Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Great Unwatched: Legend of the 7 Golden Lawrence of Arabias

I think we can all agree that Legend of the 7 Golden Lawrence of Arabias (American title: 7 Arabs vs. Dracula) would be an awesome movie. And Legends of 7 Golden Vampires and Lawrence of Arabia aren't that dissimilar when you come down to it. A white guy in an epic war helps a foreign people figure out how to combat their common enemy, believing he's doing it without impinging his own Western values upon their culture, but totally doing it anyway. In the end, our white hero is caught up in the violence and the whole matter ends an ambiguous note -- the battle won, but the cost far too great.

Of course, one is a 90-minute kung-fu vampire movie and the other is a 3.5 hour David Lean epic about the Arabian involvement in World War I. But otherwise, you know, same film.

Moving on.

There's a theory of film criticism (the name of which escapes me at the moment) that suggests that the written word is insufficient for interpreting film, because it is not, itself, an audiovisual medium. I am not riding that train of thought (obviously, since I can't even remember what it's called), but when I watch a film like Lawrence of Arabia, I can sort of see the point.

I could tell you about the amazing compositions, the way that Lean uses empty space to evoke a true feeling of grandeur. I could discuss the complex political implications and the fact that its protagonist is allowed to go an entire film being very wrong about a number of things and the film ends with him being very wrong about a number of different things.

This is not one of my favorite films ever and yet I am humbled by the task of discussing it. So I won't. Within the next year, however, I will, I promise.

But it might not be in writing...

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