Fire In The Hills

The start to the weekend could have been right out of a movie. You have the unsuspecting main character (yours truly) surrounded by chaotic and life threatening circumstances, unbeknownst to her. I had been in my own world most of the day trying to catch-up on some reading (which led to some light napping because of how comfortable I got), separated from all electronic devices. It wasn’t until I got a phone call that I came out of the dark, put my book down, and walked over to my window towards the light. The sky was filled with smoke! The hillside of the infamous Sepulveda Pass was on fire, and I had plans that night that necessitated driving right through where the flames were ablaze to get there.

{View from the freeway.}

Thankfully, there were no injuries or structural damage; and luckily, traffic wasn’t too unkind. I made it to my destination for the night without much more hassle than usual for a Friday evening.

Coincidentally, while my life seemed right out of a movie at the moment, I was in fact, headed to one. Past the fire in the hills and down the highway, waited a special evening marking the 50th Anniversary and newly restored 70mm Lawrence of Arabia screening on the Sony Pictures Entertainment studio lot.

{Tickets, candles, and linen.}

The event was quite the soirée. A welcoming cocktail and light appetizer hour started the extremely warm-weathered evening. The nearly 4 (yes 4) hour film was a treat not only to view among the people who worked on the beautiful restoration, but because it was my first time seeing the film and those bright blue piercing eyes from Peter O’Toole. True to form as you would’ve experienced it 50 years ago, the film had an intermission. Cocktails and now light desserts were on hand during the small break – very classy.

What I admired most about the film was the grandeur. The sweeping and vast shots of the Arabian desert. The camels ever-moving nature frame by frame. The film envelops you into another world almost immediately. I had to remind myself of where we stood technologically over half a century ago. There were no digital cameras or intricate digital composting techniques the way we often rely on in today’s film-making arena. To build work with such richness, such storytelling, such atmosphere and complexity…well, what an achievement and worth literally driving through fire to get to.

{The night’s venue.}


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  1. Pingback: 2012 Best in Cinema: The Classics | All That Glitters

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