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Archive for November 28th, 2012

I’m Addicted

I’m addicted to

This feeling of falling hard

For someone special

 

It’s something so new

That I’ve never felt before

To this strong degree

 

But I must be slow

So I do not jinx this hope

That you could be mine

 

 

❤ Me

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(I wrote this my senior year in high school, back in October 2007.)

A visit to the movie theatre can be a wonderful experience filled with laughter, tears, and amazement. Purposes for watching films can be for educational means, social reasons, or romantic endeavors. The mood of an exiting crowd is a good determining factor of whether the movie was meaningful or simply average. Audience members often walk out discussing whether they found it good or bad, the purpose being light discussion and not analytical dissection.  However, truly great films leave the audience in silence and wonderment. Sometimes it takes several minutes before a viewer can relate his or her opinion. When a film and its elements forever impact the lives of people, a classic is born. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a phenomenal example of a timeless tale of fantasy and an epic quest for the triumph of good over evil. Forever will the three films be regarded as legendary when considering their elements of tradition and archetypes as well as their unique style that captures the heart of audiences everywhere.

There are patterns in all aspects of the arts that connect themes and ideas. Basic plot archetypes are a perfect example. In The Lord of the Rings, four hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin experience rites of passage that forever change their lives. Naïve and simple-minded, the four join a fellowship dedicated to the destruction of the One Ring, a terrible weapon of power created by the Dark Lord Sauron, without weighing the consequences that the quest will bring. Throughout the perilous thirteen-month journey filled with separation and war, they learn the value of friendship, courage, and diversity. At the end, the hobbits are seen as mature and quite able to defend their beliefs and loved ones. The idea of learning lessons is a perfect way to relate one form of art with another.

True love and its obstacles is another element of plot that finds a way into forms of art in every corner of the earth. Aragorn, ranger of the north and heir to the throne of the great city of Gondor, lived among the enchanting race of elves for a time. During his stay in Rivendell, he fell in love with the beautiful Arwen Undomiel, the only daughter of the Lord Elrond. To the dismay of her father, she was willing to give up her immortality in order to spend her life with Aragorn. The war of the ring tore the two lovers apart, Aragorn joining Frodo’s quest and Arwen left to hope that someday she will be reunited with her true love. In the end, Aragorn is crowned king and marries Arwen, uniting both races in a consummation of love and faithfulness for years to come. In virtually all novels and films, the concept of love and devotion is woven into the storyline of the entire work.

Characters, both good and evil, can follow standard archetypes as well. The Lord of the Rings has plenty of examples of standards of individuals and their personality types. Frodo Baggins is a romantic hero that takes it upon himself to bear the burden of the One Ring and embark on a quest to destroy it in the fires of MountDoom from whence it was made. Throughout the long journey, he must rely on personal strength and endurance in order to survive and escape the enemy forces. Frodo is innocent, young, and not without flaws. Very small in stature and at times easily corruptible, he steadily succumbs to the poisonous temptations of the ring, growing weaker and weaker. Romantic heroes, such as Frodo, never brag of their status and maintain a dignity about themselves that inspire culture shifts.

Several other common characters of good can be found in the film. Sidekick Samwise Gamgee is not physically heroic, but he is Frodo’s most valuable and trusted companion throughout the quest. His inspiration and encouragement lead the hero to be the best he can be. Gandalf is the wise old one; he is a philosopher and scholar that is a spiritual guide to all who encounter him. The wizard experiences death and rebirth, being sent back to the lands of Middle Earth to complete his task of aiding Frodo. Arwen is likened to the Madonna, an innocent virgin that is not familiar with the evils and shadows of the world. It is her beauty and vulnerability that help inspire love and hope among the fellowship of the ring. The idea behind these characters is mirrored in all forms of art.

Just as there are beings of good, evil creatures and characters are found throughout The Lord of the Rings. The Dark Lord Sauron is the shadow, an uncivilized and all-powerful being consumed with the desire to dominate all life. He is not clearly seen and appears as a horrific, lidless eye. It is the mention of him and his land of Mordor that ignite fear into all who hear of him. The One Ring can be classified as the seductress. It lures all who come across it into its trap. The wearer of the ring can become invisible and live an unnatural long life, both appealing commodities. As time wears on, the bearer becomes consumed by the ring’s power and is never the same again. Another character archetype is the trickster, portrayed in the film as Gollum. He was once a ring bearer and is reduced to a conniving, thieving creature bent on procuring the One Ring for himself. He uses manipulation, cunning, and deceit in order to reach his goal, not considering anyone other than himself. It is his success in the end at stealing the ring away from Frodo that leads to his death and the ultimate destruction of evil in Middle Earth. Characters such as these and many other types truly add to the tradition of tales passing through all generations.

Although elements of tradition are crucial in defining a masterpiece, it is the individuality of the work of art that sets it apart from others and makes it wonderfully unique. Director Peter Jackson incorporated the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand to depict the lands of Middle Earth, including enchanting forests, vast plains, and majestic mountains. Many different plots were artfully intertwined in a way that made perfect transitional sense throughout the three films. All digital effects were spectacular and brought the world of Middle Earth and its diverse creatures to life. The epic battle scenes are very authentic with varying innovative styles of fighting. ComposerHowardShore created an enthralling film score that incorporated enchanting contributions of famous vocalists and instrumentalists such as Enya, Annie Lennox, Sir James Galway, and Renée Fleming. The Return of the King won the title of Best Picture at the 2004 Academy Awards. All of these aspects promote the monumental and legendary status of the three films.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy left an impact on me personally that forever changed my perception on life and goals for the future. They opened my eyes to the epic battle and fantasy genre of film and novels that have nestled their way onto my shelves of priceless treasures. It was so wonderful to dive into entirely new worlds with new experiences, creatures, and intricacies that made my own standard American life pale in comparison. Because of the fantastic musical scores of the films, my collection of movie soundtracks has grown immensely. I have a dream of one day being able to play the flute in an orchestra or sing in a choir that records for a soundtrack as well. I have made the goal of pursuing acting as a career due to the wonderful portrayal of the characters by the actors. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I had never seen the films.

True works of art will withstand the sands of time and endure forever in the hearts of all. Screenwriter Philippa Boyens wrote a fantastic quote intended for Sam in The Two Towers describing the elements of great stories. “…The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?” All successful tales are woven in a way that captures an audience, enthralling them and immersing them into a storyline filled with sacrifice, death, hope, and love. “Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something.” Elements of plot and characterization intertwine among all stories, allowing people to relate what they observe in art to factors in their own lives. “Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something. That there’s some good in this world…And it’s worth fighting for.” Faith and hope inspire all to overcome trials and obstacles. Without those elements, life would be colorless. It is the driving force of all who aspire to be great. The Lord of the Rings achieves the goal of influencing generations and remaining a source of individuality and tradition for all time.

❤ Me

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