Malcolm McDowell will do double duty at this year's Ojai Film Festival in Ojai, Calif. - helping to kick off the event's second year and appearing in two movies being screened at the festival, scheduled to run Nov. 8-12. The festival will screen the 1991 Russian film, "Tsareubijtsa" ("The Assassin of the Tsar"), the story of a patient in a modern day mental institution who believes he assassinated Tsar Alexander in 1881 and Tsar Nicolas II in 1918. McDowell will also appear onscreen at Ojai in "Gangster No. 1." The account of the life and times of a ruthless English gangster is a competing entry at the festival.
Ojai Valley News for Gangster No. 1
The Old Ultra-Auction: Malcolm McDowell, one of Ojai's luminous residents, will
appear in an unusual role Sunday. At the "Front Row Seat" auction,
he'll be the auctioneer for artfully altered and/or deconstructed theater
chairs, for the benefit of the small but big-spirited Theater 150 as well as
youth outreach programs. There's a family connection, in that his wife, Kelley,
is one of the artists involved in turning utilitarian tush containers into
* "Front Row Seats," at a private home in Ojai, Sunday, 2-5 p.m. $35. (805) 646-4300.
Festival honors filmmaker Kubrick
by Chris Wilson
Sunday afternoon, the Ojai Film Festival officials invited community members to join them and honor a great filmmaker, by showing "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures" at the Ojai Playhouse.
The Jan Harlan documentary, narrated by Tom Cruise, was released by Warner Brothers this year and follows Kubrick's personal and work life from his New York boyhood through his early films in the 1950s up through his career end in the late 1990s just before his death. Interviews with personal assistants, directors and actors from his films were intercut with scenes from Kubrick's works.
The documentary covers films like "Full Metal Jacket," "The Shining," early films like "The Killing," and the recent, "Eyes Wide Shut," and "A.I.," the movie he'd begun work on but turned over to Steven Spielberg.
Plus, the film covered movies Kubrick wanted to make, but didn't, like "Napoleon," and "The Aryan Papers."
In an effort to raise money for the Festival, Malcolm McDowell, local resident and star of Kubrick's 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange," hosted the event and held a discussion on the Ojai Center for the Arts patio for 135 people who purchased the $75 tickets.
In his filmed interviews for "A Life in Pictures," McDowell poignantly recounted the intense relationship he developed with Kubrick during the filming of "A Clockwork Orange." He said he'd expected the friendship to continue after the filming stopped and recounted his disappointments and bitterness he felt when the phone calls never came. And yet, he still expressed, like all the others in the documentary, the great respect he holds for Kubrick and the amazement Kubrick evoked with his dedication and focus to his work.
George Walczak, director of the festival, said 135 people attended the event to see the film and enjoy a cocktail party with McDowell, who shared anecdotes of his film career experiences and shared in laughter with the audience.
"Malcolm was in rare form," Walczak said. "He's a very engaging speaker and an engaging personality."
Walczak said he's learned a lot about filmmaking and directing from McDowell in casual conversation while they got ready for the fund-raising event.
This year's Ojai Film Festival runs November 8-12 and will include screenings of about 40 films.
© 2001 The Ojai Valley News
This format © 2001-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net