- Produced by TCM, and directed by Pedro González Bermúdez, the film deals with the events surrounding the first screening in Spain of Stanley Kubrick’s movie: a premiere that took place in 1975 during the 20th edition of Seminci.
British actor Malcolm McDowell, the protagonist of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ (1971), will visit Valladolid to present the documentary ‘The Forbidden Orange’, an original TCM production directed by Pedro González Bermúdez that reconstructs the events surrounding the first public screening of Stanley Kubrick’s film in Spain, held in the midst of a great controversy at the 20th edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival in 1975.
Malcolm McDowell (Horsforth, United Kingdom, 1943) can boast a career with more than 200 film and television. He began performing in front of the camera in 1968 in Lindsay Anderson’s If… , an independent picture that attracted the attention of Stanley Kubrick and was instrumental in getting him signed on for the lead part in ‘A Clockwork Orange’, where he plays the sociopath Alex Delarge.
McDowell will attend several events to present ‘The Forbidden Orange’ as part of the Festival’s programme grid. On October 23, together with the film’s director Pedro González Bermúdez, he will be present at the screening of both the documentary and the restored print of Kubrick’s film at Teatro Carrión —the same venue that hosted the first screening of the controversial movie in Spain— where he will hold a Q&A with the audience attending the event.
The premiere of this documentary and the presence of the British actor in Valladolid will mark the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the international premiere of A Clockwork Orange, one of Stanley Kubrick’s most outstanding films. The movie was vetoed in several European countries and took four years to premiere in Spain due to its ban by the Spanish dictatorship. The first screening of A Clockwork Orange in our country took place on April 24, 1975, amid an unusual expectation, surrounded by controversy and by enormous security measures.
The Forbidden Orange
The documentary feature ‘The Forbidden Orange’ deals precisely with everything that enveloped the film’s premiere in Valladolid and reconstructs the events that occurred in those days around the first public screening of the film in Spain. ‘The Forbidden Orange’ includes numerous testimonies from attendees and festival officials involved in the organization of this event, as well as some voices from the current Valladolid scene and the local cultural movement from both the seventies and today.
To describe those events, which barely transcended in the media of the time, the documentary features the participation, among others, of Malcolm McDowell himself (the protagonist/narrator in Kubrick’s film); Carmelo Romero, the then director of Seminci and the main person responsible for this first-time screening of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ in still Francoist Spain; the writer Vicente Molina Foix, who translated and adapted the film’s dialogues into Spanish and maintained a personal and professional relationship with Stanley Kubrick from the 1970s until his death; and the writer Gustavo Martín Garzo, who was one of the attendees at the premiere and witnessed the police charges.
‘The Forbidden Orange’, which participates out of competition in the DOC. España section of the Valladolid Festival, is an original TCM production directed by Pedro González Bermúdez, the winner of a Goya award and various national and international accolades and special mentions for works like ‘Regreso a Viridiana’ (2011), ‘When Bette Davis Bid Farewell’ (2014), ‘Nostromo: David Lean’s Impossible Dream’ (2016) or ‘Peckinpah Suite’ (2019). The documentary reveals some keys to the film by Kubrick and the historical importance of its premiere in our country at a politically troubled time and under the pressure of censorship and the efforts of the Francoist regime to control culture and, more particularly, cinema.
This production has the support of the Stanley Kubrick Estate and the collaboration of the Valladolid City Council, through the Valladolid Film Office, and the Valladolid Trade Fair Centre (Feria de Valladolid), since part of the filming has taken place in several locations in the city, such as Teatro Carrión, the University of Valladolid (specifically in the Palacio de Santa Cruz and the Faculty of Law), the Parque de las Norias and the Feria de Valladolid, as well as in different streets and squares, including the Monument to Cinema .