April 05, 2013 | 11:50 a.m.
Movie directors often tell their actors to act small — you’re not in a theater, and the last row in the balcony doesn’t need to hear you. British director Danny Boyle doesn’t follow that script. Only with slightly larger-than-life performances as a foundation, he says, can you start adding strange stuff on top. “Actors will often do nothing,” Boyle said last Saturday at an early screening of his art heist thriller “Trance,” hosted by Hero Complex at WonderCon in Anaheim. “It’s safer to do very, very little. You know that kind of muttering acting.” Boyle said he encourages his cast to ramp it up a bit, because that allows the filmmaker to add bizarre elements to what otherwise would be a realistic story. “You can get the surreal in — because the bed that you’re on is not absolutely bedded […]
June 07, 2012 | 1:06 p.m.
HERO COMPLEX: THE SHOW Malcolm McDowell was on a roll, riffing (and ripping) on “The Avengers,” “Star Trek,” Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers and Hollywood. Then he caught himself. “This is going to be on the bloody Internet isn’t it? I keep forgetting about this [expletive] Internet.” Well, the Internet isn’t going to forget this interview anytime soon. The third episode of “Hero Complex: The Show” is a special “on-stage” edition with the firebrand actor from “A Clockwork Orange,” “Time After Time,” “Star Trek: Generations,” “If…” and “Caligula.” McDowell, soon to be filming “Monster Butler” in Scotland, served up plenty of dish too, weighing in on “The Avengers” (“mindless crap”), Patrick Stewart in “Trek” films (might as well “watch paint dry”) and his perspective on killing Capt. James T. Kirk (“I did them a favor”). He also spoke at length about the legacy […]
April 26, 2012 | 12:07 p.m.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Anthony Burgess novel “A Clockwork Orange” while director Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation recently celebrated its 40th anniversary . So what better time to revisit a bit of the old ultra-violence? On May 19, the Hero Complex Film Festival will welcome special guest Malcolm McDowell, who delivered the performance of a lifetime in the 1971 Kubrick classic but walked away with complicated feelings toward the film and the filmmaker. The actor, who just received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will talk about that personal journey, his memories of Burgess and reflections on a long and vivid career (which includes “If…,” “Time After Time,” “Caligula” and the unsatisfying murder of Capt. James T. Kirk). The Q&A starts at 4 p.m. and will followed by a screening of “A Clockwork Orange,” which was banned in England for more than […]
Dec. 19, 2011 | 9:53 a.m.
Forty years ago today, Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” arrived in U.S. theaters and immediately scorched a place in cinema history. To look back at the anger and art, Finnish film journalist Juhani Nurmi sat down with the late Kubrick’s brother-in-law and longtime collaborator, Jan Harlan, to write the following article for Hero Complex. The German-born Harlan (brother of Christiane Harlan Kubrick) was an executive producer on four Kubrick feature films (“Barry Lyndon” in 1975, “The Shining” in 1980, “Full Metal Jacket” in 1987 and “Eyes Wide Shut” in 1999.) He also directed the documentary “Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures” in 2001. The flames of controversy surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” his 1971 adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ novel, rose as high as those sparked by the director’s version of “Lolita” approximately nine years earlier. Now, in retrospect, it is all too easy to see “A […]
Sept. 16, 2011 | 11:06 a.m.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of “A Clockwork Orange,” the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is screening the film tonight at a sold-out tribute to Malcolm McDowell. Stanley Kubrick’s transgressive vision has influenced many of today’s top filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton, but McDowell told Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher that he’s only recently begun to appreciate the “revolutionary” film in which he starred. Boucher is hosting tonight’s tribute. Hero Complex readers can watch the onstage discussion with McDowell at 7:30 p.m. PDT. Tune in to the livestream video below. [UPDATE: Here’s footage from the sold-out event.] RECENT AND RELATED: McDowell finally appreciates “A Clockwork Orange” Spielberg: “Stanley Kubrick never really leaves” McDowell: Kirk deserved a better death scene Tim Burton’s “Clockwork Orange” vomit memory “Black Swan”: Taking a page from Kubrick Ford: Today’s special-effects films are soulless […]
Sept. 16, 2011 | 4:44 a.m.
With his bloodied cane and black bowler, Malcolm McDowell became a signature symbol of brutal youth in 1971’s “A Clockwork Orange” but the actor says he couldn’t truly appreciate that angry young man until he himself was old enough to comb white hair. “For years, I didn’t see the same film everybody saw,” the 67-year-old actor said recently. “It was 10 years ago in Los Angeles when I went to a screening of it and I couldn’t believe what I saw, the accomplishment of the movie, the pure talent of [director] Stanley Kubrick. In truth, that’s when I began to look back in a different way.” The movie’s 40th anniversary won’t arrive until a week before Christmas but the commemoration began months ago. The movie was also shown with great fanfare at the Cannes Film Festival in May, as was […]
Sept. 15, 2011 | 3:17 p.m.
Sitting in the dark with “A Clockwork Orange” is a rite of passage for many moviegoers and young Tim Burton was no different. “It looms quite large,” Burton said of Stanley Kubrick’s dark 1971 classic. “I remember I saw that movie at a drive-in on one of the first dates I ever had. It was a double bill of ‘Clockwork Orange’ and ‘Deliverance.’ My girlfriend got drunk, and I remember watching ‘Clockwork Orange’ and her throwing up the backseat while I just sat there and watched the movie.” This year marks the 40th anniversary of the transgressive film that starred Malcolm McDowell. Friday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will screen “A Clockwork Orange” at a sold-out tribute to McDowell. (Hero Complex’s own Geoff Boucher will be interviewing the actor on stage before the screening.) The film was […]
Sept. 13, 2011 | 7:20 p.m.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of “A Clockwork Orange,” and while some argue that the dystopian satire has lost a bit of its original shock value, Steven Spielberg says the years have only added to the effect of the ultraviolent Stanley Kubrick masterpiece. “The movie hasn’t worn out its welcome at all,” Spielberg said. “Like all of Kubrick’s films, it’s still a cautionary tale that continues to occur in the world. It was considered a revolutionary film when it came out but not really a prophetic film. But like all of Kubrick’s films it turned out to be more prophetic than is reasonable or comfortable.” This Friday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will screen “A Clockwork Orange” at a sold-out tribute to the career of star Malcolm McDowell. (I will be interviewing McDowell on stage […]
April 09, 2011 | 7:27 a.m.
Kevin McLeod, who has made online games for productions in other media, including those for “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and the television show “Jericho,” created quite the stir in December with a guest essay here at Hero Complex that framed the second “Star Wars” trilogy as an underappreciated innovator in American cinema. Now, with “Black Swan” just out on Blu-ray and DVD, McLeod is back with thoughts on two controversial horror films of greatness that may require years or decades to be truly grasped by the mainstream audience. Spoiler alert: Key plot points of “Black Swan” are revealed in this post.) The year of “Inception”: One film says it does, the other one does it without saying. Someone is always saying how similar everything seems. Conscious or not it’s true. My 6-year-old nephew mistakes scenes in Pixar films from his memory […]