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Robert Zemeckis Beowulf

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  • Cole Matson
    Greetings, friends. I just viewed the trailer for the new Robert Zemeckis motion-capture Beowulf film. (The trailer files on the official website,
    Message 1 of 108 , Aug 16, 2007
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      Greetings, friends.

      I just viewed the trailer for the new Robert Zemeckis motion-capture Beowulf
      film. (The trailer files on the official website,
      http://www.beowulfmovie.com , were down, so I viewed the trailer on
      http://movies.yahoo.com if anyone else wants to take a look.) From what I
      can tell of the movie's plot from the trailer, the movie focuses on the
      seduction of Beowulf by Grendel's Mother (a dangerously beautiful woman,
      played by none other than Angelina Jolie) and its consequences. It could be
      my imagination, but I don't seem to remember any such seducing taking place
      in the text. It could be the Seamus Heaney translation I read in school, but
      I got the distinct impression that Grendel's Mother might be about as
      attractive as a horned toad mated to a komodo dragon (if you could find the
      ugliest specimens of either species and put their offspring through Sauron's
      orc-ifying process). When I think Grendel's Mother, I don't think Angelina
      Jolie. Maybe in a different translation?

      So I checked the film's official site (given above), and read the synopsis.
      Apparently, Beowulf fights Grendel "and incurs the hellish wrath of the
      beast's ruthlessly seductive mother." And, one of my favorite actors, Sir
      Anthony Hopkins (*hopes rise*), plays "the corrupt King Hrothgar" (*hopes
      sink*).

      So I went to Wikipedia. (I'm out of town, and don't have my copy of Beowulf
      to hand - plus the Wiki is convenient.) Maybe my memory of Hrothgar's
      character is incorrect. After all, I hadn't remembered that Grendel's Mother
      was seductive; maybe I forgot that Hrothgar was corrupt. The entry quotes
      lines from different modern translation of Beowulf describing Hrothgar's
      character: "He broke no oaths, dealt out rings, treasures at his table." He
      was "old and good," a "good King." "No man could fault him, who wished to
      speak the truth." Hmmm.... Maybe it's Wikipedia. They just left out the
      lines about Hrothgar's corruption.

      Help me out here, O MythSoc Font of Knowledge. Am I losing my mind? Or does
      this film seem to bear little resemblance to the actual story? I'm not sure
      I like the idea that "groundbreaking director Robert Zemeckis offers a
      unique vision of the Beowulf saga in a way that it has never been told
      before" (from the website's synopsis). I think I'd rather have the old
      vision.

      And another question: I know there's been a lot of discussion about Peter
      Jackson's LOTR films, but whether you love them or loathe them, I think we
      can pretty much agree that Jackson made an attempt to honor the feelings and
      themes of the book. What is your opinion of directors' attempts to
      "re-envision" myths and legends that seem to make no attempt to honor the
      themes and characters of the original story? What are the possible
      consequences, and are there any examples that turned out well? (I started
      this post in annoyance, but now realize it could turn into a good discussion
      of adapted film and literature. I hope so.)

      And will anyone be seeing this Beowulf? I was sure I would, but now I doubt.
      I may still, just to see what happens, but I now have much lower
      expectations.

      Cole Matson


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    • aveeris523@aol.com
      ... appropriate. ************************************** Check out AOL s list of 2007 s hottest products.
      Message 108 of 108 , Dec 7, 2007
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        In a message dated 12/7/07 9:41:39 AM, dbratman@... writes:


        >
        > Very much the opposite opinion here. I don't recall anything harmful being
        > done to the text, but the image was definitely a problem. Tolkien says she was
        > "beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful." The only word in this
        > that Jackson seems to have followed was "terrible" - and he seems to be using
        > it in the sense of "scary and terrifying," rather than "eliciting awe" which
        > is what Tolkien presumably meant.
        >
        > Good point David! Beautiful and Terrible like an angel would have been more
        appropriate.




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