"A Film of Epic Proportions: Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring" • The Fellowship of the Ring was directed by Peter Jackson in 2001. • Taglines: The legend comes to life. • Plot Outline: In a small village in the Shire a young Hobbit has been entrusted with an ancient Ring, and he must embark on an Epic quest to the Cracks of Doom in order to destroy it.
More Taglines • One Ring To Rule Them All • Fate Has Chosen Him. A Fellowship Will Protect Him. Evil Will Hunt Them. • Middle Earth comes alive. . . • Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. • All we have to decide is what to do with the time that we are given • Power can be held in the smallest of things. . .
Literature • n. 1.The body of written works of a language, period, or culture. 2. Imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value: “Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity” (Rebecca West). American critic Herman G. Weinberg has said, “The way a story is told is part of that story. You can tell the same story badly or well: you can also tell it well enough or magnificently. It depends on who is telling the story.”
Film • n 1. A form of entertainment that enacts a story by a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement; picture, moving picture, motion picture, picture show, flick. The great French critic André Bazin noted that “One way of understanding better what a film is trying to say is to know how it is saying it.”
Aristotle’s Poetics • Aristotle, a scholar from ancient Greece, formed certain theories about evaluating literature • These ideas develop into the study of aesthetics • The best works of literature have no elements that are extraneous to the communication of the piece’s message. • The use of the elements should be manipulated to best convey that piece's message. Theory of organic form: form and content are mutually dependent in any art form.
Theme • The moral or lesson that the reader learns from the piece of literature that he or she can apply to his or her own life. • Themes: • Each person has an obligation to resist evil • The most meek may determine the destiny of the world • Power corrupts • One needs both courage and faith to succeed
Allegorical Meanings • Biblical: God or Christ vs. Satan • World War II: Allies vs. Axis • Technological: Industrial Revolution vs. Agrarian Lifestyle • Mythological: Ancient Matriarchy vs. Progressive Patriarchy
Allegorical Meanings God vs. Satan Gandalf as Cloistered Monk Saruman as Possessed Follower
Allegorical Meanings Allies vs. Axis Power Frodo and Sam as Allies Goblins and Orcs as the Evil Axis
Allegorical Meanings Agrarian Lifestyle vs. Industrial Production The Shire as Paradise Saruman’s Military Production Line
Allegorical Meanings Earth Goddess vs. Natural Order Distorter Arwen as Healing Goddess Saruman Corrupting and Co-opting the Birth Process
Fiction and Film • In addition to theme, there are other elements of literature and of film. PlotPhotography CharacterMise en scene Point of viewMovement SettingEditing StyleSound Note: The literary elements are present in film.
Plot • Plot is the action, the narrative and chronological structure of what happens in a story • Exposition • Conflict • Rising Action • Climax • Falling Action • Resolution
Plot of Fellowship: Book and Film • Exposition: Prologue explains the Shire and the Hobbits’ genealogy; songs throughout the text inform us of Middle-Earth history • Exposition: Prologue, narrated by Galadriel, explains the history of the Rings of Power, Sauron, and the one Ring
Plot of Fellowship: Book and Film • Conflict: The “precious” magic ring Bilbo Baggins finds is the most evil ring of Sauron and wants to return to him to enable him to destroy life as known by all Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, and Men, as well as other creatures • Conflict: The “precious” magic ring Bilbo Baggins finds is the most evil ring of Sauron and wants to return to him to enable him to destroy life as known by all Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, and Men, as well as other creatures
Plot of Fellowship: Book and Film • Rising Action: Gandalf suspects the Ring is evil • Frodo begins journey to Bree, with three Hobbit companions, aided by Tom Bombadil • Strider assists the Hobbits to Rivendell, pursued by Ring Wraiths, aided by Glorfindel • Frodo determines to accompany the Ring to Mordor, accompanied by the Fellowship • Evil minions of Sauron force the Fellowship to take a path through Moria, where they lose one of their membership, Gandalf, to a balrog • The Fellowship go to Lórien and meet Galadriel, the elf queen who has one of the three elf rings of old; there the elves supply them for their continued journey • The Fellowship fails as Frodo truly grasps the power and corruptive influence of the Ring, and Boromir, seduced by the Ring, frightens him • Sam and Frodo go on alone
Plot of Fellowship: Book and Film • Rising Action: Gandalf suspects the Ring is evil • Frodo begins journey to Bree, with three Hobbit companions, fleeing from Ring Wraiths • Strider assists the Hobbits to Rivendell, pursued by Ring Wraiths, aided by Arwen • Frodo determines to accompany the Ring to Mordor, accompanied by the Fellowship • Evil minions of Sauron force the Fellowship to take a path through Moria, where they lose one of their membership, Gandalf, to a balrog • The Fellowship go to Lórien and meet Galadriel, the elf queen who has one of the three elf rings of old; there the elves supply them for their continued journey • The Fellowship fails as Frodo truly grasps the power and corruptive influence of the Ring, and Boromir, seduced by the Ring, frightens Frodo, and they are attacked by the Uruk-hai • Sam and Frodo go on alone; Merry and Pippin are taken hostage; Boromir is slain, regaining his honor; Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli go after the Orcs
Plot of Fellowship: Book and Film • Climax: Encountering the Balrog in Moria • Climax: Encountering the Uruk-hai after leaving Lórien • Falling Action: Encountering Galadriel • Falling Action: Burying Boromir • Resolution: The Breaking of the Fellowship • Resolution: The Breaking of the Fellowship
Characters in Fellowship Round or flat, major or minor Personality • Psychological • Moral compass Physical descriptions Protagonists vs. Antagonists • Frodo • Gandalf • Sam, Merry, and Pippin • Strider (Aragorn, Elessar) • Glorfindel • Elrond • Legolas • Gimli • Boromir • Galadriel • Arwen • Sauron • Gollum • Saruman • The One Ring
Character • Frodo • His heart is in the Shire: • Innocence • Strength Frodo’s Biggest Fear is the Destruction of the Shire
Character • Aragorn • Conflicted • Identity • Past Star-crossed Lovers Narsil
Aragorn Aragorn sings of Lúthien
Character • Boromir • Hopeful and despairing in turns • Warrior-king character type • Most easily seduced by the Ring
Boromir Boromir is complex:He struggles with his fears and weaknesses.
Even though Boromir frightens Frodo, he redeems himself by allowing the hobbits to escape (at least initially) as he summons the Uruk-hai to him. His warrior honor is redeemed. He is even able to accept Aragorn at his end, overcoming his jealousy.
Character • Sam • Loyal
Point of View • The perspective from which the story is told • Narrator • Omniscient • First person • Second person • Third person • Limited • Omniscient • “Fly-on-the-wall” Tolkien claimed the perspective of the novel came from the Hobbits’ point point-of-view; certainly Frodo’s third person limited narrative correlates to this.
Point of View The film begins with narration by Galadriel before becoming mostly “fly on the wall”, as most films are. However, we do see some things through Frodo’s perspective, as in when he dons the ring.
Setting • Time and place where a story occurs • Provides mood or tone • Provides historical context • Provide symbolism
Setting of Fellowship • Middle-Earth • Hobbits • Hobbiton • The Shire • Bree-land • Dwarves • Dain • Khazad-dûm • Men • Gondor • Arnor • Elves • Mirkwood • Rivendell • Lórien
Settings • Bag End and Rivendell
Style • The manipulation of language includes the following components: • Diction • Syntax • Figurative Language • The manipulation of film includes, among other things,: • Camera angles • Placement of characters in the frame • Pace of inter-cutting • Use of Color
Figurative Language • The “intentional departure from the normal order, construction, or meaning of words in order to gain strength and freshness of expression, to create a pictorial effect, to describe by analogy, or to discover and illustrate similarities in otherwise dissimilar things.”
Types of Figurative Language • Hyperbole • Imagery • Irony • Personification and Anthropomorphism • Similes and Metaphors • Symbolism
Cinematic Figurative Language • Fellowship uses repeated visual motifs throughout the film to help communicate its theme: • Circles • Eyes
Circles • Hobbits prefer circles in their architecture • The Council of Elrond sits in a broken circle
Eyes • In addition to the Eye of Sauron, many characters’ eyes provide focal points in the film. Saruman is the only character who looks directly at the camera. Strider BilboFrodo BalrogGandalf Saruman
Symbolism • Symbolism happens when a writer uses one object to stand for another. • The symbol can be a word, phrase, or idea that contains both its literal meaning and some deeper more complex meaning. • The ring as symbol • The towers as symbols
Symbols may be universal, or accepted by all people educated within a certain culture. • For example, the bald eagle can be used to symbolize the United States of America. • Symbols may also be contextual, or have their meanings determined by the context of the work in which they appear. • For example, in the film A Civil Action, water becomes symbolic of life, truth, and honesty.
Photography • Shots • Angles • Lighting and Colors Theory of organic form: form and content are mutually dependent in any art form.
Shots • The different cinematic shots are defined by the amount of subject matter that’s included within the frame of the screen. • In general, shots are defined by how much of the human figure is in the frame. • Most shots fall into six different categories: • The extreme long shot – The long shot • The full shot – The medium shot • The close-up – The extreme close-up
The Extreme Long Shot • These shots are taken from a great distance and so are nearly always exterior shots • They serve as spatial frames of reference for closer shots and so are sometimes called establishing shots • This can distance the subject in the frame, making it seem insignificant or powerless—or make the environment seem grand or powerful
Long shot ranges correspond approximately to the distance between the audience and live theater. Like the extreme long shot this can act as an establishing shot and distance the subject from the viewer. It can provide different planes of visual interest. The Long Shot
This is the closest range of long shot, which just barely contains the human body in full. It can allow you to see the full body and its movement, and even large facial expressions. The Full Shot
This shot contains a figure from the knees or waist up. It is a functional shot: it carries exposition, dialogue, or movement. The Medium Shot
The close-up shows very little locale and concentrates on a relatively small object, such as the human face and its subtle expressions. The magnification elevates the importance of things, often suggesting a symbolic significance. The Close-up Shot
This is a variation of the close-up. Where a close-up might show the human face, the extreme close-up might show just a person’s eyes, mouth, or, in this case, the Ring. The Extreme Close-up Shot