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Basilides

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Keats
Keats

5.0 out of 5 stars Still the finest readings ever recorded of these poems, even after 60 years, 9 April 2017
This review is from: Keats (Vinyl)
I have owned this recording of many of Keats best poems for over 50 years, and I still can say with complete certainty that these are the best readings of the poems I have ever heard, and I have made a point of listening to as many others as possible if only because this album has never been released on CD,.and it hasn't always been easy to play the LP.
The same can almost be said for all the other records of poetry on the Argo label which were subsidised by the Arts Council. The Argo label I believe is now owned by Decca but neither they nor the Arts Council seem to have any interest in what they have hidden away from a market that doesn't know what it's missing. This Keats record is the most important of them all because of the unrivaled quality of the readings, but many of the others like the two for Wordsworth and also the Shelley, although it omitted the Skylark Ode, are also very good.


North Country Maid
North Country Maid
Price: £37.11

5.0 out of 5 stars North Country Maid is a unique album of significant value; chosen, sung, arranged and produced to perfection, 26 Mar. 2017
This review is from: North Country Maid (Audio CD)
I would claim that 'North Country Maid' is one of the greatest albums ever recorded in any genre. It was incomprehensible to me that it took so long to be released on CD especially when mountains of dross was being transferred unceasingly.

It has also always been a great sadness to me that Marianne Faithfull made no more recordings in this style and, to be more specific, using this kind of vocal production. She had a beautiful voice at this time and was able to give a quality no other modern folk singer was able to. I would describe it as having a quality that makes one imagine the sort of girl that fairy stories and romances have as their central character; in other words a sort of spiritual purity that is quite removed from the kind of stridency, complaining or gamy quality that is often sought after as endorsing folk music credibility. This voice is uniquely convincing in a uniquely 'spiritual' way depending on nobility of character that doesn't depend on any sociological working class context to link it to the folk genre.
The reason for this is not only down to the specific voice that Marianne has, or had, as given by nature but also, in addition, it is due to the hard technical fact that she is 'producing' her voice in a 'classical' manner only more intimately than we hear in art song or opera where the voice is produced for an audience in concert conditions without a microphone. Here we have a voice singing in a small intimate space to an audience of perhaps one or two people with none of the urgent passions that often form the content of art songs or opera.


Wayfarers Journal: A Pilgrimage Through the English Countryside
Wayfarers Journal: A Pilgrimage Through the English Countryside
by John Lloyd
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A way of remembering a Britain less populated with people and vehicles, 8 Mar. 2017
A unique book that should appeal to hobbits of all sorts, in other words anyone who is nostalgic for a Britain that is now far removed from that which inspired this group of friends in 1953 to start accumulating memories and written accounts of their twice yearly walks as a group. The journal entries start in 1961 after the death of one of the original members and continuing to 1990 when the book was published. Admittedly during that period Britain came to be more or less what it is today but thankfully this is not reflected in the course of the book which manages to preserve the impression of things being much as they were in the past. This of course is partly due to the route chosen by the walkers to follow a time honoured and relatively unspoiled traveller's way in their pilgrimage, but as one reads it is naturally pleasant to imagine it as implicitly suggesting what much of the rest of the country might still be like.
As other reviewers have said the book is beautifully produced in most ways up to bibliophile standards. The only reservations I would make is that the boards are not cloth bound and the paper wrapper is essential to preserve the covered boards from getting frayed by rubbing, so it would have been good if the shiny attractively illustrated wrapper could have had double edges to resist the tearing that usually occurs with single edges cut sharp.


The Feynman Processor: Quantum Entanglement and the Computing Revolution (Frontiers of Science)
The Feynman Processor: Quantum Entanglement and the Computing Revolution (Frontiers of Science)
by G. J. Milburn
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good explanation for the non-specialist of polarization, usually fudged in explaining entanglement., 26 Mar. 2016
I feel that the other reviews of this book are unfair. If for no other reason than the amount of information which can be found here on the subject of polarization in the context of entanglement this is a very useful book for the non-physicist.
The book falls into two parts, the first dealing with the subject of non-locality or entanglement and the second part dealing with the idea of the quantum computer which is still in the future, and was even more so when this book was published.
Those who have reviewed this in a negative way on Amazon.com seem to me to have largely done so on the basis of the second half which the say hasn't satisfied them. Since the topic is and was speculative and futuristic it seems to me that this could be sufficient reason for their disappointment, assuming they were able to follow what was actually presented as far as it went.
But in any case my main interest is in the subject of entanglement and its experimental verification from Aspect on. Over the years and up to the present I have looked at many books for the non-specialist on this subject and most of them fail, it seems to me, to explain it in a clear non-ambiguous way, leaving certain gaps which the reader needs to fill in for himself,or take on trust that they agree with what the writer evidently intends to prove logically from the evidence. Usually I have found that the problem lies in the treatment of the subject of polarization, and the nature of the exact relationship as measured of two entangled particles or photons.
That is what this book covers much more thoroughly so that polarization as a subject in itself is explained from first principles well in advance of its application in the verification of Bell's Theorem. Before this the non-specialist could only easily find an adequate explanation of polarization in that old popular science classic 'The Ambidextrous Universe' by Martin Gardner, which is now updated as 'The New Ambidextrous Universe'. But there it isn't linked to entanglement.
Why is it that I see so many reviews of popular science book on Amazon where the reviewer complains that the author can't write or the book is boring or isn't clear. It has become rather monotonous and I see no justification for it. Some even complain there is no mathematics, but if they want the maths why are they buying a book aimed at the general reader and not a text book?


The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheaply produced in hardback. This should have been made to last 200 years or more., 23 Jan. 2016
Did the publishers really think this was going to be a book that was going to be soon forgotten and didn't deserve to be printed on good paper or to be given the dignity of a sewn binding? Shame on them and all the many publishers like them who only think of their costs and profit margins.
Because of course the answer to my question is that the publishers knew they were assured of all public and University libraries having to buy a copy, plus a good many serious fans of Tolkien and Wagner.
How many times have I heard or read discussions about contemporary publishing in which I've heard the interested parties say that the future of publishing in the digital age will be in publishing handsome books that people will be proud to own permanently (or as permanently as life allows)?
So when will we see this new, particularly British, publishing which has some self respect and respect for their customers? I see no sign of it in so many books that are obviously of permanent value, although I often come across luxury books of dubious literary/historical/bibliographic value, or books which have only temporary or topical value but which are produced up to far higher standards than you would expect, and often cheaper than you would expect.
Which makes it even more offensive that a book like this, which most of us interested in buying would expect to keep and cherish, should be produced in a form that in a few years will look very browned at the edges and unless handled carefully will develop a weak or cracked spine. And I might also add that once it loses its paper jacket the underlying hard cover will start to wear at the hinge edges, and the paper surface of the boards will look progressively more furry and unpleasant the more it is used, instead of ageing gracefully as cloth can do.
At the very least we had the right to expect it to be printed on decent quality paper, and with pages that would stay together with easy handling and normal use over time.
My copy is already showing signs of the paper ageing, even though knowing what to expect, I have always deliberately kept it in a shaded part of my bookshelves.
Frankly, it's enough to make you want to convert to the digital book, and I can't say worse than that.

The irony is that although the publishers have made available (at an unjustifiably high price) Tolkien's well annotated prose translation of Beowulf in an alternative high quality edition they have not thought to do so with this far more important and useful text. There are a great many translations of Beowulf, some of them in faithful prose like Tolkien's,and many highly annotated ones, whereas there are very few alternative translations available for these original versions of the Norse myths and legends.

The above comments only apply to the BRITISH edition.
Other reviewers here have described the contents of this volume which is indispensable for anyone interested in this material both because of the translated texts and the editorial apparatus by the two Tolkien's.


The Musketeers - Series 1 [DVD] [2014]
The Musketeers - Series 1 [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Luke Pasqualino
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £3.72

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing. Always looks good, but the writing in all aspects is poor, 29 Nov. 2015
Nevertheless I couldn't help enjoying the last episode which pulled out all the stops - even if it did go ridiculously over the top in the final battle which was only a flesh and blood version of a computer game shootout. Those early pistols were never that useful. But at least in this episode the series 'concept' was pulling its full weight and playing to its strengths despite the contrivances of the plot which as usual seem to take place in some kind of parallel historical universe with all the absurd clarity of a dream. The reason why it worked is that it was fully energised by the good girl/bad girl opposition and by having Milady make a confusing and long delayed play for our sympathy.

Nonetheless the series as a whole was obviously directed at adolescents if we are to judge by the quality of the writing, which also includes the unconvincing plots since we're told it's all been 'created and written' by the same person. And, judging by the other reviews here, it seems to have been mainly successful with females of that age or perhaps a little older.
They seem to have been entranced by the four actors playing the leads; then by the two leading ladies who clearly represent for them the dual opposing aspects of their own female nature (towards the end of the series the Queen has emerged as a sort of higher level balancing principle of the female psyche); and of course by the 'period' costumes: and to such an extent that they are completely oblivious to the reality of the social and historical ethos and the violence, frequently brutal, often gratuitous, which abounds in every episode, - and they appear to regard it as all just good 'fun' and merely 'entertainment'. This is no accident of course, it has been deliberately designed to work in that way for the target audience. Anyone familiar with the cinema history of historical swashbucklers can see how they have ended up like this for a public that has been gradually inured to a higher level of realistic violence no matter how discordant with the other elements that have remained largely the same for nearly 100 years (the silent version from the 1921 with Douglas Fairbanks is on YouTube). Anyway the result is that this series is neither one thing or the other, nor a satisfactory melding of the two.

All very predictable I suppose, but this has been very interesting to me since I have been a life long devotee of Dumas' Musketeer novels, which is why I have watched every episode religiously but with dismay at the wasted opportunity that the whole series represents. Looking at it on the positive side I suppose that it does at least demonstrate that there is a market for a series of a suitably romantic swashbuckling nature, a market which I imagine would be even bigger if the exercise were in more competent or responsible hands than the individual who somehow managed to get this off the ground. The way he did this, and for just the same reason, the way the recent BBC Robin Hood and Merlin series turned out the way they did, would no doubt be very informative in terms of how popular culture is now produced, and probably always has been.
But again on the positive side at least the series had the saving grace of preserving a certain attitude of gallantry in amorous affairs, and chivalry in martial (not to be read as 'marital') affairs and matters of honour. Despite all the crude story lines, the clumsy plotting, the banal dialogue and the cliched trite humour there is still a residue of romance that stubbornly refuses to detach itself from these wonderful characters of Dumas'.
I would at least recommend this to anyone interested in the current state of the art fight arranging and editing as this has been quite impressive without being ridiculously gymnastic and choreographed Hong Kong style - in other words it has been quite convincingly realistic for the most part (except when they are using firearms, especially pistols). And I must admit I do find that the two principal ladies of the series have a certain fascination. I can't deny that Constance was a creation in the best tradition of romantic heroines who combine being really nice, and highly emotional, with being really sensible - rather like Olivia de Havilland in Flynn's Robin Hood, but with the added obligatory requirement these days of having learnt how to use a sword.
As regards the male characters the only one who seems to me to deserve special mention is the actor playing the King (Louis 13 in this parallel universe) who always brings some real life to the whole thing. He is remarkably vivid and stands out in every episode, though this is also sometimes helped by his role in the stories as a sort of naive, but infallible, moral arbiter.

One of the episodes, in which a Papal envoy was sent to poison Richelieu and in which a progressive feminist Countess was almost burned as a witch, was quite good, and only spoiled by some clumsy details in the plotting, the sort of thing that was common in other episodes.
The other episode which had something to recommend it was the one which involved the issue of slavery and which was only spoiled by the intrusion of comedy and by the stupid burning of Athos' mansion by Milady.

When I complain about the plots it's not so much the basic ideas that are the problem since there are limits to the kind of plots that can be used in hour long episodes as opposed to a true serial, and real originality may be asking a lot. So perhaps it's excusable that the plots are almost all ones that have been used many times before in Westerns, SF space operas, and thrillers. For more than half a century they have been the staple stuff of co-mixes (i.e. 'comics') . The real problem is the plots are not well enough rethought, and that plotting is too careless, for the idea to be convincingly brought off..
If the producer has any sense or self respect he will bring in a new writer, or team of new writers, for the second series. What this needs is some intelligent plots and plotting, and at least more intelligent, if not actual period, dialogue.
I notice that Amazon is claiming that this series has received critical acclaim. This certainly isn't true. In fact it's been universally ridiculed and dismissed by all the critics in all the papers that pride themselves on having actual critics rather than publicists.


Mozart: (Juan) Don Giovanni (Christopher Maltman) (Axiom Films: AXM644) [DVD]
Mozart: (Juan) Don Giovanni (Christopher Maltman) (Axiom Films: AXM644) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Christopher Maltman (Juan)

5.0 out of 5 stars A big advance for opera film because the singing is recorded live, 13 Sept. 2015
This is very close to the kind of approach to opera on film that I've always wanted, but in some respects it goes a little too far in trying to be like a TV crime drama in the style of 'Spiral' (by far the best example of any TV crime drama since 'The Wire'). This has the result of preventing some of the music from having its full operatic, or even its full musical effect, whether due to distractions or, because when a character is shown alone, the vocal part is presented as happening inside the head of the character. One of the duets is also presented like this presumably on the grounds that showing those characters singing their very different internal thoughts together would have been too unrealistic in that scene.

I have already written some other reviews in which I have complained about the serious deficiencies of all other opera films in which the sound of a previously made studio recording is used and the singers mime to it. My particular interest in this film is how things have been done differently.

Here the main advance on any previous opera films has to do with the fact that the singing was really done live on set and location. But although the lip-sync may be convincing, there is still slightly insufficient sense of the actual acoustic that might be expected from the scene for the reality to be totally convincing, and therefore you may continue to have some of the usual problem with suspension of disbelief.
Using concealed wireless mikes would tend to largely eliminate the way voices sound in a particular space, but recording for 5.1 'surround' should supply the necessary sense of the acoustic environment. Of course the bigger the television screen the bigger the central speaker needs to be to capture the same intimacy, but I was also surprised by the amount of difference that a good centre made in capturing the acoustic space. Before I experimented, I had imagined that this job was being done by the other 4 speakers. But I guess that due to whatever way they were getting the orchestra itself into the singer's ears and into the mix - itself an interesting technical question - the front left and right probably do not participate in producing the sense of acoustic space that we need in order to believe the characters are really singing. So it's down to the center and the two rears. A directional mike with variable focus was probably used in the outdoor scenes for the center speaker but I would have liked a wider focus some of the time as I wasn't always 100% convinced by the reality this production aimed for.
This is certainly more successful than any previous attempts to capture opera on film. It also has a lot to do with other aspects of the sound engineering and the crucial matter of relating the voices to each other according to proximity, and how the voices recede into the distance or move into the foreground in the context of the camera's view. This again is something that previous opera films have not attended to and another reason why they have never worked due to the impossiblity of suspending disbelief.

My main reservations about this film only concern the minutiae of the very free idiomatic translation. Some of the recitative passages strike a false note, either because they seem rather harsh or brutal, or on the other hand seem a bit feeble coming from that character at that particular moment; and others indulge in extremes of the vulgar vernacular and produce a jarring effect even for someone quite familiar with such shows as 'The Wire' and 'Spiral'. My other regret is the decision to make Leporello an East European who always leaves out the definite and indefinite article in his English as this distracts us from Mozart's melodic line.. But most of the translation, where it matters most, in the arias, is very clever and well fitted to the equally clever adaptation of the story. Even at its most uncomfortable and disconcerting the translation for all its necessary updating in this contemporary setting is remarkably close to the original in spirit and letter. Mozart's Don being an aristo could get away with almost anything in the way he treated the plebs, and almost anyone else as well.

Otherwise I just wish they had replaced the harpsichord, which sounded anachronistic among the rest of the updating, with an orchestral ground bass.

I look forward to ALL future opera films being made in this way or not at all. The recent film version of the 'Les Miserables' musical also deserves watching and listening to for this reason although much of the singing and camera direction is poor - too much is shot in close-up and with hand held steadicam. Nevertheless some of the numbers come across very powerfully due to the directness of the live singing/acting performances.
But when you think about it there is no reasonable explanation for the way things have gone backward since the magnificent film of 'West Side Story' made as long ago as the early 60s and technically still ahead in terms of realistically combining film, speech, music and song so that they present no worryingly incongruous elements such as poor lip-sync or ill matching acoustics.


Odyssey: Season 1 [DVD]
Odyssey: Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anna Friel
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £6.58

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining for sure, but essentially it's a comic translated to screen, 24 July 2015
This review is from: Odyssey: Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This has got all the hallmarks of a graphic novel of a certain kind providing a script and storyboard for a (too) fast moving TV drama. All the same there were plenty of things that made it quite gripping, though not in a very convincing way.
It's not so much that it's unconvincing as a conspiracy story of the kind we have become very familiar with, but rather in its details, that is to say in the smaller turns of the plot. These betray the sort of approach that is quite acceptable in a comic or graphic novel but just doesn't seem real in a film. For example, Harrison's persistent lack of common sense in allowing the young female killer and spy to know his every move, and the way his much more mistrusting friend fails to get this message across to him, is a typical sort of 'convention' one finds in comics. Similarly the way the SOC assassin just won't die but like some sort of superman just keeps coming is another comic book 'convention', as too of course is the good looking young female assassin herself - she even acts as if she's in a situation comedy like 'Friends' most of the time, and for the rest she never looks as if she belongs outside a teen movie. The comedy buddy nerd is another convention.
From a visual point of view the images are not as graphic as those which are so often a feature of comics, but the narrative style and structure is based on the tyranny of the 'beat sheet' which is the formalized version of the narrative structure of book length or 'partwork' comic serials now used for long form TV dramas, although not for the very best of them like 'The Wire', 'Madmen' and 'Deadwood'.
In case there is any misunderstanding I am NOT of course saying that this drama actually does have its origin in a comic but only that it might as well have done as regards every aspect of its narrative and dramatic style.There is nothing particularly unusual about this, it is becoming increasingly the norm in TV dramas which are aimed at the audience looking primarily for excitement and entertainment - and it seems that all audiences are being groomed towards becoming habituated to this kind of style even on mainstream channels like BBC1 and now this is being extended to BBC2 for this US production. There have already been many examples of home grown productions made for BBC1 in the last few years. I suppose that the economics and economy of digital video and digital video editing together with a generation brought up on comics or graphic novels have converged to make the style inevitable.

It's not as intelligent in presentation or content as the third series of Homeland but it does pursue considerable complications in the way it presents the extent and ramifications of the conspiracy. Actually it would have benefited from being broadcast in longer episodes than the 40 minutes or so that we were given in the UK. 13 episodes in as many weeks is rather difficult to hold together in the mind as regards the stateside half of the story where a convincing understanding of how the plot (as story) and the conspiracy hang together is difficult to arrive at.
In the end it is probably mainly of interest because of the way it shows the situation and the various factions involved in Mali,West Africa, and in that (virtual?) location the production values are well up to scratch. Unfortunately this where the story is at its most comic-like much of the time.

I would have welcomed a second series though if only to see where the writers could have taken it. They have already gone further than I would have thought possible with the General's 'apology' in the last episode. In this conspiracy thriller we get a pretty full exposure of the Military Industrial Complex and for that reason alone I am not surprised it didn't get the go ahead for a continuation.


1864 [DVD]
1864 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Pilou Asbæk
Price: £9.99

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably as good as the the best and most important films I've ever seen, 13 Jun. 2015
This review is from: 1864 [DVD] (DVD)
For decades I was always saying that for me the Russian film of 'War and Peace' made in the 60s and 6 hours long was probably the greatest film ever made. I'd put 'Les Enfants Du Paradis' made in 1944-5 and 4 hours long close to that. Then there was Orson Welles' 'Othello', Russell's 'Music Lovers', Polanski's 'Macbeth' and 'Tess', Roeg's 'Eureka'; and the extraordinary Peter Watkins film about Edvard Munch.
Some 20 years ago I had to start thinking where I should place Germany's 'Heimat' although it was made for TV. And then came along 'Our Friends In The North', the BBC's last 'Mayor of Casterbridge' (a masterpiece of TV film drama if ever there was one) and the BBC's last 'Madame Bovary' all three of which have every right to be regarded as films and compared with the best of them.
More recently still, and more obviously comparable to '1864', there was German television's 'Generation War'.
You can see where I'm coming from - subject matter is important to me as well as treatment.
But now I have to seriously consider whether this Danish film made for TV is as good or more important than any of them. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how it beds down with time

WHY IS THIS FILM SO IMPORTANT? Well this was the first war on European soil to show the nature of modern warfare and demonstrate the German military might which allowed them to go on to supplant Austria and become the dominant power in Europe when they defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War 1870-71. All this under Bismark, one of the characters in this drama, who achieved the rapid industrialization and unification of Germany as a result of which the Germans acquired the confident military mindset which eventually led them to believe they could take on and defeat Britain, France and Russia together in the First World War. One wonders how anyone in this country knowing what German artillery could do in 1864 could possibly believe they would be home by Christmas in 1914, unless in defeat.
Even the ingredients which went into the making of World War Two can be seen in a certain resemblance of Monrad and Hitler. Both of them nationalistic in the extreme, apparently inspired orators and manipulators of public opinion, though vain and delusional, and willing to provoke war and sacrifice the lives of thousands with the unshakable belief that God, in the case of the former, and destiny in the case of the latter, were on their side.
This is certainly the best anti-war film I've ever seen. But there is also one particular episode concerning the officer Dinesen, apparently based on real events, that shows something else altogether and ends up being undeniably thrilling while at the same time not losing a sense of the real nature of violence and the sudden reality of death.


The Iron Knight (Westender) [DVD]
The Iron Knight (Westender) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Blake Stadel
Price: £1.65

3.0 out of 5 stars A psycho-spiritual allegory with topographical appeal., 13 Jun. 2015
Many reviewers, especially on Amazon.com, have poked fun at the 'walking sequences' of this film but I think they have completely missed the point of why this film was made in the first place, and also failed to appreciate just how much pleasure and satisfaction these passages afford the viewer if he isn't predisposed to be impatient for more action. The trouble is that most people will have bought this DVD on the strength of the cover, as I did myself, and that really isn't what the film is about.
In fact the film was made as a topographic advertisement for the natural beauties of the singularly varied landscape of Oregon with funding by their tourist board and, as most of the other reviewers have not failed to notice, using amateur actors. Admittedly American accents are not very welcome in a story set in some sort of medieval period, even when not actually based on any real historical time of place, but in the all-purpose medieval ethos familiar from many bad fantasy novels and Hollywood films it's something that we've often had to accept and even in films actually set in the Biblical times and the real Middle ages. So these amateur actors from Oregon don't need to apologise unduly, and it IS only their accents rather than their acting which is a problem.

Because of the nature of the Oregon landscape and choice of locations which I can call the 'art direction' the result is that the visual aspect of the film achieves a much better sense of a 'secondary world' ( in Tolkien's sense of the term) than any other fantasy film I have ever seen, including all those misguided and disappointing LOTR films of Peter Jackson's in which he chose landscapes with very little of the right English atmosphere they should have had, especially in the first of the three films. Even when he chose a location that would pass for some part of Middle Earth his art direction meant that it didn't come across with the sense of freshness and new appreciation which is the whole point of a 'secondary world'; there was no sense of natural wonder or magic. This film made in Oregon does a lot better and in those very 'walking sequences' other reviewers have made fun of.

Picaresque (and I do mean 'picaresque') stories, or Quest stories involving long journeys like The Fellowship of the Ring, need to dwell on the landscape the characters are travelling through because the landscape or natural settings are the main point of the story along with the occasional incident that occurs in that landscape, but without the landscape being strongly experienced and felt the story might as well be updated to the present day as in the updating of Herodotus in 'The Warriors' or any other modern version of the archetypal Quest story.
The story has also been much criticised largely again I feel because of the expectations of those who bought the film on the basis of the cover which leads one to believe that it is going to be a spectacular film of medieval warfare. In fact it is an allegory of someone recovering from a collapse into depression and addiction who has lost all self respect and the ring appears to represent his not being able to free himself from the experiences which have brought him low. In a nutshell you could say that the ring represents the selfishness and self pity of the selfhood and, because of the reluctance to let it go, to some extent the connection with addiction.
The story could have been better handled as it's all a bit messy, but the scenes of the main character walking through the beautiful woods and 'country' of Oregon which, except for the desert sequence at the end (important for the allegory), could easily stand in for England or Middle Earth, are a pleasure to watch and to experience the way they stimulate the imagination.
Perhaps the most important reason for watching this film is to get some idea of how Jackson should have approached landscape in LOTR and the Hobbit and judging by the number of people who don't seem to think he did anything wrong that's a pretty important reason in my book.


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