?

Log in

No account? Create an account
September 2017   01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

The Dead Marshes, Pt. 1: “So Bright, So Beautiful…” plus poem by jan-u-wine….

Posted on 2007.04.23 at 11:25
Tags: , , ,
~*~



There are quite a few fine scenes for screencaps set in the Dead Marshes, so I will be presenting them in four separate posts.

This, the opening post, will present images of Frodo stroking and admiring the Ring. In the EE, this scene is actually preceded by the one in which the hobbits munch lembas and Gollum is hungry in the wasteland. But because I wanted to start off with Frodo's experience of the Ring, I will post these caps first.


~*~


1. Frodo’s experience of the Ring in the films.


In this scene, the hobbits have just survived the ordeal of the "Dead faces in the water". Gollum has rescued Frodo from the horror of the spectres, if not actual drowning, and now it is night. Everything is quiet, everyone seems to be asleep. But Frodo is not, we see. Curled on his side, he appears to think himself alone and unobserved as he looks lovingly at the Ring, caressing it. He is startled, however, tucking the Ring down the bosom of his shirt, when he hears the voice of Gollum a few yards off, speaking the words that he himself [probably] has been thinking: "So bright! So beautiful!" When the camera shows Gollum, the viewer can see that Gollum has been doing the same thing as Frodo: tracing the smooth round of the Ring with his fingertip, gazing at it adoringly, and addressing it as he might a lover. But in Gollum's case the pleasure is a remembered one. His calloused palm is empty.

Because I planned to post a poem jan-u-wine wrote inspired by this sequence, I have been corresponding with her about the significance of the scene. Why did Frodo tuck the Ring away the way he did, she asked, pointing out that the Ring is frequently seen in the films on the outside of his clothes. It falls into snow banks and dangles over Elven mirrors. In the later parts of the film, it’s seen bouncing around on its chain quite a bit. “The only time he does attempt to hide it (that I recall),” Jan said, “is when he is having a private moment with it.”

How true, I thought. He hides it away in this scene, but also in his opening scene of RotK. Sam is asleep but Frodo is awake, gazing at the Ring and fondling it, thrusting it down his shirt when Gollum drops into view.

Some viewers have compared Frodo stroking the Ring in secret to a masturbation scene. The Ring is like sex; Frodo is "getting off" on the Ring, secretly fondling it. But I think what makes Frodo start the way he does is more profound than being caught using the Ring as a drug or a sex toy. In the scene I capped, he’s not using the Ring as a sex aid or intoxicant, he's relating to it, like a beloved. Frodo gazes at the Ring the way he would the most desirable, most adored lover in the world. He's not rubbing or clenching it and rolling his eyes about, as if he were having a wank. He holds it delicately on his palm and looks at it with tender regard, touching it softly, tentatively—as if he were courting it, wooing it. I think Frodo’s sudden zeal for secrecy is not prompted by what he has been doing, precisely, but by what he has been feeling.

It’s not that he’s admiring it or even touching it. Frodo did that early on in the book. The pertinent passage appears early in FotR. Frodo has asked Gandalf why he hadn't told him before how dangerous the Ring was; he could have destroyed it. Could he have done? Gandalf asks. Has Frodo tried to destroy it? "Try! Try now!" Gandalf challenges him, in The Shadow of the Past:


Frodo drew the Ring out of his pocket again and looked at it. It now appeared plain and smooth, without mark or device that he could see. The gold looked very fair and pure, and Frodo thought how rich and beautiful the colour, how perfect was its roundness. It was an admirable thing and altogether precious. When he took it out he had intended to fling it from him into the very hottest part of the fire. But he found now that he could not do so, not without a great struggle. He weighed the Ring in his hand, hesitating, and forcing himself to remember all that Gandalf had told him; and then with an effort of will be made a movement, as if to cast it away—but he found that he had put it back in his pocket.


It’s not the beauty of the Ring, or that it has a nice heft that troubles Frodo, it’s his feelings for it, even as early as the parlour of Bag End. That film-Frodo is aware of and uneasy about his feelings for the Ring (heightened in the film) is implied in the TTT scene in Ithilien, when Gollum is frolicking in the icy stream. Frodo has been telling Sam he wants to think Gollum can “come back”, that he can be saved. “You can’t save him, Mr. Frodo,” Sam replies flatly. Frodo, stung, jumps all over Sam. Jan-u-wine pointed me to this scene, bringing to bear the implications of the “So bright, so beautiful” caps to it.

Slightly edited, here’s what Jan said:


I should suppose, when we remember just who this is [Frodo Baggins]—and what he likely is like inside—a very *gentle-hobbit* indeed—that whether pure wank, or not-admitted-to lover, he'd be putting the Ring away in this situation (…) so that no one sees how he feels. Isn't that exactly why he gets THAT pissed at Sam's accusation: "I've seen you,” Sam says, “You can't take your eyes off it." Frodo, caught making "love" to the Ring. Sam knew that wasn't "right", knew that the Ring-bearer shouldn't be spending his time looking in that manner at the object he'd be called upon to destroy. And Frodo, like all who have taken a misstep and thought no one knew, becomes inordinately angered by Sam's remonstrance. I suppose the putting away of the Ring could be sign of a sort of shame. Why hide it, after all, if he knew the feeling to be good and right? (…) It must have been quite a shock to look over and see Gollum basically mimicking what he was, himself, doing. And it angered him, too. His love could not be so pure, could it, when Gollum had touched (and been touched, apparently) the Ring in the same manner?

Yes, Sam did strike a nerve.

Whatever the nuances of Frodo’s desire for the Ring, the films definitely show Frodo harbouring an "unholy love" for the Ring, which must necessarily appall him, and of which he would be ashamed. The Ring, for him, and for Gollum as shown by their parallel acts in the Dead Marshes scene, is like a Siren, a Siren made of gold. Irresistible, alluring, it is intent on dragging them down to destruction and death.

But Frodo might also have rushed to hide the Ring because he was interrupted by Gollum in particular. In the book scenes, Frodo pointedly declares he won’t let Gollum even see the Ring, on the grounds that the mere sight of it would drive Gollum mad with desire. So it would be just prudence to put it away when Gollum approached. But the idea interests me that Frodo not only did not want Gollum to see the Ring, he didn’t want Gollum to see him with the Ring. To be caught fondling it would drastically undermine his injunctions to “Sméagol”, if Frodo appeared to be as besotted Gollum was.


~*~



2. Frodo’s experience of the Ring (and the Eye) in the book.


In the book, other than his reaction to the Ring first bringing it out in the parlour in Bag End, when he found the Ring beautiful to look at, a pleasure to hold and “altogether precious”, Frodo’s feelings towards the Ring do not appear to be like those in the films. There seems to be nothing pleasurable about bearing the Ring, not even in a bent way. When book Frodo does feel the urge to put it on, it does not appear to be like the craving of an addict yearning for his high (or a lover for the ecstasy of sexual union). It seems more like being called, called by a will he cannot gainsay.

Back in the vicinity of the Shire, his sense was only vague that he ought not to put it on. After Weathertop, Frodo will have been schooled in the arts of Sauron and the Ring. When Frodo experiences Sauron bearing down upon him, to put on the Ring and reveal himself on Amon Hen at the Seat of Seeing, it is too much for him. He is yielding when another voice enters his mind, a champion come to strive with Sauron on his behalf [i.e. Gandalf]. Frodo feels himself powerless between them. The voice of Gandalf prevails, and Frodo is saved.

But at Amon Hen Frodo's will seems to have forged in a decisive way—towards the Quest and towards the Ring. He emerges steelier, grimmer, and wiser. Each new call to put on the Ring is met like a warrior, standing his ground before his adversary on a mental field of battle. He withstands the Enemy in greater and greater mental onslaughts, calling upon Sam to hold his hand only once (when the Eye comes upon him, weakened by hunger and thirst, on the plain of Gorgoroth in sight of Mt. Doom). Frodo's will is overpowered only at the very last, in the beating heart of his Enemy's domain.

In the book, Frodo's experience of the Dark Lord in his guise as the Eye seems to take more of a toll than the Ring. The Ring is primarily felt as a weight dragging him down, increasingly heavy as they get closer to Mordor and the mountain. But the Eye assails him with active malevolence, relentless, ever intent on violating Frodo's mind and dominating his will. Sauron's strategy is two-fold: the Ring drains Frodo's reserves while the Eye keeps up a frontal assault.

Below is what I think is the most vivid description in LotR of what bearing the Ring as he drew nearer and nearer to Sauron was for Frodo. Before this passage, the Wraith has flown overhead. Gollum, once he has recovered (for he is the one who is incapacitated, not Frodo), is able to go on, but Sam is troubled by Gollum's friendlier-than-ever behaviour, which he suspects. Even more Sam is troubled by Frodo. Here is the excerpt from The Passage of the Marshes:


...Sam had another growing anxiety. Frodo seemed to be weary, weary to the point of exhaustion. He said nothing, indeed he hardly spoke at all; and he did not complain, but he walked like one who carries a load, the weight of which is ever increasing; and he dragged along, slower and slower, so that Sam had often to beg Gollum to wait and not to leave their master behind.

In fact with every step towards the gates of Mordor Frodo felt the Ring on its chain about his neck grow more burdensome. He was now beginning to feel it as an actual weight dragging him earthwards. But far more he was troubled by the Eye: so he called it to himself. It was that more than the drag of the Ring that made him cower and stoop as he walked. The Eye: that horrible growing sense of a hostile will that strove with great power to pierce all shadows of cloud, and earth, and flesh, and to see you: to pin you under its deadly gaze, naked, immovable. So thin, so frail and thin, the veils were become that still warded it off. Frodo knew just where the present habitation and heart of that will now was: as certainly as a man can tell the direction of the sun with his eyes shut. He was facing it, and its potency beat upon his brow.

Re-reading this to post moves me all over again, so vividly does it portray what Frodo had to endure. And it moves me to love him all the more that he should endure it, so long and so well.



~*~



3. The screencaps and poem.


Below are seventeen caps from the scene’s opening scene, the remainder of the caps (at the point Frodo hears Gollum’s voice) to appear in the next post. As usual, all the caps have been cropped and tweaked for brightness, focus, and contrast.

Jan-u-wine’s powerful “So Bright… So Beautiful” follows, inspired by the scene from which the caps come.



~*~





~ Frodo alone with the Ring at night, in the Dead Marshes.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket





~*~





So Bright…So Beautiful…

~ jan-u-wine


Close
we lie,

so close,

in the warm night.

No one will see,
no one
will come near.

Sweetly,
you whisper……..

words meant
for me alone.

Only me…..

and you,

alone.

The heat of desiring you
runs
through my mind,
holds me,
to treacherous fire.

Dark and light
become
my waking dream,
shadows
drifting
like caresses
through the torment
of my thoughts.

Across the chasm
of this need,
my hand
trembles,
dares
to touch
you.

You
are beautiful.

I want you:

how much,
even I
did not
know.

I close my eyes,
and see
you still.

My breath
stops
inside the circle
of this pitiable
desire.

Within my mind,
I run
free
over dark mountains
towards
the endlessness
of the Sea.

My heart,
my mind,

my body
lie here,
silent,

bound

to you,

inhaling
the poison
of your

terrible beauty.

I will

not

say

I love
you.






~*~








Most Recent Entries:


~ The Dead Marshes, Pt. 1: "So bright... So beautiful..." plus jan-u-wine's poem of the same name.


~ The Dead marshes, Pt. 2: 'Who are you?"—Frodo tries to revive Gollum's memory of Sméagol.



~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 1 ~ “We’re not alone.”


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 2a ~ "Catch it, Mr. Frodo!"



~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 2b ~ "A Little Bit of Home", essay,
plus jan-u-wine's "A Gardener's Gift".


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 3-a ~ “I do pity him.”


~ The Emyn Muil, Pt. 3-b ~ "You know the way to Mordor."





Other tables of links:


~ Entries with jan-u-wine's poems.


~ Entries with Frodo & Elijah Wood screencaps.


~ Art Travesty LJ entries.


~ ALBUM of all Art Travesties (images only).



~ Mechtild



Comments:


(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-23 23:51 (UTC) (Link)
Mews, thanks so much for your passionate, thoughtful comments. I will tell Jan you've posted. No, Jan is not on LJ and doesn't expect she ever will be. Not enough time. You and I both know how much time LJ requires if one really is engaged with it as a medium.

Yes, Frodo--especially in his film incarantion--has to deal with a lot of shame. Maybe that's one of the things that made so many of us fall for him? Our own lives seem to involve mutliple shame-making situations. How inspiring and encouraging to see a character who manages to survive worse--and even transcends them.
*blush* - (Anonymous) Expand
(Deleted comment)
ואם לא עכשו אימתי
karin_woywod at 2007-04-23 21:58 (UTC) (Link)

Part 1 of 3

Okay, here I am, having only recently friended you and I am still in awe of what you're doing.

My approach to "The Lord Of The Rings" has always been a difficult one. I never managed to give it the attention I've always felt it deserved.

When I was a teenager, I took the book, or rather the trilogy of books, home from the small town library, and I soon got lost in the journey. I think I got as far as Tom Bombadil, or was it even as far as the Mines Of Moria and Lothlorien ? - Anyway, I felt, the hobbits and I were getting nowhere, and it took us too long to approach our final goal, our destiny, it felt like we were getting distracted along the way by dozens of (unnecessary ?) steps and stops along our journey, so, with lots of regret, I gave up reading it.

Then I was among the few who actually went to the local small town cinema to see Ralf Bakshi's animated version of "The Lord Of The Rings". But I was fooled again - it was the first time I was exposed to a large extent to Gollum and his interaction with the hobbits, but once again, the film ended prematurely, and the journey hadn't come to its conclusion.

The next time that I was exposed to the story, happened much, much later. In 2001, I went to the (by now, I was living in the big city) cinema for "The Fellowship", and I remember that I thought it a well-crafted film - Middle-Earth had become believable, a place and people that actually could exist, but once again, it took the Fellowship so long to get to places, once again they left me hanging in thin air, knowing that I would have to wait for the conclusion until some undisclosed future. And also, I poked fun at that Frodo bloke, who really didn't do much for me on first viewing - I asked myself : "Does he always have to use the same facial expression : fearful, looking with wide open eyes into a bleak future ? ? ?" - I had to involuntarily smile at the most inappropriate places !

I forgot about the movies, didn't go to the movie theatre for the second and third parts.

It wasn't before 2005, when I eventually, out of pure chance (and after being persuaded by my best friend), watched the trilogy on DVD, that I was hooked. And suddenly I was ready to see the acting skills involved ( and to appreciate that Elijah had more than one expression on offer ;o) ) and finally, in 2006, I've even managed to read the trilogy in book form.

And only now, it seems to dawn on me, that maybe the journey itself is the goal, is a learning process. The way Frodo changes and interacts with the different people of Middle-Earth. The way he is influenced by the Ring. The way he interacts with Gollum. What makes him do what he is doing ? And what results in him never being the same than he was before this experience ?

And somehow, all this time, even though I didn't manage to pull through, I had always known that "The Lord Of The Rings" was something precious, something of immense value. Even more so, when I eventually knew "the whole story" . . .

And now I can't get enough of it.

__________________________________________________________________________



[to be continued]

ואם לא עכשו אימתי
karin_woywod at 2007-04-23 22:13 (UTC) (Link)

Part 2 of 3

- Do you know this feeling when there is something precious around, a true piece of art, that you want to "deepen the experience" somehow, to "immerse yourself in it", to "soak it up more profoundly" ? ? ?

- Frodo in this case would resolve to stroking the ring, teehee, but us, who hold a) the fictional world of Middle-Earth with all its intricacies - and b) the acting abilities and the sheer beauty of one Mr. Elijah Wood - close to our hearts, what are we supposed to do ?

I tried re-watching my "LOTR" DVDs just to go for the details, to try to memorize better the scenes I love so much, but I just couldn't bring myself to watch just one scene only using the scene selection. Every time I attempted a "re-watch", it had to be one whole film at the time, and - whoops - there went the details and delicacies once again, because one's memory can hold only that much :o(

And then there's the attempt to re-read "The Lord Of The Rings" once again, but it's such a big book, and now that I know the story-line from my first (whole) reading of it, I am afraid I probably would get stuck again, just like what happened when I was a teenager.

Luckily for me, just at this point of pondering, a solution presented itself like a revelation : YOUR movie (and book) recapitulations - - - and they turned out to be such an excellent gift for me !

They are like concentrated essays on just one stage of the journey. You quote the respective lines of the book, you bring us the cropped and brightened movie stills/caps, and I like it how you seperate the source material and your own interpretations of the scenes. First you bring us the condensed "essence" of the two sources, to let those speak for themselves, then you add your thoughts on the subject.

- I'm loving it !

It's such a heightened experience of the scene ! Film images "flicker away" from you so quickly, and a paragraph in a book gets overshadowed by all the other paragraphs before and after. You bring us right into a scene, a place, a chapter, a stage of the journey, and we turn into an attentive observer, so we can enjoy all the intricacies and small details that we may have overlooked otherwise.

Speaking of which - you sparked so much in me I wanted to say about the subject of this particular entry - Frodo's relationship with the Ring - but I am afraid it will have to wait until another day, as it has become late (or rather, early) here.

Speak (write) to you soon,

- Love,

- Karin.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-24 00:09 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2 of 3

Should I respond, yet, Karin? Your replies say "part 1" and "part 2" of three.

In any event, thanks for great, full, heart-felt replies. You have obviously been through a lot in your LotR-Frodo Baggins journey, and have a lot to offer in terms of observations.
ואם לא עכשו אימתי
karin_woywod at 2007-04-24 09:59 (UTC) (Link)

Part 3 of - - - 4 !

So here I am now, right in the middle of the Dead Marshes ( *imaginary squelching sounds* ;o) )

And we are are witnessing a rather intimate moment : Frodo caressing the Ring.

Jan wrote : Frodo, caught making "love" to the Ring

You wrote : He holds it delicately on his palm and looks at it with tender regard, touching it softly, tentatively — as if he were courting it, wooing it. I think Frodo’s sudden zeal for secrecy is not prompted by what he has been doing, precisely, but by what he has been feeling.

Yes, I agree with both descriptions : he's drawn to it, he's attracted by it. He strokes it in reverence. He's in awe, he almost doesn't dare to touch it. It's like he's put it on a pedestal, like it's so high above him, that he counts himself lucky to be chosen as the ring-bearer, to have the privilege of caring for it. It's the most desirable thing in the world.

I seem to remember either Peter Jackson or Elijah Wood likening it to a heroin addiction, and stroking the ring is a real high for Frodo. At the same time, in the same way like the heroin addict, Frodo knows what he's doing is wrong. That he should resist the lure of the ring. That's why he resolves to secrecy, to give in to his craving only when he thinks he can't be observed doing it.

So he's not only shocked to find he has been observed, but especially by whom he has been observed !

He's come to see Gollum as a kind of mirror image to himself.

That film-Frodo is aware of and uneasy about his feelings for the Ring (heightened in the film) is implied in the TTT scene in Ithilien, when Gollum is frolicking in the icy stream. Frodo has been telling Sam he wants to think Gollum can “come back”, that he can be saved. “You can’t save him, Mr. Frodo,” Sam replies flatly. Frodo, stung, jumps all over Sam.

Yes, he sees Gollum as a warning, as an example of what might become of himself, the more he should give in to the Ring. I will probably comment more on this aspect in other parts of your "Dead Marshes" essay.

I feel a bit uneasy explaining Frodo's behaviour, his moral background, which makes him see that what he's immersing himself in is wrongful, despicable, simply by him being a gentle-hobbit. I think though Tolkien wrote the story drawing on existing class distinctions, he made it clear, that Frodo and Sam overcome these distinctions in many aspects, and that, in the end, Sam proves to be essential for the success of the quest, and doesn't act any less heroic or moral than the gentle-hobbit in this story.

Frodo is what he is because he's Frodo, not because he is one class above the others. Frodo had been orphaned at the age of 12 and lived the difficult life of an outsider who depended on the Brandybucks for support. Before Bilbo "adopted" him, he never had the typical upbringing of a gentle-hobbit. Bilbo's education led to a world-open, tolerant, compassionate hobbit, who drew as much on Elvish ethical values as on typical Hobbit values. - I digress, but I strongly feel, that Frodo isn't the sort of person he is, just because he is "one of our betters", as Sam's gaffer would say.

______________________________________________________________________

[to be continued]
ואם לא עכשו אימתי
karin_woywod at 2007-04-24 10:04 (UTC) (Link)

Part 4 of 4 (conclusion)

But that Frodo should resolve to the night, to the darkness, when everyone is seemingly asleep, to stroke the Ring, is not only because he knows what he's doing is wrong, it's also a very intimate act, and Frodo is not the type of hobbit who would expose his - - - erhm "love live" for all to see.

The Ring, for him, and for Gollum as shown by their parallel acts in the Dead Marshes scene, was like a Siren, a Siren made of gold. Irresistible, alluring, it is intent on dragging them down to destruction and death.

Yup, exactly. And this is what makes this interlude in the Dead Marshes, and your essay on it, interesting. It is a stage of the journey that shows the effect the Ring has on Frodo. "A most unlikely creature, a hobbit" he might be, with a built-in resistance to the Ring, but he is not unaffected by it, and Frodo is portrayed here not only having to fight (and hide from) his obvious enemies (like Sauron's servants) but having also this struggle within himself (fighting the ring and his inner demons), that takes up all his thoughts and all his energy ! Here are the beginnings of that exhaustion we are to see later on in Mordor and near Mount Doom. And it seems to me, this is Frodo's real achievement as the hero of this story - not succeeding in outward battles (this is the role attributed to the rest of the Fellowship : Aragorn, Merry, Pippin etc.) - but resisting his inner battles for so long. This is a quiet hero and a quiet battle he is fighting - and it makes me admire him all the more ! ! !

But Frodo might also have rushed to hide the Ring because he was interrupted by Gollum in particular. In the book scenes, Frodo pointedly declares he won’t let Gollum even see the Ring, on the grounds that the mere sight of it would drive Gollum mad with desire. So it would be just prudence to put it away when Gollum approached. But the idea interests me that Frodo not only did not want Gollum to see the Ring, he didn’t want Gollum to see him with the Ring. To be caught fondling it would drastically undermine his injunctions to “Sméagol”, if Frodo appeared to be as besotted Gollum was.

Couldn't agree more ! Who would understand what Frodo's doing with the Ring better than Gollum ? Frodo probably would be able to hide his addiction and his falling for the Ring from Sam, but he never would be able to hide it from Gollum, who would know exactly what was happening in Frodo. Frodo and his actions would become transparent to Gollum.

Yes, Frodo feels shame, and Gollum, of all people, noticing what Frodo was doing, increases that shame. And, as you stated quite rightly, how can Frodo lead Sméagol to recovery when he's succumbing to temptation himself, how can someone afflicted by this raging illness cure someone recovering from the same illness ?

Mechtild, I really like what you are doing here - drawing our attention to certain aspects of book and film. It intensifies the "message" these stories have. The more we watch and the "slower" we watch, the better it is for our understanding.

So thanks a lot for bringing the scenes "closer" to us, so that we can appreciate them even more, the way they were written by Tolkien, and the way they were envisioned by Peter Jackson and his excellent actors !

Which was the reason in the first place why I eventually friended you. In the past, I encountered your excellent essays only when they cropped up in one of my random blog searches for "Elijah Wood". But now, I want to get notice of you publishing another one as soon as it happens.

Love,

- Karin.
ואם לא עכשו אימתי
karin_woywod at 2007-04-24 10:08 (UTC) (Link)
Ooops, my quotes didn't turn out to be represented in Italics, so that makes my comments a bit difficult to read :o(
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-24 12:44 (UTC) (Link)
I think your formatting was clear enough, Karin. I know, of course, which are quotes, because they are familiar to me from writing them, lol. But the context tells when you are addressing a different idea.

Wow! You really are on fire! What a shame you weren't on the messageboards during the release of the films. I got there rather late, too, but before RotK came out. You wouldn't have believed what hotbeds of intense, involved, impassioned discussion they were. For someone who came to liking the films late, once you were on board, you were really on board.

I hope you come to feel equal devotion and intellectual excitement for the book. It really is, easily, my favourite work of prose, in which I never stop seeing new things. Thanks again for coming by. This project started out as a lark, celebrating the classical beauty of film Frodo, but has become a place to write about some of my deepest feelings about the films and book.
ואם לא עכשו אימתי
karin_woywod at 2007-04-24 17:10 (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for spamming, but just now, by chance, I've found some quotes by Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, taken from a Collectormania 4 (October 5th 2003) transcript by Cheshire Cat ( source : http://www.theonering.net/archives/special_reports/10.27.03-11.02.03 ) :

Audience : Who do you think is the real hero of Lord of the Rings? [cheering and clapping]

Sean Astin : Good question!

Elijah Wood : Sam! It’s Sam who keeps going when Frodo can’t continue anymore. It’s Sam that remains strong until they make it home and he still maintains his loyalty to his friend…it’s in the book! [laughter]

Sean : My thoughts on the matter are a little different. Sam isn’t …. [interrupted by Elijah…]

Elijah : Just accept your heroism! [cheering]

Sean : I ROCK! [laughter] …But Sam is really nothing except what he is in relationship to Frodo.

Elijah : Oh! So humble. The two kinda work together.

Sean : Yeah!

Elijah : But one wouldn’t be what that person is without the other and vice versa, I think.

Sean : Sam would have killed Gollum and they never would have got to Mordor!

Elijah : It’s an intricate puzzle.

Sean : I’ve been using a metaphor for other interviews today. Frodo’s told “Hold this 10,000lb weight and don’t move!..and if you drop it – Everyone dies! So how innately dramatic is that? You’re just watching him. It’s hurting him. It’s psychological. It’s inside his mind and he’s dealing with the torture of that evil poison in his soul. Right! And people are running in and trying to get him to drop it…and Sam is knocking them away. But he’s still the one holding it. So I had the privilege of watching Peter Jackson try to communicate with Elijah..the two of them worked to figure out “How do you dramatise what is essentially an internal struggle …and just wait and see where Elijah goes with this! It’s incredible!


___________________________________________________________________

[Karin says :]

Couldn't agree more, and here, in the Dead Marshes, we'll get a glimpse of that internal struggle (even more so in the book, in the lines you quoted), and we get a glimpse of how Elijah is portraying that inner struggle in the film.

Sorry that I had to add that, but it fitted so completely to my thoughts I've expressed above.

Love,

- Karin.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-24 18:50 (UTC) (Link)
I agree that the most difficult task the filmmaker's had was to dramatize what for Frodo was an internal struggle. According to the novel, very little showed, Frodo being an essentially English character ("I'm all right, lads! Don't worry about me!"). They had to decide what the struggle was, of course, and that's where the writers got creative. But the sheer fact of making his struggle visible, we owe all that to EW, who did a fantastic job expressing so much for which there were no words.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2007-04-25 08:47 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Mechling! Doesn’t convey just how much I love your essays.

Karin wrote:

It's such a heightened experience of the scene ! Film images "flicker away" from you so quickly, and a paragraph in a book gets overshadowed by all the other paragraphs before and after.

This is what I have felt but have been unable to put it into words.

Frodo’s intimacy with the ring is described by Jan-u-wine perfectly. An extremely moving poem.

Thank you ladies.

Estë
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-25 12:31 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Estë. (I love it when you sign your posts, Estë, because then I can copy-and-paste your name, Estë, with the correct accent, Estë.)

That poem really did express it more than well. I think she takes it where it would go if he were book Frodo, but it's not clear to me that film Frodo has considered the final implications of his pleasure in touching, gazing at and basically doting upon the Ring.

That is, her final line for Frodo, "I / will / not/ say / I love / you", is what I would have liked to get a sense of in the scene, but until I read her poem, I didn't. I just saw him thinking, "Ring...dear, loveliest Ring....so utterly desireable..." then, "Oh, SH*T! He almost saw me!"

For me, Jan's poem greatly improved and deepened my experience and appreciation of that scene. Maybe that sense was there in EW's performance, but I had never seen it.
Whiteling
whiteling at 2007-04-29 09:32 (UTC) (Link)
Argh, I'm so late in commenting!

Fantastic posts, Mechtild, and wonderful, enlightening comments. Thank you all for this wonder. Jan-u-wine's poem is anew a very moving, illuminating view into Frodo's soul. The part
I will

not

say

I love
you.

gave me goose-bumps. May this Siren fascinate and bedazzle him no end, he won't say what it tries to make him say. And yet, there is a deep burning sense of shame in him that he is that fascinated by this evil thing.

Mechtild, in light of the discussion about Frodo making "love" to the ring, I found an interesting photo on the net. It's from a German photographer and is titled "Minne". Here's the link:
http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/cat/326/display/8703960
It is an amazing picture, isn't it? A ring, symbol of love, laying on a book with Heinrich von Veldeke's epic tale ENEIT (from 1180; based on Virgil's Aeneis and the French Roman d'Énéas), underlined by the heart-shaped shadow it casts. I am not sure whether the photographer was aware of that the One Ring isn't exactly the symbol of eternal love though. I rather suspect that he chose the ring because of its attractive look. Still, it is very appealing.


P.S.: I read that you are going to work full-time soon. Congratulations! (Though I have to say I *will* miss your warm and caring presence on LJ...)

*Weekend-hugs*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-04-29 12:36 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for the comment, Whiteling. I'll email Jan to tell her you said something about "So bright... so beautiful..." It's a thrilling, chilling, moving look into the scene, isn't it?

And I opened your link. And saved it. What a wonderful illustration of another internal image. I looked at it and thought of Frodo toiling away on the Red Book after the Quest, but haunted by an image of the Ring. How appropriate that it should cast a shadow of a heart.
frodosweetstuff
frodosweetstuff at 2007-05-05 13:16 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the wonderful screencaps! It is such a delight to see all the little nuances. Thank you so much!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2007-05-05 14:17 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome!
diem_kieu94
diem_kieu94 at 2012-11-11 22:36 (UTC) (Link)

Considering Frodo and the Ring...

Greetings, Metchild and Jan-u-wine!! As usual, your commments about the movie and the screecaps are amazing! Jan-u-wine's poem here captures Frodo's sentiments towards the Ring beautifully!

Concerning those sentiments... I don't know if any of you have heard of (or would like)the hard rock/metal band Disturbed, but they have a song called "Sickened" that I think also captures Frodo's relationship to the Ring. Well... Here are the lyrics!

That's enough of all your taunting -
Seems I can't remove you from my mind;
Don't you know sometimes I wish they'd
kill me for wanting you?
I will sit alone in silence,
gather all the meaning I can find -
Will you be defeated when they
kill me for wanting you?

I can't believe that my sanity lies in
abandoning you -
I can't recall a more helpless time
perpetrated by you!

Sickened from wanting you,
frightened of finding the truth -
Don't say anymore,
now my mind isn't changing -
This reckoning's long overdue!

Alabaster walls surround me,
in the prison of my own design -
Will I win my freedom if they
kill me for wanting you?
Maybe arms of hell will hound me,
just as long as I remain confined,
I will be completed when they
kill me for wanting you!

I can't believe that my sanity lies in
abandoning you -
I can't recall a more helpless time
perpetrated by you!

Sickened from wanting you,
frightened of finding the truth -
Don't say anymore,
now my mind isn't changing -
This reckoning's long overdue!

So I have determined that I am undone -
Will I bury another problem
in the graveyard you allowed me to find?
So I have determined that I am no one -
Will I finally cling to something
that has never been tied to erasing the memory of you?

Sickened from wanting you,
frightened of finding the truth -
Don't say anymore,
now my mind isn't changing -
This reckoning's long overdue!

(Kill me, for wanting you...)
(Kill me, for wanting you...)

So I have determined that I am undone -
Will I bury another problem
in the graveyard you allowed me to find?

Well, there it is! "Sickened", by Disturbed - a song that describes Frodo's curse as a Ring-bearer (in my own interpretation, at least)!Enjoy!! :)



Mechtild
mechtild at 2012-11-11 22:56 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Considering Frodo and the Ring...

Thank you, Diem Kieu. No, I had never heard of this song. What a close fit the lyrics are. Was it actually written to Frodo and the Ring? This stanza in particular struck me, scrolling back through the book texts, images and poem of Jan's in the post:

Will I win my freedom if they
kill me for wanting you?
Maybe arms of hell will hound me,
just as long as I remain confined,
I will be completed when they
kill me for wanting you!


How Frodo was tormented, how bravely and doggedly he bore the burden of Sauron's Ring.

I am not a fan of rock or pop, so I don't think I'll listen to this song sung. But thank you for sending the text! It's not your usual song text. The ideas and emotions in it are thoughtfully developed.
Previous Entry  Next Entry