Books, culture, fishing, and other games

August 08, 2004

Lord of the Rings

Besides reading way too many articles on politics and current events, I am still reading books and watching movies too. So much so that I have not been writing much here. Shame on me.

The most significant recent movies were the trio that comprise the Lord of the Rings, adapted from J.R.R.Tolkien's books. All thumbs up for that. Stunning. Yes, a lot of material from the books is cut, of necessity. The books remain a must read, and I'd just reread them all in the last year, so my memory was reasonably fresh. I was impressed with the overall fidelity to the spirit of the books. And with the greatly appreciated absence of the politically-correct inspired revisions seen in so many movies. Did I mention these movies are stunning?

The adjective that won't go away is lush. If movies can be voluptuous, without being overtly sexual, these define that. I was also gratified at the obvious absense of overt sexual scenes, not because those offend me per se, but because they do not exist in the books. That is a common addition to movies based on books. Sex sells, yes, and using it in that fashion prostitutes the work.

I inspired a friend to watch them too. She's a rabid Star Wars fan. She'd seen them before, but something about my talk about them inspired her. It's been fun drawing parallels from the movies to current events. Though Tolkien wrote them in a world wrapped up in the period of the Nazi threat, there are plenty of parallels with the current threats. The futility of appeasement in the face of implacable threats is one major theme. Another is the important of the involvement of even the little people in the events of the day.

I got a kick out of the propaganda war launched against Gandalf by Wurmtongue and other agents of Saruman. That one did resonate. It was so unjust, especially considering the odds he had already struggled against, and was continuing to struggle against. Misinformation played a significant role too. The use of partial truth wrapped cleverly around a core of falsehood appeared several times.

It's a tear-jerker. I think the movies may be a bit more intense and dramatic due to the compression of the story. In the books there are long passages of description and unfolding events, with short periods of intense activity and emotion. So the pace is different, but overall, the effect is not terribly so.

When I get a chance I will purchase the dvds, and that's a first for movies for me. These are movies worth watching over and over. To all who helped make them, brilliant!

Posted by dan at August 8, 2004 07:23 PM | TrackBack
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