Around town: Malcolm McDowell's film legacy
Pugnacious, daring British actor Malcolm McDowell is not only getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, but he is also being feted by the American Cinematheque.
McDowell is scheduled to appear Friday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood after a screening of one of his seminal films -- Stanley Kubrick's 1971 "A Clockwork Orange." After his talk, the Egyptian will screen the sweet 1979 romantic fantasy "Time After Time," in which he plays author H.G. Wells.
The retrospective moves to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Saturday evening with a screening of Lindsay Anderson's 1968 drama "If....," which was released here in 1969. McDowell came to fame as Travis, a boarding school rebel. Also screening is 2004's "Evilenko," in which he plays a Kiev-based serial killer. The festival ends Sunday evening a the Aero with a rare screening of Anderson's "O Lucky Man!," the director's sequel to "If....," with McDowell re-creating his role of Travis. Helen Mirren and Rachel Roberts also star.
Charles Laughton directed only one film -- the 1955 thriller "The Night of the Hunter" -- which screens Thursday evening at the Aero. Robert Mitchum received great acclaim for his performance as a sadistic wandering preacher with the words "love" and "hate" tattooed on his knuckles. Preston Neal Jones, author of "Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of The Night of the Hunter," will introduce the screening and show outtakes.
On Friday, the Aero offers the latest edition of its silent comedy shorts program. Among the comedies screening are Charlie Chaplin's "The Cure" (1917), Georges Méliès' "The Untamable Whiskers" (1904) and Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle's 1917 slapstick farce "Coney Island." www.americancinematheque.com
Maverick animator Ralph Bakshi ("Fritz the Cat") will appear Thursday evening at the Film Independent at LACMA screening at the Leo S. Bing Theater of his 1977 fantasy "Wizards."
At 7 p.m. Monday, LACMA presents the documentary "David Hockney: A Bigger Picture," with director Bruno Wollheim appearing in person to discuss the film. www.lacma.org
The UCLA Film & Television Archive's "Spencer Tracy: That Natural Thing" festival features two of his finest comedic performances Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater: 1950's "Father of the Bride," directed by Vincente Minnelli, for which he was nominated for a lead actor Oscar, and 1953's "The Actress," directed by George Cukor.
Sunday evening's double bill starts with Fred Zinnemann's 1944 World War II thriller, "The Seventh Cross," followed by John Sturges' 1955 mystery thriller, "Bad Day at Black Rock," for which Tracy earned yet another lead actor Oscar nod. And on Wednesday, the archive screens 1958's "The Last Hurrah," which marked Tracy's first collaboration with director John Ford since the actor made his feature debut in Ford's 1930 film "Up the River."
The archive's "Kino-Eye: The Revolutionary Cinema of Dziga Vertov" screens Saturday evening with "Three Songs of Lenin" and "Lullaby." The archive's latest movie at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles is Martin Scorsese's seminal 1976 film "Taxi Driver," for which Robert De Niro earned his first lead actor Oscar nomination. It screens Wednesday evening.
The New Beverly Cinema pays homage to the late actor Ben Gazzara on Friday and Saturday with Otto Preminger's acclaimed courtroom thriller "Anatomy of a Murder." Besides Gazzara, the Oscar-nominated film also stars Jimmy Stewart, Lee Remick and George C. Scott. On Tuesday, the New Beverly's Grindhouse Film Festival presents "Eastern Grind: Classic Hong Kong Cinema" -- 1989's "Burning Ambition" and "Operation Pink Squad."
CineFamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents a free screening of Whit Stillman's ("Barcelona") latest film, "Damsels in Distress," on Sunday evening. Stillman will be appearing at the program. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis and you must go to the theater's website to register.
The theater's Charlie Chaplin festival continues Wednesday evening with a screening of his restored 1931 masterpiece "City Lights," which has one of the truly emotional endings in cinema history. www.cinefamily.org
You must remember this -- on Wednesday, Turner Classic Movies is presenting a 70th anniversary screening in nearly 500 theaters of the Oscar-winning classic "Casablanca" with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Some theaters will also have matinees. fathomevents.com
The Skirball's "Through a Glass Brightly: A Paul Mazursky Retrospective" features the underrated nostalgic 1976 comedy-drama "Next Stop, Greenwich Village" on Wednesday evening. The veteran filmmaker and Mazursky's longtime collaborator Leon Capetanos will talk after the screening. www.skirball.org
[For the record, 5 p.m. March 15: A previous version of this post said that LACMA will present the documentary "David Hockney: A Bigger Picture" on Friday. The screening will take place at 7 p.m. March 19.]
-- Susan King
Photo: Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange" Credit: Warner Bros.