More than four decades after its release, director Stanley Kubrick's controversial 1971 masterpiece A Clockwork Orange has an enduring impact on cinema and society. Lured by the chance to hear its iconic star Malcolm McDowell regale his experiences of making the film with moderator and fellow fan Gary Oldman, a sold-out crowd packed the fittingly named Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA this week. ETonline sat down exclusively to talk with McDowell to get his take on the continued appeal of the film, and the genius behind it.
"It's an amazing piece, and it's pretty timeless," says McDowell, now 70 years old. "It's weird -- it doesn't really date, even though it's looking into the future."
In Clockwork, McDowell stars as Alex, a young, Beethoven-loving, good-time-having hooligan with a tendency to commit "ultra-violence" along with his "droog" pals in future England. When he's caught in the act and accused of murder, he volunteers for a radical experiment that may have far-worse consequences than he ever imagined.
"What really, I think, the kids hook onto today -- they don't care about [the violence], they see that on television every night -- what they really love is the actual political content of the establishment, the mind games, and the way that they have encompassed and taken away all freedoms," observes McDowell.
Presented by Tegan Summer's Prospect House Entertainment in partnership with Glendale Arts, the "In Person" Malcolm McDowell Series of Q&A Screenings continues on April 8 with Time After Time (moderated by Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols), and on April 15 with Star Trek: Generations (moderated by Michael Dorn, aka Lt. Commander Worf).
Stay tuned to ETonline for more of our interview with Malcolm McDowell.