I am BARRY HESS > Blog

Lawrence

I finally finished watching Lawrence of Arabia today. I’ve been working on it off and on for a couple weeks, watching about 1/2 in one sitting and then catching what I could along the way.

I’m thankful I watched on a projected “screen” because otherwise I don’t know if I would have got much out of it. There are beautiful, and long, um, I mean epic, shots throughout the movie. Well, as beautiful as desert can be. Lots of great music.

As I was listening to both the overture and intermission music (the screen stays black while the music plays) I really got to feeling surprised that I haven’t seen a major drum corps put a Lawrence of Arabia show on the field. At one point in the movie, celebrating Arab tribes held long cloths on both ends, parallel to the ground, and shook them up and down creating a wave effect, which I couldn’t help but think is where corps had co-opted that move from. From what I can find, the Blue Devils played the Theme from Lawrence of Arabia in their first year, and I don’t believe that counts. The only close to impressive corps that I found playing Lawrence was DCA’s Brigadiers, in 2004.

The movie is entirely about Lawrence. His personality changes drastically from the beginning to middle of the movie, and then comes up for air only to change again toward the end, and then indeed change, by his own will of force, as the movie fades away from what I can guess. I personally didn’t see the tide of change coming in many of these cases. I didn’t feel a change in my reaction to the onscreen events, so thus it was hard for me to associate with Lawrence’s character.

It’s always hit-or-miss for me and these classics. For every Some Like It Hot, there’s always a Sunset Blvd. in my world. Heck, I didn’t even really enjoy Casablanca.

(Let’s make another connection. Omar Sharif was one of the stars in the movie. He also played the role of Che Guevara in a universally panned 1962 version of his story, called Che! Yes, you guessed it, the movie starred Jack Palance as Fidel Castro. Coupled with my previous post, I think it is about time I start a web site dedicated to the “6 degrees of Che Guevara.”)