Next week, Hopewell Theater is showing two historic and important films on our screen. On Wednesday, June 19th we present the classic, epic tale of British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (played by Peter O’Toole in his breakout role) in Lawrence of Arabia, and on Thursday, June 20th we watch the landmark documentary that followed the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour in Gimme Shelter.
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
Witness the dramatic story of Lawrence’s transfer to Arabia during World War I to serve as a liaison between the British and Arabs in their fight against the Turks. When he is ultimately dismissed by the Prince of the land and his own British superiors, he rebels against their orders with the aid of native Sherif Ali in a mission to unite split factions and attack the Turks. As they make a daring journey across the desert, we witness Lawrence’s emotional struggles with the identity, divided allegiances, and the violence inherent in war.
With over 3 ½ hours of grand scope, superb performances, memorable music, sweeping scenery, and beautiful cinematography, Lawrence of Arabia is an award-winning piece of art that still holds up over half a century from its release. It was even preserved in the U.S. Library of Congress’s National Film Registry for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance as a film.
The big screen is the only place audiences can experience Lawrence of Arabia’s full glory, and to immerse you in your cinematic expedition we’re offering a special dinner inspired by the film that you can add to your ticket. The menu includes a chicken shwarma platter served over rice and tahini sauce as the entree, plus a salad of organic mixed greens with pickled tomatoes. Your dinner will be available an hour before the film starts and half an hour into it, while supplies last.
With exhilarating concert footage, Gimme Shelter follows the Rolling Stones from an outside view, centering simultaneously on the lives of institutions and the lives of people themselves. The film follows the concert tour from New York to San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, where a tragic loss of life occurred.
When the Rolling Stones decide to offer a free concert, three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collide with a few dozen Hell’s Angels at Altamont, and Direct Cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment. This isn’t just a concert film – it is found footage of a historical event, and the documentary itself presents it as such. It shows us the power art has on human nature.
Richard Brody argues, in this article about the artistic direction behind the film, that what was envisioned in stories like Lord of the Flies, Straw Dogs, or Deliverance was presented in reality in Gimme Shelter. In his word, “the Stones were primal and natural performers, whose music seemed to thrive, even to exist, in contact with the audience. That contact becomes the movie’s subject – a subject that surpasses the Rolling Stones and enters into history at large.”
Whether you’re a history buff, music lover, or just a fan of stories so good they survive the passage of time, join us for our one-time showings of Lawrence of Arabia on Wednesday, June 19th and Gimme Shelter on Thursday, June 20th, both at 7:00pm.