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Thread: Singing

  1. #1
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    Default Singing

    The other day I happened on an episode of LOTR, I'm not quite certain which one it was, I never was a big fan. This time I watched a little bit of it. And then there it was again; the night-before singing. Supposedly wonderful song, bonding the guys and gals on the eve of the big confrontation with ultimate evil (or its minions). It gives me gag reflexes. It ranks high amongst the reasons why I don't really like the LOTR or the Hobbit. I seriously can't stand it. I know there are millions of people who wet their pants listening to this kind of song. So I'm asking you: Are you one of them? And do you think you can explain what's so great about this singing? The closest I know to it in real life is Turkish friends who can't sing bursting out in song. Which then you are obliged to recognize as the hight of cultural pleasure (when you really feel like sticking a fork in your face, preferably in your eyes.
    Congratulations America

  2. #2
    Everyone hates those scenes, the songs are shit. Now if they'd been singing Karma Chameleon that would've different
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    The other day I happened on an episode of LOTR, I'm not quite certain which one it was, I never was a big fan. This time I watched a little bit of it. And then there it was again; the night-before singing. Supposedly wonderful song, bonding the guys and gals on the eve of the big confrontation with ultimate evil (or its minions). It gives me gag reflexes. It ranks high amongst the reasons why I don't really like the LOTR or the Hobbit. I seriously can't stand it. I know there are millions of people who wet their pants listening to this kind of song. So I'm asking you: Are you one of them? And do you think you can explain what's so great about this singing? The closest I know to it in real life is Turkish friends who can't sing bursting out in song. Which then you are obliged to recognize as the hight of cultural pleasure (when you really feel like sticking a fork in your face, preferably in your eyes.
    Hmm, I'm of two minds. If you've read Tolkien his books are full of interludes for songs, poems, chants, etc. He uses it to set the mood of a scene and at times it can be effective. When I first read the books as a kid (maybe 8 or 9?) I generally skipped over the poetry because I found it disrupted my flow and was generally unintelligible. Since then I've gained a greater appreciation for it; it might not be my preferred format, but it has its place.

    The question, then, is whether a film's attempt to authentically represent the source material is effective at the author's original purpose. I think it all comes down to execution. Some scenes in LotR and related films did this better than others; I leave it up to the viewer to decide if they think it is effective. But I don't have some knee-jerk negative reaction to musical interludes, no. It's an artistic choice I might not always have chosen for myself but it can work if done well.

    I come from a cultural background with a great deal of communal singing, by both the highly trained and rank amateurs. While I'll admit that I cringe inwardly a bit at the frequent musical faux pas like frequent key changes and crimes against meter (and even worse IMO are egregious mispronunciations), I have an appreciation for the value in communal song. People are often better able to process complex emotions through song, and doing so communally can be an important cohesive force. It's not always clear that the in-group experience translates well to the screen, though.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    The other day I happened on an episode of LOTR, I'm not quite certain which one it was, I never was a big fan. This time I watched a little bit of it. And then there it was again; the night-before singing. Supposedly wonderful song, bonding the guys and gals on the eve of the big confrontation with ultimate evil (or its minions). It gives me gag reflexes. It ranks high amongst the reasons why I don't really like the LOTR or the Hobbit. I seriously can't stand it. I know there are millions of people who wet their pants listening to this kind of song. So I'm asking you: Are you one of them? And do you think you can explain what's so great about this singing? The closest I know to it in real life is Turkish friends who can't sing bursting out in song. Which then you are obliged to recognize as the hight of cultural pleasure (when you really feel like sticking a fork in your face, preferably in your eyes.
    Hmmm, I've seen the LoTR trilogy a good few times, and am a fan of Peter Jackson's interpretation. But the only song in the entire trilogy that I recall is when Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, while grieving the loss of his first son, Boromir, sends his second son Faramir into a hopeless battle. Pippin, the newly appointed Guard of the Citadel, sings a mourneful ballad filled with sorrow, as the film interjects clips of Faramir's predictable defeat at the hand of the orcs. That song was certainly fitting and certainly moving. I cannot recall a single other song in the entire trilogy. That may well be my poor memory though.

    You do mention the Hobbit though, of which I only saw the first installment, once, which did indeed feature a 'night-before' song as I recall, with the dwarves visiting Bilbo in Bag-end before they went off on their first adventure. I was so disappointed with that first installment following on from my absolute enjoyment of LoTR that I didn't watch the second or third Hobbit installments.


    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Hmm, I'm of two minds. If you've read Tolkien his books are full of interludes for songs, poems, chants, etc. He uses it to set the mood of a scene and at times it can be effective. When I first read the books as a kid (maybe 8 or 9?) I generally skipped over the poetry because I found it disrupted my flow and was generally unintelligible. Since then I've gained a greater appreciation for it; it might not be my preferred format, but it has its place.

    The question, then, is whether a film's attempt to authentically represent the source material is effective at the author's original purpose. I think it all comes down to execution. Some scenes in LotR and related films did this better than others; I leave it up to the viewer to decide if they think it is effective. But I don't have some knee-jerk negative reaction to musical interludes, no. It's an artistic choice I might not always have chosen for myself but it can work if done well.

    I come from a cultural background with a great deal of communal singing, by both the highly trained and rank amateurs. While I'll admit that I cringe inwardly a bit at the frequent musical faux pas like frequent key changes and crimes against meter (and even worse IMO are egregious mispronunciations), I have an appreciation for the value in communal song. People are often better able to process complex emotions through song, and doing so communally can be an important cohesive force. It's not always clear that the in-group experience translates well to the screen, though.
    I have a similar memory of the songs and poems from the books, skipping past many of them. I have not revisited the books in my later adulthood however, having read the trilogy three times in my late teens and early twenties. Like you I found the songs and poems a break-away from the flow of the story. Of note I recall the side-story of Tom Bombadil, who was a very jolly and rather fey character, and was filled with song. In my readings of the books I think I skipped over the entire Tom Bombadil chapters on second and third reading as virtually irrelevant to the story itself and featuring frequent songs. Indeed Jackson cut Bombadil out of his films entirely.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    But the only song in the entire trilogy that I recall is when Denethor, the Steward of Gondor,
    Theres also the Lament of Gandalf sung by the elves, and its beautiful.
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  6. #6
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    @Timbuk. I'm pretty certain it was that song that triggered me.
    Congratulations America

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