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Press Release
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Philly.com with Malcolm 4/15/05


Award for Artistic Achievement (misspelled)

MM coming out on stage and shaking hands with Executive Director Thom Cardwell

MM with his Award

MM getting the award backstage

MM at the award after party

David Grieco during his Evilenko intro
David, Malcolm and Marton at start of Q&A

Malcolm takes the mic

David takes a question

Another question

ACO After Party Flyer

ACO Philly Fest Ticket Stub
Evilenko Philly Fest Ticket Stub
Official Poster
Official Program Cover

Malcolm's Evilenko/ACO page in the Program

Press Release

    The Festival will present the Artistic Achievement Award to Malcolm McDowell. He's played romantic heroes and horrific villains, time travelers and ancient emperors. And in all of his 100+ films, Malcolm McDowell has given quality, personal and impassioned performances. We are proud to give him our Artistic Achievement Award.
    Held for two weeks in April (7-20), the Festival brings the world's imagination to Philadelphia with screenings of nearly 300 features, documentaries, shorts and animation from 50 countries for an audience of 61,000. Among its thematic highlights are Cinema of the Muslim Worlds, which in 2003 was covered by the Wall Street Journal; "Danger After Dark," an internationally-renowned celebration of genre films; and the annual CityPaper Festival of Independents, a regional filmmaking showcase.


My Summary

Day 1

    One of the best things about this festival was that it took place in Philadelphia instead of New York City. NYC is such a hassle in every way - insane amounts of traffic, a pain to get into, large crowds, tons of money for parking, taxis all over the place and a bad attitude in general. Philly is a big city without all that nonsense.  The traffic was light, no jam ups and high tolls at bridges and tunnels because there aren't any. Plus everything is affordable. Parking was only $18 a day with valet. In NYC it costs more than that for one hour and no valet with in and out privileges.
    From where I live it is easy to get to, only taking two hours. The hotel was close to the main road and the Prince theater. There was a restaurant, The Penn View Grill, right across the street where you could get a hot sub, sandwich or pizza for only $5-6 dollars. When I saw Evilenko I watched two women spend $18 on just snacks!? Two drinks, pretzels & cheese plus nachos. I got in Saturday afternoon with no trouble, waked around the city, used the computer and relaxed until the show that night.
    The first night was MM's award and ACO. It was a good thing I had gotten tickets in advance because the show sold out. The Prince Theater was around four blocks from my hotel, so it was an easy walk and the streets were empty for the most part. When I got to the theater there was a line down the block of people waiting to get in. I don't know why since there was a big lobby that you could walk right in and hang out, complete with bar. While waiting on line inside the staff handed out ballots to rate the movie. I understand why they do this for the new films, but it made no sense at all to rate a 34 year old film. Force of habit or policy maybe?
    The theater itself was quiet large and looked like it would usually be used for performances - plays, ballets, etc. There was an upper and lower level that quickly filled up, seating at least 500. There was a large stage and a podium on the left hand side. 
    The Executive Director of the festival, Thom Cardwell, came out and mentioned how proud he was to have Max Raab, the "maverick producer of ACO" in the audience and asked him to stand up and say a few words. This man is a fraud. This is now the second time this year I have heard of him at a festival acting like he had something to do with the making of the film. Let me make this nice and sparkling clear - Raab had NOTHING to do with A Clockwork Orange - NOTHING. He and his partner Si Litvinoff had the rights to the film and sold it to Kubrick. That's it. Kubrick made the film he wanted with NO input from this man. He should be ashamed of himself, but worse is those ignorant people who allow themselves to be so easily deceived by not learning history. Anyway, here is what Raab said, "I am honored to be here with Malcolm McDowell. I was going to have about 30 words to say in the way of an introduction, but now I've cut it down to 15 and now they are all gone. Enjoy the show." Notice how he had nothing to say? That's because he had no involvement in the film.
    He then spoke a few words about Malcolm. I was surprised and happy that right away he mentioned my site, after search for MM on google, especially since he had no idea I was there. He also mentioned seeing him in London during the play Entertaining Mr. Sloane.
    Then he showed a film of clips. The beginning had a clip from Gangster No. 1 "What do I look like, a cunt?" Then short clips from ACO, Evilenko, Caligula, Gangster No. 1, Tank Girl and Get Crazy to the William Tell Overture. Then it switched to longer clips that had sound. First was from Caligula when Nerva was committing suicide in the bathtub and Caligula asking what it was like, then a shot of Caligula saying, "if only all Rome had just one neck." Then Tank Girl where Kesslee is torturing Tank Girl and asking how many of his men she killed. He says the lines "8 and abandon all hope" and then offers her a job. She wants him to do anything to her except read poetry. Gangster No. 1 clip of Gangster at the end talking to Freddie Mays about how he avenged him by killing Lenny Taylor. Class of 1999 where Miles Longford is told by Dr. Bob Forrest that he volunteered his school for a solution and his battle droids are the answer. Miles says he wants the program terminated. ACO clip of Alex in the Ludovico center screaming it's a sin when he hears Beethoven on the soundtrack. Evilenko clip where he hypnotizing is in the examination room with Vadim and tells him to take his clothes off. The final clip is of the end of the Singin' in the Rain scene and then 'Malcolm McDowell' comes up and after 'Award for Artistic Achievement'. The total time of the clips was 9 minutes, most embarrassingly they spelled "achievement" wrong, I'm sure no one noticed but me...but thanks to this site, you'll be able to see it.
    The most bizarre thing of all was there was huge applause when the Tank Girl clip started, more than any other clip. The worst film of the lot is cheered, yet there was complete silence when the masterpiece Gangster No. 1 was shown...how very sad. 
    Then Malcolm was introduced by "If only I could get Malcolm McDowell to our film festival, what an O Lucky Man! I would be" to a standing ovation and lots of pictures taken, like he was a rock star. He tried to get the people to stop standing, but it went on for a minute or so before he was given a chance to speak and handed the award. He quickly handed it back so he could speak at the podium.
    MM spoke for around 20 minutes and here is what he said, "Thank you very much. (He is handed the award) Oh, lovely. I better not sit on it...but it's very beautiful, thank you very much,  I'm very touched. Thank you very much to the committee of the Philadelphia Film Festival, it's a great honor and very happy to be in Philadelphia again. I'm glad to see so many young people here tonight, it's great. It's amazing that this 30 year old film can still attract and pull people in to see it. I think it's a great film and of course it was a great crossroads in my life. It's an amazing think for a young actor from England to have done. To work with a great master like Stanley Kubrick who was at the top of his game and an extraordinary human being. I was very lucky I didn't have to audition for the part. He'd seen me in my in first film called if...., that film was directed by another master called Lindsay Anderson who was a dear, dear friend. He passed away 10 years ago now, but never to be forgotten, one of the all-time greats. Anyway, I'd done this film for Lindsay called if.... in 1968, it came out in 1969. It was about the revolution in a boys school and was very timely because in Paris there were students on the roof of the Sorbonne University with machine guns and the whole thing. as there were It was sort of the great period of revolution, everybody got out, the marches against the war, against everything actually. It was an amazing time to be in one's youth. Looking at some of these things that I've done, my God... I don't know how the hell I did this crap - some of it. I worked with John Gielgud, he was my idol! John Gielgud! My god, I was slapping him around on the head. I said, "I'm so sorry John." (Mimics Gielgud) "Oh don't worry dear boy, it's all right, oh please just do it, just do it, it's all right." I've worked with some extraordinary people, I've had the most charmed live and career.  I'm very privileged and very lucky, believe me. There are a lot of talented actors around. I never forget that - where I started, where I came from. It's amazing looking back, as I said it's like getting out the family photo album if you like and seeing some of these things. They showed A Clockwork Orange two or three years ago at the Egyptian Theater in LA. I did the Q&A and all that afterwards. I saw people were dispersing and I went to the bathroom and then came out and there was a guy in the corridor and he said, "Clockwork Orange, right?" 
Like I never heard that before. "Um, hmm, right." 
"Which part?" 
"You know, the guy, he main guy."
"The old guy?"
"No you cretin, it's 30 years old!"
    It's so weird to see it because I was 26 when I made it. Actually in the book, the brilliant book written by Anthony Burgess. It was his masterpiece and an extraordinary novel. It was my Bible, I had it on the set with me and I'd read a passage over and over and over again I could adlib in the nadsat. I was never able to meet with Anthony Burgess because Kubrick wanted to keep every thing separate - the film was the film, the book was the book. When I asked him about Burgess he said, "No, no, no I don't want to invite him down, no, no, no we don't need him." I said OK, Are you sure? I'd love to ask find out something. "No, no, no we don't need him." So a year later when the film opened I got to spend the most incredible week with Anthony Burgess in New York, doing all the talk shows, David Frost, and all these shows they had on at the time. First of all he was a man who liked to talk about his bowel movements a lot. So he'd come pick me up in the limousine to go to the studio, I'd get in and he'd say, "Have you gone yet?" 
    I say, "Oh yes, yes I have gone, yes thanks a lot. I had a nice coffee and phew!" 
    He'd go, "Jesus, I haven't gone yet and I feel bloody awful." 
    That's one of the things I remember about Anthony Burgess and he probably doesn't want to be remembered by. He went to pick up the award for Stanley Kubrick from the New York Critics. I remember very well what he said. All the celebrities in the world were there - Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, everybody from Hollywood was there and Anthony Burgess didn't have a clue who they were. He said, "I've been sent over by god...Stanley Kubrick to pick up this award. I do have a connection with the movies, but it's a very slight one. The connection is that my father accompanied, on the piano, silent movies. He was a very gifted pianist, unfortunately it didn't last very long because he looked up and saw a very festive occasion and gave it very festive music, he put his heart and soul into this and he was wailing away on the piano. At the end of this he glanced back up at the screen and realized it was the last supper. The management of course fired him instantly. That's my Anthony Burgess story, a very great man, a very great man.
    I see you've got a few Caligula bits there and I don't want to be too risque because in Philadelphia...you know what, to hell with it - I'll risk it. John Gielgud who was of course an open and known homosexual was only 68 when he did the film. I was walking to the set and I adored this man, he was absolutely my idol. I think he's one of the greatest actors that ever lived. I have 10 people holding up this ridiculous costume I have on, a great train, a garland of roses on my head - the whole thing. I'm walking to the set and I see John Gielgud at the end of this corridor who was very harried and he comes running down in his costume says, (does voice) "Malcolm have you been to the set?"
    "No John, I'm going to the set."
    "I've never seen so much cock in all my life! Do tell me if they are shaved and pubescent."
    "John, honestly I think they're all heroin addicts from the Piazza Navona."
    "No, I don't think so, they're frightfully handsome."
    He was a dear man and he had a great sense of humor. He came to me and said, "Malcolm I hear  you have a villa?"
    I said, "Yes, they put me into this huge house, it's absolutely enormous. I'm rattling around in it."
    "Oh, because my per diems are very small."
    "Well, you are welcome to stay with me if you like. I have a coat and everything."
    "Oh, frightfully nice of you. I'm getting very, very few per diems."
    "So please come and stay."
    And he stayed for two weeks and I'll never forget it. I remember him singing Noel Coward songs after pasta dinner. I remember looking down at him from my terrace and seeing this great man in a fedora hat in a deck chair just doing the Times crossword puzzle and moving around with the sun. It's one of the most wonderful  images I remember from that have from that film.
    I remember a few more actually...should I tell a few more stories then off we go? Peter O' Toole, pedra, the great man that he is, great actor, wonderful man. Peter like to booze and he liked to smoke...I don't know what he was smoking. I don't want to lie anybody here at all, but he was smoking a lot of something. We were doing night shoots and I went in to help him with the lines. I don't know what it was about his trailer, there was something in the air and I felt a bit woozy myself. We were called out to work at 4am, we'd been there since six o' clock in the evening. They'd been lighting and doing it and we didn't know what the hell they were doing on the set. It was this big three acre set, I didn't know what was going on, I've no idea. We just sat there waiting to go on. Peter had thin spindly little legs came out in what he called his DIAPER. (does voice & mannerisms) "I'm wearing a DIAPER, darling. Two bloody pins in a fucking diaper! I got an antennae from the soundman up my ass." We went out, it was quite amazing because all the debauchery of Rome was laid before us. There was pygmies over there doing something, there were huge dildos on swings. Everybody was bollock naked, there were 300 extras all doing something. So Peter stars off, "Rome, was but...(looks over) oh, my god!" He's moving like this by the way (staggering). "I think they're doing the Irish jig over there." I said, "Oh, my god yeah, oops." because I'm trying to lead him to his marks, "they're running, they're running, turning over." "Rome, was but a city. Oh my god...Jesus is that his dick?! I can't believe it." Sorry if I'm offending anybody, but it is...Anyway, the whole point of the scene was he had to go up to this centurion and say, "Do you think this man is drunk Cal-ig-ula?" I said, "Yes, my lord or whatever." He says, "More wine!" And they pour wine down this poor man's throat and off we go. We do a little walk around the promenade, around the whole thing. At the end of the scene we come back to this poor drunken centurion who is there. O'Toole was going to slit his gizzards so what they've done is put a big rubber beach ball kind of thing under his breastplate armor and they stuffed it with wine and chicken's gizzards. So when O'Toole punctures it the whole thing is going to go fall down his legs, it's going to be a real great Italian special effect. So we get there and O'Toole by this time is weaving, how he is standing I don't know. 
    "You think this man is drunk Cal-ig-ula?" 
    "Yes, yes my sir." 
    His hand goes up and it's wavering around like this. My job is to get that sword into his hand without a glitch, SLAP! great, he walks over very purposefully to the poor man, sort of looks underneath, telegraphing it a bit, puts the sword under it, whacks it likes this, the breastplate goes up, hits the man in the face, the beach ball hits the deck and bounces like a bomb. There were 3000 people there and they all literally went, "Oooohhhh!" O'Toole stood there on his thin little legs, with his antenna sticking out of his diaper, he looked down at the thing and said, "I think she's dropped her fucking handbag." He had a great sense of humor.
    I've done so many damn films and a lot of them are crap of course because I'm a working actor. I'm not an auteur, I'm just working and I enjoy it very much. I'm very happy to tell you I have a new film here called Evilenko, the director is here, a great friend of mine David Grieco and my costar Marton Csokas, who's going to be a huge actor. He's just starred in Ridley Scott's new film called  "Kingdom of Heaven", it's opening soon, go see it. He's a wonderful actor. It's about a serial killer in the Soviet Union and a despicable man that I was asked to play, I don't know why. It's an amazing film and I'm very proud of it. It's not a blood and gore kind of thing at all. It's a psychological thriller and it's an amazing film. I'm so happy David is here tonight and will be here for the screening tomorrow. Marton's coming in from LA, so there you are. I've rattled on far too long and told you a couple of funny stories. Enjoy the movie, thank you so much!
    He left to cheers and they played the remastered original "X-rated" version of ACO. Since this was the fourth time I saw it in the theater I am able to just look at it, noticing things you would never be able to see on your first time watching it. So I made notes of this to look up and post at a later date. I noticed many more doubles and other interesting little things.
    The film was over late, around 12:15 am. People were milling about waiting for MM to return for a Q&A session, but there was none. Possibly because it was too late. Many around us were bummed about this. I found later MM left early and hung out at a nearby bar. If I had known this I would've gone there as I only stayed for the film to tape the Q&A session after. Oh well. I had gotten the flyer for the ACO party, but I'm sure it was mostly complete at this time, plus it didn't say how to get there and was $5 to get in, so I passed. I walked out into the windy night and went back to the hotel.

Day 2

    Since Evilenko wasn't showing until 9:30 pm I had all day to see the sights. Two blocks away was an outdoor flea market that I checked out. If you are wondering why the banner for the festival has a Salvador Dali look to it, it's because there is a massive exhibit of over 150 of his works in town at the Philadelphia Museum of art. In fact the down has gone Dali with Dali events and Dali deals everywhere. Tickets to the exhibit are expensive, $20 each, but since it was in town, and I'm a big fan of his work, I decided to check it out. On the way there they have Dali flags hanging from every light and a massive painting of his face on the steps up to the museum. Unfortunately it was sold out long in advance, every weekend was sold out. So that didn't work, but I'll be going back in a couple of weeks to see it.
    I also checked out the pool and hot tub at the hotel, as well as the shops on South Street. There were thousands of people there and lots of cool shops, but there was nothing cool Clockwork related to buy.
    The movie was playing at the Bridge Theater which was a few miles away, so I had to drive. It was right near a college and dorms, so the area was filled with hundreds and hundreds of college students. I had to park at a big parking garage across the street which led down into a giant supermarket. It was quite bizarre. The theater itself was a 6 screen state of the art multi-plex. It was surprising since the big releases of the day were playing in the first 5 theaters, and an unknown film called Evilenko was secretly in the last theater. The food and drink there was super expensive and right next to the theater was a bar and lounge.
    While waiting for the film to start I spotted David Grieco. I went over to introduce myself as we only have spoken through email. He was happy and surprised to see me there and said the interview and work I did on the page was outstanding. That was great news. He said it was his first time in Philadelphia and he really liked it, reminding him of a big city like Rome. He asked where I lived, how far I had to drive, etc. He said like me, he too lives 2 hours from the big city preferring the country. He was very gracious and me lots of questions and wanted to know if it was the first time I would see the film. I said yes and he said it was exciting because it was the first time he, MM and Marton would be together again. Every other festival they've done was just two of them. We talked for a little bit longer, but then it was time for him to give an introduction to the film.
    David spoke briefly in front of the crowd and you can read it here. He thanked us and said how special it was because it was the first time the three men appeared together at a festival.
    Afterwards the three men took questions from the audience, which you can read it here. The funny thing was how people were saying that Marton reminded them of Russell Crowe, but when he stepped up front he was unrecognizable. In the film he is clean cut as a police officer, but now he looked like he was from Green Day. He looked more like a punk rocker than anything else. David answered most of the questions, but at some point MM took over. He also chastised David for giving answers that were too long. Marton didn't really want to talk and was perfectly content to let the other men talk.
    After around 20 minutes they had to go. They gave out these little paper ballots to vote on the films and I made sure to tear the line that read "excellent" and hand it in. Outside I tried to introduce myself to Marton, but there was a flock of autograph vultures around him getting him to sign stupid pictures from Star Wars Episode II in which he did a small uncredited voice role of Poggle the Lesser. So I gave up and went over to talk to MM. He was also happy to see me, shook my hand and asked how far it was for me to get there. When I told him it was 2 hours away he was surprised and thanked me for coming all the way down. I said it was no big deal, what's 2 hours anyway. He insisted it was still cool of me to come down and introduced me to the president of the festival and he asked me for my card. Once again I tried to talk to Marton, but the vultures were still around. The president went over to them like a farmer shooing crows away from his crops trying to get rid of them. He said they had gotten enough and were harassing people yesterday too, which they denied. MM came over to me and said, "I want to thank you for all the work you do on the site, I'm checking it out every now and again." He also wanted to make sure I was still getting inside information from his source and when when I told him what I just heard about him he said, "Ah, you know more than me!" and he laughed. We talked a little more, but he and Marton were whisked away from the autograph vultures. MM looked like he was in great shape, but smaller than the last time I saw him for some reason.
    I spotted David Grieco and went over and shook his hand and told him that the film was great. He was very glad and wanted to know if I had seen MM which I told him I had. I then made sure I set up with him a chance for another interview which he happily agreed to. I will be posting it on the site soon.

Press Release & Banner courtesy of Philadelphia Film Society
Everything else 2005-10 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net