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NEVER APOLOGIZE

Director: MIKE KAPLAN

U.S.A.-U.K. • 2007 • COLOUR /BLACK AND WHITE • DIGITAL BETA • 111 MIN


THIS ENTERTAINING AND AFFECTING TRIBUTE TO THE LATE LINDSAY ANDERSON STARTED OUT AS A ONE-MAN THEATRE PIECE FEATURING MALCOLM McDOWELL AND HAS NOW BEEN TRANSFORMED BY DIRECTOR MIKE KAPLAN INTO A HYBRID OF FILM, THEATRE AND LITERATURE.
McDowell, who started his film career starring in Anderson’s classic anti-establishment satire If…, proves to be an engaging raconteur and excellent mimic. Performing alone on stage but supported by judiciously chosen film clips and photographs, the actor regales his audience with tales of his time working with Anderson, who was one of the key figures of British cultural life in the 1960s. A trenchant, prickly man of left-wing leanings who felt passionately about the power of great art, Anderson hated the conservatism of the British establishment and considered himself an outsider and rebel. He was nevertheless an enormously influential and active figure who combined with like-minded artists to found a film magazine (Sequence) and a film-making movement (known as ‘Free Cinema’) that rejuvenated British cinema in the ’60s.
McDowell was a young theatre actor when he auditioned for the role of Mick Travis, the British Everyman figure who featured in If… as well as later Anderson/McDowell collaborations such as O Lucky Man! Anderson became McDowell’s mentor and father figure, and the actor’s affection for his director is everywhere evident in this moving but never sentimental study. There are some hilarious anecdotes about the crazy business of making and marketing movies, but McDowell also pays attention to the filmmaker’s difficult personal life as well as his feud with actor Alan Bates and a final meeting with John Ford, about whom Anderson wrote a brilliant book.—Peter Walsh.

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