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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Chapter of the Week: Mirkwood
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BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 4 2014, 10:35am

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Chapter of the Week: Mirkwood Can't Post

DOS Chapter of the Week: Mirkwood



Hi, everybody, and welcome to another CHOW! This week we’ll be focusing on DOS Chapter 7: Mirkwood, where our heroes begin their journey through the eponymous forest, but lose their way.





1. What do you make of the scenery? How does the cinematic Mirkwood compare to (a) its book counterpart, (b) other forests we’ve seen in Middle-earth films/read about in the books (Fangorn, Lothlórien, The Old Forest etc.)?






2. How would you describe Mirkwood’s “aura”? What kind of a role do cinematography, editing and score play in creating this atmosphere?





3. Does Bilbo’s web-plucking remind anyone else Pippin’s little stunt in Moria? Could this be what alerts the spiders of the Company’s presence?


4. The word “attercop” can be heard whispered twice in this chapter: first after Bilbo plucks the spider webs and later when the Company is arguing amongst themselves and Thorin tells the rest to be quiet as they’re “being watched”. How come they can hear the spiders when their voices are only meant to be heard with the Ring on? Is it a continuity error or can it be given a logical explanation?


5. The general consensus seems to be that this sequence is too short. Hopefully we’ll see more of Mirkwood in the EE. What new material are you most looking forward to seeing there?


6. Any details that stand out for you? Something that always catches your eye/you only noticed now?


7. Any favourite shots?


Here’s one of mine, for example:





8. Is there anything else you’d like to say about this chapter? Any additional comments or observations?


Let me know what you think. Smile


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


Vepariga
The Shire


Jul 4 2014, 1:58pm

Post #2 of 29 (491 views)
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Ah my land [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Mirkwood in the film is pretty much exactly how I envisioned it, gloomy,twisted and a overall feeling that it could devour you if you didnt watch your step. Sinister enough to form its own identity amoung forests.

2. They did very well with translating the 'presance' and 'aura' the forest gives, with the turning angles and 'drunken' camera shots, It really feels like the forest effects your mind. Almost like it wants you to get lost.

3. Alittle bit,but Bilbo knew what he was doing. Unfortunatly his curiousity got the better of him as yes,the web plucking would have made the spiders wonder what was down there.

4.Its interesting becuase Bilbo hears the spider say 'It stings!' when he has the ring off aswell, perhaps the forest as it can alter perceptions and during these fluxuations you can hear spider-talk briefly?

5. I would say it was short,but not short enough to be disappointed. If they add more scenes to it,I will be pleased. I believe we will see them drinking the water and so forth,getting lost deeper.

6. some of the skeletons in the spiders web are interesting,other then that Ive pretty much picked up everything.

7. love the shot you posted with the sunlight sneaking through. I also love the shot of Bilbo hiding behind the tree as one of the spiders crawls up it.

8. Enjoyable chapter of the film, I have to add that I always laugh when the elves keep finding knives and daggers hidden in Kili's clothes lol.

- Vep - Guardsman of the woodland realm of Mirkwood -


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 4 2014, 2:20pm

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Our land [In reply to] Can't Post

If the squirrels of Mirkwood are black, then so must be the foxes. Tongue


In Reply To
It really feels like the forest effects your mind. Almost like it wants you to get lost.

Agreed. Just like Gandalf said: "The very air of the forest is heavy with illusion. It will seek to enter your mind and lead you astray."

In Reply To
Its interesting becuase Bilbo hears the spider say 'It stings!' when he has the ring off aswell, perhaps the forest as it can alter perceptions and during these fluxuations you can hear spider-talk briefly?

Hmm... You might be on to something here.

Thank you for answering, Vepariga!


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 4 2014, 2:22pm

Post #4 of 29 (467 views)
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To avoid confusion [In reply to] Can't Post

This chapter ends right before Bilbo climbs up the tree.


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


Barbarb
The Shire

Jul 5 2014, 1:42am

Post #5 of 29 (393 views)
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Mirkwood [In reply to] Can't Post

I was really impressed by this sequence, it surpasses what I imagined when reading the book. Mirkwood is completely different - more exaggerated - in comparison with the other forests we've seen, I think.

Despite how 'exaggerated' it is, to me Mirkwood looks and feels very real, it's like a real forest with a twist. The ill effects on the characters' minds was conveyed really well. I remember gasping in the cinema when Bilbo's feet start to walk backwards.

When we hear 'attercop', I don't feel like it's a continuity error, I thought of it as part of a series of hallucinations. But I did think it was a bit strange for us to hear "It stings..." after Bilbo takes the ring off.

I think my favourite shot is when one of the dwarves announces that they've lost the path, and the camera pans to reveal that the path continues on the other side of a huge crevasse. I like this because it reinforces the idea that Mirkwood is devoid of any logic.


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jul 5 2014, 2:24am

Post #6 of 29 (397 views)
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Loves it! Looks we're in good company too. [In reply to] Can't Post

To put it mildly, it's quite the Forest we've lived in, precious!

1. What do you make of the scenery? How does the cinematic Mirkwood compare to (a) its book counterpart, (b) other forests we’ve seen in Middle-earth films/read about in the books (Fangorn, Lothlórien, The Old Forest etc.)?
It's quite suitably ominous and passive-aggressive in its menace: Don't mess with us, and we won't mess with you. Quite like how the Elves are actually, if that makes sense.

2. How would you describe Mirkwood’s “aura”? What kind of a role do cinematography, editing and score play in creating this atmosphere?
I feel a nice balance in all those aspects.

3. Does Bilbo’s web-plucking remind anyone else Pippin’s little stunt in Moria? Could this be what alerts the spiders of the Company’s presence?
Oh yes! As soon as he reached his itchy fingers, I knew it was gonna happen, and a resonance with Pippin's stunt.

4. The word “attercop” can be heard whispered twice in this chapter: first after Bilbo plucks the spider webs and later when the Company is arguing amongst themselves and Thorin tells the rest to be quiet as they’re “being watched”. How come they can hear the spiders when their voices are only meant to be heard with the Ring on? Is it a continuity error or can it be given a logical explanation?
Tough. I like the conceit it's meant to be heard only when to the Ring wearer. So I'd go with continuity error, unless Sebastian speaks, then all bets are off.

5. The general consensus seems to be that this sequence is too short. Hopefully we’ll see more of Mirkwood in the EE. What new material are you most looking forward to seeing there?
I'm generally in consensus as well. Want to see black squirrels, unseen things moving in the undergrowth, the myriad eyes in the night!

6. Any details that stand out for you? Something that always catches your eye/you only noticed now?
Always liked the look of the real path compared to the one the Company followed. Both are used and worn, but the real one is obviously being maintained. Loved the Bilbo sequence of him watching his own feet walk in reverse, and turning back to see himself too. And the flies that's everywhere. Also, how it gets more cobwebby the further in they go. Not enough funghi and spores for all their hallucinations though Tongue

Too much sunlight reaching under the canopy. Mirkwood should be almost dark even in broad daylight. Other than that, nice interpretation.

7. Any favourite shots?
Bilbo playing harp on the cobwebs, and the shot of the sun through the canopy (though again, it is way too much sun for Mirkwood).

8. Is there anything else you’d like to say about this chapter? Any additional comments or observations?
Too short and too much sunlight! Would really loved to have seen a bit of how the night is instead of hearing the Company mention it.

Thanks, Blackfox. And what do you think?Smile



Fan of both books and movies. Oh, and it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Heart Appreciating Thranduil, thread by thread: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
(More appreciation threads for Thranduil exist than ME movies)

Laugh Thrall Wars! Teh partsies: Prologue, Two, Three
(And no, we're not counting)

"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

=======
Middle-earth dispatches out of the lurkmirk


Kim
Valinor


Jul 5 2014, 2:51am

Post #7 of 29 (427 views)
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Creepy [In reply to] Can't Post

1. What do you make of the scenery? How does the cinematic Mirkwood compare to (a) its book counterpart, (b) other forests we’ve seen in Middle-earth films/read about in the books (Fangorn, Lothlórien, The Old Forest etc.)?
Suitably creepy. From the book, I always pictured it in my head as darker, and the path more straight. But this version is more creative, and definitely not a place I’d want to be. The part when Thorin says, “Look for the path” and the camera pans over to it actually reminds me of the creepy part of the forest in The Wizard of Oz.


2. How would you describe Mirkwood’s “aura”? What kind of a role do cinematography, editing and score play in creating this atmosphere?
Suitably creepy. Oh, you want more? I think the camera angles and music really contribute to the overall creepiness and atmosphere. And the creaking and groaning of the trees is ominous, like it doesn’t want them there. I also like how we can see the spores in the air.


3. Does Bilbo’s web-plucking remind anyone else Pippin’s little stunt in Moria? Could this be what alerts the spiders of the Company’s presence?
Good call. I think it could alert the spiders since it reverberates pretty far away. Every time I watch it, I think, “don’t you see there are dead things in there?! Why are you touching that icky thing?”


4. The word “attercop” can be heard whispered twice in this chapter: first after Bilbo plucks the spider webs and later when the Company is arguing amongst themselves and Thorin tells the rest to be quiet as they’re “being watched”. How come they can hear the spiders when their voices are only meant to be heard with the Ring on? Is it a continuity error or can it be given a logical explanation?
Maybe there are some words that are universal? I mean, everyone knows it’s quite insulting, right?

5. The general consensus seems to be that this sequence is too short. Hopefully we’ll see more of Mirkwood in the EE. What new material are you most looking forward to seeing there?
Yes, definitely would like to see more, especially Bombur falling in the river and being carried and Thorin shooting at the stag.

6. Any details that stand out for you? Something that always catches your eye/you only noticed now?
For some reason, every time I watch it, I notice more and more mushrooms. When I watched it with the subtitles on, I also noticed Thorin saying, “what hour is it?” and Dwalin responds, “I don’t even know what day it is.”

7. Any favourite shots?
Do you mean like this?



Or maybe this?



Oh, ok, I guess maybe like this and this:






8. Is there anything else you’d like to say about this chapter? Any additional comments or observations?
Thorin’s hair: starting to get a little fluffy and messy, just as we like it. Wink


Thanks BlackFox!



"Jagatud rõõm on topelt rõõm - a shared joy is a double joy". ~Estonian saying


“As such, you will address His Majesty as His Majesty, the Lord of Silver Fountains, the King of Carven Stone, the King Beneath the Mountain, the Lion of Erebor, the High King of the Dwarves, the True Treasure of Erebor, the Face that Launched 10,000 Sighs, or Thorin the Majestic..."


http://newboards.theonering.net/...forum_view_collapsed


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 5 2014, 10:20am

Post #8 of 29 (365 views)
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Home sweet home! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It's quite suitably ominous and passive-aggressive in its menace: Don't mess with us, and we won't mess with you. Quite like how the Elves are actually, if that makes sense.

Indeed. Nice comparison!

In Reply To
So I'd go with continuity error, unless Sebastian speaks, then all bets are off.

lol Laugh

In Reply To
And what do you think?Smile

I too find it an enjoyable sequence, albeit way too short and, as you noted, a bit too bright. It's very atmospheric, all elements (cinematography, editing, score etc.) contribute to the creation of a ominous hallucinatory room - a clever, well-executed concept. We just need more of it!

Thanks, Lurker!


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 5 2014, 10:34am

Post #9 of 29 (369 views)
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Creepy indeed [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And the creaking and groaning of the trees is ominous, like it doesn’t want them there.

This reminds me of both Fangorn and the Old Forest. Like the forest would have a mind and a will of its own.

In Reply To
Every time I watch it, I think, “don’t you see there are dead things in there?! Why are you touching that icky thing?”

It's that Tookish blood!

In Reply To
For some reason, every time I watch it, I notice more and more mushrooms.

Yes, me too! Laugh I bet that's why Radagast lives nearby. AngelicEvil

Thanks for taking the time to answer, Kim! It's always a pleasure having you (and Thorin's hair) around. Tongue


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


Bombadil
Half-elven


Jul 5 2014, 2:03pm

Post #10 of 29 (350 views)
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ALL of the Above... [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed...

And TWOThingies to
ADD

At least ONE Nightime
Campout.

Even OIN & GLOIN
can't start a fire
(Allowing them to
have more dialogue &
character development)

Maybe, each time they
TRY ..a sudden FOUL Wind
from the Trees
...Blows it out?

They... won't allow IT?

"It burnzzzz", moaned from them
Like a deep Entish moan.

Thus giving the Forest MORE
of a personality?

Also the 3D eyes blinking & moving
Around &
Above..the company
(Read that section in the Book)
Bomby was really creeped out as a
Boy reading that for the first time.

Bombur's
Entrapment by the
Enchanted Stream..we know will be in the
EE.

Bomby
Believes
Bombur will Hallucinate
jus' like Frodo underwater did
in the DEAD Marshes.. (TTT)

Probably... Weird Food?

Similar BUT in 3D, this time!.

Heart


Noria
Rohan

Jul 5 2014, 8:00pm

Post #11 of 29 (347 views)
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My thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

1. What do you make of the scenery? How does the cinematic Mirkwood compare to (a) its book counterpart, (b) other forests we’ve seen in Middle-earth films/read about in the books (Fangorn, Lothlórien, The Old Forest etc.)?
a) I like this Mirkwood, a tangle of huge gnarled trees, some looking rather dead, under a high canopy of autumn leave. To me it doesn’t seem too dissimilar to the one described in the book, though there is much more light than I had imagined. I like that, as I prefer to be able to see what is going on in a movie. We don’t have a night scene to compare to the complete darkness of the book.

b) Of course this forest is very different from the Lothlórien of the book and movie, which is all about light and beauty. It is closer to Fangorn but IIRC, that forest was also rather more open and less threatening in the movie.

It seems to me that Tolkien liked sedate and managed woodlands such as those of England and was leery of real, untouched forest, like the jungles of the tropics and the forests of North America. In the books, real forests like Mirkwood, Fangorn, the Old Forest and Druadan seem to be perilous, treacherous or eerie, home to evil or at least dangerous beings and creatures.


2. How would you describe Mirkwood’s “aura”? What kind of a role do cinematography, editing and score play in creating this atmosphere?


I would describe the aura as eerie. It’s oppressive, bewildering and quietly menacing. The camera shots through the trees and at odd angles add to that impression. So does the creaking and that sort of chirring sound that reminds me of the spiders.

The score here is quite different from most of the music in the other five movies. To my ears it’s lovely but eerie in places while other stretches are unmelodic, quietly chaotic and unsettling. I think it suits the sequence very well and adds to the atmosphere.


3. Does Bilbo’s web-plucking remind anyone else Pippin’s little stunt in Moria? Could this be what alerts the spiders of the Company’s presence?

Yes the web plucking did bring to mind Pippin’s incident and it may well have brought the spiders. But the dwarves were making enough noise when they start fighting to have alerted armies of spiders.



4. The word “attercop” can be heard whispered twice in this chapter: first after Bilbo plucks the spider webs and later when the Company is arguing amongst themselves and Thorin tells the rest to be quiet as they’re “being watched”. How come they can hear the spiders when their voices are only meant to be heard with the Ring on? Is it a continuity error or can it be given a logical explanation?

I don’t know why we hear “attercop” but I’m not sure that the characters hear it, despite Thorin’s awareness of being watched. Would they even know what it means if they heard it? Maybe the hallucinogenic atmosphere of the forest creates a psychic link. (Stretching it maybe?) Perhaps it’s foreshadowing of a sort, perhaps it’s a shout-out to book fans, or perhaps it is an error. If it is the latter, I don’t care.


5. The general consensus seems to be that this sequence is too short. Hopefully we’ll see more of Mirkwood in the EE. What new material are you most looking forward to seeing there?


It seems clear that at least one and probably more scenes were lifted out of this part of the movie, since we can catch glimpses of a litter being carried, presumably holding an unconscious Bombur, from around 23:30. Around 23:50, in the background we can see Dwalin putting the litter down. Seconds later Nori appears without the basket he was carrying earlier. It looks to me like that days and nights could have passed. So I am hoping that in the EE we get to see any of those scenes, but particularly the one in which Bombur is enchanted.

I remember Philippa Boyens saying a while back that Peter Jackson wanted to get on to the destination rather than spending a lot more time on the journey itself. I assume that is why Beorn and Mirkwood were shortened and longer stops in the Elven Realm and Laketown were made because those people and characters are relevant to the third movie. But the book fan in me looks forward to seeing some of those scenes of Beorn, Mirkwood and Thranduil that were filmed but didn’t make the final cut of the TE.


6. Any details that stand out for you? Something that always catches your eye/you only noticed now?

Bilbo gives us another one of his many “What now?” sighs/faces as he sees his feet walking backwards.

I notice that it seems to be raining outside the Elven Gate and rain is pouring down from the clouds over the forest as the Dwarves enter, but in the next shot it doesn’t appear to be raining. Has some time passed?


7. Any favourite shots?

Actually, I would have picked four of those in the original post, with this one as well.



The forest looks so big and menacing and the dwarves look so small, as if they are being engulfed!



8. Is there anything else you’d like to say about this chapter? Any additional comments or observations?

Though several of the Dwarves express discomfort and bewilderment, fittingly we only see Bilbo’s actual hallucinations. Unlike most of the others he seems to be able to snap out of it a little, at least enough to recognize Bofur’s tobacco pouch and realize what it means. Plus when Thorin says they have to continue east, Bilbo is the only one who seems to be able to struggle though his confusion enough to come up with an idea to find their direction. Though It’s different from the book, I like this way of giving little hero moments to Bilbo, leading up to his greater heroics in the next scene. I never understand why people say he is sidelined.

I got a kick out of the Dwarves turning on each other in a shoving match while Thorin listens and Bilbo tries to think. A few words from Thorin are enough to silence them as he realizes that they are being watched.


Thanks BlackFox.





(This post was edited by Noria on Jul 5 2014, 8:03pm)


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 5 2014, 9:53pm

Post #12 of 29 (312 views)
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Believe it or not, but I was originally going to include that screencap on my CHOW! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Though several of the Dwarves express discomfort and bewilderment, fittingly we only see Bilbo’s actual hallucinations. Unlike most of the others he seems to be able to snap out of it a little, at least enough to recognize Bofur’s tobacco pouch and realize what it means. Plus when Thorin says they have to continue east, Bilbo is the only one who seems to be able to struggle though his confusion enough to come up with an idea to find their direction. Though It’s different from the book, I like this way of giving little hero moments to Bilbo, leading up to his greater heroics in the next scene.

Yes! I'm glad you pointed that out. The main focus is definitely on Bilbo in this scene. He really has become a crucial member of the Company. What would the dwarves do without him?

Thanks for the thorough answers, Noria!


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Jul 5 2014, 11:42pm

Post #13 of 29 (310 views)
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Did someone mention "creepy"? [In reply to] Can't Post

'Cause, yes, this chapter is creepy. Angelic


1. What do you make of the scenery? How does the cinematic Mirkwood compare to (a) its book counterpart, (b) other forests we’ve seen in Middle-earth films/read about in the books (Fangorn, Lothlórien, The Old Forest etc.)?

After reading the book, I never pictured Mirkwood as being quite so psychedelic...but I don't mind this creepy interpretation. The "spores" and 'illusion" explain why the company gets lost so easily. Except for the Ents and the Hobbit-eating tree, Fanghorn seems to me a little more static and less actively menacing, if that makes sense. But I guess the forests in Middle-earth have reason to be a bit defensive.



2. How would you describe Mirkwood’s “aura”? What kind of a role do cinematography, editing and score play in creating this atmosphere?

Not exactly the Greenwood of old! It makes me wonder how much time has passed since Radagast first figured out something "not good at all" was going on and now, for the forest to deteriorate this much--unless, perhaps, this area was one of the first to become corrupted. The score is wonderfully, you know, creepy, I guess because the creepy things are actually creeping creatures. As for cinematography and editing, I think we get a sense of the Dwarves' confusion by the various angles of shots, to the point where I wondered if I myself had been sniffing something questionable.




3. Does Bilbo’s web-plucking remind anyone else Pippin’s little stunt in Moria? Could this be what alerts the spiders of the Company’s presence?

Nice connection, BF! Those Tooks... The interconnecting of the spider-webs would be a nice little trip wire, wouldn't it? Clever, creepy spiders.




4. The word “attercop” can be heard whispered twice in this chapter: first after Bilbo plucks the spider webs and later when the Company is arguing amongst themselves and Thorin tells the rest to be quiet as they’re “being watched”. How come they can hear the spiders when their voices are only meant to be heard with the Ring on? Is it a continuity error or can it be given a logical explanation?

I think the "attercops" are for us geeky book types in the audience, not for the company. I'm assuming that all they hear is some kind of creepy voice whispering an indistinguishable word, if that. So I don't think that, or the fact that Bilbo can still understand the spiders after the Ring is off, is a continuity error. Obviously the Ring has lingering effects even once it's off, because Bilbo wouldn't normally be stabbing woodland creatures who bump into the Ring by accident.



5. The general consensus seems to be that this sequence is too short. Hopefully we’ll see more of Mirkwood in the EE. What new material are you most looking forward to seeing there?

Yep, too short. I want to see Thorin shoot something, or at least at something, with his bow and arrow. I'd love to see the white stag!! I want to see the creepy eyes at night. And I want to see Bombur fall in the stream and maybe Kili and Fili do their boat-retrieving stunt. I think we really need to see that quite a bit of time has passed and their situation is pretty hopeless. Then I think Thorin's refusal of Thranduil's offer later has more weight, more at stake.



6. Any details that stand out for you? Something that always catches your eye/you only noticed now?

I haven't had a chance to slow-mo this chapter (I know, I am SO behind...) but I love Thorin's line, "Is there no end to this accursed forest?" Yeah, let's get the heck out of this creepy place! (But not until I have seen my list above. Wink)


7. Any favourite shots?
Well, strangely enough...if Thorin's in it, it's a favorite. Not even spider-webs can make his hair creepy. Laugh


Thanks, BF. Great screencaps!


“Tollers,” Lewis said to Tolkien, “there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.”



Kim
Valinor


Jul 6 2014, 7:04am

Post #14 of 29 (281 views)
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So if I'm understanding you correctly [In reply to] Can't Post

you think this chapter is "creepy"? Sorry, I just don't see it.



"Jagatud rõõm on topelt rõõm - a shared joy is a double joy". ~Estonian saying


“As such, you will address His Majesty as His Majesty, the Lord of Silver Fountains, the King of Carven Stone, the King Beneath the Mountain, the Lion of Erebor, the High King of the Dwarves, the True Treasure of Erebor, the Face that Launched 10,000 Sighs, or Thorin the Majestic..."


http://newboards.theonering.net/...forum_view_collapsed


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jul 6 2014, 9:09am

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wow... way detailed *impressed* [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, Noria. Makes me think that much more over the scene.


Fan of both books and movies; it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Heart Appreciating Thranduil, thread by thread: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
(Tis true! More appreciation threads for Thranduil exist than ME movies)

Laugh Thrall Wars! Teh partsies: Prologue, One (None save Avandel knows whither teh "One"), Two, Three


"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

=======
Middle-earth dispatches out of the lurkmirk


Kerewyn
Rohan


Jul 6 2014, 9:26am

Post #16 of 29 (288 views)
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Just four answers from me... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. What do you make of the scenery? How does the cinematic Mirkwood compare to (a) its book counterpart, (b) other forests we’ve seen in Middle-earth films/read about in the books (Fangorn, Lothlórien, The Old Forest etc.)?
When I read the book, I imagined a very, very dense forest, one without a path, in which one has to push through the undergrowth. This is probably due to my own youthful experiences "bush-whacking" in dense, dark NZ forest undergrowth, complete with swampy bits and cobwebs. Movie Mirkwood gave more space to my inner vision.

Compared to Fangorn and Lothlorien, I was intrigued by the varying levels of Mirkwood, the gradients and valleys and deep chasms of what may or may not be the forest floor.

2. How would you describe Mirkwood’s “aura”? Forests can be very eerie places. I have felt seriously affected (afraid even) by forest auras in NZ and in Ireland - a feeling of being lost, being watched. Mirkwood immediately felt truly mirksome for me as a viewer, in its ancientness and the breakdown of decaying tree trunks and fallen branches. If a green forest gives out pure oxygen, this forest gave an aura of tainted air, and a wrongness that couldn't be named. And if elves dwelled here, these elves were the kind to be feared.

7. Any favourite shots?
From memory (for I don't yet own the DVD, and I can't find this scene in its entirety on You Tube) there is a shot from high that shows all the dwarves on different levels & paths, very clearly wandering / lost / going in circles.

8. Is there anything else you’d like to say about this chapter? Any additional comments or observations? On the "psychedelic" illusions, the sense of being very lost in possibly one's own mind... I had an interesting experience upon my first cinematic viewing. It was not in 3D either... but while watching this scene, I started to feel mildly ill, nauseous even, as though I was becoming as affected as the dwarves. Almost ready to have to excuse myself and head to the bathroom, I was also thinking "wow, how did the filmmakers DO this!" and wondering if anyone else was getting such an effect. Crazy (It didn't last, and my next viewing did not affect me the same way.)

'People don't know where I begin and latex ends, which has always been an ambition for me.' (Martin Freeman)


Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Jul 6 2014, 11:09am

Post #17 of 29 (271 views)
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Hmm...you could be right. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll save creepy for the next chapter. Wink


“Tollers,” Lewis said to Tolkien, “there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.”



Noria
Rohan

Jul 6 2014, 11:59am

Post #18 of 29 (263 views)
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Thanks Lurker. [In reply to] Can't Post

But as anyone who has ever managed to wade through one of my posts can attest, I'm nothing if not wordy.Wink

There is just so much to say sometimes!


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 6 2014, 4:24pm

Post #19 of 29 (251 views)
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Creepy? No way! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think the "attercops" are for us geeky book types in the audience, not for the company. I'm assuming that all they hear is some kind of creepy voice whispering an indistinguishable word, if that.

Yes, that explanation has crossed my mind too.

In Reply To
Well, strangely enough...if Thorin's in it, it's a favorite. Not even spider-webs can make his hair creepy. Laugh

Not even "so attractive it's creepy"? Tongue

Thanks for answering, Riven Delve!


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 6 2014, 4:28pm

Post #20 of 29 (248 views)
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No worries! It's the quality of answers that matters, not the quantity. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If a green forest gives out pure oxygen, this forest gave an aura of tainted air, and a wrongness that couldn't be named.

Oh, well put!

Thanks for stopping by, Kerewyn!


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


Lurker in the Mirk
Valinor


Jul 7 2014, 1:44am

Post #21 of 29 (246 views)
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There is! [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I often get left behind as the train of thought goes off chugging faster than my thoughts. So kudos for pinning so much down. I enjoyed the reading much. Smile


Fan of both books and movies; it seems I have severely misnamed myself... for the moment.

Heart Appreciating Thranduil, thread by thread: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
(Tis true! More appreciation threads for Thranduil exist than ME movies)

Laugh Thrall Wars! Teh partsies: Prologue, One (None save Avandel knows whither teh "One"), Two, Three


"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBofTA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

=======
Middle-earth dispatches out of the lurkmirk


(This post was edited by Lurker in the Mirk on Jul 7 2014, 1:44am)


cats16
Valinor


Jul 10 2014, 2:46am

Post #22 of 29 (198 views)
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Beautiful screencaps! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll be late on this one, but I'll come back in a few days when I'm fully up and running again. Smile


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 10 2014, 8:49am

Post #23 of 29 (195 views)
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No rush [In reply to] Can't Post

Take your time. I am patient. I can wait. Tongue


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


elostirion74
Rohan

Jul 10 2014, 2:36pm

Post #24 of 29 (184 views)
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Mirkwood journey is ok, but visibly not a big priority [In reply to] Can't Post

8. Is there anything else you’d like to say about this chapter? Any additional comments or observations?

My general feeling about this scene is that this chapter is ok, but not much more. The chapter is presented as a montage of edited bits, rather than scenes or shots where you can actually feel the atmosphere. The purpose is to get the main plot points across and keep the momentum towards "the meeting" with the Wood Elves.

- we're told it's stuffy in Mirkwood
- the dwarves eventually start to go in circles and get lost
- the dwarves are affected by some spores in the forest and start to develop some kind of hallucinations or seeing illusions
- the dwarves are getting increasingly tired


1. What do you make of the scenery? How does the cinematic Mirkwood compare to (a) its book counterpart, (b) other forests we’ve seen in Middle-earth films/read about in the books (Fangorn, Lothlórien, The Old Forest etc.)?

I don't really make too much of the scenery - to me it feels like fairly common fairy story creepy woodland scenery with dark, twisted and gnarled trees. They've done quite a good job of making the forest look dense, which is a good thing.

In several shots, however, it seems like they've added vertical layers and structures to the forest which would be more appropriate for Moria than Mirkwood. I see this more as a general penchant of PJ's design team rather than something which adds to the atmosphere or look of the forest.

Mirkwood is given a kind of psychedelic aura and effect which is is very far removed from its book counterpart.
The autumnal roof of the forest, though, feels spot on.

2. How would you describe Mirkwood’s “aura”? What kind of a role do cinematography, editing and score play in creating this atmosphere?

I would describe it as dark and psychedelic. I don't think the approach they've chosen is suited to give you a strong feel for the atmosphere of the forest, though. To feel the atmosphere of something in a film you need time and a more quiet pace and actual scenes instead of a montage. The cinematography would probably have come more into its own if the film makers had chosen a different and slower approach to the chapter.

It's the visual measures which are most important here. I think they did a very good job of showing the fatigue of the travellers on their faces.

7. Any favourite shots?

The first and the last of the shots you've provided are my favourites. The last really shows how dense the forest is and the first part, before they actually enter the forest really makes you feel the vastness of the forest - it's this kind of shots I really think is the most suitable to give you a feel for the atmosphere of the forest.


BlackFox
Valinor


Jul 10 2014, 3:00pm

Post #25 of 29 (182 views)
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Thank you for your answers, elostirion! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau

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