Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Down on the Street

Malcolm McDowell has a good part in HBO's Entourage, but his early films grabbed my attention first, way back in the day. My sister Linda "turned me on" to the bizarro Lindsay Anderson films If. . . (1968) and O Lucky Man! (1973), and I've extolled Malcolm McDowell's charms and hold ever since. I guess it's because, like many lingering things, through McDowell's character, these movies carry multiple layers of delivery: dark satire, political and cultural expose, quirky humor, a flavor of the times, and the inimitable McDowell himself, anti-hero deluxe. Besides, in how many other movies does one hear modern references to Tom Paine? Freaky stuff, leading one to believe that McDowell the person is genuinely interesting and genuinely strange. Sandwiched in between these wicked gems came Stanley Kubrick's equally unsettling masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange (1971). Still unsettling even in a world awash with ultra-violence, when Palestinians model scenes from Martin Scorsese's The Departed (2006) to kill their enemies by tossing them off roofs, and disenfranchised American schlubs vent their frustrations in public displays of gunfire and mayhem. Life imitating art after art had its first glimpses at the shape of things to come.

Today's Rune: Breakthrough.

Birthdays: Fanny Burney, James Clark Maxwell, Lucy Christiana Sutherland (Lady Duff Gordon), William Butler Yeats, Basil Rathbone, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ben Johnson (Sam the Lion), Malcolm McDowell, Ally Sheedy.


Charles Gramlich said...

Man, I tried to watch "Lil Bush" tonight and it was absolutely awful. I turned back to the comedy channel after about 5 minutes. I was hoping for something good.

Cheri said...

A Clockwork Orange is one of my favorites. The book was an absolute gore fest of rape and pillaging and youth turned sour. The movie struck each note and played a chord in a melodic minor, piercing the ear drum in its depiction of the novel, making the audience cringe. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when the main character is let into the house where he caused that man such horrible pain, whistling the theme from "Singing in the Rain." The slow forming look of horror that crawls across the man's face as the realization sinks in is just mind spectacular, the main character soaking away in the tub without a care in the world.

You are so very clever in the things that you write about. Each post makes me think and feel each topic with every bit of my mind. Thank you.