At 07:41 AM 12/8/2006 -0800, Jason Fisher wrote:
>Many of the major Jackson haters (yourself excluded) themselves seem unable
>to separately judge the book from the films in their own minds, as evidenced
>by the extraordinary rancor we're still hearing, years later.
Well, I'm pretty rancorous myself - on their capacity as a Tolkien
adaptation. As films on their own, my reaction was, "eh -- overlong and
boring a lot of the time, but enjoyable here and there, and quite
stunningly beautiful in many places. Not really my cup of tea in the art
of film, and certainly nothing that would entice me to read the book if I
As I said, it doesn't bother me if others enjoy it, same as it doesn't
bother me if people enjoy those fat Tolclone trilogies that occupy the
fantasy bookshelves. I don't even mind if people prefer them to LOTR for
reasons of their own taste. What does bother me, intensely so, is praise
of them as comparable to or superior to Tolkien, because that always
involves misunderstanding Tolkien, or criticizing him for things he didn't do.
(The absolute nadir came at a science-fiction convention panel I attended
when only Jackson's FR had been released. A panelist who had not read LOTR
criticized _Tolkien_ on the basis of plot holes she found in Jackson's
film! What's more, Jackson dealt with some of these supposed plot holes in
the next film, so she was being unfair to Jackson as well as to Tolkien.
>people could clearly separate the two -- and they have every right to hate
>the films, don't get me wrong -- couldn't they just let it go?
I wish the Jackson fans would let it go. Let it sink into the mists of
history, like the Bakshi film before it. It took ten years for the bad
taste of that thing to wash out of my head, but now it's gone. Not even
Bakshi's few fans are pushing his film as anything other than a quaint
taste of their own. But people are still holding Jackson movie-watching
parties, and declaring how wonderful it is (as adaptation as well as
independent film), and expecting us to discuss Jackson's significance to
the LOTR myth, as if his name was worthy of mentioning in the same breath
as Tolkien's. And as long as those people won't let it go, I won't let it go.
>More often that not, when I say I liked the films to another Tolkien fan
>like myself (but one who didn't like the films), the response I get is
>something like: "Really?! Well, you shouldn't, and here are a dozen reasons
>why ..." And of course, they *know* I know all about all the changes, from
>the small to the dreadfully massive, but they feel the need to try to
>*convince* me to join them in hating the films. As if my being able to find
>things I like in the films somehow diminishes my love for Tolkien's writing
>-- when it doesn't. Because these are two completely different and
In what context are you saying that you liked the films? Because if you're
saying it "to another Tolkien fan like [your]self," I'd guess you're saying
it in a context of a discussion of Tolkien. And that would make your
declaration an implicit comparison, and not a discussion of a "completely
different and separate thing."
>(I don't reply to
>people who say they hate the films by trying to convince them of any reason
>they should start *liking* them.)
Maybe you don't. But others do. Or, rather, they don't offer reasons,
because there are no good reasons. They're just abusive, as Wendell said.