Lawrence of Arabia (The Drawing Board)
After being given feedback on our progress through this assignment, the team now see how we could have thought through things differently. So, now it is all hands on deck. We met with some second years and this helped us figure out our brainstorming and how we should be attempting this module’s instructions. I feel it has really revved the juice on the motor.
One fantastic piece of information we received was from one of the second years; they mentioned an artist M.C. Escher. The team are really inspired by this artist’s work and we have decided to use their style for our project.
With us now looking to this artist as our main source of inspiration on the project, new ideas have sprung into our minds that could potentially influence our finalized product. We discussed how we see the film Lawrence of Arabia as a kind of chess game (or someone playing Monopoly), then further to this conclusion we started to discuss about metaphors, which brought us to thinking of Myths (in particular… Theseus and the Minotaur/ the Labyrinth). Theseus has been sentenced to the lair of the Minotaur, Araidne the King’s daughter has fallen in love with Theseus and goes to the mentor for aid in helping Theseus escape from the Labyrinth. The mentor is also the designer of the Labyrinth and feeling sorry for the girl, tells her the secret to escaping the maze; he hands her a piece of yarn, and tells her to hold one end of the string, while Theseus ventures through the maze with the ball of yarn. In discussing this we talked about how Lawrence and Ali’s relationship could relate to our story.
Even the story of Dante’s Inferno has something of an intrigue to us; we think of the desert as the Inferno (blazing hot and uncomfortable), a journey through hell, and Lawrence has undergone a lot in his quest.
We even feel that colour should be incorporated into the final project – orange is calm, red is power, black absorbs and is a colour used predominately for villainous characters, and white is purity (when Lawrence get his white robes we see it as a rebirth, this is his innocence). Red is used quite a lot in Lawrence of Arabia, signifying Power; there was one interesting piece of information we figured out (with the help of a second year): Lawrence in the scene with the white robe has innocence, this innocence is demolished in the next scene; (the knife Lawrence owns plays a part in establishing this).
- the white robe scene: he takes out the blade and looks to his reflection (he is pleased with what he sees)
- in another later scene, he does this again after the bloodshed he has caused, he looks to his blade (all bloody) in disgust.
- However, it is in the scene in which he and General Allenby are discussing the take-over in Aqaba, that we get a piece of information from Lawrence about his nature… he says he has done something he did not like… he killed a man; Lawrence goes on to explain that he did not like that he enjoyed it. What we figured out at this point was that Lawrence has a lust for power, through murder – Red!
Lawrence starts off by taking orders from his superiors, he then decides at some point to not take orders any longer, but to take matters into his own hands. This sets his status among the other characters to slowly ascend the ladder; at the end Lawrence is promoted to the position of general officer.
Maze designs are a key aspect of our project, in that they relate to an earlier idea we have about finger prints. In Lawrence of Arabia, the story is truly about identity – asking the question…. “who are you?”
The Lawrence of Arabia story is….. a puzzle, a maze, isolation, never ending, filled with metaphors, a box within a box, prophet, fate, power, remorse and loss of identity.
Lawrence as a character is …… an outcast, well educated, prophet, isolated, pacifistic, tragic hero, “a sword with two ends”, innocence, and loss of identity/innocence.
If we look at Lawrence of Arabia as a kind of Rubik’s cube; it is a complex story trying to fix or solve the puzzle, but it can’t; Lawrence does not know who he is as a character. That is why the team and I think it is a never ending battle for Lawrence with his own demons.
We are still in the process of figuring out our concepts, and progressing our ideas further; we are now trying to keep thinking outside the box and finding more interesting solutions to our problem.