FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| David Lean |||
David Lean

Honored with the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1990, Leanís body of work (ranging from the intimate film to the grandiose epic) demonstrates an obsessive cultivation of craft and a fastidious concern with detail that has become the very definition of quality British cinema.

Adapted from Noel Cowardís one-act play, Lean takes a potentially boring story of middle-age flirtation and tenderly creates one of the most enduring and poignant romance films ever made. Brilliantly underplayed, two happily married strangers meet by chance in a railway station and fall desperately in love, but never physically express the undercurrent of passion that exists between them, even during their final gut wrenching separation Ė if your heart doesnít ache, youíre just not human!

Demonstrating moments of intimacy through gigantic display, Lean sets up the greatness of Pipís expectations with the magnitude of his frightful encounters; one with an escaped convict, whose emerge into the frame reminds us what itís like to be a child in a world of oversized, menacing adults, and another with the meeting of mad Miss Havisham, in all her gothic splendor.

Peter O'Toole made an enigmatic and lasting impression in his debut role as British officer T.E. Lawrence, who helped Arab rebels fight the Turks in WWI, and Omar Sharif has perhaps the greatest cinematic intro of all time as he magically appears through the ghostly waves of the desert heat, achieving Leanís compulsive drive to create the perfectly composed shot. Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer, and Claude Rains round out this incredibly talented and magnetically charged cast.

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More On The Train Wreck Waiting to Happen Friday

By EdwardHavens

June 13th, 2001

One of our faithful readers, Bone, saw our report about Tomb Raider a couple of days ago and wanted to add some background about the incident with Simon West during one of the test screening of the movie. You see... Bone is, as they say, in the know...


"Obviously, we had known we were going to have a research screening of an "unknown" movie. No one was allowed to know the title of the movie. The only reason I knew what movie it was, was because the retards who built the print wrote Tomb Raider on the tail. Plus the fact that they MADE me watch it.

"The Paramount people and technicians, as well as the Dolby tech, had gotten to our theatre early the morning of the screening. Simon West showed up some time in the afternoon. By then the print had already been build and everything had been setup. They played the movie for him.

"When it was over, I kid you not, he came out of the auditorium screaming and yelling saying, 'This movie is a piece of shit' and 'No one's going to like this fucking movie.' He immediately got on the phone and called the editors to tell them to get their asses on the next flight out to our theatre. They arrived quicker than the paparazzi at any Madonna attended function and began to chop the film up. Cutting here and splicing there.

"Showtime was at 7:00 PM. The Paramount people said they needed someone to watch the entire movie from the booth to make sure nothing goes wrong. Needless to say, they volunteered me. I tried to get out of it saying that I had three prints of Pearl Harbor to build (which I did). They didn't buy any of it. Bastards. So I stood and watched the whole movie. I'll tell you, I'm not a fan of the game. I've never played it and I never plan too. I wasn't too impressed with it. It was okay. Some cool parts. Some not so cool parts. The movie was 6 reels long.

"After the screening was over, West again came out of the auditorium (this time with the crowd of over 800) still swearing and saying his own movie was a 'fucking piece of shit.' The other projectionists and I were, of course, laughing the whole time. West never came up into the booth. He was always busy down in the lobby talking to people.

"When time came for everyone to leave, the guy tearing down the print screwed it up big time. I don't know if he had ever torn down a print in his life. Somewhere in the fifth reel, the platter kept spinning when he slowed down the make up table. He saw this so he sped up the make up table which in turn caused the rollers to pull the film tight and crunch it all up. It was really funny.

"We had a trade screening of Tomb Raider last week and it was only 5 reels. Down from the 6 for the research screening. We got 2 finished copies the other day and they are 6 reels with the last reel being only credits. Neither the research print nor the trade print had credits. I've watched all three versions and I didn't really notice a difference. Then again, I don't really care."

Thanks Bone. Savant would also like me to add his own review: "It really really sucks ass."