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21678Re: [mythsoc] Are Hobbits white?

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  • David Bratman
    Dec 10, 2010
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      "Darrell A. Martin" <darrellm@...> wrote:

      >> So we are constantly told, but aside from condensation, I have yet to see
      >> any coherent argument explaining why particular alterations are
      >> necessary,
      >> nor have I seen any declarations of what is not possible in movies that
      >> some
      >> movie-maker hasn't violated with impunity.
      >
      > "Apart from condensation" is
      > a bit like, "Apart from that
      > awkward moment with Mr. Booth
      > and Mr. Lincoln, the evening at
      > Ford's Theater went well." The
      > effects of condensation flow
      > through every cinematic work.

      I profoundly disagree. Not that you're wrong about your main point:
      condensation does indeed, as you say, affect the entirety of any cinematic
      adaptation.

      Yet it is possible to discuss the causes and effects of other changes
      independently of those of condensation. For instance, in Jackson's LOTR's
      case, the changes of the characters of Denethor and Faramir were not driven
      by the need to condense the story; indeed, they hardly were condensed
      relative to the rest of the story at all, and indeed were expanded in
      relative importance somewhat, with new material invented by the
      screenwriters added.

      It is also necessary to make that distinction, if one wishes to criticize
      movie adapations in any form other than sweeping condemnation of the entire
      idea. The comparison with Lincoln's assassination suggests that you believe
      that condensation in adaptations is so poisonous that there's no point in
      discussing them further. I disagree. I believe it is possible to make a
      good movie adaption of at least some literary works, and that this has
      occasionally happened.

      I further find that, when I'm discussing Jackson with his defenders, that no
      matter how often I explain that I'm looking for something that conveys
      Tolkien's tone and spirit, not the entirety of his story, and that longer
      movies would not have been better - indeed, I think Jackson's films would
      have been superior had they been shorter - I have to keep fending off claims
      that the only kind of adapation that would satisfy us "book fans" is
      something 70 hours long with Bombadil in it, and that since that's obviously
      impossible we're just being unreasonable.

      No, that's not what I want at all, and I don't think it's what others who
      agree with me want, but comments like yours, comparing condensing a book
      with interrupting a play by assassinating the President, don't help.

      DB
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