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Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien vs. Jackson as outsider artists - thrust and parry!

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  • Andrew Higgins
    Wendell Enjoying the thrust and parry on this discussion. Can I say that I enjoyed the films - I was brought up on the books and have tried to make a fairly
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22 8:36 AM

      Enjoying the thrust and parry on this discussion. Can I say that I enjoyed the films - I was brought up on the books and have tried to make a fairly heavy study of them and Tolkien's languages. I had lived through the awful Rankin Bass treatments ("where there is a whip there is away") and the Bakshi film (which had something to it - too bad he did not finish). When I was growing up we always used to play the game - what would a Lord of the Rings movie look like - who would play Gandalf, etc. So when the movies came I was nervous but after watching them several times (and more importantly the extended versions on DVD) I thought - right, he captured some part of the feelings, emotions, thoughts I felt when reading them. I work in the world of opera - and I am constantly confronted with audience members who are concerned (sometimes upset) that the production of Walkure, Boheme, Teseo, etc is not what they conceived the production has being (the
      current negative feelings of regie theatre and all) - and when I close my eyes and visualise Act 3 of Siegfried I have yet to see this accomplished in any of the productions I have seen. So while I enjoyed the movies I was not one hundred percent happy with the way the story, characters, etc were depicted in the films.

      I was not happy with Frodo telling Sam to go home on the Steps to Cirith Ungol, I was not happy with the exorcism of Saruman from Theoden - indeed the whole treatment of Saruman and I was triply not happy with the cutting of the Scourging of the Shire which I think sums up one of the key messages of the book (you can fight evil in foreign countries but it will be in your own backyard - yada yada). The Arwen storyline did not irk me as much (although Liv Tyler would not have been my first choice here).

      I can't comment on the use of language as I am still very much a novice in the study of these and leave it to esteemed Tolkien scholars like Carl H and Bill W to comment on this.

      I WAS happy with the overall look of the film, the sense of depth that was created by Alan Lee and John Howe and the love and care that did go into - so like any piece of art, performance work you can find good and bad things - and it makes for a bloody good (I'm in the UK) discussion all around to hear all sides on this.

      Interestingly, on the McKellan front - I believe that one one of the DVD interviews he made the comment Wendell alludes to because he knew that if it wasn't done that way (as in the book) there would be an army of Tolkien fans up in arms about it - kind of like in the recent Lord of the Rings musical (and that is certainly another post) when at the end Gandalf says "I am going to have tea with Tom Bombadill now" - I felt like someone said - oh, yeah we better mention him to keep the Tolkienists happy (of course after three hours of watching the noble race of Elves flitting about like second rate Cirque de Soliel types - I was not happy.

      My two pee for what its worth.

      Thanks, Andy

      Andrew Higgins
      andrew.higgins@... (W)

      "Alles ist nach seiner Art, an ihr wirst du nichts andern." Siegfried Act 2

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: "WendellWag@..." <WendellWag@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, 22 August, 2007 2:43:33 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien vs. Jackson as outsider artists

      In a message dated 8/22/2007 1:52:29 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      dougkane@protecting rights.net writes:

      Sir Ian McKellan insisted
      that they follow the text where it states that Sam takes Frodo's left hand.

      O.K., but note the following: This is McKellan insisting on the change, not
      Jackson. McKellan is actually a serious Tolkien fan, unlike Jackson, who
      had read the book just twice, once as a young man and once just before writing
      the script. This is also the sort of small decision about props or staging
      that's usually made right before filming. It's nice that McKellan was enough
      of a fan to remember this little detail, but it doesn't make up for the
      larger changes that were already in the script written by Jackson and his

      Wendell Wagner

      ************ ********* ********* ******** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
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