouldn’t go amiss in Manchester’s Pop Boutique. Continue reading

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