We’re kicking off the first day of Hallowtide!
Most Halloweens I have the standard films to recommend–Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and my beloved Phantom of the Opera. But this year I have a brand new recommendation for you, F. W. Murnau’s Faust from 1926. A doctor sells his soul to the devil in exchange for the power to save the people of his town from the plague…and it all goes downhill from there. It’s basically a PSA for why selling your soul to the devil is a monumentally stupid idea. Devil worship: just say no.
And speaking of selling your soul to the devil, this video is an annual favorite of mine. Dracula is a fascinating book that I don’t think any adaptation has really done justice.
Those of you who are familiar with my blog know of my great love of The Phantom of the Opera, which is what prompted me to post this video. When Universal re-edited their 1925 version of Phantom and re-released it in 1929, one of the new features was a technicolor sequence for the masquerade scene. It was one of the earliest movies to use technicolor, and it’s quite impressive.
I’ve never really liked the changes the 1929 version implemented, but this was one change I didn’t mind.
First of all, it’s September 22, so it wouldn’t be right to let it pass without wishing Bilbo and Frodo Baggins a very happy birthday.
And as for our final song, I have selected Clamavi de Profundis’s rendition of “The Fall of Gil-Galad”, the tale of the Elf king who marched alongside Elendil to free Middle-Earth from Sauron’s rule.
And that wraps up this year’s Tolkien Week celebrations! See you all next year!
We’re approaching the end of Tolkien Week, yet there’s still time for great music. Today’s pick is “The Lament for the Rohirrim”, a stirring rendition of the funeral dirge for the fallen Riders of Rohan.
Today’s featured song for Tolkien Week is “The Ent and the Ent-Wife” from The Two Towers. It is an Elvish song that Treebeard sings to Pippin and Merry about how the Ents and the Ent-Wives went their separate ways yet hope to be reunited one day in a land where they will both be content.
One this fine fourth day of Tolkien Week, we have “One Ring to Rule Them All”. Yes, it’s the famous Ring poem set to music. I’m pretty sure there have been several versions of this, but the Clamavi de Profundis version is one of my favorites.
For today’s celebration of Tolkien Week, I have selected “All That is Gold Does Not Glitter/Seek for the Sword That was Broken” from Clamavi de Profundis. It’s an original composition that takes Bilbo’s poem about Aragorn’s heritage and the verses that Boromir and Faramir heard in their dreams and combines them into one song. I was surprised at first to hear that they had combined these two poems, but when I heard the song performed, it couldn’t have turned out better.