Monday, March 9, 2009

T.E. Lawrence

After approximately five days, I finally finished watching the lengthy "Lawrence of Arabia", by Lean and Spiegel. I suppose my indifference to political history is finally catching up with me. Embracing the history of nations is a great way to learn about why our world is shaped the way it is today. Aside from the sweeping, emotional musical score, I found that the movie had retained a lot of truths about the main character. I'm not convinced as to the precise detail that the movie preserves with regard to the Arab Revolt, but I got the general idea of the conflict before I started independent research.

Concerning the musical score by Maurice Jarre (he did Dead Poets Society, too), I was really taken by how thrifty Mr. Jarre's score played out during the movie. Essentially, he's using a four measure phrase that, with little variation, repeats over and over. There are certainly more sections of the movie that call for different styles, but I just had to laugh at the seeming audacity of the composer to rehash the same theme throughout the entire film as well as the introduction, entr'acte and end. Kinda reminded me of Beethoven's Fifth: the man used FOUR NOTES as the thematic basis for the entire first movement of a big symphony. What an economically brilliant move!

I'd recommend the movie to anyone interested in the extended history World War I. The film was also one of the first to dabble in Panavision, so it's really really nice to look at. Which reminds me of my favorite quote from the film: when Lawrence is asked by a war journalist, "What attracts you personally to the desert?", he replies, "It's clean".

1 comment:

  1. Brother, you're the only cat I know that can pull off that combo right there... Brilliant.. =)