October Horrorshow: Phantoms

Peter O’Toole was one of the greatest actors who ever lived, perhaps. He was classically trained and made a name for himself on the English stage. He was nominated for Oscars for his performances eight times, yet never won. One of his roles, that of T.E. Lawrence in the epic Lawrence of Arabia, will survive for hundreds of years, at least. By the latter stages of his career, grand roles evaporated, and he was stuck, for the most part, in roles that provided a payday, yet little glory. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Phantoms”

The Empty Balcony: Becket & The Lion in Winter

In 1998 Peter O’Toole played Dr. Timothy Flyte in Phantoms alongside Ben Affleck, Liev Schreiber and Rose McGowan. I love it when fine actors slum it. One can read just how closely their patience is being tested on their faces. Oh? Filming my part is going to stretch longer than a week? My apologies, but I must be on a flight back to England by Friday. What’s that? You have more money? I would be delighted to stay! Continue readingThe Empty Balcony: Becket & The Lion in Winter”

The Empty Balcony: Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia is the grandest of them all. Grand scope, grand personalities, and a grand, at times overpowering, score. The film is at or near the top of more ‘best movies ever’ lists than is worth recounting here. It is a classic, a film at the apogee of the industry’s aspirations for crafting epics. It was also a gaping hole in my experience of film. Until this weekend, I had never seen more than the first few minutes and some random clips here and there. Mostly, I had just never set aside the time. For the last few years, however, I never sought out the film because of what I know of the Middle East, and the film industry’s liberal interpretations of history. Continue readingThe Empty Balcony: Lawrence of Arabia”