The song, "Bilbo's Song", heard in the movie, is an Elvish translation of the song identified in the "Lord of the Ring's" song index as "Bilbo's Song". The song was also recorded by The Hobbitons to a different melody than Swann's on their recording, J. Tolkien's Songs from Middle-earth. El manuscrito original fue entregado por Tolkien como regalo a su secretario, Joy Hill, en A Walking Song — is a poem in the form of a song from J.
Corfield Godfrey in just a few words but I would say his music is warm and gentle, but fierce and evocative as well. Unfortunately there are currently no commercial recordings available of most of his Tolkien related works.
Those willing to change this can contact Mr. Corfield Godfrey through his website. The young Mr. Tolkien even aided Mr. Corfield Godfrey by providing him with insights into then unpublished materials. To be continued… part 3. Picture credits: Tom Bombadil by Anke Eissmann. Used by kind permission. I'm Jeroen Bakker, born on may 30th , Velsen -Netherlands.
I first read LotR in the late 's. My primary hobby intrest is music, my secondary hobbies include Star Trek and Tolkien. Currently I'm not active in those sectors I currently work as a local journalist and self employed translator, writer and poet and I aspire to become a composer.
I was diagnosed with both Autism Asperger's Syndrome and dyslexia. Edit: It might be worthy to know on what audio system I 'judge' the quality of audio recordings. Become a Patron! Ordesky began working for Republic Pictures, an independent film corporation that had made hundreds of B movies throughout the Golden Age of Hollywood. In the s, with cable television and the videocassette rental market emerging, the company was reinventing itself.
Around there was a video sent to me by the New Zealand Film Commission for consideration as a U. I really, really dug the film. I was totally gobsmacked by it. It was just audacious and bold and clever, and so distinctive.
It was called Bad Taste , and it was directed by a guy named Peter Jackson. Starting off as side project in while Jackson, then 22 years old, was working for his local newspaper, Bad Taste or Roast of the Day as it originally was called was supposed to be a ten to fifteen minute short starring Jackson and his friends about a door-to-door money collector and his encounter with aliens.
But I told myself that this was a director to keep an eye on. Then I moved from Republic Pictures to New Line Cinema in to be a story editor, which basically meant that I was a junior executive. Ultimately, Jeff Burr was chosen, but not long after, Jackson was paging through a copy of Fangoria magazine when he came across his name as one of the directors passed over for the project.
Then he made another film, Braindead. And just like Bad Taste , I tried to license those. But I did talk about him enough that I was able to persuade my superiors that we should hire Peter to do a screenplay draft of A Nightmare on Elm Street , which would have been Part 6 , had it been made. When Jackson came to Los Angeles to discuss it with New Line, he was able to meet with Ordesky professionally — and personally. That was the only time I ever beat him.
Once he learned the game, I never beat him again. He was just too good a strategist. But the thing was, there was another Nightmare script in development by someone else at that time, because we were always commissioning Nightmare on Elm Street scripts. So there was simultaneous development, and while Peter presented an amazing script, Bob Shaye went with the other. And it did get Peter his first Hollywood paycheck.
We were not a company that was going to get access to Tom Cruise. The star-driven vehicles were going to go to Paramount, or Warner Bros. You needed to know what motivated audiences apart from just the traditional elements. We need to create stars. The film caught the attention of Miramax, a studio that acquired it for distribution and signed Jackson to a deal giving them a first look at anything he was developing.
The next year, when he proposed adapting J. Meanwhile, Ordesky kept busy. So that put me in a realm of dealing with a lot of auteur, singular vision filmmakers; people like Peter, who were not traditional.
And I dealt with a lot of international filmmakers, which ended up being my thing. Unknown to Ordesky, things were not going well between Jackson and Miramax. Initially, they had decided to make two Lord of the Rings films, possibly to be followed by one Hobbit movie. Jackson was given just four weeks to find a new backer. Knowing he was on the brink of losing the project, Jackson knew he needed someone at a studio who understood The Lord of the Rings , who would believe in him, and who was willing to make a film against the conventional wisdom of Hollywood.
He and his agent were sending out packages to all the studios to see if anyone was interested, and he had an in-room presentation he was preparing for anyone who responded. A chance for us to make a movie together! By the time a meeting was set up between Jackson and New Line, the other major studios had already declined. They considered the idea of making two films costing hundreds of millions of dollars too great of a risk — particularly with an unproven director at the helm. And I knew Peter Jackson probably better than most of Hollywood.
I knew him as an artist. I knew him as a human being. I knew him from the point of view of character and stamina and ambition. And when we had the big meeting with [New Line founder and co-chairman] Bob Shaye, I was incredibly hopeful and enthusiastic that we would have a good result. But Bob, a very successful filmmaker and businessman, is very hard to read, and it was not immediately evident throughout the course of the meeting how it was going.
In fact, New Line was having a big problem developing sequels to their successful films, such as Dumb and Dumber and The Mask.
One solution to the problem was to plan multiple films at once, an idea that was floated for The Foundation Trilogy based on the books by Isaac Asimov only to have the project fall apart and the option lapse, leaving New Line with nothing but bills. It was at that point that Shaye stepped into his meeting with Jackson and began to realize the strategy might work with a different set of books. And we talked about what we thought of the idea.
For me it was pure belief and advocacy. All I wanted was to see the films happen. So I was making a case for Peter. I was making a case for the fantasy genre. The Lord of the Rings was a branded property, but in a genre that Hollywood had ill-served and somewhat neglected. Rings had a worldwide, multi-generational fan base, but also a super motivated core of fans for whom the stories were beloved.
And then there was the sequel issue. We were all very conscious of the fact that New Line had had trouble making sequels, most notably to its Jim Carrey movies. I made the point that even in a two film version of Rings , let alone a three film version, one would have the advantage of making the sequels in advance.
There would no struggle to assemble sequels in terms of deal-making or talent availability. Yes, nobody had ever made three films like Rings before. People had made two movies back to back as successful sequels to a prior hit, but nobody had made three films where you were making two sequels in advance: essentially one epic hour film, where you were frontloading the production schedule with material from the first film.
But there were also great advantages to it. Economies of scale. If there was some remote location that was featured in more than one of the three films, you could visit that location just that once.
Obviously there were great challenges and production and creative issues that had never been faced before, but on the other hand there was this amazing business opportunity to create unprecedented production efficiencies as well.
Ordesky had drive and determination. But it was also right around this time a giant mistake taught him a lesson that sealed his commitment to The Lord of the Rings. It nearly cost me my operational autonomy at New Line. And I realized something profound, not just about the movie industry but about life. There are very few times when you possess real personal conviction. Because I have a conviction about this. But it turned out to be just the beginning.
You read The Lord of the Rings when you were a kid. And I was surprised to be trusted with this opportunity. It was one thing to advocate the films, another to manage them. There was a real value on pride of ownership. That if you felt the sense of ownership in something, you would work harder and smarter and better — as opposed to something that was an assigned task.
So at New Line, if you brought something in and advocated it, you would most likely see it through to the finish. The first order of business was to figure exactly what kind of project this would be. I think New Line assumed they would be three movies of roughly two hours each, give or take.
But after discussions, and when we all got into how the films were actually going to be made, everyone came to the conclusion that releasing one year apart was the right way to go about it. As the films expanded in scope and ambition, it also became apparent that we needed someone with a lot of experience doing big budget films in overseas locations. He met with Peter in Wellington, and the deal was sealed.
Meanwhile, Ordesky finally had the chance to meet Saul Zaentz, who still owned the film rights to The Lord of the Rings. I admired the way he navigated Hollywood on his own terms. He was not afraid of a fight. In when I heard he was ill, I reached out to him again, but he was too ill to speak by then. It would have been lovely to speak to him one last time, but I was fortunate to be able to spend the time with him that I did.
Back in the middle of summer for Los Angeles and winter for New Zealand , The Lord of the Rings project was preparing to transition from pre-production to principal photography, and Ordesky had thousands of details to oversee. Whenever you have a big franchise movie, particularly one being made far away, it was important for me to make sure the studio was getting what it bargained for and that the filmmakers were getting all they needed.
In the early days, casting was obviously a big priority. There were so many primary roles to cast. That was incredibly energizing and was one of the big, first creative endeavors I undertook on behalf of the filmmakers. He had a vision for Stuart, and New Line chose to support it. I was in London when I got the call that we were parting ways with Stuart. This was very last minute. I had met Viggo some years before. My assistant at New Line, Jackie Tepper, would push me whenever she saw actors she thought I should know.
And he was incredibly polite and gracious. Because I was such a fan of The Lord of the Rings , that stuck in my brain. Years later in that London hotel room, I thought back to that and thought he would be worthy of playing Aragorn. Turns out that Peter, Fran, and Philippa were already ahead of me as Viggo was on their lists too.
And Viggo, like most great actors, liked to take on roles that frightened or challenged him in some respect, so he came on board. And throughout the shooting we became good friends. Any film project has its difficulties, but with three and a half years of shooting, with up to seven units going simultaneously, the complexity of The Lord of the Rings shoot was mind-boggling. Throughout the project, Ordesky flew back and forth between Los Angeles and New Zealand over thirty times, but as time went on he found himself in New Zealand most of the time.
New Line wanted me in New Zealand so they could hold me responsible and have trusted insights into the production. And there were always heaps to do. But the locations I did see were spectacular.
The natural beauty of New Zealand is no special effect. It was great to see how that manifested in the films. Meanwhile, the world around Ordesky was continuing to evolve and change. In the past, films — especially those made in remote locations — could be made with relative secrecy, with the studio carefully releasing information for publicity purposes as it saw fit.
In the s, that began to change, with websites like that shady site, TheOneRing. The Lord of the Rings filmmakers had a special disadvantage: Tolkien fans knew their story nearly scene for scene! Some engaged in squabbles with fansites. I remember him walking me through how we were going to engage the fansites like TheOneRing.
And I can remember thinking how cool it was, because the films were by fans for fans. Me, Peter, Fran, Philippa, a lot of the actors as well — we were all fans — and the Internet offered an open architecture for communication. For me, it was great to have the feeling that you were among the fans while you were making the films. And then there was a revolution in technology of a different sort. It made the decisions of losing material a lot less painful if you knew that those scenes — the ones that Peter felt warranted it — could live on in the extended versions.
So we had that, plus the wonderfully thorough behind the scenes documentation of the movies. The DVDs also made people like Ordesky, who were just names in the credits back in the videocassette age, more visible: giving them a forum to talk about their work and giving the fans a greater appreciation for what they did. Suddenly Ordesky went from another face in the crowd to someone Tolkien fans began to recognize.
Is Viggo behind me? In the end, Ordesky enjoyed the films as much as the fans. But there are many dozens more moments that I love just as dearly. To be able to work on The Lord of the Rings is more than would be reasonable to expect in a hundred careers. Anything more at this point is a bonus. I live in bonus time. But that was easier said than done. Those complications kept pushing The Hobbit further down the road, and there were moments when we all thought The Hobbit just might not happen at all.
It just seemed so challenging and complicated. New Line decided to proceed with the first film from the first book, and I was invited to work on it with Ileen because of my visual effects experience and my experience working on big budget movies overseas. Elrond's monologue comes from Tolkien's appendices: "Aragorn will come to death, an image of the splendor of the kings of men in glory, undimmed before the breaking of the world.
But you, my daughter, you will linger on in darkness and in doubt. Here you will dwell, bound to you grief, under the fading trees, until all the world has changed and the long years of your life are utterly spent. The Black Gate Opens. The theatrical version wrecks this by omitting the Mouth of Sauron. In the extended version the Mouth displays the mithril vest in order to prove that Frodo is dead and the Ring is on its way to Sauron.
Going into battle, the army of the west really has no hope at all, and Aragorn's line "For Frodo" refers to the hobbit's sacrifice -- they are avenging his death rather than buying time for him. But it's a great scene in either case.
Even the theatrical version conveys hopeless courage as the Army of the West charges the hordes which outnumber them. Sam's Star. This really should have been in the theatrical version: Sam overcome by a single sign of beauty in the worst hell on earth, and Frodo on death's door. The shot of Mordor here is the best in the film, a wasteland reminiscent of Ted Nasmith's drawings.
Much like other scenes between Frodo and Sam in Mordor especially the sacred ones of 2 , it's diminished by commentary. The Green Dragon. Here is hobbit culture at its purest. The hobbits get drunk and rumor-monger, the Gaffer tells Frodo he's as cracked as Bilbo, and Merry and Pippin are just themselves -- a couple of singing, boisterous clowns. Their song "Hey-ho, to the Bottle I Go" is actually a fusion of two songs from the book, one of which Pippin sings solo while taking a bath at Crickhollow.
This scene renders the "Concerning Hobbits" prologue superfluous and shows more in a single minute than Bilbo's voice-over explains in five. It seems that everyone agrees Peter Jackson has gone off the rails.
His Hobbit is a mess as his Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece. This week-end I watched the latter, a marathon I hadn't done since I'm pleased to say the trilogy holds up superbly. Especially since I improved on it by removing scenes I can't stand, thanks to special software. Now The Lord of the Rings is truly perfect. Here is the list of all the scenes I cut. The three extended DVD versions have a total running time of about 11 hours.
If you have the software for it, I encourage you to make your own special version of the films. It's such a treat to watch The Lord of the Rings without being able to complain about the worst scenes that make you curse at the screen. Stay tuned tomorrow for my ranking of the best scenes. I used to love this extended scene. Ten years later I now see that it fails on every level. If you think you like the Concerning Hobbits prologue, I encourage you to dig out your theatrical version and play it; it's the much stronger and better introduction to Frodo and Bilbo.
Basically I use the theatrical version from the start of the film up to Gandalf passing through Bilbo's "No Admittance" sign.
From then on, I use the extended version which is otherwise flawless. Except for a small matter The Doors of Moria. There's a story to this one. On the day before The Fellowship of the Ring was released in the theaters, I was certain I would hate these blockbuster adaptations of my favorite story.
But I was trying to get in the spirit and be a good sport, and when a co-worker asked me what part of the movie I was looking most forward to, I said somewhat sarcastically the part where Gandalf threatens to knock on the doors of Moria with Pippin Took's head. Of course, by the time I got to Moria I was in love with the film after all, but still disappointed that my favorite line didn't make it.
To add insult to injury, Jackson further reduced Gandalf by having Frodo solve the door riddle for him. I removed this from my special cut. And since the extended version has the Pippin line I wanted, all is now perfect. Also: I cut some of the battle with the Watcher of Moria, which looks a bit like a videogame.
I love Jackson's Faramir. He's a darker character than Tolkien's, tempted by the Ring as he should be, and much more believable. The "Clockwork Orange" scene at the Forbidden Pool Gollum getting beaten to a pulp is one of my favorites. But I absolutely hate the detour to Osgiliath -- more than any scene in the trilogy. Faramir should have let the hobbits go when Sam explodes at him. The Osgiliath scene is actually a disaster in every way. The Nazgul that confronts Frodo is poorly used.
Frodo's attack on Sam is unconvincing. Worst is Sam's monologue, cribbed from the Stairs of Cirith Ungol in the book, about the "tales that really matter". It's one of my favorite Tolkien passages, in which Sam reminds Frodo about the great heroes of Middle-Earth who "had many chances of turning back, but went on, and not all to a good end".
Jackson rewrites the pessimism in favor of crass cliches; now those great heroes kept going, not despite the hopelessness of their cause, but rather the opposite: "because they were holding onto the good in this world worth fighting for". Having Faramir recant and let the hobbits go after this cheesy line makes it twice as awful. Helm's Deep. I took a heavy axe to Helm's Deep, as the catalog of crimes is huge.
First are the elves, who have no business participating. They undermine the thoroughly bleak feeling the battle is supposed to have. I obviously couldn't get rid of every scene with elves, but I did cut all the close-up shots, and especially Haldir, whose death was melodramatic and contrived. Unlike the genuinely emotional deaths of Boromir and Theoden. There are also lame scenes prior to the battle filled with corny dialogue.
I removed them all. One such scene is Legolas and Aragorn's shouting match over the way they are outnumbered. Another is when Aragorn tells the young Haleth that "there is always hope".
Always hope? The idea that hope springs eternal is an alien intrusion in Middle Earth. The Aragorn of the books said things like, "We must do without hope, and at least be avenged. See also my comments about the Osgiliath scene above. Finally, there are the videogame battle sequences: Legolas surfing on his shield; Aragorn and Gimli jumping a wall and holding off multitudes of orcs. Anything like this I got rid of. In the end, my version of Helm's Deep is far shorter and much more impressive.
Pippin Manipulates Treebeard. Let me be clear: I love the fact that the ents act like Switzerland and first decide not to get involved against Saruman. I also approve the way Treebeard reverses the democratic entmoot decision like a tyrant, when he sees the tree massacre and flies into a rage.
I consider all of this an improvement on Tolkien. However, I do not like how Pippin engineered Treebeard's discovery of the clearcut. This is the same problem I had with Frodo solving the riddle at the doors of Moria. I understand that Jackson wanted to give the hobbits more proactive roles, but making them clever at the expense of immortals like Gandalf and Treebeard are cheap Hollywood maneuvers.
So I cut the scene -- a truly stupid and ridiculous one -- where Pippin suddenly tells Treebeard, in a very conniving fashion, to go south, as if Pippin would know the precise location of a tree massacre but Treebeard would not. The result is that in my cut, Treebeard stumbles on the tree slaughter by accident, and in that scene I removed Pippin's condescending "I'm sorry, Treebeard", which implies that he regrets having to give the ent a wake-up call. This scene is mostly well done, but I don't care for it.
A prologue is unnecessary in the second and third films. Gandalf falling with the Balrog is an excellent start to The Two Towers , but that's a flashback more than a prologue. I should also note that Gollum's makeup job is atrocious as he evolves over the centuries. Bottom line, I removed the entire scene. We know how Gollum began. Early extended scenes. With the exception of Saruman criminally omitted from the theatrical version , all of the extended scenes prior to Denethor entering his pyre chamber are either silly or superfluous.
They bog down the pace at points when things are supposed to moving quickly, and some of the levity used so well in extended scenes of Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers clash with an increasing dark tone.
So from the point of Saruman's death up to that of Denethor marching into his death chamber, I simply use the theatrical cut of the film. Thus in my version, there is no drinking game between Legolas and Gimli. Merry does not kneel before Theoden. A poorly handled scene, unlike Pippin's oath to Denethor: Merry acts like a giggling school girl with no dignity whatsoever.
Also, there's not even the payoff we get in the book, when Merry speaks to the dying Theoden on the Pelennor Fields; Jackson wisely chose Eowyn instead. Pippin does not speak words of encouragement to Faramir, which somehow ring hollow. Sam does not encourage Frodo with "There and Back Again" optimism near the cross-roads, which contradicts his more realistic outlook in the book on which point see my criticism of his Osgiliath monologue in The Two Towers.
Merry doesn't have the uninspired dialogue with Eowyn en route to Minas Tirith. Most importantly, Gimli does not act like a clown on the Paths of the Dead, and he certainly does not blow ghosts away from him with his goddamn breath -- a truly outrageous scene -- nor do we get the cheesy avalanche of skulls.
After the point of Denethor's entry into the pyre room, however, the extended scenes are all excellent. Denethor gets in his best line from the book: "You may triumph on the field of battle for a day, but against the power that has arisen in the east there is no victory.
Eowyn does battle with the Orc leader Gothmog. Eomer grieves in rage on the Pelennor Fields. It takes Pippin a long time to find Merry wounded on the battlefields -- well into evening.
We get the Houses of the Healing. There are two important scenes in Mordor, with Frodo and Sam joining the orc army, and the especially moving one of Sam seeing the star, when Frodo is at death's door. Naturally, I retain all of these. However, there are three particularly offensive scenes from the Pelennor Fields I removed Ninja Legolas.
His oliphaunt acrobatics put a stain on an otherwise perfect battle where you feel the heavy realism of war on both sides. Legolas has cheesy stunts elsewhere like the shield-surfing at Helm's Deep, which I also removed , but at least they're usually brief. His oliphaunt stunt goes on forever.
Not in my version. Indiana Eowyn. Eowyn's oliphaunt maneuvers aren't as offensive as Legolas', but they're silly nonetheless and there's no reason to keep them. Besides which, the extended version gives Eowyn and Merry more battle scenes -- better and more believable ones than the Indiana-Jones like ride under the oliphaunt that ends with Eowyn chopping off its legs in a single stroke.
I don't like trashing this scene, because it involves some of the best writing from the final pages of the book, and is brilliantly acted by Ian McKellan and Billy Boyd.
The problem is that it's horribly misused. Gandalf comforts Pippin with promises of a paradise he'll never obtain. Only the elves go to Valinor. Mortals -- men, dwarves, and hobbits -- never get to see those "white shores and far green country under a swift sunrise". Frodo and Bilbo were exceptions, granted them as Ringbearers. It was painful to cut this scene, because unlike Sam's Osgiliath monologue, the transposition is well conceived. It's an inspired scene, much like Boromir's moment with the Ring on Mount Caradhras a great move from Emyn Muil in the book and Wormtongue's creepy come-on lines to Eowyn recreated from her description in the Houses of Healing.
But I had to kill it. We can't have Gandalf feeding poor Pippin delusions. And finally, this one from Mordor. Ducking from the Eye. This one irks me. That Frodo and Sam could hide from the Eye by "ducking" is rather silly, and it continually cuts back and forth to interrupt what's going on at the Black Gate.
Because it just looks wrong, I removed it to keep the spotlight on the approach to the gate right before the Mouth of Sauron appears.
When asked to rank my 50 favorite films of all time, I thought it would be an impossible task. A top list would be more feasible. But then I made it easy by simply imagining I could save only 50 films -- that whatever I chose would be the only ones I could ever watch again. That cleared things up pretty fast. Ranking them in order also became fairly easy when approached this way. It's worth noting directors who have multiple entries. Ingmar Bergman gets 7.
William Friedkin and Quentin Tarantino each get 3. Kathryn Bigelow and David Cronenberg each get 2. That adds up to 33 films right there, leaving only 17 directors with single entries. So it's fair to say I've been hooked by certain visionaries. The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson. I never thought my favorite story could work as a film, let alone as an action blockbuster. But the casting here is flawless except for Orlando Bloom , the scoring genius, and the setting of New Zealand too good to be true.
But it's the emotional core that makes it a miracle. In my many theatrical outings I was overwhelmed, moved to tears, and in the final 45 minutes of Return of the King so affected I was shaking. No film, save the next, has ever had that kind of power over me. Tolkien's story is about the long defeat, as he saw it -- the failure of Frodo, the passing of the elves, and the foreordained deterioration of men -- and Jackson nailed the theme in all the parts that matter. Scene: "Do you remember the Shire?
The Exorcist, William Friedkin. This could also be my top choice, so consider it a tie. It never gets old and resonates on many levels, even new ones I've only recently discovered. It's the scariest horror film ever made.
It's the strongest crisis-of-faith statement -- more so than even Doubt and Winter Light. It has the gritty feel of an induced documentary, but with artistry owing to Ingmar Bergman.
It pulverized me when I first saw it as an year old, and has stayed in my head for years, making me terrified of my own existence.
I don't think it's possible to achieve what this film did ever again. But I keep waiting to be proven wrong. Scene: "The Sow is Mine. Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock. Whenever I watch Vertigo I feel mesmerized all the way through. It's about a necrophiliac fantasy, some say a reflection of Hitchcock's deepest obsessions, but in any case his most personal film.
It's about a man who wants to bang a woman who's dead; it's about a man on fire for a woman who doesn't exist; it's about a man who stole a woman from the very husband who hired him, and the fact that she was really a decoy does nothing to exonerate him since he didn't know this when he began the affair; it's about a man who loses both women, the same woman, twice in exactly the same way.
I'm glad that Vertigo dethroned Citizen Kane as the acclaimed best film of all time; it deserves the honor. Scene: Judy becomes Madeline. I used to respect this classic from a distance, admiring the aesthetic around the difficulty of "experiencing" it, but in recent years that distance collapsed; now it's my favorite Kubrick film, my favorite outer-space film, and my favorite futuristic film.
It plumbs the vastness of space through some of the most ecstatic imagery ever put on celluloid, and grounds this vision in humankind's evolutionary roots.
There are genius shots like the falling bone from the primitive chimpanzee age "becoming" the space shuttle in the 21st century. I consider Dr. Bowman's transformation into the Star Child the best open-ended conclusion in cinematic history.
Scene: Hal murders Dr. Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino. I've watched this more times than any film to date. I count it among three that educated me profoundly the others being Blue Velvet and Taxi Driver , showing me that movies could be art as much as entertainment. And sickeningly hilarious. I remember laughing so hard I was choking when I first saw it, scarcely able to believe what the characters were saying and doing. Tarantino is that rare breed of writer-director, like Kubrick, who is in complete command of his material.
No one writes dialogue like he can, and in the case of Pulp Fiction every stroke of the pen was inspired. Scene: "I shot Marvin in the face. Cries and Whispers, Ingmar Bergman. Perhaps it's because of the similarities with The Exorcist -- clock imagery, house atmosphere, bedridden agony, vaginal mutilation, etc. Both films were robbed of best picture the same year; certainly one of them should have taken it. It's a horrifying look at pain, about a woman dying of cancer attended to by her dysfunctional sisters.
The hurt on display is relentless, with facial contortions, gasps, and screams punctuating every other frame. And the use of the color red is, for my money, the most effective use of color in any film I've seen. Scene: Agnes' suffering. The Seventh Seal, Ingmar Bergman. Bergman's most famous film sounds a bit boring when described a knight plays chess with Death , but it's the knight's journey around the game's intervals, through a land struck by plague and religious fanaticism, and his attempts to penetrate God's mysteries, that drive the story.
There's so much entertainment here -- bar brawls, apocalyptic tirades, insult contests, self-mutilation, and a witch-burning to top it off -- that the theological side helpings make it the most balanced art-house film I know. The final Dance of Death is oddly comforting for its nihilism, and a tune I could move to when I reach my end.
Scene: Apocalyptic procession. The Shining, Stanley Kubrick. This is the only horror film that's come close to pulverizing me on the same level as The Exorcist , and it's far scarier than the book. The book is good on its own right, but Stephen King was misguided in making a faithful version for TV. The Shining is the best example granted there are many of "what works in a book doesn't on screen", and Kubrick's artistic license was pure genius.
He took the skeleton of a haunted hotel story and fleshed it out with more uncompromising terrors and a unique tone that doesn't let you tell yourself things are going to be okay. The result may be more minimalist than what King intended, but it's sure as hell more effective, and that's what any true horror artist aims for.
Scene: "Okay, let's talk. It has an awful reputation, and I used to regard it as one of Lynch's mediocre efforts until I got a full distance from the TV series. You have to watch it this way. If you take it in conjunction with the show, or if you expect in any way a "Twin Peaks" movie, you will be let down. The TV show was about mystery intrigue and small town dynamics.
Fire Walk With Me is an intensely personal film, and a horror picture -- the best horror film of the '90s, mind you -- that stands completely on its own terms. The scoring is brilliant, it's shot beautifully, and there are scenes more savage, terrifying, and heartbreaking than I've seen anywhere else.
This is Lynch's best film, appreciated by few. The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick. Like Space Odyssey this is a picture-perfect film showing humanity dwarfed by celestial mysteries. It spotlights an American Catholic family within a macrocosm of evolution, and an implied dialectic of nature vs. But grace emerges not as something which contradicts nature even if it's its conceptual opposite , rather something inherently part of it, or complementing it, or mutating from it.
Every frame depends on just the right camera angle, scoring, and particular subtleties around snippets of dialogue you can barely hear. It ends on a spiritual apocalypse that could move an atheist: the yearning for reunion in some form of afterlife, a hopeless fantasy we cling to in order to cope with pain and loss. I'm turned by new surprises each time I watch The Tree of Life. Scene: Birth of the universe. Doubt, John Patrick Shanley.
My favorite stage-play based film is a parable that refuses certainty about anything. We never find out for sure if the priest molested his altar boy, though things point alarmingly in that direction. But then we get smacked with a mother who thinks that isn't so bad. The dialogue sequences between her and Sister Aloysius are harrowing, as she insists through tears that Father Flynn is a good refuge for her son, who is gay and beaten for it at home by an abusive father.
That scene is so upsetting see below , and entertains a hard idea in a world which pathologizes eroticism between adults and youths. Doubt is a perfect film in every way; the performances are first rate, and every line of dialogue earns its keep. Scene: "Let him have my son. Another dialogue-driven favorite of mine, and this remake is superior to the '50s classic. This time the jury has four Afro-Americans, and better acting by all involved, to make the film more relevant.
Mykelti Williamson steals the show as racist juror 10, now a Muslim whose burning contempt for Hispanics and nasty put-downs draw the ire of the other black jurors. George C. Scott is as good as his predecessor Lee J.Nov 13, · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, an Album by Howard Shore. Released 25 November on Reprise (catalog no. 9 ; CD). Genres: Film Score, Orchestral, Cinematic Classical. Featured peformers: Howard Shore (composer)/5(17).