Lawrence of Arabia

David Lean’s 1962 desert epic is being shown in its restored, re-edited 1989 print, and it’s well worth the three-plus hours to experience its wide-screen majesty. Peter O’Toole captures the charismatic yet flawed leader of British-sponsored pre-war Arab insurrection—heroic, weak, sadistic, and alluring at once. The winner of seven Oscars, Lawrence is deservedly renowned for Freddie Young’s cinematography, but it’s Robert Bolt’s script that elevates it above contemporary imitators. Unlike the screen-filling, eye-popping spectaculars of today, this film grounds the epic in the man—not the terrain sprawling beneath his feet. It also doesn’t hurt that in support of O’Toole are Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, and Anthony Quinn. And there’s no place you’d rather see the 70mm format movie than on Seattle’s grandest screen. “On to Aqaba!” (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Sun., April 12, noon, 2009

 
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