The Giant Angry Vagina In The Sky

I dutifully went to go see ‘The Return of The King’ yesterday, skipping out early from work and so on and so forth, making my way down to the big screen in Richmond. Arriving late (the movie started as we sat down), there was nothing left but the very front, which the ticket lady told us as if that would be a problem. Little did she know that I like sitting right up at the front.

So but and of course this is one of the mostly unreviewable films: no matter what, I was going to see it, and unless it was putrid, I was going to really like it. And so I really liked it. It may well be the weakest of the 3 films, in a filmic sense, but because it wraps up all those storylines so well that it’s excusable. And certainly Peter Jackson deserves much credit for actually completeing the films at retaining as tight control as he managed, given the overabundance of elements he could have filmed.

The title of this post comes from the Globe & Mail’s review of the film, which I unfortunately read before I saw the film, and so I couldn’t get that image out of my head whenever I saw the Eye of Sauron. I also couldn’t get past some of the homo-eroticism in this movie — it seemed like they really played that up in this one, with lots of longing, deep gazes shared between the various hobbits, and of course Gimli’s seeming unrequited love for Legolas. So perhaps this is fact a very faithful interpretation of Tolkein’s books (because once you’ve taken any sort of class of po-mo literary critique, it’s hard to read these books with an eye towards hidden homoerotic themes).

Should everyone see this film? Yes, but again, only if you’re a fan and have seen the other two. Otherwise, well, it just wouldn’t make sense. And if you’re a fanatic, I suspect you’ll have the most to quibble about in this film, but hopefully by this time you’ve accepted Jackson’s vision, because this film certainly completes his trilogy well, keeping consistent to the themes and elements introduced in the earlier ones.

13 Replies to “The Giant Angry Vagina In The Sky”

  1. Thanks for not going into too much detail — I was reading this post going, “Please don’t give too much away”, ’cause I haven’t seen it yet. 🙂 I have to say that in the first movie, as soon as the eye of Sauron came on-screen, I thought to myself, “Oh my god. It’s a big flaming vagina in the sky.” So that concept was not new to me. And I continue to think that every time the damn thing comes on-screen. But I don’t care — I love these movies.

    The homoeroticism from my perspective is less about real sexuality or even implied sexuality than it is about “hommosexuality” as Luce Irigaray defined it — essentially, a society that revolves around men and men’s relationships with each other. I don’t find that particularly homoerotic, just kind of narcissistic in the sense of “I only want to hang around with people like myself.” But I can’t really stand to approach Tolkien with that stuff in mind — for me, if you can’t suspend your politics about the fact that everyone is white, most of them are blue-eyed, and all the cool characters (except maybe Eowyn — ’cause in the book, Arwen is hardly a character at all) are guys, then you just aren’t going to find much to love about this story.

    In a way, maybe the big flaming vagina works for these films, since there is such an absence of femaleness in them otherwise. I can kind of see Frodo and Sam being really freaked out by a vulva, you know? I wonder whether anyone working on the film was conscious of its vulvic implications…

  2. Thanks for not going into too much detail — I was reading this post going, “Please don’t give too much away”, ’cause I haven’t seen it yet. 🙂 I have to say that in the first movie, as soon as the eye of Sauron came on-screen, I thought to myself, “Oh my god. It’s a big flaming vagina in the sky.” So that concept was not new to me. And I continue to think that every time the damn thing comes on-screen. But I don’t care — I love these movies.

    The homoeroticism from my perspective is less about real sexuality or even implied sexuality than it is about “hommosexuality” as Luce Irigaray defined it — essentially, a society that revolves around men and men’s relationships with each other. I don’t find that particularly homoerotic, just kind of narcissistic in the sense of “I only want to hang around with people like myself.” But I can’t really stand to approach Tolkien with that stuff in mind — for me, if you can’t suspend your politics about the fact that everyone is white, most of them are blue-eyed, and all the cool characters (except maybe Eowyn — ’cause in the book, Arwen is hardly a character at all) are guys, then you just aren’t going to find much to love about this story.

    In a way, maybe the big flaming vagina works for these films, since there is such an absence of femaleness in them otherwise. I can kind of see Frodo and Sam being really freaked out by a vulva, you know? I wonder whether anyone working on the film was conscious of its vulvic implications…

  3. unrequited love for Legolas

    But doesn’t everyone in the world have unrequited love for Legolas?

    I can kind of see Frodo and Sam being really freaked out by a vulva, you know?

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day. So true, poor wee things.

  4. unrequited love for Legolas

    But doesn’t everyone in the world have unrequited love for Legolas?

    I can kind of see Frodo and Sam being really freaked out by a vulva, you know?

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day. So true, poor wee things.

  5. I got to see the crazy 12-hour marathon of the extendeds of 1 & 2 and then 3 (my body’s still a little broken), so it was really cool to see the whole sweep of it. (Although ideally it would have been the extended of all three movies.)

    Anyway, re: comparisons, I liked the movies in the same way that I liked the books. Book one is exciting because you’re just discovering all this stuff, book two is a road trip, book three is a big fun victory.

    So I’d say that for sure movie three was the *funnest*, which is what I wanted.

  6. I got to see the crazy 12-hour marathon of the extendeds of 1 & 2 and then 3 (my body’s still a little broken), so it was really cool to see the whole sweep of it. (Although ideally it would have been the extended of all three movies.)

    Anyway, re: comparisons, I liked the movies in the same way that I liked the books. Book one is exciting because you’re just discovering all this stuff, book two is a road trip, book three is a big fun victory.

    So I’d say that for sure movie three was the *funnest*, which is what I wanted.

  7. Re: Legolas, the crowd I saw the marathon with was pretty vocal (having a whole theatre shout, “You – Shall – Not – Pass!” was totally fun) and tended to swoon and shriek when Legolas was onscreen.

    PS. He gets some great action scenes (i.e. “Surfing the Oliphant” – the new “Gleaming the Cube”?).

  8. Re: Legolas, the crowd I saw the marathon with was pretty vocal (having a whole theatre shout, “You – Shall – Not – Pass!” was totally fun) and tended to swoon and shriek when Legolas was onscreen.

    PS. He gets some great action scenes (i.e. “Surfing the Oliphant” – the new “Gleaming the Cube”?).

  9. Tolkien never put any homoerotic themes into the trilogy. period. If the movie contains some, then somebody else put them in.

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