26 January 2008 | Supercargo
Malcolm McDowell talks about Lindsey Anderson
This is a film of a one-man-show in which Malcolm McDowell talks about Lindsey Anderson. He's backed up by a few props (a lectern a chair and a table, a reading lamp) and clips from some of Lindsay Anderson's films including (extensively) _If_ and _O Lucky Man_. McDowell, of course, was the star of both these, which were Anderson's second and third feature films. _If_ was also McDowell's first film and _O Lucky Man_ (according to McDowell here) was his original idea. McDowell says he enjoyed making _If_ so much, and enjoyed so much working with Anderson, that he suggested they make another film together. OK, says Anderson, but only if you write it.
I note that the IMDb credits David Storey as sole writer on _O Lucky Man_. McDowell acknowledges that Storey re-wrote his original script (which McDowell has Anderson describe as "Awful!") This film is fun if you like Malcolm McDowell (as I do, very much), probably more fun if you know more about the British film scene in the 1960s and 70s and about Lindsay Anderson. It's a very affectionate portrait, funny in places, moving in others. McDowell does voices very well (John Gielgud, Alan Price, Christine Noonan), he reads from diary entries and letters and he tells a good story, but it is best when he himself is involved. The film sags somewhere in the middle, unfortunately just where the whole point of the title is explained. But it picks up again and Anderson's own description (read by McDowell) of his last meeting with John Ford, dying of cancer and McDowell's own description of Anderson's death are gripping.
Not a great movie (though the cutting is good especially when McDowell is doing his voices), but probably a true record of McDonald's show. Interesting for movie buffs and anyone drawn to the British independent movie scene.
I saw this film on the evening of the 25th January as part of the Gothenburg International Film Festival.