516Re: LOTR, a whine for Matt
- Jul 29, 1999I just wanted to further defend my saying:
> Actually, it makes sense to film in New Zealand.It would seem that if one were to make a movie about place X, the obvious
place to film it is in X. But that's not always the case. For instance, if
one wants to make a film about turn-of-the-century New York, with streets
crowded with immigrants and pushcarts, the best place to film it is not New
York, but (I'm told) Montreal, which has some streets that look like
turn-of-the-century New York.
If it's true that Tolkien based some scenes from _The Lord of the Rings_ on
places near where he grew up in Birmingham, it's also true that there's no
longer anything there that looks Middle-Earthish to my eyes. Birmingham
looks to me very much like a modern city. If I were to compare it to any
American city, it would be Baltimore. It's not that there's any particular
building or anything in the skyline of the two cities that looks particularly
alike, but they are of approximately the same size and both grew up in the
nineteenth century and were greatly built upon in the twentieth century.
They both seem to me to be generic bland big cities.
If we are to look further at the counties that constitute the western half of
the Midlands area, there are little pieces that would be acceptable terrain
for the Shire, assuming you do a little pruning of modern signs and such. I
think, though, that you would have a lot of trouble finding enough open space
even for scenes in the Shire.
On the other hand, I've been told that there are many different types of
scenery in New Zealand, and most of it hasn't been turned into a cliche by
overfilming (the way, say, that Monument Valley has been turned into a cliche
by Westerns). Peter Jackson has to film almost 9 hours of film set in a
large variety of kinds of scenery. Perhaps he has decided that wandering
around the world finding precisely the correct look for each scene would be
too expensive. Perhaps he is correct in thinking that he can find the
correct look just in New Zealand.
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