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Re: [mythsoc] Re: spotty review

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  • David Bratman
    ... Sure. This is what I kept saying to all those people who insisted, before the first Jackson film appeared, that it was going to be just great. ... Marc, I
    Message 1 of 158 , Feb 5, 2004
      At 12:37 PM 2/5/2004 +0000, Marc wrote:

      >> Wait and see. I hear that Stephen R. Donaldson is in the
      >I'll believe that when I see it.

      Sure. This is what I kept saying to all those people who insisted, before
      the first Jackson film appeared, that it was going to be just great.

      >I can't imagine Hollywood doing
      >a big budget 3 movie fantasy series where most of the audience are
      >going to absolutely loath the main character by about 20 minutes
      >into the first movie.

      Marc, I can't imagine large quantities of _readers_ enjoying a story
      focusing on such a loathsome (and, more importantly, tiresome) character.
      Yet they do. If you're referring to the rape scene, the only reason I
      didn't throw the book at the wall at that point was because I was sitting
      outdoors at the time.

      With all that in mind: a film could easily cut that scene. As for
      Covenant's more general tiresomeness and loathsomeness, knowing that this
      hasn't stopped readers from liking the books, I'd find it easier to imagine
      that films could be popular than that studio heads could be persuaded to
      fund them. Yet this more difficult hurdle has apparently been passed.

      As for unsympathetic heroes: one infamous review of Jackson praised him for
      popularizing a book "whose hero eventually loses the sympathy of most readers."

      >> >Instead, the Hollywood lesson learned from
      >> >LOTR seems to be make more big budget epic ancient/medieval war
      >> >movies.
      >> Sure, and some of them could easily be big-budget-epic-ancient-
      >> fantasies. Most of the post-Tolkien epic fantasies better fit
      >> those adjectives than LOTR does.
      >True, but I don't see any serious movement towards doing this at the
      >moment in Hollywood.

      As I said, it's early days yet. In any case, my point was not that they
      will, but that they could. One obstacle towards purchasing rights to any
      post-Tolkien fantasies now is cost: in the wake of Jackson's success the
      author will want a bundle. Developing their own property in that style, or
      using a public-domain story, may be more probable.

      Here's one coming up that I just saw the trailer for: Wolfgang Petersen's
      _Troy_. It could be done either as a fantasy, because the source material
      is one by our standards, or as a non-fantasy historical, because it's based
      on historical events and because the fantasy elements aren't essential.
      It's certainly Jacksonian in its approach to epic: the trailer begins with
      a shot of some Greeks aboard a ship, and pulls back and back to show
      hundreds of ships sailing in perfect formation (as if). And - final proof
      - it stars two of Jackson's most popular hunks: Orlando Bloom as Paris, and
      Sean Bean as Odysseus. Plus, as Achilles, the hero of our band, the
      indispensable Brad Pitt, who (sarcasm alert) was surely omitted from the
      LOTR films only because Jackson wasn't willing to make Eomer the protagonist.

      >I think you could create a version that didn't qualify as suicide as
      >you have been describing it. For example, Frodo charges at Gollum
      >after losing the ring knowing he is almost certain to go over the
      >edge with Gollum, but not knowing for sure.

      You could, but Tolkien didn't, not even as a discarded sketch.

      - David Bratman
    • dmsherwood_heather
      ... has, ... completely ... comeuppance ... life. ... expectations ... an ... one ... kind ... that ... a ... explained ... argue ... discussion ... Hi I m
      Message 158 of 158 , Mar 8, 2004
        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "marcfcs" <marcfcs@a...> wrote:
        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@e...> wrote:
        > >
        > > But neither of these describe Thomas Covenant. He is not
        > uninteresting, he
        > > is positively annoying. Nor is he merely detestable, but a
        > detestable
        > > person one is supposed to identify with (to an extent) as a
        > viewpoint
        > > character, without - at least as far as I read, three long weary
        > books of
        > > it - having a turning point or apotheosis of sympathy as Lear
        > or
        > > getting his due comeuppance as Richard III does.
        > Two points: 1) I don't think you are supposed to identify with
        > Covenant. I think Donaldson goes out of his way to block you from
        > identifying with him(though as I said before, I know nothing about
        > his motivations beyond what is in the books, so I could be
        > wrong).
        > 2) I don't have a problem with Covenant not getting his
        > or having a turning point and learning some deep lesson about
        > The universe is an imperfect place. I don't mind if fiction
        > reflects that sometimes. I like it when a work subverts
        > and does not unfold in a traditional way. It doesn't bother me if
        > anti-hero character doesn't have a heart of gold and doesn't grow
        > later (and isn't punished for that in some act of cosmic justice by
        > the author).
        > > The problem with this moment is not the sentiment - for surely an
        > ancient
        > > king no more intends to outlive his son and heir than a modern
        > Oprah guest
        > > does - but the phrasing and style with which it is said.
        > The phrasing is the worst part and the one that is most relevant to
        > me for enjoying the movie. However, the sentiment is wrong as well
        > as an adaptation of Tolkien since this clearly goes against the
        > of "men of the north" heroic ethos that Tolkien gives to Rohan.
        > Lamenting the death of a son is 1 thing. Saying no father should
        > outlive their children is not the right sentiment for a culture
        > honors noble death more than survival at any costs. This changes
        > culture that Tolkien meant to be a little alien to his audience and
        > makes it more like modern people in medieval clothing. Can anyone
        > imagine Beowulf or Sigurd saying such a thing, however you want to
        > phrase it? Not that Tolkien doesn't modernize those types of
        > characters a little, but not that much.
        > Finally, as far as the whole post-Romantic thing goes, I've
        > my point and you clearly understand it now. We could probably
        > endlessly about the exact usage of the specific words I chose and I
        > doubt it would be of interest to anyone else reading this
        > group. So, lets just let it drop.
        > Regards,
        > Marc
        > marclists@a...

        Hi I'm (dmsherwood53@...) & I'm breaking into a conversation
        where the protagonists have agrred to let it drop wvery uncivilised
        of me.
        If your still listening coupla points:
        I agree theris a post-romantic sensibility.
        I think this and its opposite the romantic sensibility ties deeply
        intowhat a person is; wants to be; fears being; all thaT shimola
        I think ROMANCES using the term v widely tie into this more deeply
        than ordinary books tho its part of why anybody cares a damn about any
        art at all.
        Its a mistake to talk about a romance as tho it was a bad attempt to
        do what an ant-romance was doing and vice-versa-which was mostly what
        you guys were doing- altho take this to extremes and we all end us
        reading our own diaries and never confrunting another POV (Which
        Lewis thought the reason why there are booksat all)
        PS Have you readthe NEW WEIRD fiction goes much further into anti-
        romantic vision than Donaldson eg a;lmost any CHINA MEILVILLE's books
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