Lawrence Of Arabia (Movie) Essay

5119 words - 20 pages

Lawrence of Arabia Arabia set a new standard for movie epics. David Lean's sweeping, magisterial direction, the gnomic complexity of the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson, and the awe-inspiring cinematography by Freddie Young combined to make this a thinking person's spectacular. Peter O'Toole's intense, charismatic performance in the title role vaulted him to stardom; he has never been better than as the British army officer who becomes a leader of Arab warriors. The film's searching analysis of T.E. Lawrence's tortured psyche, his ambivalent heroism, and his descent into the horrors of bloodlust repay frequent viewings. Shortened after its initial release, Lawrence was restored to its full, incandescent glory.When analyzing Lawrence of Arabia, the key feature to is the role of blocking and character placement on the screen. David Lean's technique is very important in understanding Lawrence's progress in his journey of self discovery. When analyzing the screen, the dominant character is on the left-hand side. This character has control, confidence, and feels comfortable in the situation. The right-hand side is known as the subordinate side. This character feels uncomfortable and weaker. Lawrence will shift from the subordinate side to the dominant as his journey progresses.Another aspect to a film is the soundtrack. This emphasizes scenes and adds a dramatic element to the film. For example, the tempo of the music may quicken when a battle starts. This will make the audience feel involved in the scene as a first hand observer of the event.Another feature of film technique is the use of the camera. Panning, long shots, or close ups will emphasize certain elements of an object or a character. Long shots of the sun show the heat, power, and ruthless pain it inflicts on the travelers in the desert. Close ups of characters' faces give the audience a sense of how the characters are dealing with situations. David Lean frames Lawrence's face putting his bright blue eyes in the middle of the screen, which is the focus of the audiences attention.The final film technique used in Lawrence of Arabia is the use of a "back flash". This makes the prologue and the epilogue into one. The audience gets their first impressions of Lawrence from people speaking about him at his funeral. Lawrence has died in a motorcycle accident. Lean has foreshadowed this by his use of the camera. Lawrence speeds by a sign which is located on the dominate side of the screen, "Warning, slow up, DANGER." He speeds along and crashes.At his funeral the audience gets a bold impression of Lawrence from Holonel Brighton: "He was the most extraordinary man I ever knew." Then Bolt has contradicting views of Lawrence, General Muray: "He had some minor function on my staff in Cairo." From these statements Bolt has made a thesis and antithesis to the audience. The audience will judge if he is extraordinary or ordinary. Lean has the camera cut to Lawrence working.Robert Bolt's...

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