TNB Night Owl–Never Apologize

Chocolate cupcakes with sugar hearts and nonpareils. Photo by Brynn.

This movie brings the Month of McDowell to a close. It’s the one I knew from the beginning that I wanted to end it on, and Valentine’s weekend. NEVER APOLOGIZE (2007) was a labor of love, made with love and affection, about the longest relationship in McDowell’s life. NEVER APOLOGIZE is a tribute to director, writer, and mentor, Lindsay Anderson. Performed as a one-man show combining personal anecdotes and readings from Anderson’s diaries, McDowell simply tells stories as if he’s talking to a circle of friends rather than a theater audience.

I’ve written about the working relationship of McDowell and Anderson in the Night Owl before. NEVER APOLOGIZE starts at the very beginning when Anderson was casting his film IF…(1968). Starting the moment the cold reading turned into a gossip session, McDowell and Anderson started a friendship that lasted decades. Anderson had already directed a couple films as well as a critic and author by the time they met that day. McDowell was just starting his career, barely out of his teens. McDowell saw a brilliant teacher. Anderson saw an earnest student.

Over the next few decades the two made three movies together, a handful of stage productions, and traversed hundreds of events for the fringe figures of British film. In addition to stories about Anderson, McDowell (the baby of the group) talks about other figures who have passed including Rachel Roberts, Alan Bates, John Gielgud, and others. Through these stories friends long passed get to come alive again, if just for a few brief moments.

Even though their relationship was strictly platonic, McDowell spends a brief moment on Anderson’s homosexuality and his realization that most of their arguments sounded like an “old married couple.” Whether or not sex was involved, either physically or mentally, there was, and always will be, love.

Question of the night–tell us about the love of your life.

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