BRITISH actor Malcolm McDowel, who famously played Alex in the controversially ultra-violent Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange was the star attraction at the premiere of a new documentary.
Spanish director Pedro Gonzalez decided to mark the 50th anniversary of the infamous film from an unusual angle – the events around its first screening in Spain. And in something of a coup he managed to persuade McDowell to narrate the programme.
The film had been banned for four years under the Franco regime, but just seven days after his death it got its first airing in Spain at the Valladolid International Film Week.
In La Naranja Prohibida (The Forbidden Orange) Gonzalez has tracked down many people who were involved in the screening. He said: “Many documentaries focus on the more technical side, but we were interested in having it from a more local point of view, and a colleague told us about this story of the premiere in Valladolid.
“It’s curious that such a transgressive film should be in a festival in a traditionally conservative city”, he pointed out.
Presenting the documentary at this year’s 66th International Film Week in Valladolid, McDowell recounted anecdotes from the making of the film and his unforgettable experience working with the late Kubrick.
He also recounted the controversy of the movie that saw it banned in several countries, including South Africa and Brazil, but did not know of its first screening in Spain.
He said: “When it was first screened, we had no idea what was going on in Spain. The information wasn’t getting out and we didn’t know anything about it.”
The documentary will be available on TCM from December 17 at 10pm, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the film.