Last night I was officially ruined for seeing films in the theater. I was treated to "Lawrence of Arabia" for the first time in 70mm technicolor with a full house at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. This film was shown the way it first hit the theaters in 1962 - as an EVENT - with intro music and an actual intermission. What was so wonderful about watching this film was knowing that if a scene looked like it had 1000 actors on horses (or in this case, camels), it actually had been filmed with 1000 actors on horses and camels. There were no computer-generated effects in this film, and while I appreciate all the wonders of technology in film these days, I did marvel at how difficult it must have been to shoot this film. Vast desert scenes, a shot with 50 or so camels sitting quietly, sand storms, perfect sunrises and massive battles. These scenes were shot in the desert, in the wind and the sand and the sun, not on a soundstage or in front of a blue screen, and nothing was composited in a dark room by a computer animator.
I am a proud film geek, and this was an extraordinary treat. While I have been having somewhat of a hard time adjusting to the fast-paced life of LA, there is much to enjoy in the way of films, and I am eager to take advantage of all the jewels this city has to offer.