Gollum lives: Part 2
In which, as promised, Culture Vulture continues to prattle on about our personal interpretation of the inner meaning of The Lord of the Rings. But, as we have also promised, this space is first and foremost reader-responsive. So, at the behest of the thousands of correspondents who wrote in variations on the theme of, “Please, no more of your ancient hippie-trippy blatherings about some stupid book that nobody cares about any more,” I will keep my remarks brief, to the point and focused mainly on Peter Jackson’s movies of aforementioned novel.
One little chap who wrote in expressed this distressing bit of insight. “It’s weird. People always talk about that book and say stuff about how beautiful and mystical it is, but then when you see the movie it’s all about death and war and full of all these gross creatures killing people and stuff. I don’t get it.” To which Culture Vulture can only reply that, on viewing the movies for the first time we too were a bit taken aback by the visceral ferociousness of the Urûk-Hai, the depravity of Sauron’s despoiling of nature, and even the war-loving pride of the men, elves and dwarves.
Until viewing the movies, which are, it cannot be denied, gloriously realized visualizations of Tolkien’s written imagery, I, too, thought of the books mainly in terms of the beauty of the landscapes and the forests and the depth of the friendship and commitment of the main characters to doing their part to rid the world of ultimate evil. Jackson’s film must translate their inner struggles and outer battles into a visual spectacle dependent on spoken dialog and physical action to advance the characters’ story.
And he does so beautifully, despite the fact that much of the imagery is brutally violent and grotesquely ugly. The point being that in the struggle of human life to achieve conscious grace, the implacable, inescapable brutality of physical existence must be fully acknowledged and dealt with if any sort of genuine inner peace is to be achieved.
Next week: Gollum decoded.
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Story submitted by DEVIOUS. Thanks!
“Jack Dammit [aka John McKinley] was nearly decapitated last Friday night while drumming for The Contra-Band. The 10-ft. front window at Riff Raff was smashed in during the show. Jack was uninjured but required a fresh beer when the shards that narrowly missed him befouled his Bacchus Juice. Further destruction to the bathroom and a bar stool followed when the performers refused to quit."