74 di 75 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
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"The Lord of the Rings" was first published in the mid-1950s, to relatively little notice. Nobody knew -- even the author -- how important this one story would become.
In the years since, however, J.R.R. Tolkien's masterful trilogy has gained a fandom that might just be the most eclectic in all of pop culture. And in "Ringers: Lord of the Fans," we get to see an affectionate love note to the fans who helped establish it as a modern classic, and turned the movies into megahits.
This documentary traces "Lord of the Ring's" influence over the years -- and boy, does it spread wide. In pop culture history we get: Led Zeppelin, the recent cover of "Where There's a Whip There's A Way" by World Without Sundays, who performed at a triumphant Oscar-geek party, and the aborted Beatles movie. Paul would have made a cute Frodo, but it was never to be.
And, of course, Tolkien's work spawned modern fantasy literature, here represented by Terry Pratchett and Terry Brooks, who speak of Tolkien's influence on literature. But media attention isn't all there is -- we get to see a town called Hobbiton, hear about elves and Woodstock, trivia, and a cute little reenactment with action figures.
And of course, there are the new movies. Dominic Monaghan ("Merry") narrates this with a mix of gravity and humour, and there are snippets of actors like Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Billy Boyd and Ian McKellen being interviewed. And, of course, fans: Fans at parties, at cons, in costume, in rock bands, adoring actors, talking about the books, the movies... fans and more fans.
It tells you something that filmmakers Carlene Cordova and Cliff Broadway have done work for TheOneRing.net for the past few years. Namely: They are Ringers.
And so you can expect a certain amount of affectionate wackiness here. There is not a single dull moment in all of "Ringers: Lord of the Fans," from the Terry-Gilliam-style cartoons to those miniskirted "hobbits" dancing around Leonard Nimoy. Its main flaw is that it is way too short -- I could have used a few more of those costumed fans making armour.
But will it be sneering and mean-spirited towards the fans? Thankfully, no.
"Ringers: Lord of the Fans" is nice. Really nice. Nice to the fans. It's good-hearted, humorous and very geeky; Broadway and Cordova get down there with the fans and treat them as equals. We do get to hear about the more fannish activities (spending six months making a costume), but the fans range from serious and analytical to a bit wacky. They don't look foolish, just geeky and passionate. Which, of course, is precisely what they are.
Ringers, be at peace -- the affectionate "Ringers: Lord of the Fans" is not making fun of you. Instead, it's a quirky, offbeat valentine not only to the fans, but to "Lord of the Rings" itself.
15 di 16 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
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My DVD arrived in the mail yesterday, and my wife and I watched it all the way through.
This film was made with an *incredible* amount of love, affection, art and highly skilled craft. Before I'd seen it I assumed that there was going to be a lot of grungy "home movies" type documentary footage full of graininess, out-of-focus camerawork, cameras aiming into the sky, etc. - but absolutely not! Every scene was well shot, the color pallet always beautifully balanced, the scenes well lit, in perfect focus, with rock-steady cameras!
The first thing that hit me consciously was the absolutely wonderful Monty Pythonlike animations: first rate, and gorgeous color. In fact the color quality was wonderful throughout.
The "Tolkien Effect" of today reminds me of the 60s: then as now, people of all ages and backgrounds were caught up in Tolkien. They had the the Vietnam war; we have (unfortunately) the Iraq war. Both acted and act as stimuli for many people wanting to escape real life. Middle-earth was and is definitely the place to go!
Then as now, Tolkien would probably be whirling in his grave at all the things Ringers project onto his works (as he intimated in some of his letters), as well as being very appreciative of the fact that so many frustrated people want to escape the horrors of reality, and crave good in the world, crave that good will triumph, along with all the values that come in a society peopled by the basically goodhearted and cheerful.
When I was first getting into Tolkien 40 years ago, the term "Ringers" was of course nonexistent. As the film shows, many people rejoice in being a Ringer, but my experience on The Tolkien Forum tells me that there are others (who term themselves Purists) who would throw up their hands in horror and run the other way at being included (which they most definitely are!) as a part this boisterous funloving crowd - more's the pity for them!
The main thrust of Tolkien on the world of the 60s came initially through publication of the books - through Allen & Unwin, then through Ace (the pirated version), then Ballentine - at least in America, and of course Houghton Mifflin. And that wave went around the world several times. The difference between the Ringers of the 60s and the Ringers of today seems to be that the 60s Ringers first came to Tolkien directly via the books, and the current generation at one remove, through Peter Jackson's movies. Hence the creation of the (possibly unbridgeable) divide between the "Filmies" and the "Purists."
However it is evident to me now that the Filmies outnumber the Purists by far, the Purists being made up largely of the older fans, but contains a surprising number of younger people. But there is another group which I call the Tweenies: those who like book *and* films, each for what they are, which I think makes the most sense. "Ringers: Lord of the Fans" celebrates the entire phenomenon.
A great deal of the fun of this movie is in the interviews with the Ringers themselves - a bunch of cheerful, funloving mischievous hobbits if ever there were! Some of the interviews are a bit salty, some are serious and moving, some are lighthearted discussions speculating on the sexual proclivities of some of the characters in PJ's films and only add to the hilarity. The costumes many of them wear are at times astonishing in the care that has gone into their making, and their creativity, imagination and beauty.
All our favorites from the movies are there: the main actors, and some of the producers; all their interviews are totally enjoyable, and it's so nice to see them once again! They all have good things to say, from the cheeky to the profound. Dominic Monaghan was the perfect narrator, and gave the film great continuity.
I was particularly struck by the sudden segue of being taken to Tolkien's gravesite - a serious poignant moment . It was only then that I realized by looking at the dates on the tombstone that Tolkien died the year after Edith - which upon reflection doesn't surprise me a bit.
Now that I've seen the film and become a member of the Ringers chatboard, I wish that they would have supplied its URL right on the DVD, which would have facilitated an internet gathering for discussion. Perhaps they'll do that in re-releases. I had anticipated a flood of responses on the board by now - perhaps it's too soon.
This film is an education for those of us who never realized the breadth and depth of Tolkien fandom or Tolkien's effect in so many other areas of life.
In the 60s, we had songwriters like Donald Swann, who set some of Tolkien's verse to music with his permission; now we have Howard Shore, whose music is absolutely indispensable to the movies, to say nothing of the rock musicians who took up the cause over all the years from then till now. I would call their music more of a reaction *to* Tolkien than a product of it.
I think today's Ringer is much less stuffy about Tolkien: so many of them (bringing along their friends) came to the Professor via the movies, and their first impressions of Middle-earth were therefore a blend of both Tolkien and of Peter Jackson's "gratuitous jacksonisms" which offended so many of the Purists, and delighted the rest. Then many of the new Ringers went to the books and got the real deal, and were therefore able to make up their own minds about the movies. I think that's so much better than wasting vast amounts of time and energy hating the movies for their deviations and extra-Tolkien additions.
I thought it was great to see that so many 60s parents now had children who either had been turned on to Middle-earth by their parents, or who had discovered Tolkien on their own, and had re-ignited their parents' interest in Tolkien once again, thus coming full circle!
I myself look forward now to reading Tolkien to my grandson and sitting with him watching the DVDs: giving him a lifetime injection of Tolkien, as I did my own three children!
It's been a few years now since the last PJ movie was released, and the DVD sales have dwindled - all very much expected. The discussions of them at The Tolkien Forum which were so hot and heavy have long died down, except for a few flameups now and then. Strangely enough, RLOTF has not yet made that much of an impression there; I hope it will. But the difference is that RLOTF was never able to find wide distribution in theaters. It appears that most of its impact will come through DVD purchases, and that's a different thing than line events at movie houses. And it's not about Tolkien so much as the effect that Tolkien has made on the world over the past 50 years - the ripple effect as it were.
And there will come a time when even that phenomenon will have for the most part run its course, and will quiet down. I predict another upsurge should Peter Jackson ever do "The Hobbit" (which I hope he does). Then the Tolkien madness will begin again for another cycle, and we will once again hear the cry: Frodo Lives!
16 di 18 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
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J.R.R. Tolkien once created a world where elves, dwarves, hobbits, and many other creatures wandered the lands of Middle Earth and other imaginary domains. Within this world politics, economics, science, and many other strange inventions had their place, as the ecosystem had a fantastic environment of fauna and flora. The first written piece, The Hobbit, brought the reading audience to his amazing creation. It also introduced the ring, but at the time, it was still an unknown magical item. Later, the ring's true dark and distant past emerged in the trilogy known as Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit was a bestseller, but Tolkien's trilogy elevated the fantasy genre, as he gained an ever-growing cultish hoard of dedicated followers. The throng of supporters obtained their name after the treacherous ring, as they call themselves - Ringers.
In the documentary Ringers: Lord of the Fans, director Carlene Cordova illustrates a comprehensive perspective of the Ringers from both within and outside. It opens with brief description of the Ringers, as they are several generations of readers, listeners, and watchers. These people are willing to spend a ceaseless amount of time on what they find endearing in an imaginative world acting out their wishes and desires through their creativity fed by Tolkien's literary masterpiece. In more than a few occasions, it borders to fanatical obsession. It also shows a glimpse of who they are in their private lives, as these Ringers come from all corners of the world.
A neatly organized perspective of the 150 hours of footage delivers 97-minutes of Tolkien's enthusiasm through a wide range of approaches. Historical aspects of Tolkien's life and his well-read accomplishments interweave with the affect it had on readers. It also explains how Frodo and his fellowship influenced the world in a social and political perspective, as musicians and writers such as the Beatles and Terry Pratchett developed their own artistic invention in the light of Tolkien. In addition, several artists comment on how Lord of the Rings is one of those books that could only be a book. Yet, there were some animated films, which visually brought the Hobbit and some of The Lord of the Rings books to the silver screen in the form of animation. However, many of these remarks rest on notions with a pre-Peter Jackson mentality. When Jackson undertook the gigantic project of shooting Tolkien's trilogy, he turned the page for the devoted fans of the ring to another chapter.
A heavy part of the documentary depicts the influence of the Lord of the Rings films by Peter Jackson. In a similar fashion of the whole documentary, there are clips from interviews with the main cast and Jackson, who all enlighten the audience about Tolkien's influence on their lives. However, the best comment is made by Jackson who humbly states, "The masterpieces are not the movies... the masterpiece is the book."
There are several intriguing facets within the documentary. However, to hear how many readers of Tolkien exist and how the fantasy novel has brought these different people together in a positive manner is truly amazing. Many of these are obsessive in their approach to the Lord of the Rings. This is probably something that Tolkien tried to avoid, as he presented the notion of evil that emerges through the obsession for the ring. Thus, to hear people selling their house in order to see the world premiere of the third installment of Lord of the Rings in New Zeeland could possibly suggest that they missed one of the major messages in the books, or previous films. Nonetheless, Ringers: The Lord of the Fans offers an interesting view on small fringes of the society while also acknowledging that many Ringers do not necessarily have to be over-zealous. Thus, if you are a Ringer, you might have a fellow Ringer within spitting distance.