A Video Essay on A Clockwork Orange and The Master


This video compares and contrasts The Master and A Clockwork Orange, films with a common thrust: an aggressive, unruly man and the attempts made to rehabilitate and socialise them.


You can watch on YouTube by clicking the thumbnail above, or by clicking the play button below.

I've long thought The Master and A Clockwork Orange are worth putting in conversation with each other, so I cut them together to find out if there's anything to that hunch.


It's interesting to compare Alex and Freddie's sex lives, their aggression, the medical/psychological/religious treatments attempted to 'cure' them, their families, the authorities (military/police/government), and the personal compromises each character makes by the end. And how each films' nationality and setting relates to all this.


The Master's a deeply felt film, I love and feel for Freddie, and for Master. A Clockwork Orange is sharper, angrier, more cynical - or rather, it takes a more skeptical stance. But by the end - maybe because I've seen it so many times - it's possible to feel fondly towards Alex, as well as to pity and dislike him.


They're also just brilliant movies, and editing this was an opportunity to appreciate the shots and the lighting, and the sound, music and dialogue. And to remember that both are really, really, really funny.