Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Director: David Lean
One of this movie’s main strengths is its superb aesthetics and production value. I’ve never been able to see Lawrence of Arabia on a theatre sized screen, but as a movie lover, it is definitely on my cinematic bucket list. Everything about this movie is made to be put upon a grand screen. Small screens are fine, but I can tell that there are eons more detail in things like the dust caked on people’s faces and the numerous grand desert vistas that I’m missing out on by not seeing it in its intended setting. Another aspect I like is just the bizarre nature of the story. The character of Lawrence here is anything but your traditional Hollywood war hero. He is filled the interesting contradictions. He is a great peace maker, but also a twisted sadist, who truly (according to his own words) enjoys hurting others, and being hurt himself. Some have speculated that he was gay, but I tend to see this character as being purely asexual. That’s another really strange and rare thing about Lawrence of Arabia. There is absolutely no romantic subplot, or really even any significant female characters anywhere. He was just too pre-occupied with what he was doing to stop and think about something as trivial as sex, or possibly he got his release through the aforementioned sadism. Either way, it makes for a really unique character cinematically, and a general strange person in real life. The movie begins by showing you the end of Lawrence’s life many years after his noted successes in World War 1. It then frames the remaining time into the structure of being like a story/eulogy, to a very strange, but indeed, a very important man who turned the tide of a big part of the First World War.