By Michael YEGHIAYAN
Film aficionados gathered in Glendale on Tuesday evening, packing the historic Alex Theatre for the rare opportunity to watch a transcendent piece of classic cinema that was preceded by words of insight from the film’s star and another of Hollywood’s most respected actors.
Malcolm McDowell and Gary Oldman shared the Alex’s center stage to discuss Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” revealing facts and anecdotes about the film’s production and its reclusive and eccentric director that brought fresh insight for even the most dedicated of fans.
McDowell himself was a dynamic personality, keeping the audience captivated with a clever and playful storytelling style that left the sold-out theatre clamoring for more. His chemistry with Oldman brought out the best in both actors and their mutual respect for each other was on full display.
Among the evening’s many topics were the intimate details of “Clockwork’s” production and the wide array of quirks present in Kubrick’s directorial style. At times, McDowell left Oldman speechless as he shared one fascinating story after another. In particular were anecdotes about Kubrick’s casting methods when it came to the many topless women who would appear in the film that left the audience in stitches and provided a fresh perspective on the 1971 British film.
Oldman himself did little to hold back his unconditional respect for McDowell, associating his early interest in acting to the work done by the British star.
The Q&A was followed by a screening of an original 35mm print of the film that was provided on loan from Warner Bros. The film itself showed its transcendent cultural significance with a message that remains relevant over 40 years after its release.
The audience was a mixture of committed fans of the Kubrick classic and many who were watching the film for the first time. The combination of the commentary provided by the two legendary actors and “Clockwork’s” powerful message undoubtedly left all parties with a fresh perspective and plenty of interesting discussion as they left the theater.
“A Clockwork Orange” marked the first of three films in the Malcolm McDowell Series, which will all feature a Q&A with the actor followed by a screening. The 1979 adventure film “Time After Time” will screen on Tuesday, April 8 and the series will conclude with “Star Trek: Generations.” Michael Dorn, who played Lt. Commander Worf, will moderate “Star Trek” and an unannounced celebrity will join McDowell onstage for “Time After Time.”
The Malcolm McDowell screenings are a part of Prospect House Entertainment’s “In Person” series. Past events include the James Bond 50th Anniversary Series and the Loretta Young Centennial Tribute. Prospect House Entertainment is also in preproduction on the feature film “The Secret of Casa Matusita,” a thriller based on Peruvian legend.