Recently you may recall Drew McWeeny and I separately participated in Cole Abaius’s answer to the Sight & Sound all-time list of the greatest movies for Film School Rejects. In summing up his pick for the #1 movie ever, Drew said of David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” that the film’s subject, T.E. Lawrence, “is a fascinating historical figure, full of contradictions, and it is fitting that David Lean’s epic masterpiece manages to be funny, thrilling, sad, political, and dynamic.”
Indeed, while it’s been far too long since I last saw the film, it’s one that sticks with you. It’s the kind of thing the word “movie” was made for. The kind of thing you should experience on the big screen once in your life if you can. Or, as Drew prefers, in 70mm (indeed). Well, there’s an opportunity coming up.
The Academy has announced that it will be presenting the US premiere of a new digital restoration of the film on Thursday, July 19 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The restoration originally bowed at the Cannes film festival in May.
The 50th anniversary screening will feature the director’s cut of the film with an introduction by Sony Pictures restoration exec Grover Crisp and a special video message from star Omar Sharif, who received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance in the film.
The film itself earned a total of 10 nominations and walked away with seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Diredctor and a raft of craft categories.
“Lawrence of Arabia” is also getting some unique exposure for its 50th anniversary at the multiplex. Those of you who have seen Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” are aware of Michael Fassbender’s character, David’s, fascination with the film and with Peter O’Toole’s look therein.
Tickets for the event are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. They can be purchased starting July 2 at http://www.oscars.org.