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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Darkening up the Frodo Art Travesties, plus a new Reni....

Posted on 2006.01.12 at 16:58
Tags: , ,
Greetings! I have just returned from visiting family, "back east". While I was out there I was able to use the internet services that were available in the public library. Although there was never enough time to read all my mail, I did look at my LJ.

I noticed that all of my manips and screencaps seemed wan and pale on all of the library's machines. Boo hoo hoo! The monitor I use at home is rather old. Too old, it seems. I have the "bright" turned all the way up, but everything looks loads darker on my machine. I was shocked to see how different my work looked on newer, very much brighter monitors.

Therefore, I re-did every one of my Frodo Art Travesties, darkening them considerably, re-naming them, and reloading them into the Photobucket album.

If you have any favourites that you have saved, you may want to re-save them. I apologize for the fact that I will have broken links to images posted in threads (such as the "New Frodo's Harem" thread at K-D). My Art Travesty link is in my signature there, however, so no fan of the manips need suffer. *grin* (Note that there are three pages; I apologize that the names of the prints are truncated by Photobucket.)

Now, then. As an "I'm back" gesture, I have made a new manip.

Here's a detail from it:

Frodo and Potiphar"s Wife

I am very pleased with it. It is made from a painting by the same Italian Baroque painter who did the "St. Sebastian" and the "Bacchus and Ariadne" I manipped recently. When I saw this painting, Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, I knew I would have to make it into a Frodo manip. (The Frodo head shot is from the fireside scene in FotR.)

The scene depicted in the painting is a very dramatic one. Joseph, sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, works in the house of Potiphar, an officer of Pharoah. Joseph does very well and is made overseer by Potiphar. However, Potiphar's wife thinks he'll do very well, too. "Joseph was handsome and good-looking," the text reads. In fact, she propositions Joseph repeatedly but each time he refuses. (Talk about on-the-job harrassment.)

One day, he is not so lucky....

But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and got out of the house."

Genesis 39:11-12

The painting shows him escaping as she clutches his garment. Still holding his garment, Potiphar's wife will accuse Joseph of having tried to rape her. Joseph is thrown into prison. Ah, what a great scene for film-Frodo to play! Such angst! How nobly he resists, knowing it will probably be his doom to do so, with a woman so determined and so unprincipled. *sigh*


~ Here is film Frodo appearing as the beleaguered Joseph, in Guido Reni's Joseph and Potiphar's Wife:

Frodo and Potiphar"s Wife, full manip

P.S. The other thing I did visiting my mother in D.C. was to go see Brokeback Mountain. Three times. I'm taking our daughter on Friday. Perhaps I will write a post on it. Suffice it to say, not since RotK have I been so impressed and moved by a film.

I loved it.


Just in case it doesn't get noticed in the comments boxes down there, Maeglian said this about the manip(s), which I think is very apt and provocative:

I think I may actually like the cropped teaser version better than the whole thing. Some disembodied hand is pullling his clothes off, to his obvious surprise or consternation....... Who is it? What's happening? Doesn't he want it to happen, or is it just the location that's inconvenient? (...)

Here's a link to the Frodo Art Travesties album, if you would like it.

~ Mechtild


aquila0212 at 2006-01-12 23:42 (UTC) (Link)
Very nice manip. Welcome home!
mechtild at 2006-01-12 23:46 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, back to you! And thank you, Aquila, for the welcome.

Tell me, is this about right on your monitor? It should be dark and richly-hued, like all of Reni's stuff, but not too dark, so that the finer things cannot be seen.

On my monitor, it is waaaay too dark. But on the library monitors it looks about right. On my husband's laptop, though, it still is rather pale and I can see every one of my manip strokes! *tears hair*

I would appreciate a "reality check."
aquila0212 at 2006-01-12 23:48 (UTC) (Link)
It's pretty dark, but I can see all the details.
mechtild at 2006-01-12 23:56 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I may have to do a little more tweaking.
maeglian at 2006-01-13 00:08 (UTC) (Link)
Gorgeous manip.

I think I may actually like the cropped teaser version better than the whole thing. Some disembodied hand is pullling his clothes off, to his obvious surprise or consternation....... Who is it? What's happening? Doesn't he want it to happen, or is it just the location that's inconvenient? A girl can make up quite a lot of Mary Sue-ish stories from speculating. :-D
mechtild at 2006-01-13 04:57 (UTC) (Link)
I think I may actually like the cropped teaser version better than the whole thing (....)

That's a very interesting observation, Maeglian Sue. ;)

I wish the original print had better resolution. I could have done a close-up of that section and made it much bigger. But the image just dissolves when I try to blow it up significantly, unfortunately.

When I look at Potiphar's wife, it interests me that her colours and her lighting are so "acid-y" compared to his. I suppose that was done purposely. At first I thought her look was merely beligerent, but around the eyes and the upper lip, I think she actually looks a little needy and tremulous, betraying her extremity, that she would do such a thing because she could not keep him with her. Having just seen "Brokeback Mountain" multiple times, perhaps she is having an "Alma moment," with Joseph heading out the door, no matter how she protests, to go on that fishing trip with -- whom? I'll bet Joseph doesn't catch anything, either.
lame_pegasus at 2006-01-13 05:55 (UTC) (Link)
Fantastically made, Mechtild, very convincing. And the colors are fine.
mechtild at 2006-01-13 14:32 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Belegcuthalion. I did lighten it just a tad.

Guess what? Last night my husband brought back a new, giant monitor from where he works that they were going to get rid of because they are going all flat-screen. This monitor has a great space to work and make the image really large for doing detail work or having two windows up at once. Also, it is more like the level of brightness that I have seen on so many other machines. Whoopee!
lame_pegasus at 2006-01-13 14:37 (UTC) (Link)
Yahoo! *dances*
ms_banazira at 2006-01-13 14:00 (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back Mech!

I don't thing your past travesties have been too light. I'm having a little bit of trouble making out the drapery behind that scandalous woman's head. Is it meant to be black? But then, if it weren't dark in here 'cept for my monitor, I could just reach up and tweak the contrast on my screen. Anyhow, the past travesties have been just fine, and I don't hink you're gonna satisfy the needs of all the monitors in fandom, so don't tear your hair!

I guess I didn't get Brokeback Mountain. But I've already waxed all opinionated about in my journal, so I won't repeat my trepidations here. Aquila (Hi, Aquila!) says that in 1963 they couldn't have shacked up together, but it was really only Ennis' childhood trauma that kept him from agreeing to it.... Shoot! I had a point, but it's fled my insomniac, middle aged brain! Bother!

Oh! found it again...But history shows that plenty of "bachelors" did ranch together. They may have done so as chaste as lambs, or they may have been lovers, but I think people mostly lived and let live for many many years. So, except for that trauma I mentioned earlier, the premise of these two lovers being kept apart kind of un-spooled for me. It just seemed like a story about two people finding a multitude of ways to be miserable.
mechtild at 2006-01-13 15:08 (UTC) (Link)

On Reni's painting

Thanks for commenting on the darks and lights, Honey. Yes, a person's monitor can be adjusted to bring up the darks and lights manually. The problem with our old monitor is that I already had it turned up as bright as it would go and it still made the images really, really dark. When looking at art gallery sites I would be thinking, "Why did they make these prints so danged dark?" Now I know it's not them but me with the problem. I just wrote to Belegcuthalion above that my husband installed a newer [used] monitor last night and it is a BIG improvement, literally.

The original of Joseph and Potiphar's wife is very dark, like a Caravaggio (or like a Reni, for that matter, if you will recall the extreme contrast in his St. Sebastian).

mechtild at 2006-01-13 15:08 (UTC) (Link)

On Brokeback

As for Brokeback Mountain, I am not going to discuss it on line until after Jan. 20 because that is when it will be released in the country where one of my fellow-posters lives, the person who put me on to the film. It was she who told me about the book and film being made of it, otherwise I would know nothing about it. (If a film doesn't get mentioned to me by The Faculty or my daughter, I am oblivious. :D)

Suffice it to say that there have been many bachelors living together in history, as there have been single women, and no one except moderns thought anything of it. Remember Garrison Keillor's "Norwegian bachelor farmers" in A Prairie Home Companion monologues? I am sure Kiellor did not intend that his modest, society-shy, tobacco-spitting bachelor characters be understood as lovers. However, a community does get a sense of it when a couple seems "odd" together, even in the Old Days.

I don't think it implausible that people would pick up a sense of Ennis and Jack's attraction to each other. Just a few of those slight-too-long looks passed between them could alert people (look how much guff screen Frodo and Sam have got, mostly from those long, tender looks they exchanged in the LotR films), especially if it were generally known that they both left their wives to live with each other. This is 1963 in Wyoming, after all, not San Francisco (which was just entering the "Hippie" era, where my older sister was a participant). But whether or not Annie Proulx did an adequate job establishing that leaving their families to live together would be courting certain danger, it is clear that for Ennis the fear is very real.

For me, from the film's treatment more than the book's, Ennis won't live with Jack as his lover because he is such a believer in "the way things are." Jack is the chancey one, the one willing to flout convention to get what he wants. Ennis is not only very afraid of retribution, he is an abider by rules and laws. He is the one who would not shoot the sheep to eat one (when Jack suggested they do so), nor complain about the unfairness of his employer to make the shepherd sleep in a tent with no fire off by his lonesome (which Jack did, etc. Ennis made a deal; he would stick by the rules of the deal. Ennis' outlook was, things were how they were, hard and implacable as the Wyoming landscape. They couldn't be changed, not really, not at a deep level, so they had to be endured. It wasn't just that if they set up house together they might be beaten or killed; for Ennis, to go live with Jack as his lover would be going against the structures he actually accepted and believed in, internally and externally. If it were just a matter of setting up a ranch or not, Ennis wouldn't be spilling his guts to Jack about how Jack "made him this way" - sobbing, "I'm nothing;" "I'm nowhere." That is, Ennis no longer fit into the world he still believed was the only world there was or could be, deep down. His love for Jack had made him an outcast, alienated from those around him (if they should find out), and also from himself.

Just a piece of my thoughts on the subject at this point. As I said, I mean to discuss it at length once my Norwegian friend has seen it. My own issues with the behaviour of the characters in the film has to do with how an on-going extra-marital affair of such an overwhelming sort affects their relationships with their families. I don't see their affair as that different from a heterosexual one, in terms of the effect their love has on their marriages.
ms_banazira at 2006-01-13 15:17 (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brokeback

I don't see their affair as that different from a heterosexual one, in terms of the effect their love has on their marriages.

Absolutely. There is no difference; the outcome is ultimately misery for everyone. Which is just sad, and not particularly romantic in my book.

But you made a lot of good points about Ennis' psychological make-up, and inability to go against the grain. I should have recognized that trait in him. Ennis is so much like my dad (except for the homosexual part) that I found him very familiar.
mechtild at 2006-01-13 15:35 (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brokeback

If your dad is like Ennis, there is much to love in him, even if he is difficult and dour. :)

Film-Ennis has a stoicism that I find attractive and deeply moving. Fortitude, the will and capacity to endure is a virtue I have not much honed in my own life, but which I admire madly in the lives of others. (Like in Frodo? Yep.) I think Ennis' attempts to "stand it" give him the stature he has as a character, even if, ironically, they also most make him unhappy.
ms_banazira at 2006-01-13 15:47 (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brokeback

I don't know, Mech. You can get yourself so bound up in not doing the "wrong" thing that you eventually can't do anything. It's taken me nearly 23 years out of that house to finally learn to dream, to try to make my own way rather than accepting what's dropped in my lap whether it suited me or not. Stoicism yes, bending ones' self into shapes you aren't made for in order to conform? A recipe for heartbreak I think.
mechtild at 2006-01-13 15:52 (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brokeback

You speak as one who has been there. I bow to experience. :)
ms_banazira at 2006-01-13 15:57 (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brokeback

I'm sorry. I don't mean to bludgeon you with my thoughts on the matter. Or to whine.
ms_banazira at 2006-01-13 16:35 (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brokeback

Hmph. Wasn't very stoic of me either, was it? LOL
mechtild at 2006-01-13 16:47 (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brokeback

Hey, I ain't no stoic, neither, ma'am. ;)

Seriously, I didn't mean anything negative in my reply. I only meant that you sounded as though you knew what you were talking about from personal experience. I am just throwing ideas around.

Well, off to work!

~ Mechtild

ms_banazira at 2006-01-13 17:15 (UTC) (Link)

Re: On Brokeback

I didn't think you did. But I know I can sound a bit starts-with-an-r-ends-with-abid when I don't really mean to! :-/
pearlette at 2006-01-14 10:20 (UTC) (Link)

Response to ms_banazira

Absolutely. There is no difference; the outcome is ultimately misery for everyone. Which is just sad, and not particularly romantic in my book.

I don't think the point of Brokeback is the condoning of adultery. Alma's anguished reaction was excruciating to watch: I felt for her as much as for Jack and Ennis.

What Brokeback depicts is a horrendously sad situation for these men and the women in their lives. Alma and Lureen would not have suffered such betrayal in their marriages if Jack and Ennis had not felt compelled by such strong societal forces to marry, in order to cover up their homosexuality. That's the point.

I'd read the short story by Annie Proulx and had read enough about the film to show the reality of being a gay man in the early 1960s in that particular part of America ... where being openly homosexual would have brought savage reprisals down on your head. The film hints strongly at this, rather than beating the message into your head, but the terror that Ennis feels for those twenty years is all too real and palpable.

I take on board what you're saying about the concept of romantic love being idealised at the expense of everything else - this is a message Hollywood drives home everyday in its relentlessly shallow portrayals of heterosexual romance. I have little time for a One Great True Love that spells despair and betrayal for the other party.

But I don't think that's what Brokeback is saying. What it does is simply portray a very painful reality that has awful consequences for each of those four people.
ms_banazira at 2006-01-14 18:16 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Response to ms_banazira

I don't think the point of Brokeback is the condoning of adultery. Alma's anguished reaction was excruciating to watch: I felt for her as much as for Jack and Ennis.

I agree Pearlette. The film was not promoting adultery, homosexuality or any other "life style." In these kinds of storylines it's the betrayal that is more awful for me to contemplate than any pleasure that might come from an adulterous affair. The dishonesty, the innocent lives that will never be the same (Ennis' daughters, Jack's son), the loss of integrity; all these things torture me far more than the vicarious pleasure in an affair can make up for.

And there is another element in the story that I've been thinking alot about lately. Ennis' father was emotionally abusive in his attempts to drill a sense of "right" into his kids head. Watching the outcome of that in Ennis' pained existence was very upsetting to me too.

Anyhow, Romantic or not, the whole thing was more painful than enjoyable for me.
pearlette at 2006-01-14 19:49 (UTC) (Link)
I think it probably helped that I'd read the short story by Annie Proulx, and that I'd read quite a bit about the film before I went to see it. As it was, it was exactly as I expected - just as good, if not better. But I knew it was going to be very sad and painful. The story is certainly far more bleak than romantic.


mechtild at 2006-01-14 19:52 (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps I should create a Brokeback Mountain post? I had wanted to hold off until Maeglian had seen it.
maeglian at 2006-01-15 23:14 (UTC) (Link)
Mechtild, please do not wait for my sake, if you'd like to discuss BBM with others. :-)
mechtild at 2006-01-15 23:38 (UTC) (Link)
Look a here, Alma, I'll wait if I want to. See? You snuck and looked. Actually, I traded a few emails about it apart from this LJ thread. If I post an entry, it will incorporate those remarks and I don't have time to do that right now, pard.

Hey, Maeglian, Jan. 20 is my birthday. That's another reason I am waiting to hear what you think when you see it that day. I will think of it as a present to read your post, whether you are thrilled, disappointed or left wondering, "It was good, but, so?"
ms_banazira at 2006-01-14 20:14 (UTC) (Link)
"Bleak" is the perfect word to describe the film. I went to it wanting a good cry, but in the end all I felt was bleak.
frodosweetstuff at 2006-01-13 14:09 (UTC) (Link)
Must confess that I cannot see a difference in the pics but I take your word for it that they are darker. :)

Ooh, the new one is lovely - and it makes me ask again how anybody can be so beautiful as Frolijah??? *melts*

And that one called ReniGuido_St *ogles* OMG. Can I book him? :D

Thank you - they are a delight to look at and drool over, all of them! *runs back to gallery*
mechtild at 2006-01-13 14:33 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Frodosweetstuff! So glad you liked the Reni of St. Sebastian.

You know, if you go to the top of this post and click the tag called, "Frodo art travesties," you will get the page for that manip which tells all about it. The painter Guido Reni seems to have had a rather wretched personal life, but he sure knew how to provide me with great paintings for manips!
frodosweetstuff at 2006-01-14 13:50 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, I thought it was St. Sebastian! Thanks to Guido Reni then for making us all happy! (Wish he'd painted something slashy, though *sigh*). :D
mechtild at 2006-01-14 14:27 (UTC) (Link)
Frodosweetstuff, you should Google up paintings according to subjects, then. You might find things you like. I know I've seen plenty of paintings featuring two men, not making love, but in scenes together so that you could plug in the head you wanted and end up with a man and a man. Cain and Abel, Achilles and Patroclus, Hercules and Hylas, stuff like that might be possible subjects. I know I've seen a painting site full of 19th century stuff that looked like a slasher's dream. Let me open up another window and see if I can find it.....

Well, here's one of the links I remembered of males in 19th century art. Sorry there aren't more images on it.


But check out "Plato's school." I wonder what the curriculum could be? ;) Or, "Phosphorus and Hesperus". That one could illustrate any number of slash fics featuring Sam and Frodo in Aman. And do check out "Dante and Virgil." It takes a while to notice that Dante and Virgil are in the painting at all. :) The men in the foreground would make very poor hobbits, though. Better for Men of Gondor/Rohan slash.

pearlette at 2006-01-13 23:54 (UTC) (Link)
Good to see you back, Mechtild! :)

I share the Brokeback love. An amazing film - deeply felt and acted.

And your manip makes me want to act out lots of Frodo hurt/comfort.


The l'il purdy will always be my first love.

(Anonymous) at 2006-01-14 02:28 (UTC) (Link)

Going to see BBM tonight -- AGAIN

Pearl, how nice to see your words in a comment box here, and I'm so pleased you like the manip. Everytime I say, "This will be the LAST one!" Perhaps this time it really will be true.

I am glad you got to see BBM. I heard about it through Maeglian's LJ, who allowed me to talk about it at length with her, in terms of her anticipation, since I had not heard of it and hadn't read or heard of the story. Since seeing it, I have talked with her as much as I may without spoiler-izing her. I can't wait till she sees it! I want to discuss changes from book to film and how they changed the story, that sort of thing. Yes, I really, really loved and was moved by the film, in terms of its content and its sheer quality.

While I was gone away and checking a few times into my mail via the public library, I think I remember seeing you post positive words somewhere about King Kong. Especially since so many LotR/Frodo fans seemed not to like it, I just wanted to say I thought it was really a wonderful film in many ways, well worth seeing and thinking about. Yes, too many dinosaur chases (except for my daughter who wanted more), but there was so much that was excellent in terms of good old fashioned moviemaking.

I'm off, now. Guess where? To Brokeback Mountain. I promised my daughter I would take her to see it when I got back home if it was playing in our city. I opened last Friday. It's only playing on one screen in one of the three multiplexes in town, but that's better than nothing. I'll be curious to see who else goes.
mechtild at 2006-01-14 02:31 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Going to see BBM tonight -- AGAIN

Whoops. I forgot to log in. The post directly above was from me, Mechtild. :)
pearlette at 2006-01-14 10:01 (UTC) (Link)


Mechtild, I posted a review on King Kong a week ago. :)

I wasn't that positive, I'm afraid. The beginning and the ending were terrific - I loved all the New York scenes. But I thought the film was too long and found much of the middle section tedious. If PJ wasn't so self-indulgent, he could have created a cinema classic to rival the original, but I think he just missed it. My frustration with the film was very similar to my frustration with PJ's LOTR (which I enjoy more than Kong.) It was as if a completely different movie was happening half way through the one I had begun watching. As I said, all the New York scenes were EXCELLENT.

Good to have you back! :)
mechtild at 2006-01-14 14:05 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Kong

I loved the New York material, too -- the first part, I mean. In fact, the first hour was my favourite part of the film. I swooned just for the opening titles. Funny, though, it's the first hour that the majority of reviewers and responders thought slow, making people wait forever to see Kong, etc. For me it was the best. The middle really did have too much, there I would agree. But I think I said that. Somewhere ;). I felt as though PJ said to himself, "Oh, boy! Now I can pull out all the stops and do every single monster bit I ever wanted to do!"

My daughter is dying to see the "Extended Version" which she is confident will come out. (It's her fave film now after LotR.). I said that if he did an "EE," it ought to be a "TE" - truncated version. Except I would like to know what happened to the Jimmy story line. That I would like to see more of, since he and Fran and Philippa happened to include it. That was the only role I saw in there for EW, but good thing he didn't play it.
mariole at 2006-01-14 17:29 (UTC) (Link)
I love the face/expression in this one! I do enjoy art that has some action in it. Heh. Too bad Joseph's leg doesn't look like Frolijah's. Can you manip in a whole leg? You'd have to get a pose of Frodo with his breeches off. *rrrrrriiiiiiiiiiipppppppp* There you go! Get busy!

mechtild at 2006-01-14 19:02 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Joseph's leg is decidedly sturdy-looking. Hey, that cropped version would made a great Ripper icon!
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