The Horrorshow Sinny “A Clockwork Orange”: Stanley Kubrick’s Subversive Defense of Free Will

In A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick means to make you uncomfortable.  The magic of the film is that it can show terrible things and then making us care about the mind of the man responsible for them.  Kubrick accomplishes this titanic task through three main techniques, each of which will be detailed in this piece:  heightened stylization, a uniquely likeable non-hero in Alex, and the unification of every aspect of the film into a potent thematic statement:  Free Will is sacrosanct.  These aspects make A Clockwork Orange an undeniable classic film, as important today for what it reveals about humanity as it was in 1971.

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The Time Has Come to Make a Choice, Mr. Anderson: “The Matrix” and Romantic Realism

The Matrix is replete with allusions to classic philosophical ideas.  The plot references Plato’s Cave and the world of forms, Descartes’ First Meditation and the evil demon, and Hilary Putnam’s “brain in a vat” scenario – all ruminations on the nature of reality and the possibility that we only perceive an illusion.  The film also considers the tension between free will and determinism, mostly conveying its stance on this fundamental philosophical issue not through long-winded discussion, but through an essential tenet of Romanticism:  the plot hinges on the genuine choices made by its characters.

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