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More able students may ID that the depiction of women is just as important as the construction of the scene – and that only by changing how women are depicted can a male gaze be lessened
Lesson 17 women and aco (ob)
Working alone, make a list of adjectives you
would use to describe women in A Clockwork
Look at the screenshot on your handout
How are women introduced to the audience?
How are the audience positioned to view
A word or phrase naming an
‘A Descriptive word’ my brothers (&
During the opening shot
women are introduced as
adornment, decoration rather
than functioning characters.
This is a direct result of the
Women are reduced to objects
to be looked at and used
The first real women we see is
being used as a sex object
Does this representation remain true throughout the film?
(think of specific examples)
Why do you think Kubrick introduces women this way?
(think back to why we are UNABLE to align with Joker in FMJ)
This lessons contains images that some viewers may find
If at any point you wish to leave you may do so
Shocking Cinema deals with issues that are intended to shock,
scare, make you feel sick etc
Identify the ‘male gaze’
Analyse the ‘Home Invasion’ scene and apply
the ‘male gaze’
Evaluate the role of the ‘male gaze’ in our
alignment with Alex
THE ‘MALE GAZE’
In 1975 Laura Mulvey published ‘Visual Pleasure and the
Narrative Cinema’ – a study not only focusing on the
representation of women in film, but also their role in the
narrative of film
“Sees the representation of women in film
and literature (and therefore society in
general) as being dominated by a male point
of view. Her belief is that the world is a
patriarchy and that men have the ‘active’
roles and women ‘passive’”
Mulvey believes that all audiences must view film from
the perspective of a heterosexual male – or from ‘The
THE ‘MALE GAZE’
Mulvey goes on to say that the role of female
characters in a narrative serves two purposes:
1. As an erotic object for the characters within the
2. As an erotic object for the spectator within the
As a result, women that are seen in film are not signifying real
women, but rather the idea of women which is often
fetishised, in the male unconscious
Do you think this is true of A Clockwork Orange?
Why do we adopt Alex’s view of women?
Watch the following sequence and make notes
How is the spectator encouraged to ‘align’
with the character of Alex?
How does this scene reflect ‘The Male Gaze’?
THE MALE GAZE
The older man/young wife is an immediate reference to
the male gaze.
She initially refuses to open the door, until told to by her
The attack that follows is presented form the point of view
of several men, but the female character is denied a POV
We are implicated with the attack through the repeated
use of POV and as we ‘gaze’ at the scene
We gaze at the screen which depicts the nude female form
and male dominance
As a spectator, Kubrick never allows us to see how it feels
to be sexually assaulted, but rather how it feels to commit
SICK TO YOUR GUTTY-WUTS
Working in pairs, can you create a list of the ways that
the Home Invasion scene could have been reshot so the
male gaze does not apply?
Do you think we are able to escape the male gaze, or is the
only way to view a film?
How does the director appeal to our alignment with Alex and
encourage us to give him allegiance?
Now that we are aligned with Alex and accepted his point of view,
our loyalty for him grows and leads to allegiance
At this point it is hard for the spectator to reject Alex and we are
more likely to give him (over other characters) our allegiance
Watch the following sequence and make notes on following:
During the interrogation of Alex, we are
positioned to adopt his point of view through
Alex is out numbered and bullied by the police
officers & his Headmaster (symbols of
He has been stripped of his mask and cod piece,
visual signifiers of his masculinity
He now appears weaker and more vulnerable to
The police officer and Headmaster are
continually shown through low angle POV shots
connoting dominance and control over Alex
and author of
‘Is the gaze
male?’ E. Ann
The most impressive aspect of the film is the
way in which it reverses the gaze back on the
spectator, and punishes the male spectator for
his voyeurism. As we are implicated in the
acts of violence we are ‘caught’ when Alex is
caught, and ‘punished’ along with Alex, for
the deeds committed under our watch...
The spectator has been partaking in Alex’s
domination of the female
As a result of our Alignment with Alex we are implicated in the
brutal violence and murder as we experience it through his
point of view
Do you think this is true?
THE ‘LUDIVIGO’ TECHNIQUE
What the following scene and consider:
How is Alex being punished?
How is this punishment transferred to the spectator?
Throughout this scene we are gazing at Alex as he is
The spectator is being ‘punished’ for their
participation in the acts of violence against women
The treatment of Alex is made uncomfortable for the
spectator as we have to endure the punishment of
Both the spectator and Alex are denied the pleasure
of the images themselves
The only other spectators, the male doctors, are able
to enjoy the images with out the expectation of
THE ‘LUDOVICO’ TECHNIQUE
HE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER...
Who felt happy/relieved when Alex was returned to his old self
at the end of the film?
If we (the spectator) are aligned with Alex, implicit in his
violence and punished with him, we must share his feelings
when he is cured?
At the end of the film, Alex’s treatment is reversed and he is
returned to his old ultra violent self
The up lifting music and depiction of ‘violence as enjoyable’
returns both Alex and us
The MALE GAZE is also returned and we can now share Alex’s
view – Women are erotic objects – and we are HAPPY!
At the bottom of the
page you will see a
You must write one
answering one of
Pick a MAC and navigate to the
Following the ‘Male Gaze’ link here:
During ‘Home Invasion’ how is spectator implicit in the attack?
During the treatment scene, how is the spectator punished?
During the finale, how are both Alex and the spectator rewarded?
If you complete the task, move on to task 2:
Read through some of the comments on the page
Pick the comments you feel are best and use them to create a
complete analysis of the male gaze in a Clockwork Orange
Write a short introduction and conclusion and then post your
work on to the blog:
A Clockwork Orange
The Male Gaze