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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Osgiliath: Frodo on the wall, and saying farewell to Faramir....

Posted on 2007.04.29 at 20:57


maeglian at 2007-05-01 09:00 (UTC) (Link)
Mechtild, thank you for continuing to spoil us with these lovely and throughtful combinations of images, essays and canon text. They surely deserve appreciation, thought and consideration from your readers.

This one is no exception. I personally think the whole Osgiliath scene should have been kept out of the film, as the events there and the behaviour of Frodo and Faramir particularly (not to mention Sam's IMO horrid "UN speech") do Tolkien and and his characters many a disservice, which it proved hard to repair in the final instalment.

But be that as it may, the imagery is each scene is truly stunning and Frodo looks so - erm - captivatingly gorgeus in the last series it's nearly unbelievable. Have you noticed the multiple lights reflected in his eyes? He has that in some scenes (notably in the garden with Galadriel) and I like to think of it as a filmatic visual of his inner brightness making itself known and marking Frodo as a being of light.
mechtild at 2007-05-01 11:56 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Osgiliath was an unfortunate choice (at TORc it started a whole thread about "wrong turnings" and the word, "osgiliate" to describe it--osgiliate, osgiliated, osgiliating, osgiliation, etc.). But, having made it, they did get some great mileage out of the images they made to depict it. Ah, the U.N. speech. But even that could have been better, if they were going to make that choice. I could never pay real attention to what Sam was saying there, just looking at the visuals as they epic-movied their way over the screen while he droned on. But after many viewings I finally listened to what he was saying and Sean did a really good job on it. I think it would have played better if they had stuck to showing him saying it, interspersed with reaction shots from Frodo and Gollum, as they did for a little of it. It was as if they wrote a monologue for Sean that they knew was sort of sucky, so rather than let him say it as it stands, they let the sound of his voice continue (with GREAT scoring under it from Howard), and show lots of pictures, like he was narrating a Powerpoint presentation.

I know, he shouldn't have said it at all, and, as Sam said himself, "by rights, we shouldn't even be here" -- "but we are". And they were.

You are right about the reflections in Frodo's eyes in the sewer-scene close-ups; it's as though they are using the "Galadriel light", but with not quite as many points of light. I wonder if it was on purpose, or an accident of the lighting set-up for the scene reflecting in his eyes that way, whether they chose it or not?

Maybe I'll write the lighting designed or Andrew Lesnie (he remembers great annecdotes, normally) a letter? Not.

Thanks for stopping in, Maeglian! *smooch*
maeglian at 2007-05-01 18:04 (UTC) (Link)
Hey, I think it'd be great if you wrote to A. Lesnie or the lightning designer. It would be very interesting to know whether they di use the "Galadriel lights" on purpose for some of Frodo's scenes, and what the thought behind that was, if so. Not only as a part of the Frodo portrayal in general; also: Why those particular scenes? Were those the scenes where the filmmakers felt Frodo's "light for eyes to see that may" shone the clearest? For this matter, as for other details in the LotR films I've imagined many a deep and deliberate thought on character and characterization to be behind it, and have analyzed and pondered. But then again listening to the director's commentary I've also more than once happpened to think that the things I've seen some deep meaning behind probably just happened to happen, by mere lucky chance, a stroke of fortune; - still even so obviously contributing to the overall exceptional quality that resulted.

Oh, yes, Sam's U.N. speech... overly pompous and "here's what this film is all about in case someone hasn't noticed yet" as that one is (and I don't much care for Sean Astin's delivery either, I'm sorry to say), still it has served one purpose in my mind: It's helped me become very aware of how differently canon text can be used (and misused), and how many different purposes the same text might be made to serve. Much of the speech is close to canon, or at least clearly based on canon.... but the scene where it occurs in the book has me imagining Sam speaking softly, pensively and filled with wonder - not loudly lecturing Frodo and the world at large. Such a difference! It's made me more aware of this point in watching other films based on well-known texts as well, - certainly in my watching of BBM. So I have to thank PJ for that! I suppose it is often the things that grate a little that make one take notice and really think. :-)
mechtild at 2007-05-01 19:51 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Sam was too preachy in the delivery of that speech, although it started out excellently (I thought). When Sam first looks through the ruined window and says that they should'nt even be there, and, "folks had chances for turning back", were really well done.

But I always want to put my finger down my throat when I hear him say, "...and the sun will shine out the clearer!" I keep thinking of the song from Annie, "The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow", and other "inspirational showstopper" numbers from Broadway shows.

That line actually comes from some other character's speech, I believe, not the Great Tales speech (that's SUPERB on the BBC radio production discs), where it doesn't stick out so badly. But I do think Sean did a fine job on it--playing it as directed. I would have liked some other sort of monologue for him, or the same monologue delivered differently--more like the way you describe--but I'm guessing Sean A. did it the way he was asked to do it (i.e. delivering the "money speech").

I've listened two times through the three volumes on the books-on-disc of LotR, Maeglian (narrated quite well by Rob Inglis), and I love to keep recognizing bits of dialogue. They crop up all over, usually in other contexts, spoken by other characters.

If you ever read Brian Sibley's book on Peter Jackson as a filmmaker, you'll find that an awful lot of what became the finished film was there by "accident" - or "providence" - for they were often flying by the seat of their pants, trying to make this massive project on what actually was a shoestring, most everyone involved never having attempted anything nearly so ambitious, the worried studio heads breathing hotly down Peter's neck almost non-stop, every time they were behind or ran over. Reading the book explained a lot of the loose ends in the films, made me sigh with relief over some of the choices that were thankfully jettisoned, and marvel anew at how super the films are, considering what a massive, sprawling project it was to make.

One day, if I'm still on LJ and finish up all this other stuff, I'll post some excerpts, the ones I find most funny, interesting or illuminating. I know a lot of people didn't read it; it wasn't even sold in the U.S. But I thought it was pretty fascinating. Far too much detail for some folks, and not nearly enough about LotR and its actors for most, so I'm not saying people on my f-list would love reading the whole book anyway.
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