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Re: [mythsoc] Fungi and Vegetables

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  • James P. Robinson III
    While I think the carrots thing is indefensible, I believe Matt has made many excellent points. In fact, he explains in a nutshell why I never go to see movie
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 6, 2001
      While I think the carrots thing is indefensible, I believe Matt has made
      many excellent points. In fact, he explains in a nutshell why I never go
      to see movie made from books I enjoyed.

      Jim

      As the clock struck 08:05 AM 3/6/2001 -0800, Matthew S Winslow took pen in
      hand and wrote:
      >On Sun, 04 Mar 2001 14:46:04 -0600 "David J. Finnamore"
      ><daeron@...> writes:
      > > It seems arrogant and unnecessary to me for
      > > Jackson to presume to change such details.
      >
      >First, I must admit that I'm not too keen on the story being changed, but
      >when I see comments such as these, my first question is, 'have you seen
      >the movie yet?' I have worked on film scripts in the past and I know that
      >changes often have to be made to condense an author's story into the
      >correct time frame. Has anyone heard the BBC production of LOTR? It ran
      >for 13 episodes of over an hour each, and it had to condense the story
      >considerably. The LOTR movies are going to be /less than half/ this
      >length. How is Jackson going to get the LOTR into only 6 hours??? I
      >dunno. But I haven't seen the final product, nor has anyone else here, so
      >I think it might be best /not/ to judge the films before we see them.
      >Anyone who wants the film to reflect the books 'exactly' (whatever that
      >means: we're talking two diff't media here!) is very naive. For the time
      >being, I would like to think that Jackson has made some decisions that I
      >may not have, but that he's doing so in order to save the 'best' part of
      >the story.
      >
      >I /am/ concerned about carrots instead of mushrooms (although I much
      >prefer carrots -- love 'em, actually -- and despise mushrooms -- why
      >would anyone eat the same thing that can grow btwn your toes if you don't
      >wash enough? <g>); I'm concerned about 'Arwen, Warrior Princess'; I'm
      >concerned about a lot I read from the posts that Joan forwards. But I
      >don't think /any/ of us should judge until the actual movies come out.
      >Then, and only then, can we declare Jackson the anti-Christ (or
      >whatever).
      >
      >I guess what I'm ultimately trying to say is that books and film are two
      >diff't media (duh), and that in order to fit everything into /only/ six
      >hours, Jackson and the screenwriters had to make some decisions. They are
      >not Tolkien, nor do they have the incredible talent and acumen shown on
      >this list, so /of course/ they're going to make decisions we don't agree
      >with. But let's not get so arrogant as to know a priori /why/ those
      >changes were made.
      >
      >Although I'm still baffled about the carrots....
      >
      >Matt
      >
      >Currently Reading: The False House by James Stoddard
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      --
      =================================================
      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.
      =================================================
    • David S. Bratman
      ... As nobody has seen the movie yet, this is a disingenuous question. ... Indeed. But aside from being two letters shorter, how does carrots condense
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 6, 2001
        At 08:05 AM 3/6/2001 , Matt wrote:

        >"David J. Finnamore" writes:
        >> It seems arrogant and unnecessary to me for
        >> Jackson to presume to change such details.
        >
        >First, I must admit that I'm not too keen on the story being changed, but
        >when I see comments such as these, my first question is, 'have you seen
        >the movie yet?'

        As nobody has seen the movie yet, this is a disingenuous question.

        >I have worked on film scripts in the past and I know that
        >changes often have to be made to condense an author's story into the
        >correct time frame.

        Indeed. But aside from being two letters shorter, how does "carrots"
        condense "mushrooms"?

        >Has anyone heard the BBC production of LOTR? It ran
        >for 13 episodes of over an hour each, and it had to condense the story
        >considerably.

        Yes I have. Several times. It's a brilliant piece of work. It condenses
        without changing things wantonly or unnecessarily. So does Orson Scott
        Card's stage adaptation, which I've acted in. Other adaptations have
        failed to do this. Have you ever read the Zimmerman treatment of LOTR? (A
        copy was on display at Marquette during the 1999 Mythcon.) It's amazingly
        hideous, far worse even than it sounds judging from Tolkien's furious
        letter condemning it.

        In that letter, Tolkien wrote that if details are to be added to an already
        crowded world, they should at least fit the world described. Tolkien wrote
        mushrooms. He did not write carrots.

        >The LOTR movies are going to be /less than half/ this
        >length. How is Jackson going to get the LOTR into only 6 hours??? I
        >dunno. But I haven't seen the final product, nor has anyone else here, so
        >I think it might be best /not/ to judge the films before we see them.

        Nobody is judging the films. We are commenting on the information
        available to us so far, and doing so in appropriate terms. David Finnamore
        wrote "seems", which is the appropriate tone. Some of the pieces of
        information we've received may not even be true. We are not condemning the
        film, we are just expressing tentative opinions based on what we know, as a
        way of entertainingly passing the time while we wait for the film.

        To distribute these tidbits of information, and to expect people not to
        comment on what they think of them, would be inhuman.

        >Anyone who wants the film to reflect the books 'exactly' (whatever that
        >means: we're talking two diff't media here!) is very naive. For the time
        >being, I would like to think that Jackson has made some decisions that I
        >may not have, but that he's doing so in order to save the 'best' part of
        >the story.

        There are many condensation and adaptations decisions made in the BBC radio
        version that change the books greatly but do not misrepresent them. I'm
        thinking in particular of the decision to cut back and forth between the
        stories in Books 3-5, instead of presenting them nearly whole. I expect
        Jackson to make the same decision. This is something in which the nature
        of the media, books and films, do encourage differences.

        But what does any of this have to do with mushrooms v. carrots?

        >I /am/ concerned about carrots instead of mushrooms ... I'm
        >concerned about a lot I read from the posts that Joan forwards. But I
        >don't think /any/ of us should judge until the actual movies come out.
        >Then, and only then, can we declare Jackson the anti-Christ (or
        >whatever).

        Nobody that I know has condemned Jackson utterly. The most I would say is
        that if he does all of the bad things that I've read - and seen and heard
        with my own eyes and ears on the trailer - he will be making a film much
        less good than he could have, in ways completely unjustified by the needs
        of condensation and adaptation. So long as we reserve the right to be
        pleasantly surprised by the film when it appears, we are not being
        unreasonable.

        >I guess what I'm ultimately trying to say is that books and film are two
        >diff't media (duh), and that in order to fit everything into /only/ six
        >hours, Jackson and the screenwriters had to make some decisions.

        Some decisions are necessary for those purposes. Some are not.

        >They are
        >not Tolkien, nor do they have the incredible talent and acumen shown on
        >this list, so /of course/ they're going to make decisions we don't agree
        >with. But let's not get so arrogant as to know a priori /why/ those
        >changes were made.

        Did anybody say they did?

        David Bratman
      • David S. Bratman
        Another thought. ... It would be pretty silly to have told Tolkien he should not have condemned the Ackerman film plan based on the Zimmerman treatment (which
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 6, 2001
          Another thought.

          At 03:12 PM 3/6/2001 , I wrote:

          >Have you ever read the Zimmerman treatment of LOTR? (A
          >copy was on display at Marquette during the 1999 Mythcon.) It's amazingly
          >hideous, far worse even than it sounds judging from Tolkien's furious
          >letter condemning it.

          It would be pretty silly to have told Tolkien he should not have condemned
          the Ackerman film plan based on the Zimmerman treatment (which is a plot
          summary of a few thousand words, not even a film script), but that he must
          wait for the film to come out before he said anything.

          David Bratman
        • Bill
          Comes out of lurk mode to point out what may be, to me at least, a painfully obvious reason for the change: Lawsuits. A sad fact of life, but I can imagine
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 6, 2001
            Comes out of lurk mode to point out what may be, to me at least,
            a painfully obvious reason for the change:
            Lawsuits.
            A sad fact of life, but I can imagine someone saying
            "We better not use mushrooms. Someone's gonna sue us when
            little Tommy plays hobbit and eats a poison mushroom. Let's change
            it
            to..oh...I dunno..something healthy, like..umm..carrots!"
            <shrugs>
            ok...maybe it's a reach..

            Back to lurk mode........


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Trudy Shaw
            Hadn t thought of that. More likely than some of the other possible reasons, I d say. Wish I knew PJ and could ask him. Of course, til the movie comes out we
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 7, 2001
              Hadn't thought of that. More likely than some of the other possible reasons, I'd say. Wish I knew PJ and could ask him. Of course, 'til the movie comes out we won't know if the mushrooms have been completely supplanted (pun not intended, but I did notice it and typed it anyway).
              -- Trudy


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Bill
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 11:04 PM
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Fungi and Vegetables


              Comes out of lurk mode to point out what may be, to me at least,
              a painfully obvious reason for the change:
              Lawsuits.
              A sad fact of life, but I can imagine someone saying
              "We better not use mushrooms. Someone's gonna sue us when
              little Tommy plays hobbit and eats a poison mushroom. Let's change
              it
              to..oh...I dunno..something healthy, like..umm..carrots!"
              <shrugs>
              ok...maybe it's a reach..

              Back to lurk mode........


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • ERATRIANO@aol.com
              In a message dated 03/07/2001 12:09:47 AM Eastern Standard Time, lunacy@ici.net writes:
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 7, 2001
                In a message dated 03/07/2001 12:09:47 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                lunacy@... writes:

                << "We better not use mushrooms. Someone's gonna sue us when
                little Tommy plays hobbit and eats a poison mushroom. Let's change
                it
                to..oh...I dunno..something healthy, like..umm..carrots!" >>

                Yeah, I was just thinking psychedelic 'shrooms too, but still.... this is
                sacred! ggg

                Lizzie
              • David J. Finnamore
                At the risk of appearing to contradict myself, I d like to thank Matt Winslow for reminding me to be more cautious and gracious in my critical wording (I will
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 7, 2001
                  At the risk of appearing to contradict myself, I'd like to thank Matt Winslow for reminding me to be more cautious and gracious in my critical wording (I will likely need to be reminded again =>/ ), and thank David Bratman for answering Matt for me far better, on the whole, than I could have done myself.


                  David S. Bratman wrote:

                  > At 08:05 AM 3/6/2001 , Matt wrote:
                  >
                  > >"David J. Finnamore" writes:
                  > >> It seems arrogant and unnecessary to me for
                  > >> Jackson to presume to change such details.
                  > >
                  > >First, I must admit that I'm not too keen on the story being changed, but
                  > >when I see comments such as these, my first question is, 'have you seen
                  > >the movie yet?'
                  >
                  > As nobody has seen the movie yet, this is a disingenuous question.

                  Well, maybe not disingenuous if rhetorical, as I take it.


                  > Nobody is judging the films. We are commenting on the information
                  > available to us so far, and doing so in appropriate terms.

                  > We are not condemning the
                  > film, we are just expressing tentative opinions based on what we know, as a
                  > way of entertainingly passing the time while we wait for the film.

                  Quite right.


                  > >/of course/ they're going to make decisions we don't agree
                  > >with. But let's not get so arrogant as to know a priori /why/ those
                  > >changes were made.

                  That, I think, is a good point, Matt.

                  I find Bill <lunacy@...>'s suggestion about the lawsuit somewhat plausible. The only thing is, this film is aimed at adults and older children - too old to eat poison mushrooms because they saw them eaten in a film. Jackson said he had to edit down from R-rated (violent) material to be sure he could get a PG-13 rating. But these in days of the supreme rule of lawyers (nomarchy?), who knows?

                  --
                  David J. Finnamore, a.k.a. Not-Jackson
                  Nashville, TN, USA
                  http://personal.bna.bellsouth.net/bna/d/f/dfin/index.html
                  --
                • Christine Howlett
                  A stretch, but least an imaginative stretch. Enjoy the lurk. Christine ... From: Bill To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 7, 2001
                    A stretch, but least an imaginative stretch. Enjoy the lurk.
                    Christine

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Bill <lunacy@...>
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Wednesday, March 07, 2001 12:08 AM
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Fungi and Vegetables


                    > Comes out of lurk mode to point out what may be, to me at least,
                    > a painfully obvious reason for the change:
                    > Lawsuits.
                    > A sad fact of life, but I can imagine someone saying
                    > "We better not use mushrooms. Someone's gonna sue us when
                    > little Tommy plays hobbit and eats a poison mushroom. Let's change
                    > it
                    > to..oh...I dunno..something healthy, like..umm..carrots!"
                    > <shrugs>
                    > ok...maybe it's a reach..
                    >
                    > Back to lurk mode........
                    >
                    >
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