'The four hobbits stepped over the wide stone threshold, and stood still, blinking...'
Been a long time you say? Yes, actually it has. Your friendly neighborhood Xoanon has been battling illness and has been unable to think straight (well, as straight as I usually do) But now I'm back! High on Tylenol and cough medicine to give you my interpretation of Chapter 7.
No doubt chapter 7 will be listed in PJ's book as 'one of those chapter's I'll have to skip' since it involves the lovely Tom Bombadil and his wife, Goldberry. But those of you who know me will be aware that I'm taking this book as the script 95% so that means Tom would have been in my film.
The Hobbits make their way to Toms house, they are in disarray, tired, weak, hungry. They are treated royally by Tom and Goldberry, given a good meal and a warm bath with a nice bed to lay their heads. The Hobbits dream (and whatever PJ does, the dreams should be a part of the tale!) I think these dreams are very important. They show the true fears and emotions of these little hobbits as well as an element of danger that is always pursuing them. Even in the safe confines of Tom's house.
Frodo dreams of a dark tower. He sees the dark wall of stone and is lifted over it. Atop the tower that 'was not made by hands' there is a figure that reaches out with a flash of light. He also hears wolves howling in the distance, and he sees a shape with wings cross over the moon...another great bit of writing by Tolkien.
This whole dream sequence could be done very cryptically with fast images and constant lighting and angle changes. By nature dream sequences in movies are always shot 'out of sequence' and do not follow the standard for editing and lighting. The idea of 'matched action', where for example, there was a medium shot (waist to head) of someone reaching for the door handle, and the next shot was a close up (CU) of the hand reaching for the handle, the sequence would overlap by a few seconds. It's impossible to catch with the human eye, but watch something like that in slow motion and you'll see it. Those are basic editing concepts that can be thrown out of the window in a dream sequence.
When Frodo awakens he thinks he can still hear the sound of the hooves from the black riders. Something we've all experienced before. That is how powerful our minds are, able to trick us even when we are awake. This could be used in the film to great effect. No matter where PJ puts these dream sequences. (And you better PJ! I know you're reading this!)
Next Chapter: Fog on the Barrow-downs