On Saturday, I spent most of my remaining money going to see a digitally restored print of David Lean’s epic 1962 biopic Lawrence of Arabia, and it was money well spent. What a fucking amazing, inspiring movie. Bad history, so-so biography (like all Hollywood movies) but a great entertainment. Four hours later, I came out of the Castro Theatre humming Maurice Jarré’s sensuous, alluring soundtrack music. I spent this morning poring over Web sites about Panavision cameras, 65mm film, Technicolor and my favorite movie, Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 opus 2001: A Space Odyssey, also filmed in 65mm widescreen.
This brought back a lot of memories about my college career and my youth, when I aspired to be a filmmaker like Kubrick, but of course lacking any real ability to deal with people, or to control my emotions when dealing with them. I was so self-centered, I had no facility for compromise and very little empathy for anyone other than my narcissistic self. I started a lot of film projects that never finished, and when my career lay in tatters I turned to other, less fulfilling things, things that paid the bills, even if just barely.
Lawrence of Arabia is, of course, about a man who comes to believe his own propaganda until he finds out he is human, like everyone else. The realization breaks him, and he can no longer function in the world he created for himself.
I’m not in mourning for my lost youth, I’m in mourning for my lost dreams. Losing one’s youth is inevitable. Losing one’s dreams is not.