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Re: [mythsoc] LOTR Unfilmable - Carpenter

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  • James P. Robinson III
    As the clock struck 05:29 PM 8/15/2000 -0400, Stolzi@aol.com took pen in ... Why would anyone think this a surprising opinion?? ... --
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 15 8:47 AM
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      As the clock struck 05:29 PM 8/15/2000 -0400, Stolzi@... took pen in
      hand and wrote:
      >Lifted from a JRRT Website:
      >
      >"Last Friday morning (11 August) Kim Hill of Radio New Zealand interviewed
      >Humphrey Carpenter, the biographer of J.R.R. Tolkien. The interview was on
      >the subject of Humphrey Carpenter's latest work, a biography of playwright
      >Dennis Potter, but towards the end of the interview Ms Hill asked Carpenter
      >what he thought Tolkien's reaction would have been to "The Lord of the Rings"
      >being filmed.
      >Carpenter's response was interesting. He said that he had known JRRT fairly
      >briefly (unlike Potter, whom he never met), and that he (Carpenter) had
      >staged a production of "The Hobbit". JRRT's reaction to this production was
      >that he considered his works to be unstageable; he simply didn't feel that
      >they could be successfully translated to a dramatic form. Although he had
      >sold the film rights long before this took place, he had no real expectation
      >that "The Lord of the Rings" could be successfully filmed.
      >
      >Carpenter himself made the rather startling remark that he thinks that "The
      >Lord of the Rings" is unfilmable. He certainly startled Kim Hill, who laughed
      >and said as if reading a headline, "Humprey Carpenter says 'Lord of the
      >Rings' unfilmable!".

      Why would anyone think this a surprising opinion??


      >He said that, while Volumes I and II are very good, he
      >feels that Volume III is rather wordy and has language that is almost
      >biblical. One got the impression that, while Humphrey Carpenter considers
      >"The Lord of the Rings" a very good book, he doesn't necessarily consider it
      >one of the great works of the 20th century. This is, however, only my
      >impression of a rather brief and "off-topic" portion of the interview. And he
      >did say that he intends to go to the films."
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

      --
      =================================================
      James P. Robinson III jprobins@...

      All original material contained herein is copyright and property of the
      author. It may be quoted only in discussions on this forum and with
      an attribution to the author, unless permission is otherwise expressly
      given in writing.
      =================================================
    • Stolzi@aol.com
      Lifted from a JRRT Website: Last Friday morning (11 August) Kim Hill of Radio New Zealand interviewed Humphrey Carpenter, the biographer of J.R.R. Tolkien.
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 15 2:29 PM
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        Lifted from a JRRT Website:

        "Last Friday morning (11 August) Kim Hill of Radio New Zealand interviewed
        Humphrey Carpenter, the biographer of J.R.R. Tolkien. The interview was on
        the subject of Humphrey Carpenter's latest work, a biography of playwright
        Dennis Potter, but towards the end of the interview Ms Hill asked Carpenter
        what he thought Tolkien's reaction would have been to "The Lord of the Rings"
        being filmed.
        Carpenter's response was interesting. He said that he had known JRRT fairly
        briefly (unlike Potter, whom he never met), and that he (Carpenter) had
        staged a production of "The Hobbit". JRRT's reaction to this production was
        that he considered his works to be unstageable; he simply didn't feel that
        they could be successfully translated to a dramatic form. Although he had
        sold the film rights long before this took place, he had no real expectation
        that "The Lord of the Rings" could be successfully filmed.

        Carpenter himself made the rather startling remark that he thinks that "The
        Lord of the Rings" is unfilmable. He certainly startled Kim Hill, who laughed
        and said as if reading a headline, "Humprey Carpenter says 'Lord of the
        Rings' unfilmable!". He said that, while Volumes I and II are very good, he
        feels that Volume III is rather wordy and has language that is almost
        biblical. One got the impression that, while Humphrey Carpenter considers
        "The Lord of the Rings" a very good book, he doesn't necessarily consider it
        one of the great works of the 20th century. This is, however, only my
        impression of a rather brief and "off-topic" portion of the interview. And he
        did say that he intends to go to the films."
      • Stolzi@aol.com
        In a message dated 8/15/00 5:09:34 PM Central Daylight Time, ... Well, in our iniquitous and film-soaked generation, many people think everything and anything
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 15 5:53 PM
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          In a message dated 8/15/00 5:09:34 PM Central Daylight Time,
          jprobins@... writes:

          > >Carpenter himself made the rather startling remark that he thinks that "The
          > >Lord of the Rings" is unfilmable. He certainly startled Kim Hill, who
          > laughed
          > >and said as if reading a headline, "Humprey Carpenter says 'Lord of the
          > >Rings' unfilmable!".
          >
          > Why would anyone think this a surprising opinion??

          Well, in our iniquitous and film-soaked generation, many people think
          everything and anything is filmable. Book-soaked people like me and thee may
          think otherwise (I have a friend who refuses to see ANY Austen adaptations,
          even those recommended to her).

          I figure that I'll probably go and see at least the first film. Part of me
          will be delighted by the visualization and realization of some scenes and
          characters which my rather weak visual imagination has not been up to
          creating in such convincing depth - while I'll reject other bits and pieces
          which are just too opposite to my own idea to be accepted.

          The other part of me will mourn and refuse to be comforted for the parts
          absent, the differences in emphasis, the things I feel just plain =wrong=.

          Can't think of a single film I've ever thought "as good as the book" except
          for a few films which were =better= than the rather bad books they used as a
          basis and jumping-off point.

          Mary S
        • Sophie Masson
          I think RoaldDahl is the only author I can think of whose books were improved by being filmed--esp Matilda, which was a truly wonderful film, and a rather
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 15 6:04 PM
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            I think RoaldDahl is the only author I can think of whose books were
            improved by being filmed--esp Matilda, which was a truly wonderful film, and
            a rather sketchy book!
            Sophie
            Author site:
            http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Stolzi@... <Stolzi@...>
            To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
            Date: Wednesday, 16 August 2000 10:51
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] LOTR Unfilmable - Carpenter


            >In a message dated 8/15/00 5:09:34 PM Central Daylight Time,
            >jprobins@... writes:
            >
            >> >Carpenter himself made the rather startling remark that he thinks that
            "The
            >> >Lord of the Rings" is unfilmable. He certainly startled Kim Hill, who
            >> laughed
            >> >and said as if reading a headline, "Humprey Carpenter says 'Lord of the
            >> >Rings' unfilmable!".
            >>
            >> Why would anyone think this a surprising opinion??
            >
            >Well, in our iniquitous and film-soaked generation, many people think
            >everything and anything is filmable. Book-soaked people like me and thee
            may
            >think otherwise (I have a friend who refuses to see ANY Austen adaptations,
            >even those recommended to her).
            >
            >I figure that I'll probably go and see at least the first film. Part of me
            >will be delighted by the visualization and realization of some scenes and
            >characters which my rather weak visual imagination has not been up to
            >creating in such convincing depth - while I'll reject other bits and pieces
            >which are just too opposite to my own idea to be accepted.
            >
            >The other part of me will mourn and refuse to be comforted for the parts
            >absent, the differences in emphasis, the things I feel just plain =wrong=.
            >
            >Can't think of a single film I've ever thought "as good as the book" except
            >for a few films which were =better= than the rather bad books they used as
            a
            >basis and jumping-off point.
            >
            >Mary S
            >
            >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            >
          • Matthew Winslow
            ... Hear, hear! But that having been said, I can t wait for the films to come out . My attitude is that they are /not/ going to be the books and I don t
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 16 7:38 AM
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              Stolzi@... [Stolzi@...] wrote:
              > Well, in our iniquitous and film-soaked generation, many people think
              > everything and anything is filmable.

              Hear, hear!

              But that having been said, I can't wait for the films to come out <g>. My
              attitude is that they are /not/ going to be the books and I don't expect them
              in any way to be like the books. So wherever they /are/ like the books, I'll
              be happily pleased. What I'm going to look for is a coherent story well-told
              within the film medium, regardless of how much better I may think JRRT's
              actual novels are. Of course, I'm not a film buff at all, and actually find
              most movies boring, dull, and trite. I guess that's why I'm a book buff
              instead.

              Speaking of LOTR, I've been trying for years to get my wife to read the books
              to no avail. She doesn't mind fantasy -- actually greatly enjoys some fantasy
              books -- but she's never had a desire to read the book(s). Ever since we were
              first married, I've read to her for about 30 minutes each evening. We just
              finished a book, and I suggested LOTR, and to my surprise, she agreed! We're
              in the middle of chapter 2 now (Gollum has just gone under the mountains) and
              she's loving it. Oh happy day! <g>

              Sorry, but thought I'd gush a bit to a group that'd appreciate it.

              --
              Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
              "Be careful. You know what he's like after a few novels."
              --M. Python
              Currently reading: Elsewhere, Vol. II, ed by Terri Windling and Mark Alan Arnold
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