Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 2:46 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I watched this film - the Director's Cut - again today. The music is superb and, in particular, the scenes with the camels in the desert, accompanied by Maurice Jarre's surging theme, are perfectly choreographed - nearly balletic, in fact. The beautiful movements of the camels walking through the sand were every bit as graceful as a dancer and completely unforgettable.

My word, David Lean had a brilliant cinematic eye and it's everywhere in evidence in this stunning film. The script!! To-die-for!! I just never grow tired of this masterpiece.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 3:59 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

It is a challenging film to get all the way through, and sometimes I am not really sure what Lean is trying to say about the character of Lawrence, which is perhaps the point? In any case, like another very long and challenging biography movie, Barry Lyndon, these movies pay off tremendously if dedicate yourself to the three or four hours to watch them. There is no doubt the the desert scenes, and the scenes when we finally see the ocean are stunning. We clearly do not see that quality of filmstock anymore, it is like velvet for the eyes. No digital movie can touch it.

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 5:58 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

It is a challenging film to get all the way through, and sometimes I am not really sure what Lean is trying to say about the character of Lawrence, which is perhaps the point? In any case, like another very long and challenging biography movie, Barry Lyndon, these movies pay off tremendously if dedicate yourself to the three or four hours to watch them. There is no doubt the the desert scenes, and the scenes when we finally see the ocean are stunning. We clearly do not see that quality of filmstock anymore, it is like velvet for the eyes. No digital movie can touch it.



It's not a 'biography movie' but a political treatise by Robert Bolt really. Lean described Lawrence as a 'total nutcase' in interviews. The thrust of the film is that governments exploit and use people who might be seen as on the verge of psychosis when crises arrive, and then drop them like a hot potato when the crisis is over. There's also a subtext re arming developing countries (Tafas and the pistol) and another about 'desert-loving Englishmen' cleverly designed around a certain psychological complex related to odd parenting, the 'desert mother' Sekhmet mythologies, and psychological inflation (as in the 'Nothing is written' scenes and the lost compass/Moses bit). And it comments on colonialism.

Every line either opens up a new line of thought, or concludes a previous one, beautifully written. Lawrence was a sado-masochist sexually, and even this gets into the mix, but not in a way that prevents a universal certificate. The whole totally unbelievable sequence with Jose Ferrer was something Lawrence later admitted to G.B. Shaw (his editor) as a fiction, it never happened, it was a code to send out signals. He was a very complex character, and not above arrogance despite his talents as a writer, an archaeologist and a soldier of course. Bolt thought he'd hate Lawrence, but on reading the 'Seven Pillars' decided he was a 'romantic fascist' and not a real one!

I don't see it as hard to sit through, except finding the time! The long vistas and stretch of the film is meant to be 'suffered' a little, it's part of the experience. 'Entertainment' isn't the first priority with a film like this, though it IS entertaining.

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 6:17 AM   
 By:   Other Tallguy   (Member)

I can't think of the last time I've watched the whole film at a go. (I have PLAYED the whole film when I've been sick and bed ridden, but I faded in out.) But I'll often watch part I on one night and part II on another.

A common criticism of mine is "we can make movies look like anything now and we never make anything look like Lawrence."

Heavens what a film! And what a score!

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

What can I say? The film is a cinematic experience in a way that supposedly cinematic films today are not. Exactly what constitutes that 'elixir' of life is difficult to put into words. But I'll try - it's the unique style and signature of the artist. The initial foray into the desert is actually very interesting. It doesn't bore me or leave me restless. It's absorbing and constitutes the best part of the film. It's a meticulous study of man and landscape far removed from the formal structure of discipline and formality just over the horizon. It's the optimum cinematic metaphor of that saying about travelling and not arriving.

And Jarre's score clothes it to perfection.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

I had the pleasure of seeing the restored version in a theatre with a very large screen. The impact of the cinematography was overwhelming and the time flew by. Watching it at home with a big HDTV doesn't cut it. My memory of the theatrical presentation is too vivid.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 8:05 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

William

I know it is not a literal biography, but it is about Lawrence after all, granted a lot of it is not accurate. But these two pictures, Lawrence and Barry Lyndon, were both elaborate and rich films that focused on highly flawed men.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Bob Bryden   (Member)

Saw it widescreen, first-run Roadshow in Ottawa, Ontario in 1962. Changed (warped) my life. Some might even say in a good way. Whenever we watch it here, we treat it as an event and have people over. This helps with the length with everyone focused on a committed 'sit'. Although personally, there's not a split second I don't find riveting. ('The trick...is not minding that it hurts'). The score is in my top three of all-time even though lately I've noted the iconic's main theme's desperate similarity to Santo and Johnny's 'Sleep Walk' (released and popular at the time Jarre may have been composing the score).

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 8:27 AM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

Jarre is my favorite composer, so no need to comment on the iconic score,
and the Tadlow is a godsend, I never really realized how many facets there are
to this score.

The Blu Ray is demo quality for a 1962 film, on a big screen, as mentioned above -
I've watched it twice in the past six months I've owned that big box set and
am floored by how beautiful the restoration looks.

Just wanted to chime in!
- Sean

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 11:04 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

William

I know it is not a literal biography, but it is about Lawrence after all, granted a lot of it is not accurate. But these two pictures, Lawrence and Barry Lyndon, were both elaborate and rich films that focused on highly flawed men.



Certainly, but the 'meanings' are also what makes this film, and what got Bolt going.

'Lyndon' is also a great film in my opinion, and one that gets similarly unjustly attacked for slow pace, but that's the whole point, the predictability of Barry's life. Thackeray's original novel was in the first person singular, and was really a satire on 18th/19th Century Irish stuff and class etc. and 18th Century novels. The original book is meant to be taken as a series of braggart exaggerations that aren't entirely true, like Munchausen, Janos, etc.. Kubrick didn't quite go down that route, he let the camera be the comedian, which was something he excelled at.

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 11:07 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

.... there's not a split second I don't find riveting. ('The trick...is not minding that it hurts').

That's it. You have to endure the experience as Lawrence did.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 12:06 PM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

William

I know it is not a literal biography, but it is about Lawrence after all, granted a lot of it is not accurate. But these two pictures, Lawrence and Barry Lyndon, were both elaborate and rich films that focused on highly flawed men.



Certainly, but the 'meanings' are also what makes this film, and what got Bolt going.

'Lyndon' is also a great film in my opinion, and one that gets similarly unjustly attacked for slow pace, but that's the whole point, the predictability of Barry's life. Thackeray's original novel was in the first person singular, and was really a satire on 18th/19th Century Irish stuff and class etc. and 18th Century novels. The original book is meant to be taken as a series of braggart exaggerations that aren't entirely true, like Munchausen, Janos, etc.. Kubrick didn't quite go down that route, he let the camera be the comedian, which was something he excelled at.


William, it is really nice to hear some compassion for Barry Lyndon, a truly gorgeous and intricate piece of film making, and delightful adaptations by Leonard Rosenman as well.

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   BornOfAJackal   (Member)

It's not a 'biography movie' but a political treatise by Robert Bolt really.

Indeed. That's why I love it. The whole cinematic enterprise is a subversion of the myth of "patriotic heroism" in much the same way that, say, the Hobbits in THE LORD OF THE RINGS are subtle lampoons of the heroic myth.

Take an effete intellectual who is qualified to parley with Arab tribesmen, and successfully leads them into guerilla warfare, who then eventually succumbs to monomania and brutality just like all the other jingoistic grunts who form the spearheads of history.

F***ing genius.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

there have been some very informative and interesting threads on lawrence here before.

nice piece william.

Orrence (Orrans) is certainly an event. i try to watch it every 3 months or so for the last 25 years or so.

its a sit-down undisturbed type of film, to immerse yourself in the landscape and the experience and the jarre soundscape. aside from the pace and size of it and the cinematography, what makes it such a delicious meal is the script - that dialogue, those quotable lines - oh my goodness - barely a wasted word, its all juicy prime meat cooked to perfection. who cares how accurate it is and if some is a writers licence.
it captures enough strands of Lawrences strange and complex personality to be a wonderful film and to paraphrase what william was saying, its long enough to be a commitment that you endure it as well as enjoy it, it makes a better impression that way.

today will be difficult. but tomorrow... good riding.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 2:41 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

What wonderful comments, especially from William!! There is a richness of texture and ideas in this film which surface upon every viewing and Bolt was an immensely intelligent and gifted writer, aided in this case by Wilson.

I'm not sure about 'enduring' the experience of Lawrence. This reminds me of the ambivalence about India expressed by Mrs. Moore in "A Passage to India"....... "what a terrible river; what a wonderful river". The scenes of the desert in "Lawrence" are breathtakingly wonderful and frighteningly challenging and this is what we experience. Jarre's music perfectly complements the sublime images and the extraordinary thing is that the widescreen does not diminish the characters - I feel they are 'enlarged' by brilliant acting and some of the finest words written for the screen. O'Toole was never better, even though there was bathos in some of his delivery - as well as some of that old school "Oh Titus, bring your friend hither".

The complex ideas about colonialism and all the themes alluded to by William are never at the expense of the competing parties but richly and intelligently expressed mainly through the character of Ali, "If I who love him fear him....."

I love this film!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 3:13 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

the well is everything. He was nothing.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 4:53 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

the well is everything. He was nothing.

"There was something about it I didn't like....I enjoyed it".

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2014 - 11:53 PM   
 By:   General Allenby   (Member)

Thackeray's original novel was in the first person singular, and was really a satire on 18th/19th Century Irish stuff and class etc. and 18th Century novels. The original book is meant to be taken as a series of braggart exaggerations that aren't entirely true, like Munchausen, Janos, etc.. Kubrick didn't quite go down that route, he let the camera be the comedian, which was something he excelled at.

"Lawrence" is satire, too, which few, if any, have grasped since the film's 1962 release. What else can you call a film about an inveterate performer who was always, relentlessly, in search of an audience? As the Jackson Bentley character (who clearly understood Lawrence, in screenwriters Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson's telling, better than anybody else in the film) says on the steps of St Paul's following Lawrence's funeral, Lawrence was "the most shameless self-promoter since Barnum and Bailey."

And so he was.

The film was never meant to be taken seriously as a solemn, profound statement about much of anything.

As for

Orrence (Orrans) is certainly an event.

In the script, the phonetic corruption of Lawrence's surname is spelled "Aurens."

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2014 - 12:09 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

from now on i will spell it in Aurens.

however ive been corrected on hear before - hence the Orrence - Orrans. i was originally just spelling it how i heard it. at least people got wot i meant!!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 25, 2014 - 12:14 AM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

ive been corrected on hear before

You mean 'here'. smile

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.