Let me tell you all about it. First: I didn’t sleep until about 4am. After that, actually. Don’t know why, bad rhythms or something. And then I got up at 8:45 or so, because I needed to meet emma at yonge and eglinton at 10am. Bah. 10am! Why so early? I was following her to work from there (I’d get lost trying to find the actual place, and hell, I got lost trying to find the damn starbucks) where we got a lifft at noon, to go see Lord of the Rings at 1pm up at Yorkdale. So off we go, with a group from her work.
So we get to the movie. It has about 15 years of previews, of course. And then it starts. Spoilers? Well, if you don’t want to know, don’t read this. But I don’t think anything I can say will surprise you. It starts with a sequence narrated by Cate Blanchett. That sequence explains the history of the ring. Which does kind of spoil the surprise of finding out when Frodo does, but it probably helps people who don’t know anything about the Lord of the Rings (who are those people?). The sequences with Sauron are BEAUTIFUL. He does stuff that isn’t in the book precisely, but makes perfect sense. We see the war 3000 years before, when Aragorn’s ancestor cuts the ring from Sauron’s hand. We see it being found. We see Bilbo stumbling on it in the dark. And the movie then starts with the party, just as it should. And Bilbo gives his speak just as he should. Perfect.
I wondered about Elijah Wood as Frodo, but in the film I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He really is beautiful, and such a perfect Frodo. His eyes….he gives off this sense of innocence that really works as Frodo. Sean Austin does a great job as Sam. (I was a bit surprised, though, because everyone kept calling him Sam GAM gee, like, aw, gee, GEE. I always said it myself with a hard G. But I know they’re probably right on all that stuff. Don’t know why that never occured to me before.) he’s a great sam, but my shock at how good Frodo was kind of overshadowed him. Merry and Pippin are hilarious. Pippin has an outrageous Scottish accent which works perfectly with the film. They’re lovely, though they’re really buffoonish. They added a scene where Boromir teaches the two of them to fight, and accidentally hits Pippin, and then Merry and Pippin both start wrestling him to the ground for it. That was cute. We don’t get to see them as schemers, though. They accidentally end up on this little mission.
They took out the songs, except one:
The road goes ever on and on
Down from the road where it began
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow, if I can
Persuing it with eager feet
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say.
The scenes are Bree as lovely. Aragorn is perfect; not what I imagined, but perfectly great. He’s tall and wiry, not bulky or needlessly good looking. They took out Tom Bombadil. Weathertop was really cool, but I wasn’t sure about their details. I had thought there were 6 who attacked on Weathertop, and I thought Frodo got a good slash in there. Frodo is far more ill after getting stabbed than he is in the book. Liv Tyler as Arwen is lovely, articulate, wonderful. I love that they beefed up her role, they really delved into the appendixes and brought out a side of Aragorn and her that we don’t see in the book, which I think is called for. It will make us more interested in book three, for sure.
Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel is lovely. They make her beautiful, wise, and terrible all at once. We understand that she is good, if there is such a thing as good, but she is also frightening, dangerous. I love that. Lovely, wonderful job.
Elrond is terrifying-looking. Very stern and serious. At first I wondered about this, but it’s bang on. Elves aren’t flitty little things, they’re solid and serious, though light and beautiful. Legolas was stunning. He was incredible, honestly. I never paid much attention to him before, but he was really wonderful in the film. They did good work on bringing out the conflicts between the races; Elrond comes off being blatantly and understandibly racist against men, which we understand, after his experiences in war with men. And this is true; he doesn’t want his daughter (Arwen) getting involved with a man. And we have Gimli being racist against elves, which of course makes sense. Gimli is beautiful as a dwarf, but his character doesn’t get as much development as we’d like. Hell, it’s only a 3 hour movie. But he looks great, and acts great. We just want to see more.
Gandalf of course is great. They added a lot of material here that is only referred to in the book; his confrontation with Sarumann..the niggling feeling that Sarumann isn’t just a traitor, but an attempted usurper. The orcs are fabulous. The white hand of Sarumann on their faces is spectacular. Gandalf: he comes across as more kindly in the movie than he does in the book. The first book, at least. There are a few FABULOUS scenes of Gandalf stuck up on the tower at Isengaard, left to died, tortured by Sarumann, and you can see all around him the Orcs pulling down the trees. (Foreshadowing my friend Treebeard!) Those scenes were perfect and beautiful to watch, I just shook my head and whispered ‘yessssss’ when I saw them.
It ends just when it should, though they made Frodo’s departure approved instead of unknown to Aragorn. Don’t know how I feel about that.
All in all…I loved it. Someone said that if Harry Potter was a 10/10, Lord of the Rings is a 20/10. I agree that it’s good, but Harry Potter is actually closer to it’s book than Lord of the Rings is. there are few plot diversions in Harry, but not as many. Granted, Fellowship had a lot more material to shove in. I loved Lord of the Rings. But I’ll probably see Harry more times. Don’t know why. Harry is easier to watch; Lord of the Rings made me cry. Twice. Not that that’s a bad thing.
Go see it. It’s worth it, even for the extravagant cost of movies these days.
Remember to put out the garbage, pick up the dry cleaning, defrost the pork chops (the ground beef, the chicken thighs, the fillet of sole). Remember to feed the dog (the cat, the hamster, the goldfish, the canary). Remember the first smile, the first step, the first crush, the first kiss. Remember the bright morning, the long hot afternoon, the quiet evening, the soft bed, gentle rain in the night. Also remember the pain, the disappointments, the humiliations, the broken hearts, and an eclectic assortments of other sorrows. Take these tragedies in stride and with dignity. Do not tear your hair out. Forgive and forget and get on with it. The faithful look back fondly.
They are only passingly familiar with shame, guilt, torment, chaos, existentialism, and metaphysics. The consciences of the faithful are clear. They are not the ones spending millions of dollars on self-help books and exercise videos. They know they’ve done the best they could. If and when the faithful make mistakes, they know how to forgive themselves without requiring years of expensive therapy in the process.
In the summer, remember the winter; snow sparkling in clear sunlight, children in puffy snowsuits building snowmen and sucking icicles. Remember hockey rinks, rosy cheeks, Christmas carols, wool socks, and hot chocolate with marshmellows. In the winter, remember the summer: tidy green grass beneath big blue sky, long-limbed children playing hide-and-go-seek and running through sprinklers. Remember barbecues, sailboats, flowers, strawberries, and pink lemonade. The faithful can always find something to look forward to. The faithful never confuse the future with the past.
Diane Shoemperlen, Forms of Devotion
Here we go again.
Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged: Making Evil Look Innocent
Millions of American schoolchildren have a new subject in school: witchcraft!
Through the Harry Potter series, the ancient occult religion of Wicca is being introduced in almost every public school in America. This video explains how Scholastic Inc., the largest publisher of children’s books in the world, is supplying Harry Potter materials to millions of schoolchildren. Scholastic Inc. is using its unrivaled position in the educational system to flood classrooms and libraries with witchcraft, repackaged as “children’s fantasy literature.” Teachers are encouraged to read the Harry Potter books aloud in class, and millions of children are being densensitized to the dangers of the occult spirit world.
The faithful are everywhere. See if can spot them: in the bank lineup on Friday afternoon, at McDonald’s having hamburgers and chocolate milkshakes with their children, in the park walking the dog at seven o’clock on a January morning, at the hardware store shopping for a socket wrench and a rake. The faith may be right in your own backyard.
The faithful are thankful for small pleasures and small mercies.
The faithful are earnest.
The faithful are easily amused.
The faithful do or do not know how lucky they are.
The faithful frequently cry at parades.
The faithful are not afraid of the dark because they have seen the light.
Nothing is lost on the faithful. As far as they are concerned, wonders will never cease. The faithful are convinced that they best is yet to come.
Concerning matters both big and small, the faithful have always got hope. Their whole lives are forms of perpetual devotion to the promise which hope extends. The faithful breathe hope like air, drink it like water, eat it like popcorn. Once they start, they can’t stop.
Hope for world peace. Hope for a drop in the crime rate, shelter for the homeless, food for the hungry, rehabilitation for the deranged. Hope your son does well on his spelling test. Hope your team wins the World Series. Hope your mother does not have cancer. Hope the pork chops are not undercooked. Hope your best friend’s husband is not having an affair with his secretary. Hope you win the lottery. Hope the rain stops tomorrow. Hope this story has a happy ending.
The hope of the faithful is infinite, ever expanding to fill the space available. Faith begets hope. Hope begets faith. Faith and hope beget power.
The faithful lean steadily into the wind.
–Diane Schoemperlen, Forms of Devotion
Well, the Harry Potter movie is fast approaching…I must admit that I’m addicted. I picked up the first one as a lark, since Emma and I were drinking expensive coffee and hanging around at Starbucks on the comfy couches, and I forgot to bring my Lord of the Rings with me. It was cute. I enjoyed it. When I finished I knew I would get the second, and after the second I had to jump into the third. And after that I knew I would die if I didn’t get the fourth one within a couple of hours. So now I’m about a third of the way through that one.
I woke up at an ungodly hour, 5am, completely fretting about nothing at all. I was so restless I had to get up. I didn’t know what to do…so, of course, I started coding. I translated the bot into french (since I’ve already translated it into german), and then arranged some various small logistical matters, and then Jason came to get me to take me to Ikea. Ah, the bliss that is Ikea…we went to the new one in Etobicoke. I got a floor lamp, a shoe rack, a kettle, a fry pan, and some little magnets. That’s all I needed, really. Needless to say I was very very tired when I got home. I napped and woke up just as tired.
And can you believe this, I lost my spinach. I have some, I opened it, I used some of it, and now I can’t find it. How odd is that.
Man, I’m tired. More Harry Potter before bed.
what good is it
to be the lime burner’s daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar
If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves it’s own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.
–From Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
In the air we breathe
and in the air we sneeze
and in the air we leave.
Life is like a seabreeze,
–Some guy at the corner of Queen and John, at 1:30am, who didn’t get my money because I said I didn’t have any, but recited this poem for me anyway.
Time passes, we say: like a football, a parade, a ship in the night. Time flies: like a bird, a plane, like Superman. Time flows: like a river, like sand, like blood. Time, we have been told, is a reef, a hand, a wheel, a gift. Time is avenger, devourer, destroyer, a subtle thief of youth. Time, we hope, heal all wounds.
We talk about spending time (like money), serving time (like dinner), doing time (like lunch). We talk about buying time (like a car, a refrigerator, a new pair of shoes), borrowing time (like a library book, a cup of sugar, an egg), stealing time (like hubcaps, third base, a kiss). At one time or another, we have all had time on our hands, time to squander, time to kill. Most often we say we are pressed for time: like a shirt, like grapes for wine, like a flower in a book, like a hand against a heart. Time, we say, has run out on us, like milk, luck, or an unfaithful spouse. So much time, we complain, is lost: like mittens, sheep, or souls.
“Some wounds never heal,” Mary said. “People should know that by now.”
–Diane Schoemperlen, Our Lady of the Lost and Found
Time passes, we say: like a football, a parade, a ship in the night. Time flies: like a bird, a plane, like Superman. Time flows: like a river, like sand, like blood. Time, we have been told, is a reef, a hand, a wheel, a gift. Time is avenger, devourers, destroyer, a subtle thief of youth. Time, we hope, heals all wounds.
We talk about spending time (like money), serving time (like dinner), doing time (like lunch). We talk about buying time *like a car, a refrigerator, a new pair of shoes), borrowing time (like a library book, a cup of sugar, an egg), stealing time (like hubcaps, third base, a kiss). At one time or another, we have all had time on our hands, time to squander, time to kill. Most often we say we are pressed for time: like a shirt, like grapes for wine, like a flower in a book, like a hand against a heart. Time, we say, has run out on us, like milk, luck, or an unfaithful spouse. So much time, we complain, is lost: like mittens, sheep, or souls.
“Some wounds never heal,” Mary said. “People should know that by now.”
Diane Schoemperlen, Our Lady of the Lost and Found
Well! Now I learned more about colours, and even got a page that tells me all the codes from a very nice fellow in Australia, who even bothered to check my page 3 minutes after waking up. (Thanks, tsr!)
And I managed NOT to go to stammtisch tonight….the office was empty when I closed up shop at work, and I was starving and not keen on paying out the 15 bucks it usually costs me when I go into the Duke of York hungry. And, besides that, I was thinking to pick up a book. A friend mentioned a book she was trying to read called An incidence of the fingerpost by Iain Pears. She mentioned that it spent a lot of time snuggled on the bridge of her nose because she kept trying to read whilst way too tired, but she thought it was right up my alley. So I did actually pick it up today. She was right. It’s a murder mystery set in Restoration England, and the first part is narrated by an Italian pseudo-noble with an interest in experimental physick. I don’t know how she finds these books, but I’m thankful. It’s been a fun read, in spite of my gut questions about whether he’s right to have the doctors say or do certain things. 🙂 I’m just being an over-educated snob on that, though….it’s clear he knows the issues involved in talking about early modern medicine. And I noticed a thank you nod in the acknowledgments to my favourite historian of all time, Lyndal Roper, as well as to Olwen Hufton, so who am I to get huffy? Anyway, it’s not as if there are glaring problems. It’s really the push-pull in experimental science at the time, between getting your hands dirty and academic respect, between observation and authority….I can see he’s aware of these issues, and trying to illustrate them. I’m not used to reading fiction that centres on the arcane knowledge I’ve spent so long acquiring. It’s….quite fun. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to settle into bed with a warm drink and a good book. Remind me to do it more often.