OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Doctor Zhivago

Must-See Cinema! Because an epic belongs on the big screen!

Poster for Doctor ZhivagoIn the decades since Doctor Zhivago was first released, Russia’s empire has shrunk and David Lean’s movie looks bigger. And video is probably the reason – for both. Video, along with the rest of the deluge of new technology, opened eyes in East Bloc countries: secrets were harder to come by. Conversely, video closed our eyes – or, at least, narrowed our expectations.
 
Although Doctor Zhivago was the director’s third mega-movie after Bridge On The River Kwai and Lawrence Of Arabia, at three hours it still looked pretty big back in 1965. Now, especially for anyone whose movie sense is tuned by video, it looks absolutely vast: you’ve never, ever seen so much snow. This sense of size, of grandeur, gives the film its kick, not the new sound mix or even the new print. Size doesn’t give the generally languid acting any more energy. Omar Sharif’s Zhivago remains as dreamy-eyed as a Persian cat on heavy tranquilizers. Geraldine Chaplin – his wife – bustles around nicely. And the then-unknown Julie Christie – Zhivago’s mistress – does a lot with the Ice Queen part she’s got, although that mostly gets melted in passion.”
 
– Peter Goddard, The Toronto Star
 
 

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