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SCOD #1, Week of Dec. 3 -- Let there be light!

weaver
Half-elven


Dec 4 2012, 3:53am

Post #1 of 15 (555 views)
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SCOD #1, Week of Dec. 3 -- Let there be light! Can't Post

Welcome to the first screencap discussion for this week!

It turns out Part 27 is filled with beautiful close up shots of Aragorn and a few others and did I mention Aragorn...

So it took me all day to pick just one! And here it is:



Now, this shot reminded me of the later scene, at the end of the Helm's Deep battle, when the light came streaming through the window as Aragorn recalls Gandalf's words about returning "at dawn", so I went hunting for it as a Christmas bonus for you SCOD lovers.

There was not a good image of the window in the Screencap Library, but since this one had Aragorn in it, it worked for me!



And now, some questions for your discussion pleasure:

1. Comments on the first image? What do you think about the composition, and the elements that make it up -- light, setting, character, etc?

2. You get a glimpse here of the Rohan stable set, which is seen only fleetingly in the films. What details can you spot in the background? Does the Rohan stable get your vote for "most underappreciated set design" in the films?

2. Comments on the use of light in the first image? Is it just for atmosphere or is there more to it than that? (There are lots of great "light" shots in the films; if you are bored waiting for the Hobbit, here's a way to pass the time -- feel free to wax poetically on this theme!)

3. In the first shot, Aragorn's just told Gandalf "the defenses will hold" and then holds the gate open for Gandalf to leave. In the second shot, we see Aragorn's expression when he realizes that this is the moment Gandalf said he'd return. One is before the battle, one is right before the turning point to victory. How well do these two moments bookend the start and end of Aragorn's character development during Helm's Deep sequence?

4.The first shot is from the 2nd of three sequences in which Gandalf and Aragorn are seen in a "leadership" trade-off moment -- can you name the two other moments? (Hint, there's one in each film...). How do these kinds of moments work to develop Aragorn as a leader in the films?

5. Any other thoughts or comments? I had a lot of coffee today, could you tell?

Weaver



zarabia
Tol Eressea


Dec 4 2012, 8:01am

Post #2 of 15 (283 views)
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Well, you can't go wrong with a screen cap of Aragorn :) [In reply to] Can't Post

But you have included very thought provoking questions as well. Some, I think, are above my pay grade to answer Laugh The others, I'll have to think about a bit and get back to you. I haven't had enough coffee Wink

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


Loresilme
Valinor


Dec 4 2012, 3:31pm

Post #3 of 15 (250 views)
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Bookends! I do love those bookend moments [In reply to] Can't Post

I never thought of these two in terms of bookends - seeing Gandalf off with light streaming behind him, and then the moment he realizes Gandalf is returning (hopefully) soon, with light streaming in front of him. Yes! We really should start a list of these, lol.

1. Comments on the first image?
Aragorn Heart.

What do you think about the composition, and the elements that make it up -- light, setting, character, etc?
Oh sorry, was there something else in the shot ;-)?

Ahem ... ok well I do note that Aragorn's ranger outfit blends in completely with the background of the wood, and the horses and their gear, etc. A nice job illustrating how well the outfit would provide camouflage out in 'the wild'. And I like how his wearing of the Ring of Barahir is worked into the shot.

2. You get a glimpse here of the Rohan stable set, which is seen only fleetingly in the films. What details can you spot in the background? Does the Rohan stable get your vote for "most underappreciated set design" in the films?
With all the beautiful and detailed sets, "Most Underappreciated" would be a tough contest! It would be very interesting to hear from some folks who are really horsey people, to know whether these stables pass the reality test. To me, they look realistic enough that I wouldn't be surprised if they actually stabled the on-set horses there. Hmm maybe should check the credits to look for 'on set stable hand' ;-).

2. Comments on the use of light in the first image? Is it just for atmosphere or is there more to it than that? (There are lots of great "light" shots in the films; if you are bored waiting for the Hobbit, here's a way to pass the time -- feel free to wax poetically on this theme!)
Well it does seem to be shining on him and particularly on his hand with the Ring of Barahir. So perhaps that was intended.

3. In the first shot, Aragorn's just told Gandalf "the defenses will hold" and then holds the gate open for Gandalf to leave. In the second shot, we see Aragorn's expression when he realizes that this is the moment Gandalf said he'd return. One is before the battle, one is right before the turning point to victory. How well do these two moments bookend the start and end of Aragorn's character development during Helm's Deep sequence?
Originally I felt that in this scene, his expression is somewhat blank, or that he seems perhaps really strangely calm considering their precarious situation. However after several more thoughtful viewings, I came to realize that this is instead an indication of Aragorn's iron will, and his strength of character. Is their situation dire? Yes. Is it very possible it will end badly? Yes. Can they afford to think that way? No.
I suppose it's the Middle-earth version of "Failure is not an option." "The defenses will hold." Period.

So here, all the emotions have to be shut off. Later on, when you see his expression looking at the light streaming through the window, I think you see a flood of emotion return in a 'dare-I-hope-this-might-actually-turn-out-ok' expression.

4.The first shot is from the 2nd of three sequences in which Gandalf and Aragorn are seen in a "leadership" trade-off moment -- can you name the two other moments? (Hint, there's one in each film...). How do these kinds of moments work to develop Aragorn as a leader in the films?
FOTR - Is that this moment:

<The Fellowship enters a passageway and goes down a flight of steps. The flight ends in a missing segment, and Boromir nearly falls into fires below but Legolas pulls him back. His torch whirls away into the vast underworld beneath; the Hobbits too stop short of falling in. Last of all comes weary Gandalf, who leans upon a wall.>

<<Aragorn: Gandalf!>>
<<Gandalf: Lead them on, Aragorn! The bridge is near!>>
<They look across a wide space to a long bridge spanning the gap between a hall and a cliff face. Away behind them, the Balrog roars again.>
<Aragorn moves towards Gandalf, but Gandalf pushes Aragorn roughly away from him.>
<<Gandalf: Do as I say!>>
<Hurt and confusion register on Aragornís face.>

<<Gandalf: Swords are no more use here!>>

(The above transcript courtesy of Council of Elrond
)


Or is the FOTR moment simply at: "You shall not - oops. Aragorn, you're in charge now"? :-)


In ROTK, would this be the moment where Aragorn decides to ride on the Black Gate? However, in my own little personal opinion, I think the moment Gandalf acknowledges Aragorn as King is after Aragorn dismisses the Army of the Dead. After he does so, Gandalf bows his head, and Aragorn bows his in response. IMO, it's not a casual 'good job' type of nod, to me both seemed to be formal head bows. So coronation or no, I felt that was when Aragorn becomes King, because in that moment Gandalf the White acknowledges him as King.

5. Any other thoughts or comments? I had a lot of coffee today, could you tell?
Ah caffeine, a wonderful thing :-). One has to wonder how many marvelous writings, inventions and works of art were fueled by a good cup of joe.

And great SCODs too :-) -- thanks weaver!


One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Dec 5 2012, 6:50pm

Post #4 of 15 (242 views)
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Intriguing, [In reply to] Can't Post

I see what you mean about the light in the first image there. Given the thought they put into certain details in these films, I wouldn't be surprised whatsoever if that is intentional.

In terms of analysing Aragorn's progression through the movie, I think it's all meant as a sort of test, really (and he passes with flying colors). There's really not much shift in tone/character for Aragorn. He might be a bit skeptical over the success of their plans, but he remains headstrong throughout. I don't know, he seems like the kinda guy that would make a great king, but that's just me. Tongue

FOTR 10th Anniversary Music Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33xJU3AIwsg

"You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear, and that which is outside your daily life is not of account to you. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."


Bombadil
Half-elven


Dec 6 2012, 12:35pm

Post #5 of 15 (211 views)
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Just 2 Things [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Smoky Light Beams descending
for. Years I've thought as "Moses Beams."
..used in DeMille's "TEN Commandments "
showing inspirational guidance from above?

When Beams are...Rising on the Horizon?
"Jesus Beams" (New Testament)

this Movie lighting convention ..is used often...

2. The Lighting on Aragorn's Face in the second shot
shows he Hears .. that inspirited message from above?


FarFromHome
Valinor


Dec 6 2012, 3:13pm

Post #6 of 15 (182 views)
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Totally. [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with you - this is a movie lighting convention that goes way back, and as you say, it hints at "inspirational guidance from above". Another example that sticks out in my mind is in the wood where Arwen sees her vision of her son.

Adding to the idea of inspirational guidance is the way the light is created in the Edoras and Helm's Deep scenes, by having the light come through a "clerestory" window - the kind of high window that is associated with church architecture. I seem to recall the designers saying that the stable at Edoras was inspired by church architecture to symbolise the importance of horses in Rohan culture. At any rate, it certainly makes it possible to provide this mystical light on cue!

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Bombadil
Half-elven


Dec 6 2012, 4:07pm

Post #7 of 15 (166 views)
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Thang you verryy Bbbunchh..also used [In reply to] Can't Post

When Aragorn... councils a Destitute Theodan.
......."Remember on the Third Day
Look to the East!"
In. Gandalf's.
God-Like voice ...

Then Aragorn says..."Ride with me
Ride out and Meet Them!"

Their "Suicidal Charge" though the. Orcs was one PJ's.
Most brillant scenes...
And of course Gandalf on.
Shadowfax used
"Jesus Beams"
to
Blind
the. Orcs..


weaver
Half-elven


Dec 6 2012, 5:14pm

Post #8 of 15 (146 views)
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but I did go wrong with my math -- ha! [In reply to] Can't Post

That was one two too many, but I'm glad you liked the questions and photos. And yep, those questions are a bit intense for December SCOD time, but I blame that on the coffee! :)

Weaver



weaver
Half-elven


Dec 6 2012, 5:21pm

Post #9 of 15 (152 views)
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ha, I never notice the ring and you get an A... [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess I need to pay more attention to Aragorn's hands...thanks for the enouragement (like I needed it!) :)

And you guessed right on the three leadership moments -- the silent nod on the battlefield is the one I was thinking of from ROTK, as that's the shot that's between just Aragorn and Gandalf. In the first one, in FOTR, Gandalf literally shoves him into the job (Lead them on!), in this one, Gandalf is still "directing" Aragorn (telling him to take care of Theoden, and to hold the defenses) but in the final one, he just nods. I rather like that progression and how it marks Aragorn's development throughout the films.

You know, we could do a whole series of discussions on the relationships between the various characters -- I guess we've not run out of things to talk about, not bad after all these years!

Thanks for chiming in as always! I knew Aragorn could bring you out again -- ha!

Weaver



weaver
Half-elven


Dec 6 2012, 5:26pm

Post #10 of 15 (149 views)
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what I liked about the whole king thing... [In reply to] Can't Post

I know it's not book canon, but I liked that they were able to make Aragorn's inevitable rise to the throne feel not quite so inevitable in the films...it made him look more like he earned it instead of just being born into it, which is a more modern take on leadership, I know, but one that works better for me.

I remember curious or squire in the RR (I think!) commenting that one of the most intriguing things about the books is that Tolkien keeps you on the edge of your seat even though you know how the story is going to end (he basically gives it away in the forward or prologue, and then there's the title of the third book!) -- the films did a good job of that with the story on screen.

Good luck with the last two SCOD weeks! I'll try and comment if I can and thanks for stopping in on mine!

Weaver



weaver
Half-elven


Dec 6 2012, 5:29pm

Post #11 of 15 (151 views)
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I must have missed that commentary! [In reply to] Can't Post

The Rohan sets do seem "church like" -- I figured it was just a medieval kind of look they were going for, but I like the idea of the fact that they were making the point that horses were spiritually/religiously to the culture. Explains why the stable is so "holy" looking, and as iwell built and designed as a cathedral. Thanks for adding this info!

Weaver



weaver
Half-elven


Dec 6 2012, 5:34pm

Post #12 of 15 (143 views)
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I like that scene as well... [In reply to] Can't Post

When Aragorn recalls Gandalf's words, with the light in the window -- it's a very 'transcendent" moment, where for a minute Aragorn is lifted out of the battle and connected with the big picture where the Higher Powers are at work, and he sort of tunes into there and channels it into action.

He realizes this is the moment that Gandalf predicted -- "he will need you before the end" --and he embraces it and acts on it. Very, very great scene and wonderfully done, IMHO.

Weaver



FarFromHome
Valinor


Dec 6 2012, 7:59pm

Post #13 of 15 (172 views)
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I was afraid I'd made it up... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sometimes I find that my memory plays tricks on me, but I just got the DVD out and found the part I was thinking of. It's John Howe speaking:
My idea for the stables was that they have a form that was, not a religious edifice, but not far from it. That there be an element, not necessarily of worship, but of the consciousness of the fact that their whole culture depends on horses, and that their horses deserve to be stabled in a place which actually conveys that symbolically. So it's more than just a row of stalls, it would be very very richly decorated and quite ornate and perhaps a little more lofty than necessary because it's meant to say something, about their friendship with horses and their dependency upon them.
So at least my memory hasn't gone completely yet....Tongue

And I like the fact that John Howe even mentions the "loftiness", which would be part of the "religious edifice" inspiration, and makes possible those high clerestory windows with their symbolic light.

It's been ages since I had the DVDs out, that was a nice blast from the past! Thanks for bringing this up, weaver!

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



zarabia
Tol Eressea


Dec 7 2012, 7:19am

Post #14 of 15 (135 views)
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So that's the word [In reply to] Can't Post

   

Quote

Adding to the idea of inspirational guidance is the way the light is created in the Edoras and Helm's Deep scenes, by having the light come through a "clerestory" window - the kind of high window that is associated with church architecture



"Clerestory" I had noticed that the small windows over the individual stables were cross-like and reminded me of what you see in medieval churches. Very interesting!

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Dec 7 2012, 7:23am

Post #15 of 15 (349 views)
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Haha! [In reply to] Can't Post

I noticed the numbering issue, but I just figured you were feeling twitterpated looking at Aragorn. Wink

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime

 
 

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