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“Nothing is written.”
Adventure Month concludes with the stunning and epic film Lawrence of Arabia.
Forrest MillerConan NeutronJ. Andrew World, span the desert with Middle East Historian & Missouri State University Professor Djene Bajalan to dive into the history and the filmmaking behind this very well regarded film.

Djene guides us all through the historical elements of this time period as well as the real life T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Lawrence, and others stirring up trouble in the Ottoman Empire, and how the Lawrence of Arabia myth came to be.

The last time Djene Bajalan was on, we talked about Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which was inspired by the cinematography in Lawrence of Arabia.

So, the film itself:
We believe this is correctly regarded as one of those spectacularly dazzling cinematic achievements that makes you think maybe we lost something from the “soul” of filmmaking when CGI emerged.  Lawrence of Arabia’s reputation is absolutely deserved as a masterpiece, the cinematography alone is some of the greatest in history.  The action sequences, the shot composition, cinematography and lighting. This film transports. 

The laundry list of amazing things this has influenced is as stunning as the filmmaking.

Shots of the sprawling desolate desert, insane battle sequences, even quiet moments of travel.. and of reflection are here as magnificent spectacles. Peter O’Toole’s portrayal of T.E. Lawrence is probably far grander and more heroic than the actual Lawrence deserved. A compelling, if baffling, leading man here. The character is presented with an “offness” that we actually quite enjoyed.

The film skewers British and French dishonesty and duplicity, although, there is much to discuss and debate about the actual T.E. Lawrence. Of the main cast, only the great Omar Sharif is really a man from the Middle East (Egyptian, not Arab.) Lawrence is a man stuck between worlds, not fitting in with the British, but knowing full well he’s not Arab.. and will never be Arab. 

The duplicity of the British calls into question notions of “civilization” and “barbarity” with Lawrence, and the British in General, displaying the barbarity they attribute to the Arabs.. across the entire spectacle. 

The brown face is a bummer, but this is a beautiful sandstorm of an epic that is correctly regarded in history as a piece of art, even if there may be problems with the story it is telling being “correct”. It is still an epic TALE. We feel it is a film that deserves its reputation in the pantheon. It is just a great movie.

“Nothing is written”

PS: Bring back intermissions!

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