Peter’s admirable list of anaesthetic films is frightening, truly scarey. To think that I have sat through all that rubbish. However, it lacks one thing – mention of the worst film of all time. That most tendentious, over-rated, over-blown, self-adoring snore-inducing piece of celluloid-poo of all time, starring the worst actor of all time. Yes, that’s it. Of course I mean LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.
You know that scene in Donnie Darko in the cinema? You thought that Donnie, Gretchen and Frank were watching The Evil Dead with some distorted clock faces and stuff? Wrong. Obviously they are watching Lawrence of Arabia. Consider. One of them has been put into a coma by the film, while another’s gone so mad with boredom that he is hallucinating that he is a 7 foot-silver-faced pooka watching time spooling out in Daliesque slowness. The third has been given the time and inclination to slip out before intermission to commit a spot of arson. I can only sympathise. If I were locked in a darkened cinema while some sadist played Lawrence of Arabia at me, I’d spend the first hour or so lying on the dirty carpet between the seats, plaiting lint into my hair with a Coke ring pull and singing something uplifting to myself to stop the suicidal ideation.
When the novelty of that wore off I might read some Fantales wrappers by the light of my phone and wonder at the incredible coincidences between Ida Lupino’s early life and that Johnny Depp. That should help me pass the first six or so hours of this award-winning, seminal film without self-harming. To be on the safe side I shall prepare by super-gluing sunglasses, earmuffs and a Sia-hat-wig to my head, to protect against ghastly accidents such as glancing up and seeing Peter O’Toole staring at a sand dune or hearing some of that deathless dialogue – “No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees. There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing” Or, even more gnomic – “That IS written. [Pointing to forehead]. In here!” There are ponderables, existential koans posed in this film, which I don’t want to have to again wonder at. Such as how it was that the Arabs had “two miles of public lighting in the streets when London was a village” but they never thought to guard the BACK of Aquaba. Or just what this means…
It’s my manner sir.
Yes, it looks insubordinate, but it isn’t really.
And so on…..For. Hours.
COUNTERPOINT BY P:
With profound respect, rot. Complete rot. Here is the link to Peter’s Thumbnail Review of Lawrence of Arabia. I know L means to confine her award of opprobrium to major films with proper financing and elite casts and crew (but still, rot).