Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [mythsoc] The voice of Aslan

Expand Messages
  • Kathleen Lamantia
    Thank you for your thoughts, Jason. I fear in my hasty post, I did not make myself clear (and I included a lot of typos.) I was trying to ask the question,
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 22, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Thank you for your thoughts, Jason. 
       
      I fear in my hasty post, I did not make myself clear (and I included a lot of typos.)  I was trying to ask the question, not state an answer.  Therefore your reply and Dale Nelson's later in this thread, were the sorts of opinions I was wanting to discover.
       
      This was also Dorothy Sayers' contention in the article to which I referred - that the beliefs of the actor did not impact the performance, and she preferred the trained actor to the devout amateur.
       
      I was trying to avoid controversy, not create it, as, generally speaking, it is not helpful. 
       
      Sincerely,
      Kathleen

       


      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      From: visualweasel@...
      Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2010 08:11:55 -0800
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The voice of Aslan

       
      > I had concerns about something like this when I first read that Liam Neeson
      > had been chosen to be the voice of Aslan. Can a "non-believer" as I think he
      > was at the time, [and I don't know what he believes now] give a perfomance
      > infused with the true essence of Aslan?
       
      Of course he could. It's called acting for a reason. What Neeson believes personally shouldn't enter into his performance in any substantive way, not if he is doing his job. Even to entertain the idea that the roles of believers should be played only by actual believers ... I find this very troubling. We might as well say that only an actual talking lion could play Aslan. But of course, no actual lion can talk -- and an actual lion might eat his castmates, which would be inconvenient. I mean, when you get right down to it, acting is make-believe. The idea is to be convincing, sure, but it's still just make-believe. I don't think it should make any difference whether a devout Christian belief -- along with accent, personality, and lionness -- is one of the things the actor is making believe.


    • Darrell A. Martin
      Greetings: First, I agree that Aslan is not an allegory. That is, there is no intended close point-by-point parallel between him and Christ. One obvious
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 22, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        Greetings:

        First, I agree that Aslan is not an allegory. That is, there is no
        intended close point-by-point parallel between him and Christ. One
        obvious example is that Jesus was incarnate, as a man; Aslan simply
        appears, as an animal.

        Second, the fundamental nature of Aslan is who he is, not just what he
        has to say. He is the son of the Emperor Over Sea, not merely the most
        fearsome and admirable animal in Narnia. To a Moslem it might be the
        difference between a portrayal of Allah and one of Mohammed. I say
        "might" because I cannot speak for them, but I imagine they would be
        rather annoyed in either case.

        Third, I believe the original author's intentions, where they can be
        discerned, are a crucial component of any work. Consider Tolkien's
        reaction to some of the more enthusiastic elements of Middle-earth fandom.

        Lastly, I am not particularly troubled by an overt unbeliever playing a
        dramatic role in a work that features (or should feature) a Christian
        theme. It is all pretense anyway. *How* he plays the role is a different
        matter. The biggest problem I have with Liam Neeson's comments is that
        they may be fairly taken as representative of the point of view that
        will be seen in the film, absent objections from the producer and
        director or contrary opinions from other actors in the film who might be
        sent out to promote it.

        Darrell
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... Consider too the reaction of many of us to the liberties Peter Jackson took with Tolkien s themes, emphases (or lack thereof), and characterizations in the
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 22, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          On Dec 22, 2010, at 2:36 PM, Darrell A. Martin wrote:

          > Third, I believe the original author's intentions, where they can be
          > discerned, are a crucial component of any work. Consider Tolkien's
          > reaction to some of the more enthusiastic elements of Middle-earth fandom.

          Consider too the reaction of many of us to the liberties Peter Jackson took with Tolkien's themes, emphases (or lack thereof), and characterizations in the m*vies.

          Carl
        • lynnmaudlin
          Yup - actors are actors and a good one can play a part ENTIRELY at odds with who he/she actually happens to be. I haven t been thrilled with Neeson s Aslan
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 22, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            Yup - actors are actors and a good one can play a part ENTIRELY at odds with who he/she actually happens to be.

            I haven't been thrilled with Neeson's Aslan performances (and I'm a fan of his work, fwiw) - Diana Glyer mentioned listening to Patrick Stewart's Narnia recording (Last Battle, I think?) and THAT is the voice casting that would have been much better!!

            But I'm more bothered by the thing that won't change, in all this: our culture's superficial focus on the actors and their opinions rather than the reality of the source material. I guess that's too much effort for most folks; films are easy - pay a ticket, sit back and watch.

            -- Lynn --



            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
            >
            > > I had concerns about something like this when I first read that Liam Neeson
            > > had been chosen to be the voice of Aslan. Can a "non-believer" as I think he
            > > was at the time, [and I don't know what he believes now] give a perfomance
            > > infused with the true essence of Aslan?
            >
            > Of course he could. It's called acting for a reason. What Neeson believes
            > personally shouldn't enter into his performance in any substantive way, not if
            > he is doing his job. Even to entertain the idea that the roles of believers
            > should be played only by actual believers ... I find this very troubling. We
            > might as well say that only an actual talking lion could play Aslan. But of
            > course, no actual lion can talk -- and an actual lion might eat his castmates,
            > which would be inconvenient. I mean, when you get right down to it, acting is
            > make-believe. The idea is to be convincing, sure, but it's still just
            > make-believe. I don't think it should make any difference whether a devout
            > Christian belief -- along with accent, personality, and lionness -- is one of
            > the things the actor is making believe.
            >
          • lynnmaudlin
            yes, God uses all things (which isn t to say that all things are as He desires them to be; He takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, for example,
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 22, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              yes, God uses all things (which isn't to say that all things are as He desires them to be; He takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, for example, and would prefer they repent and NOT be wicked) to advance His purpose.

              I spent enough time on the edges of the Christian music industry as well as the secular music industry to know there's not much difference... in fact, I've seen more rip-offs happen in the name of Christ :( that's a very sad thing indeed.

              -- Lynn --


              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, dale nelson <extollager2006@...> wrote:
              >
              > I haven't been able to verify the anecdote, but I believe that Luther offered
              > this thought experiment: if the devil himself preached a true Gospel sermon, the
              > Word thus preached would be efficacious according to God's will -- even in spite
              > of the evil one's wishes. For what Luther's opinion may be worth, I don't
              > think he would be too worried about the personal beliefs or unbelief of an actor
              > in an entertainment such as this, any more than he would be worried about
              > whether the construction crew rearing a church building was composed of faithful
              > Christians.
              >
              >
              > Parents of children who are fans of the Narnian movies might respond that they
              > regret it when, in publicity related to the movies, members of the crew make
              > statements that might confuse kids. That's a separate issue. It really belongs
              > to a discussion that the parents need to have with their kids about the whole
              > publicity business.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ________________________________
              > From: Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...>
              > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Wed, December 22, 2010 10:11:55 AM
              > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The voice of Aslan
              >
              >
              > > I had concerns about something like this when I first read that Liam Neeson
              > > had been chosen to be the voice of Aslan. Can a "non-believer" as I think he
              > > was at the time, [and I don't know what he believes now] give a perfomance
              > > infused with the true essence of Aslan?
              >
              > Of course he could. It's called acting for a reason. What Neeson believes
              > personally shouldn't enter into his performance in any substantive way, not if
              > he is doing his job. Even to entertain the idea that the roles of believers
              > should be played only by actual believers ... I find this very troubling. We
              > might as well say that only an actual talking lion could play Aslan. But of
              > course, no actual lion can talk -- and an actual lion might eat his castmates,
              > which would be inconvenient. I mean, when you get right down to it, acting is
              > make-believe. The idea is to be convincing, sure, but it's still just
              > make-believe. I don't think it should make any difference whether a devout
              > Christian belief -- along with accent, personality, and lionness -- is one of
              > the things the actor is making believe.
              >
            • David Emerson
              ... I would ve said James Earl Jones, but maybe he s been overused for that kind of thing. ... Right. It s always disturbed me that media-oriented SF cons
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 22, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                -----Original Message-----
                >From: lynnmaudlin <lynnmaudlin@...>
                >
                >I haven't been thrilled with Neeson's Aslan performances (and I'm a fan of his work, fwiw) - Diana Glyer mentioned listening to Patrick Stewart's Narnia recording (Last Battle, I think?) and THAT is the voice casting that would have been much better!!

                I would've said James Earl Jones, but maybe he's been overused for that kind of thing.

                >But I'm more bothered by the thing that won't change, in all this: our culture's superficial focus on the actors and their opinions rather than the reality of the source material.

                Right. It's always disturbed me that media-oriented SF cons make a big deal over TV/movie actors from SF shows, as if the fans are confused enough to be unable to distinguish between actor and character. But then I started out in "traditional" SF fandom, where the emphasis is on *writers*, so maybe I'm biased. (Naw...)

                emerdavid

                ________________________________________
                PeoplePC Online
                A better way to Internet
                http://www.peoplepc.com
              • lynnmaudlin
                If it was purely the voice, James Earl Jones would be brilliant. But we have to take into consideration the associations with the voice and, in this case, I
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 22, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  If it was purely the voice, James Earl Jones would be brilliant. But we have to take into consideration the associations with the voice and, in this case, I don't think it would be wise to have Darth Vader give voice to Aslan... eeeek!! ;D

                  -- Lynn --


                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson <emerdavid@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > >From: lynnmaudlin <lynnmaudlin@...>
                  > >
                  > >I haven't been thrilled with Neeson's Aslan performances (and I'm a fan of his work, fwiw) - Diana Glyer mentioned listening to Patrick Stewart's Narnia recording (Last Battle, I think?) and THAT is the voice casting that would have been much better!!
                  >
                  > I would've said James Earl Jones, but maybe he's been overused for that kind of thing.
                  >
                  > >But I'm more bothered by the thing that won't change, in all this: our culture's superficial focus on the actors and their opinions rather than the reality of the source material.
                  >
                  > Right. It's always disturbed me that media-oriented SF cons make a big deal over TV/movie actors from SF shows, as if the fans are confused enough to be unable to distinguish between actor and character. But then I started out in "traditional" SF fandom, where the emphasis is on *writers*, so maybe I'm biased. (Naw...)
                  >
                  > emerdavid
                  >
                  > ________________________________________
                  > PeoplePC Online
                  > A better way to Internet
                  > http://www.peoplepc.com
                  >
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.