29 May 2011

Singin’ Again

Filed under: Movies, Reflections — ktismatics @ 5:30 pm

This afternoon as I was finishing up my run I saw that a canopy had been set up in the high school parking lot. Under the canopy were a large cooler, a folding table with a variety of snacks arrayed on it, and a guy sitting in a lawn chair. He greeted me as I approached, and I asked him what was up. A feature film is being shot in the school, he told me, and this is the refreshment area. You know Malcolm McDowell? He’s in it, the refreshment guy informed me. I nodded and told him that coincidentally I had just been humming “Singin’ in the Rain” to myself while running. He paused a second, then he smiled. That’s perverse, he said. I thanked him and walked the rest of the way home.

Apparently the distributor has disabled the embedding string for the relevant scene in Clockwork Orange, so here’s the link.  The new movie they’re shooting here is called Mind’s Eyehere’s the website.

UPDATE: After showering and dressing and writing this post I strolled back to the high school. The front door was unlocked so I went in. I watched a scene being filmed: a young woman, presumably playing a teacher, walks down the stairs carrying a cup of coffee, a boom mic following her progress down near her feet. I passed through one of the corridors, along which had been posted at fairly wide intervals sheets of paper announcing “Mind’s Eye Film Set.” I walk past the costume and make-up room, occupied by a couple of crew members. As I entered the orchestra room I passed a guy who said “Woo, that was refreshing. How ya doing?” Fine, I replied. I looked around a bit more, then left. No sign of Malcolm McDowell. Maybe I’ll stop by again tomorrow.

30 MAY UPDATE: Unfortunately the first person I encountered at the high school this morning was someone I know: the film teacher. In addition to wrangling extras and running errands for the pros, this teacher is apparently also in charge of keeping the set closed while Malcolm is in the building. Because he knew me, he knew I wasn’t someone on the crew he hadn’t met yet — which gave him the opportunity to wield his authoritah. Today is McDowell’s last day on the set, but the shoot continues all month, so maybe I’ll try again later in the week. In my admittedly limited experience, however, watching a film being shot is really boring. A star sighting might be more fun, even if that star has faded and the film is in all likelihood destined for direct-to-DVD.

LATER THAT DAY… Again I chatted with the snack wrangler, who informed me that Malcolm McDowell had wrapped his scenes. I was told that Mr. McD was very gracious and signed autographs before leaving town. Arriving later this week is Dean Cane, who apparently played Superman on a TV series late last century. I never saw that show and know nothing else of Mr. Cane.



  1. I watched A Clockwork Orange when i was 19 on mushrooms, and i never saw the world the same again. thanks for sparking that memory again…


    Comment by michael- — 1 June 2011 @ 12:46 am

  2. It was a bit of synchronicity for me, having just watched Singin’in the Rain the day before. If I believed that the panpsychic unconscious was speaking to me through this juxtaposition of events, I would look for the links between these two movies, the filming at the high school, my own life, and the state of the world. And maybe there are links with you too, Michael. At the Charnel House I just read your rebuttal to Reid in which you defend online philosophizing. And I see from your blog that you’re enthusiastic about Ken Wilber, who has long had a presence here in Boulder. Can these strands be woven together?

    As a beginning, I’ll say that I expected Kubrick’s choice of Singin’ in the Rain not to have been coincidental. It wasn’t in the novel, and of course it alludes to an iconic scene in cinema. But now through quick internet research I’ve discovered that filming the rape scene wasn’t going well, and so Kubrick asked McDowell if he could dance. McDowell started improvising a dance, and Singin’ in the Rain is the song that came to his mind at the time. Kubrick loved it and left it in. So here’s another eruption of the unconscious. And it does work: Gene Kelly’s dance is presented as a spontaneous manifestation of joy: “the sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love.” It’s the same spontaneous glee with Alex in Clockwork Orange, though of course he’s the one who’s bringing on the dark clouds.

    My initial comment on Ross Wolfe’s Manifesto was “Release the bats!” It’s because Ross’ exuberance spontaneously brought to mind this song, which I suppose could be regarded as another way of singin’ in the rain.


    Comment by ktismatics — 1 June 2011 @ 7:42 am

  3. Here, courtesy of a recently posted link by Pere Lebrun, is another variation on the theme:


    Comment by ktismatics — 1 June 2011 @ 8:41 am

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