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Re: [mythsoc] tolkien studies review of tolkien on film

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  • David Bratman
    Even Tom Shippey tried to justify Jackson s spurious additions by claiming they were intended to appeal to female viewers and the teenage market. To this I
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 13, 2006
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      Even Tom Shippey tried to justify Jackson's spurious additions by claiming
      they were intended to appeal to "female viewers" and "the teenage market."
      To this I wrote:

      The premises are false, anyway. The book's supposed lack of "moment[s] for
      female viewers to place themselves in the story" have not prevented
      millions of women of all ages from loving it, and the book so strongly
      appeals to "the teenage market" that some of Tolkien's hostile critics have
      accused it of not appealing to anything else. Saying that films have to
      appeal to more people than books begs the question of whether a film
      actually resembling Tolkien's book would so appeal -- all the evidence
      leans towards the conclusion that it would.

      And I wrote that in the book under review itself, on page 35.

      Really. To the spectacle of a reviewer jumping up and down whining that
      it's not _fair_ to criticize her favorite movie, and to her spurious
      charges that a negative critique of these popular films should have no
      audience (are all the reviewers of "The Da Vinci Code" wasting their time,
      Kristin?) and that it's illegitimate to critique the film before the
      extended edition of RK came out (tell that to all the people who _praised_
      the sequence before the extended edition came out, Kristin; and tell it to
      Peter Jackson, who's repeatedly insisted that the theatrical releases are
      the real movies and that he's willing to be judged by them; and tell it to
      the authors and editors of not one but TWO collections of highly
      complimentary essays on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" that appeared before
      that show left the air), and to the reviewer's mindboggling assertion that
      the films were assured beforehand to be a success (bolstered by a quote
      from a film executive made a year AFTER the first film had succeeded - and
      all he meant was that they were certain to open well), we can add these
      silly assumptions replied to by the book itself before the reviewer ever
      made them.

      - David Bratman
    • John D Rateliff
      The current issue of THE NEW YORKER has a lead article called The Injustice Collector: The James Joyce estate vs. everyone else . Well worth reading for
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 19, 2006
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        The current issue of THE NEW YORKER has a lead article called "The
        Injustice Collector: The James Joyce estate vs. everyone else". Well
        worth reading for anyone interested in the role, malign or
        beneficial, that literary estates play in helping or hindering
        scholarship. Hard to read it without being grateful that the Tolkien
        Estate was put in the hands of Christopher Tolkien rather than
        falling under the control of a Stephen Joyce. And even the most rabid
        critic of Fr. Hooper would, I think, agree that his stewardship of
        the Lewis estate was preferable to what S.J. has done to the
        Joyceans. I was not aware that the "fair use" doctrine does not exist
        in Europe, nor is it clearly defined (e.g., permissible wordcount) in
        U.S. law. All in all, a thoughtful glimpse into a worst-case scenario
        we'll all lucky not to have to deal with.

        --JDR
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