Every kiss every hug seems to act just like a drug
April 16, 2009
This post is going to be about The Lord of the Rings. No suitable photos for that, so instead I’ve put up the flyer from our Circus of Evil tour (they tried to get us banned in Jersey- who they? The Church of course!) It looks a little like that bit in the LOTR- the flaming eye bit. the Eye of Salamander or whatever.
So, last night I went to see The Lord of the Rings- the Fellowship of the Ring. At the Royal Albert Hall. With the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a bunch of choirs providing the soundtrack. And that’s a bit of a weird thing to do. After all, the music isn’t like a stand alone piece, a symphony say, where listening to it is the be all and end all. It’s there to serve the film. Should it not be as distracting as seeing some hairy hobbit hobble off the edge of a 70mm screen only to be touched up by someone from makeup?
But it works. Beneath a huge suspended screen stood the 200 or so singers and musicians. The conductor had a monitor in front of him, showing the film. A red vertical line would glide across the screen, followed by a green one; conductor traffic lights, telling him when to go. And once they were off a circular blip would pop on and off to, I guess, help him keep time.
I like the film, but I’m no Middle Earth expert. I wouldn’t say I thought Gandalf was a gangster from The Sopranos (that would be silly) but I was under the impression that Frodo went off to destroy the ring with his best friend, Sam Mendes. I now know better. Watching it with all those people doing their thing it was easy to forget they were there, so perfectly were they servicing the epic story unfolding (sadly for them) behind. And then you’d look at them all, singing their hearts out, bashing drums, blowing trumpets (I know my orchestra stuff) and it would amaze. The only downside? Epic music goes with epic scenes, what to watch? Well, the film of course… back to what the job of the soundtrack is. But then a quick look at who is doing what can really make you… well, cry.
When whatisname dies. Sharpe. Sean Bean. Red Riding. I’ll get there. Barrowman. You know the one I mean. A man, I think, not an elf or a hobbit or an orc. Anyways, he dies a noble death. After been tempted to take the ring from the little one, a scene showing the dark heart lurking in all men, he repents and dies saving the others from an attack of creatures with bad teeth, bad hair, and covered in oil. He dies by multiple arrow wounds, like a Yorkshire Saint Sebastien, and as he dies he is accompanied by the voices of the choir. But the women remained seated and the orchestra (mostly, I think) remained silent. The voices were of the males in the choirs (the men and the pre-voice break boys). And looking at them it brought home something that wouldn’t have been at the forefront of my thoughts if I had just been watching the film. The film spoke , and they sung, of the passing of innocence; how time and age leads us to temptation, how we grow old, and how we can redeem ourselves through doing the right thing at the right time. As James Gandolfini says, “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”