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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Moria Pt. 3: The Mithril Shirt ~ A Screen Icon

Posted on 2007.02.21 at 10:18


mechtild at 2007-02-22 14:14 (UTC) (Link)
For me the intervention of the eagles is also an act of grace bestowed by the Valar - reward for Frodo having completed his quest. After enduring hardship, humility, suffering and torture he is raised up by the Valar and borne away by the eagles, who to my mind seem more like arch-angels. Coupled with the sublime music accompanying this scene it's an overwhelming emotional moment for me. Like you I don't know if the religious overtones are intentional for this rescue scene by the film-makes but to me when I watch I feel as though I have entered a soaring cathedral and am dazzled by the sunlight pouring in through stained glass windows. Frodo's expression of acceptance and subdued ecstasy remind me of a particular statue of St Therese.

Wow, that's gorgeously expressed, Chickenlegs. I know what you mean. One of my first posts was about the rescue-by-Eagles scene, calling it only half-jokingly "Frodo's Assumption into Heaven", since in no time at all he'll be borne off to the Undying Lands, still living, but where his body will not see decay, even when he dies.

The Eagles scene is the most sublime moment in all of film, I think. It makes people with no god notions at all swoon for the beauty and joy and pity of it. If it were the same scene shot about a real saint, they wouldn't respond, but the suspension of disbelief they are already excericising, becoming involved in the story of Frodo, whom they love and with whom they identify, makes it possible to share his moment of near-religious ecstasy.

(I also can't help thinking of O.T. passages about the loving God who will "bear you up on eagle's wings", and rescue those whom he loves from the valley of shadow and death -- really, LotR is swimming with references if one has the eye and ear for it.)

Yes, the St. Therese and the angel (piercing her side with an arrow of love, Cupid-like) by Bernini. It's one of my favourite statues, and one that I think a perfect picture of the All-encompassing, Overwhelming Swoons in life, no matter how evoked: religiously, amorously or aesthetically. Go, Bernini! (I found out reading about Caravaggio that Bernini probably got the image for her swooning face from one of C's portraits of the pentitent Mary Magdalene. Here it is, small, but the only online copy I could find.

Caravaggio's "Magdalene in Ecstasy" 1606:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Again, thanks so much for commenting, Chickenlegs. It's good to hear someone else sees these things. Better still that they say what they see so clearly and eloquently.
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mechtild at 2007-02-23 14:08 (UTC) (Link)
Just because it's so lovely, and apt to our comments, here's a copy of the Bernini for us to gaze upon. And if you compare it to the Mary Magdalene, just above, you can see how closely Bernini followed Caravaggio's painting of her in ecstasy:

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~ One of my first [crude] Art Travesty's was made from the Bernini St. Therese and the Angel.

And if you want to look at the "Assumption" post, it's here. I had just watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind again. Pondering its ending got me to thinking of how Frodo was "borne off to heaven" at the end of LotR, via the Grey Havens. In a comment further down, I post an Eagels cap, talking about another "carried off into heaven" film scene.

Did you ever get a chance to look at the actual screencap series for the Eagles scene? I made them to go with a poem of Jan's, which actually is about Frodo waking up at Cormallen. If you missed the post and would like to look at them, it's here.

*whistles "On Eagle's Wings" -- naaah, what Howard Shore put under that scene is more sublime by far!*
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mechtild at 2007-02-24 05:18 (UTC) (Link)
Doesn't he, the naughty little Cupid? But Bernini's angel seems to be enjoying his job, too.
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