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10320Re: Gripes about LOTR films

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  • ftl_publications
    Nov 9, 2003
      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@e...>
      >Certainly there are
      > parts of LOTR which could stand literary improvement, and you don't
      have to
      > be a good writer yourself to say so; but I see this as part of a
      > which I've noted here before ("Re: TTT review, startling statement",
      > 1/12/03), to claim that Jackson has improved a lousy old book that
      > ever really liked much anyway.

      I feel this is, in part, a case where Jackson and Jackson's defenders
      are apologizing (that's not "apologizing" as in "regret,"
      that's "apologizing" as in "defending") for the wholesale departures
      from Tolkien's text.

      I also see 2 other factors at work here:

      Factor 1: Contemporary screenwriting is very forumlaic. In
      screenwriting courses, there is a very strict dramatic line that
      students are encouraged to adhere to, and departures from that
      formula are given as examples of "bad" (or in the text referred
      to, "amateur") writing. It is interesting to note that those who are
      making the comments ARE connected to the screenwriting community
      rather than the literary community.

      Factor 2: There are people who never were able to get through Lord of
      the Rings (it certainly took me several tries, and I was an
      enthusiast of The Hobbit!), and therefore have memories of the LotR
      text being ponderous and boring. We may disagree (I certainly do),
      but they're out there. I wouldn't be surprised if such people are
      among those who say that they prefer Jackson's version (finding it
      an "improvement" over Tolkien's text), and would agree with an
      assessment that Tolkien's writing wasn't very good.

      (Now, just to make clear where I'm coming from, although I found much
      to enjoy in Jackson's movies, I do not find them preferable to
      Tolkien's original text, and I do believe that Tolkien's LotR is a
      literary masterpiece. I would characterize JRRT's text
      as "brilliant.")

      Joan Marie Verba
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