Re: Two Towers
In a previous post Ernest Tomlinson wrote,
> > I wonder why so much of Tolkien's dialogue was replaced with clumsy,
> > ham-handed periphrasis. I think, perhaps, that Hollywood[*]
> > given the task of adapting a famous work of literature to the screen...
To indulge in some paraphrasing myself, in screenwriting classes you have
the following rule bludgeoned into your brain, "Two lines good, six lines
bad." And in a professional script, a "line" is indented about an inch to
the left of a one inch margin. This means that you have to be very
economical with words. This rule works great for action adventure films but
can wreak havoc in other genres. A good screenwriter learns to use action
and judicious word choices to preserve the author's intentions and voice.
Your not-so-good screenwriter adds a horse-snogging scene to fill in the gap
where the heart of the story got surgically removed. As far as a good
adaptation goes, I have always been amazed at how much of Sir Thomas More's
actual words were preserved in the film of "A Man for All Seasons." And he
was an incredibly wordy guy!