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7423Re: What's your problem with the movie?

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  • David J Finnamore
    Jan 4, 2003
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      Susan <SusanPal@...> wrote:

      > I'm interested to hear more about what you think they missed by viewing the
      > story through a humanistic lens.

      I was afraid I'd be asked to be more specific about that. I'd better put some thought
      into it. At the moment it's little more than a hunch.

      > I agree that TTT is a better film than FR, but I
      > consider it a less successful adaptation, which makes me concerned about RotK
      > on that level.

      I've gravitated toward the view that the movies are an alternate form of the story, so
      that success as adaptation is no longer very important to me. Too much was changed,
      even in FR, for me to regard it strictly as an adaptation. The first time I saw FR, I
      was simultaneously delighted and disturbed. Delighted to see things I had imagined for
      years coming to life before my eyes, often so much like I had imagined that it took my
      breath away. So I regard it as a visual triumph, with only a few exceptions. But also
      disturbed by how much of the story was sacrificed for the sake of eye candy. I must
      admit, I'm a sucker for eye candy, but I prefer it to be balanced better with, what
      shall we say, eye broccoli?

      Someone on this list mentioned, about a year ago, the idea that the movie(s) could be
      enjoyed in their own right as an alternate form of the story. (I wish I could remember
      who, but thank you, if you know who you are :-) After that, I was able to let go and
      appreciate the movie for what it was. Surprisingly, I then found some deeper
      book-story elements in the film that I had missed before, things on the level of theme
      as distinguished from plot. It's quite possible to compartmentalize the movie story
      from the book story once you get used to it. I find that it's like to learning to play
      both acoustic and electric guitar, which are very similar to, and very different from,
      each other. Same with learning to play both the 6-hole Irish whistle, and the
      recorder, which has 7 finger holes and a thumb hole. You just have to build separate
      pockets for them in your mind.

      So, on my first viewing of TTT, I quickly accepted most of the changes, and thoroughly
      enjoyed the almost whole thing. I found it deeply moving. The only part that I had to
      wrestle to come to grips with, oddly, was a distinctly different interpretation of
      Gollum/Smeagol's attitudes as reflected in his vocal inflections. I had heard his
      voice in my mind so distinctly so many times that almost everything he said in the
      movie sounded wrong. But I started to get used to it on second viewing. I'll always
      be disappointed by the dumbing down of the dialogue, of course, but that's life in the
      post-modern West, I guess.

      David J. Finnamore
      Nashville, TN, USA
      "A story must be told or there'll be no story, yet it is the untold stories that are
      most moving: mountains seen far away, never to be climbed, distant trees (like
      Niggle's) never to be approached." - J.R.R. Tolkien, letters
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