Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of ArabiaDavid Lean's 1962 biopic of British soldier T.E Lawrence has become a byword, a hallmark of Hollywood epic grandeur and studio-system art. But if you haven't seen it recently, you may be surprised at what you'll find. At the center of what is considered a big, romantic adventure is an empty, dusty heart. Lean focuses almost exclusively on Lawrence's adventures during the Arab revolt, filling up every inch of wide-screen with stark desert vistas or equally stark closeups of Peter O'Toole's inhumanly blank blue eyes. There are no women, only men to be conquered or conquered by, men to bond with or mistrust. At the end of four hours, Lawrence is as much a mystery as he was at the beginning. Lawrence of Arabia manages the neat trick of being an awfully big adventure that also manages to brood on the waste spaces of the earth and of men's hearts, the enigma behind an iron will. And you won't get all that from the video or DVD, not even the letter-boxed version.