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Clint M

LOTR: The Return of The King - Extended Edition

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Yep, according to the boys at WETA, walnuts and coconuts make great skulls. And, as Monty Python taught us, great horses as well.

Phil.

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Ann D. wrote:

: All the skulls made me think of that classic Dick Van Dyke episode, where Mary

: tumbles out of the closet of walnuts.

Hmmm, don't the "appendices" reveal that that was where the sound effect came from?  (I could be misremembering that...)

Yes, it does. It might have affected my impression of the scene since I had watched the documentary before actually watching the movie. It also probably didn't help that I pulled an all-nighter to watch the trilogy, since that was the only time I could. I was feeling a bit giddy at that point.

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The visions of Tolkien and Jackson

If J.R.R. Tolkien didn't know the perfect word to describe something he often created his own word or even a completely new language. The climax of "The Lord of the Rings," he decided, was a "eucatastrophe" -- which calls to mind words such as Eucharist and catastrophe. The scholar of ancient languages defined this as a moment of piercing joy, an unexpected happy ending offering a taste of God's Easter triumph over sin and death. Tolkien thought this sacramental element was at the heart of his new myth. Thus, Greg Wright of HollywoodJesus.com asked Peter Jackson how members of his team handled this in their movie trilogy. When they wrote the scene in which the one ring of power is destroyed, did they discuss Tolkien's theory of "eucatastrophe"? "No," replied Jackson. "What's it mean?" . . . In these interviews, similar misunderstandings emerged on Tolkien's beliefs about truth, providence, salvation, death, heaven and hell. However, commentaries and documentaries included the final "Rings" DVD set do address some of these issues from Tolkien's perspective -- including that mysterious concept of "eucatastrophe."

Terry Mattingly, January 19

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Peter, that article gets at what is probably my biggest disappointment with Jackson's LOTR. It's not that I expected everyone involved to be devout Christians. But what has struck me all along is that no one involved seemed even marginally aware of the deep Christian themes in Tolkien's work.

For Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Phillipa Boyens to be so deeply immersed in Tolkien for 10 years, and to not know what "eucatastrophe" is?

(OK, the average fan and reader isn't going to know either, I guess. But still...)

B

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Bill Moore wrote:

: For Peter Jackson . . . to be so deeply immersed in Tolkien for 10 years, and to not

: know what "eucatastrophe" is?

I know! And the ten years merely covers the time he spent working on the film -- supposedly, he was a fan for years BEFORE that, too. But yeah, when you hear actors like Charlton Heston talk about how they do tons of reading whenever they take on a role (Heston says he read everything ever written about Moses, from the Bible to Sigmund Freud, before making The Ten Commandments), it seems very odd that Jackson would work for so many years on such a massive project as this and STILL be so unfamiliar with the Tolkien scholarship.

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Some thoughts on the possible monomythic ramifications of eliminating the Scouring of the Shire...

Plus, watching the EE again this past weekend, the thought occurred to me: When Count Dooku -- er, Saruman -- taunts Gandalf and plants the seed of doubt in Gandalf's mind that will be with him for the rest of the film by alluding to the mission that he sent Frodo on ... um, well, HOW MUCH DOES SARUMAN KNOW ABOUT THAT MISSION!?

And if Saruman knows, WHY DOESN'T SAURON!?

I do not think this is unexplainable -- not yet. But the way Saruman is depicted posing the question seems to assume that we will read his question in light of what we know about Frodo's mission -- and whether that says more about Jackson expects US to know or more about what SARUMAN knows, I dunno.

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Just finished dusting this off and watching it with the kids.  I remembered it as the weakest of the three, but now, I feel a fresh respect for it.  Any film that has my boys quiet and misty eyed at the end is a well-made film.

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