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George Harrison presents...

Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs

Hail Scrawdyke!

Dir: Stuart Cooper, 1974, UK, 109 mins, Cert: 15

Sun 19 May // 19:30 / Cinema

Tickets: £7/5/3/0

An unsettling comedy / drama with themes of fascism, male sexuality and corduroy...
Funded by Yellow Submarine profits!

"The conflation of power and sexual potency is at the heart of Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, the 1974 adaptation of David Halliwell's satirical 1965 play. Following his expulsion from art college, Malcolm (John Hurt) imagines himself a persecuted rebel opposed to the castrated multitudes and specifically to his unseen college nemesis, Phillip Allard. 

"Determined to take action of some kind, Malcolm and his followers Wick (John McEnery) and Irwin (Raymond Platt) establish a quasi-fascistic organisation, the Party of Dynamic Erection. Their phallic logo offers the film's most graphic (indeed literal) equation between political power and male sexuality. Though the iconography and rhetoric clearly gestures towards fascism, both the group's banner and their clawed hand salute are comic in effect, their posturing absurd. 

"The radical disaffection expressed by Malcolm and his followers is predicated on an assumption of masculine authority denied. To some extent Little Malcolm provides a comic puncturing of such delusions: whether in Malcolm's shyness with Ann (Rosalind Ayres) or Nipple's presentation of himself as an irresistible sexual force. The elaborately comic staging of the group's dress rehearsal for an act of terror that never occurs (but which is nonetheless compelling) underlines this theme of performance. Acting out their plan to kidnap Allard and force him to destroy a Stanley Spencer painting, the group's latent violence becomes clear - as does the fact that they are going nowhere. Student radicalism produces nothing but hot air, it is suggested, although the mock-courtroom scene in which Nipple is expelled from the party (he must plead 'guilty' or 'very guilty') exemplifies and satirises the brutal logic of fascism."

Extracts from ‘Dynamic Erections on the Road to Nowhere?’ by Yvonne Tasker