io9 Talks to Malcolm McDowell at The Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival


The Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival "where Science meets Fiction" started this weekend in Los Angeles, and io9 was there. This is only the second year the festival has been in the United States (they've been running it for several years in France), but they've managed to draw a host of science fiction talent from Ray Bradbury to Buzz Aldrin. Check out our interview with festival host Malcolm McDowell after the jump.

Malcolm McDowell, probably best known for his lead role in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange stopped to share his thoughts about science fiction with us:

Do you think science fiction films have lost their political edge over the years?

You know, science fiction has gone through many changes, hasn't it? I think the benchmark was Stanley Kubrick's 2001, which took science fiction into another sphere completely, from the sort of Flash Gordon type thing with cardboard sets to films about our philosophy and where and what we are. That's the beauty of science fiction and where it should be. Even films like Star Wars have taken where Stanley left off and run with it, and they're beautiful films. And of course, Blade Runner is a very good example. It's rather a dark film, but it does question us as a human race, and that's what's so interesting about it.

The problem is, a lot of these films are really hokey and bad. Although some of the bad ones can be fun to watch. But, Kubrick did us such a service when he set the bar so high.

It's funny you mention "bad" movies, because when Blade Runner came out, it was generally perceived as a flop. However, here we are celebrating it 25 years later as a classic. Will that happen to other films that weren't hits?

You know, I think that's down to the DVD and the internet. It's amazing how DVD has really rescued some great movies, classic cult movies and now it's not only about who can have the biggest opening weekend. I really love a slow burn, and Blade Runner is one of the best examples of that.

When you were young, were you inspired by any science fiction?

Of course I read The Martian Chronicles and I love Ray Bradbury. He really is the Jules Verne of our country, and he's also a great poet as well.