I just wanted to say we (me, my husband, our daughter, my husband's best friend) finally got to see a film I've been hearing great things about, made from a book I really admire by P. D. James.

Children of Men, it's called.
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~ ‘A Soul Carried to Heaven’, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 19th cent., cropped.

Farewell, for a while!

(Plus some thoughts on old mums, and old parents, generally.)

I will be gone away from July 1 until July 12.Read more... )


~ Heath Ledger, as Ennis del Mar.



When I was in the Washington D.C. area, visiting family at New Year's, I made a point of going to see Brokeback Mountain. It was still "iffy" whether it would play in my small upper-midwest city, and I didn't want to miss it.

Leaving my old mom at home to watch re-runs of Law and Order, I drove to a little independent movie house in the Virginia suburbs where it then was playing (it had not yet been more widely released). With a day-after-New-Year's audience of mostly older men and women, I sat and watched, or, should I say, "experienced" the film....
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This is the last set of screencaps of the four.

This is merely a string of frames continuing directly from the previous set, showing Sandy's reaction shots as the dolphin swims off. The close-ups alternate with shots of the dolphin, farther and farther out to sea, until it is breeching far off in the distance, the sea lit by the nearly-setting sun.

I like to imagine these as illustrating Willow's Frodo after he finally will have been made whole again....



~ Series Four: Screencaps of Elijah Wood in the "Farewell" close-ups from Flipper:



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Here is the third set of four.

In these, Sandy has climbed up the ladder and leapt onto the deck, turning around to ready himself to say goodbye to the animal he has come to love. First he has to command Flipper to go. Then Sandy watches as the dolphin swims away.

I loved the range of expressions in these frames. Great illustrations for fanfic, too. *grin*



~ Series Three: Screencaps of Elijah Wood, from the penultimate scene of Flipper:




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Here is the second of four sets of screencaps. These frames occur in the film immediately after the previous twelve.

To me, he is so beautiful in these, my jaw literally drops.
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I know I'm a little bent, but, a year ago, in an attempt to watch all of Elijah Wood's old films, I rented Flipper. It was my duty, as a Frodo fan!

Thinking it was going to be a dull re-tread of the old TV series, I was pleasantly surprised by the watchability of this "for the whole family" film. The actors were engaging, the Bahamian scenery idyllic, the cinematography lovely, and the musical scoring quite good (no TV "Flipper" song for the opening, thankfully).

And, best of all, it had ... heavens! ... the most gorgeous male teenager I've ever seen. The cast list said I was watching Elijah Wood as 'Sandy' -- but I knew better.

As I watched, modern-teenager 'Sandy' (with all his modern-teenager pleasures and pains) simply disappeared. Instead, in my mind, 'Sandy' was transformed into young 'tween Frodo, suitably coifed in a mop of unruly dark curls, and donning a pair of scruffy front-placket breeks and a torn shirt. Except when he was wet and shirtless.... Read more... )

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Announcement:

Greetings, LJ friends! I just thought I'd pop in to warn you:

Do not go to see Goblet of Fire (or any "regular" film) at an Omnimax theatre without checking what sort it is first.


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The state museum in Indianapolis has an IMAX theatre built into it. To go with the LotR exhibit, the museum showed a different LotR film, in rotation, every night except Sunday. Our exhibition tickets were for Saturday, but I drove down early to see the films.Read more... )

Even if there had been no museum exhibit, I would have felt it was worthwhile to have taken this trip. Seeing the films at an IMAX affected me that much.Read more... )

Another film experience showed me the greatness of the films by way of contrast. Friday afternoon a group of us drove to a little hole-in-the-wall theatre that showed small films, down near one of the colleges. They were showing Everything is Illuminated.Read more... )

Harem-oriented addendum....

One of my keenest mental images from the trip was the time Ariel and her daughter were cuddling, watching TV together while they lolled on the other hotel bed. Ariel's daughter is an utterly charming, warm, and engaging 7 year-old who, unlike my 17 year-old, still loves to snuggle with her mom. As I watched them, I thought, "Hmmmm ... Ariel's daughter is just a little taller than Frodo would be...."Read more... )

~ Mechtild
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We watched the third film, Prisoner of Azkaban, tonight -- and it really was good! We had just finished watching the first and second Harry Potter films yesterday.
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I'm just going public to let you who have heard me dismissing the whole HP thing know that I now can see the appeal, having felt it myself. It's not LotR, but, in film three, it's really enjoyable, involving entertainment.

~ Mechtild
Tonight, as a change of pace, I did not hang out on the internet (until now) but watched a film of my husband's choice with him. (Later I will be finishing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with our daughter.)

We watched the very well-known American film, The Shawshank Redemption.

SPOILERS

The Shawshank Redemption was released in 1994, starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. I have always heard of this film, but never have seen it. It's about a young man (played by Tim Robbins), a talented and well-off banker, who is wrongly sent to prison for killing his adulterous wife and her lover. He spends twenty years there, finding enemies (not just among the brutal guards but among the gang-rape-happy inmates, who are not your typical, jolly LotR fanfic guys -- except in the really dark stuff), but also finding friends, such as lifer Morgan Freeman. Robbins's character endures a great deal and learns a great deal (bad and good), until, finally, he makes his break and escapes.

My first thought was how much 1994 Tim Robbins reminded me of 1995 Colin Firth. "He could be Colin Firth's less handsome brother," I exclaimed. And, do you know, my husband actually agreed with me. "Yeah, he reminds me of Colin Firth, too." 1995 was the year the BBC released Pride and Prejudice *huge sappy grin*. No wonder I immediately warmed to Tim Robbins in his Shawshank role (considering I am a Darcy and Valmont swooner).

But, more seriously (but, perhaps, just as ridiculously), the whole time I was watching The Shawshank Redemption, I was comparing and contrasting it to LotR.

"Hey, this is just as if Frodo (Tim Robbins) had been captured by the Orcs and then made to serve time in their prisons! Read more... )

I know this is terribly obsessive of me, but although I watched and enjoyed the film for itself, the whole while I was also thinking of it applied to Frodo, and to Frodo's story and fate.

Does this happen to any of you, watching films or reading books, that, on their surface, have nothing to do with Frodo of the Shire?

~ Mechtild
The weekend before last, I took our daughter to go visit an old friend of mine. What would we do, we wondered, after my daughter had vanquished us at Crazy Eights and Monopoly?

Why, we would rent a film of course. But, horrors! -- her player was broken!

We flipped through the TV listings. Lo, there was listed on public television a showing of Whale Rider! Had she ever seen it? No. Wonderful! We all watched it (only she had never seen it before).

On this second viewing, I thought Whale Rider was even better than I had the first time around. And Keisha Castle Hughe's performance seemed even more exquisite, too. What I most thought about during the viewing, was what a GREAT "young Frodo" she would have made! (Except that she's a girl, of course.)

I was thinking of Frodo at about the time he moved to Bilbo's. That would have been in 1389 S.R. That would make him a hobbity 21. If a hobbit's 33 (coming of age) equals a human's 21, then, let's see.... I am guessing Frodo, at the time he went to live at Bag End, would have been about a human's 14 years -- which would be close to Hughes as she appeared in Whale Rider. (She looks more like 12 to 13 to me than 14.)

I scrounged up some shots off Google images, to better contemplate her in the role of "Thirteen Year-old Frodo Baggins"....

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I have talked about this in emails to various conversation partners, but the following thought has been a consolation to me. That is, Tolkien gave Frodo a very great grace (according to his own beliefs) as to what would be his death. Tolkien let Frodo sail to the Undying Lands to sojourn until he died a bodily death, laying down his life, at last, voluntarily, as the faithful Men of the first houses did in the First Age of Middle-earth. Frodo then would be whisked off to Mandos, the House of Waiting for the dead of all the races, where his liminal self would wait until ... until whatever the fate of mortals was, beyond the Circles of the World.

What is the particular grace in this? It is that Frodo did not have to die in the Shire after years of decline and suffering? Of advanced age or disease, beating his body into a husk? No; like Mary or Enoch, Frodo was "lifted up" by the boat that sailed out of the Grey Havens on the 'straight road', directly to the lands that never know decay.

I am thinking of this because tonight my daugher asked me to stop off after work and rent Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Watching it tonight, this 1977 film did not look any older to me than it did when it was released. That made me happy.

As I watched this film tonight, a film I had adored when I saw it as young woman, I kept thinking, "Wow! How many times did Peter Jackson see this? How much of it seeped into his unconsciousness - or that of Boyens and Walsh?"

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Here's a screencap of EW as Frodo from RotK, bathed with ethereal, golden light, a foretaste of his doom, the good, restoring part of it in Aman:

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~ Mechtild
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