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LOTR and all that

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    Well, what do you think the sermon started out with at our son s Episcopal church today? The Lewis - Tolkien conversation about truth and myth which led up to
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 23, 2001
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      Well, what do you think the sermon started out with at our son's Episcopal
      church today?

      The Lewis - Tolkien conversation about truth and myth which led up to Lewis'
      conversion, that's what, and it rapidly went on to the fact that the preacher
      had seen LOTR this past week! In fact the whole subject was, more or less,
      Story and its significance.

      We went with our two sons this evening - I had mixed feelings, but I liked
      just about all the settings except Lothlorien and all the actors except
      Galadriel. The Balrog was perfect. Many other things were good. McKellen
      is outstanding. I agree with those who've criticized the rush from one
      incident to another, and the general dark tone of most of the scenes.

      It is a delight, I might add, to see actors able to deliver such high and
      serious and noble thoughts without irony, to see an actor who can kiss
      another man's forehead in goodbye without making the audience squirm or
      giggle. No, the lines aren't Tolkien's most magniloquent style, but neither
      (in most cases) are they cheap, vulgarized modernity.

      Diamond Proudbrook
    • Ted Sherman
      From: To: Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2001 8:41 PM Subject: [mythsoc] LOTR and all that ... McKellen ... We finally
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 23, 2001
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        From: <Stolzi@...>
        To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2001 8:41 PM
        Subject: [mythsoc] LOTR and all that


        > We went with our two sons this evening - I had mixed feelings, but I liked
        > just about all the settings except Lothlorien and all the actors except
        > Galadriel. The Balrog was perfect. Many other things were good.
        McKellen
        > is outstanding. I agree with those who've criticized the rush from one
        > incident to another, and the general dark tone of most of the scenes.

        We finally saw it tonight. I agree that McKellen is perfect, though I still
        hear Sir Michael Hordern's voice (from the BBC radio series) when I read the
        books). Sean Bean also was an excellent Boromir, and Viggo Mortensen was
        good as Aragorn. Perhaps it's me, but I think Elijah Wood just looks too
        young for the part, as do the other hobbits (though I like Sean Astin's
        Sam).

        The setting for Lothlorien was horrible--it's supposed to be the Golden
        Wood, not the Drab Wood. Cate Blanchett makes a good Galadriel, but the
        script changes her character so that Galadriel is not a reasurring and
        encouraging aid on the quest. And I simply hated how they left Gimli's last
        words about Galadriel being those about the "elf witch." Indeed, Gimli was
        thoroughly unlikeable. Legolas was good--much better than I had expected
        from the trailers and stills. Hugo Weaving has a great voice, but I didn't
        really care for him as Elrond.

        This was a very good action flick, but it is not the Fellowship of the Ring.
        The story could have been better communicated with additional plot
        devlopment and characterization if Jackson et al. had skimped on more of the
        material incidental to the tale, such as the creation/breeding of the Uruks,
        the deforestation of Isengard, etc.

        I had hoped to leave feeling, "I can't wait to see the second film," but I
        don't feel that way. I can wait. I'll probably see the second, just to see
        it, but I have no burning desire to. And I seriously doubt that this
        adaptation of the first volume will make people who don't want to wait to
        see how the whole story ends go out and buy the books. I just don't think it
        is that stirring.

        Sigh.

        Ted

        ------------------------------
        Dr. Theodore J. Sherman, Editor
        Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and
        Mythopoeic Literature
        Associate Professor of English
        Box X041, Middle Tennessee State University
        Murfreesboro, TN 37132
        615 898-2653 Office
        615 898-5098 FAX
        tsherman@... Office
        tedsherman@... Home
      • E. Barthold
        Hello all, I m relatively new to this list, I enjoy the discussions here but don t post as I generally feel that I haven t got much worthwhile to say. I am,
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 23, 2001
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          Hello all,

          I'm relatively new to this list, I enjoy the discussions here but
          don't post as I generally feel that I haven't got much worthwhile to
          say. I am, however, called to respond to this. :)

          I have never been a great fan of Tolkien's fiction, many years ago I
          attempted to read The Hobbit and failed miserably and have never
          since returned to his work. Until now. With the advent of the movie,
          I felt the need to read the Lord of the Rings before going to see the
          film. There was no way I was going to miss the movie, you see. I may
          not have been able to read Tolkien, but I am aware of how legendary
          his work has become and I felt that it was time to try again. If it
          weren't for the movie, I may have happily gone on without ever
          reading a single word of any of the books, so for those of you who
          are true Tolkien buffs and scholars, there is hope that the movie
          will draw people to the literature, as it did for me. Alas, I did not
          finish the book before seeing the movie, I did not even get to the
          part where the movie ends. I was not disappointed in the movie as a
          whole, but it certainly made me want to do nothing else but finish
          the book, and all of the rest as well. I wish I could hold back
          Christmas until I was done, but it can not be. :)

          So, let my one wee voice assure you that the movie has its merits,
          and I am deeply grateful that it was made, or I may never have opened
          this book onto such a wonderful adventure. And I am finding it
          wonderful indeed.

          Erzebet


          >And I seriously doubt that this
          >adaptation of the first volume will make people who don't want to wait to
          >see how the whole story ends go out and buy the books. I just don't think it
          >is that stirring.
          >
          >Sigh.
          >
          >Ted
        • Stolzi@aol.com
          The movie failed the Overnight Test. I awoke neither thinking of it, nor possessed by any of its words or images. This is how I usually rate an exceptionally
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 24, 2001
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            The movie failed the Overnight Test. I awoke neither thinking of it, nor
            possessed by any of its words or images. This is how I usually rate an
            exceptionally powerful movie, or sometimes, a book.

            I think the part I disliked most was the sequence where we had the unlikely
            encounter in the tall maize fields (Farmer Maggot grew maize!?) of the four
            hobbits, immediately followed (or preceded, I forget) by a slam-wham-endless
            wizards' battle.

            Some more parts I liked included Boromir's death, and the exactly-right look
            of Strider, alone there in the corner at the inn. And the marvelous detail
            of the inside of Bag End. The sword-fighters, and Legolas' wonderful
            swiftness and force with the bow - this last impressed all of us.

            Those elven-cloaks weren't particularly magical-looking, were they? Just
            like ordinary, loose-weave, green woolen fabric.

            It's irritating how the movies always have to =overdo= everything. A man
            can't fight five orcs, it has to be seventeen or more. The orcs can't be
            just short, swart, evil-looking Hun types, but full-out monsters. Pippin at
            the inn doesn't just unwisely mention Bilbo and his birthday, no, he says
            flat out who he is traveling with. And many other such instances.

            Diamond Proudbrook
          • Stolzi@aol.com
            Boromir s horn. Awful. I wasn t expecting it and honestly thought an alarm of some kind had gone off in the theatre, back over my shoulder. Blaaatt! Diamond
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 25, 2001
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              Boromir's horn. Awful. I wasn't expecting it and honestly thought an alarm
              of some kind had gone off in the theatre, back over my shoulder.

              Blaaatt!

              Diamond Proudbrook
            • David J. Finnamore
              ... Wow. Mary, you and I are on exactly the same wavelength (except that you put it better than I would have). My wife, who has only read LotR once, about a
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 26, 2001
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                Diamond Proudbrook wrote (of FotR movie):

                > I had mixed feelings, but I liked
                > just about all the settings except Lothlorien and all the actors except
                > Galadriel. The Balrog was perfect. Many other things were good. McKellen
                > is outstanding. I agree with those who've criticized the rush from one
                > incident to another, and the general dark tone of most of the scenes.
                >
                > It is a delight, I might add, to see actors able to deliver such high and
                > serious and noble thoughts without irony, to see an actor who can kiss
                > another man's forehead in goodbye without making the audience squirm or
                > giggle. No, the lines aren't Tolkien's most magniloquent style, but neither
                > (in most cases) are they cheap, vulgarized modernity.

                Wow. Mary, you and I are on exactly the same wavelength (except that you put it better than I would have). My wife, who has only read LotR once, about a decade ago, did not notice the "rush" from scene to scene in the movie. Neither did our two friends who had never read the books. I wonder whether it might be only that we know and love the story well enough to miss Tolkien's patient pacing? I think that shows how well Jackson succeeded in drawing us in and making it believable.

                --
                David J. Finnamore
                Nashville, TN, USA
                http://www.elvenminstrel.com
                --
                "Mr. Bilbo has learned him his letters--meaning no harm, mark you, and I hope no harm will come of it." - the Gaffer
              • jamcconney@aol.com
                In a message dated 12/26/2001 1:05:01 PM Central Standard Time, ... In the past few days I have been re-reading LOTR beginning to end--and have realized that
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 26, 2001
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                  In a message dated 12/26/2001 1:05:01 PM Central Standard Time,
                  daeron@... writes:


                  > . I wonder whether it might be only that we know and love the story well
                  > enough to miss Tolkien's patient pacing?

                  In the past few days I have been re-reading LOTR beginning to end--and have
                  realized that it's about 30 years since I've done so. Oh, I've revisited
                  favorite scenes and passages and chapters many times, but I haven't done a
                  real page 1 to page 1100+ for at least that length of time.

                  The whole enterprise has been a real, and enriching, eye-opener, in that
                  (gee, I DID learn some things in those 30 years!) I find myself noticing
                  things I hadn't noticed before, bringing skills I didn't have back then,
                  changing opinions I thought were unchanging. One of the things I've noticed,
                  perhaps because some of the comments that have been made on the film, is how
                  fast-paced the book is.

                  Tolkien (wisely) gives us a poem or a song or a description now and then as a
                  breather, which is what I suppose is what you mean by 'patient pacing.'
                  Actually I would consider the pacing of the book to be exactly right. It's
                  fast, the story is relentless (I challenge anyone to find a scene that isn't
                  about peril or the fear/preparation for peril). I've read books where the
                  pacing was TOO fast, where I felt pulled along to see what happened next and
                  how it all came out. JRRT never falls into that trap, never seems to forget
                  that the pleasure of reading is in being able to savor the characters, the
                  milieu, the story.

                  That said, however, I would have to say that LOTR is not nearly as slowly
                  paced as I might have remembered it.

                  Jamaq


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                • Stolzi@aol.com
                  Was reading reviews and discussion at http://www.lordoftheringsmovie.com. The best thread perhaps is one started by Frodoze 12-22 called Trade-offs, where
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 27, 2001
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                    Was reading reviews and discussion at http://www.lordoftheringsmovie.com

                    The best thread perhaps is one started by "Frodoze" 12-22 called
                    "Trade-offs," where you get to imagine better ways of making the film and
                    still coming in under the time limits.

                    They have come up with a term which is probably going to be quite current, as
                    it easily expresses the concept of "viewers of the movie who haven't read the
                    book." It works as a term, but I think JRRT would have =hated= it: "Tolkien
                    virgin."

                    Linked over to a contest for captions to some (poor) cartoons of the movie;
                    most captions were quite lame too. A cartoon of Frodo looking into the
                    mirror made me laugh though with =this= submission:

                    "Nothing yet... the download time on this thing is unbelievable!"

                    Diamond Proudbrook
                  • Trudy Shaw
                    ... From: Stolzi@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2001 2:49 PM Subject: [mythsoc] LOTR and all that ... it easily expresses the
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 27, 2001
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Stolzi@...
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2001 2:49 PM
                      Subject: [mythsoc] LOTR and all that


                      >Was reading reviews and discussion at http://www.lordoftheringsmovie.com

                      >They have come up with a term which is probably going to be quite current, as
                      it easily expresses the concept of "viewers of the movie who haven't read the
                      book." It works as a term, but I think JRRT would have =hated= it: "Tolkien
                      virgin."


                      "Tolkien virgin" has been around for years as a label for people who are reading Tolkien (or, more specifically, LotR) for the first time. I think it's been discussed a bit as to whether someone who's seen the movie but hasn't read the book is still a Tolkien virgin. It may have some unfortunate connotations (although there are other "cults" who use it for less life-changing events--you should have been there when the first Krispy Kreme doughnut shop opened in Omaha and my neighbor from Louisville took me there for my "first time"), but I think the main sentiment is "there's no going back," or "you're changed forever," which is valid, I'd say (for Tolkien, that is, not for Krispy Kreme doughnuts [sorry, Brandon]).

                      I thought the "trade-off" idea was clever, too, although, of course, if you put everything together that everyone wanted to trade for, the movie would probably be at least twice as long. (That's one of the threads I looked in on when it started, then stayed away because I knew it could become a "black hole" sucking in my time if I wasn't careful.)

                      --Trudy


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                    • WendellWag@aol.com
                      In a message dated 12/27/2001 5:22:58 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... I think the most famous use of the term virgin for someone who s experience a particular
                      Message 10 of 11 , Dec 30, 2001
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                        In a message dated 12/27/2001 5:22:58 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                        tgshaw@... writes:


                        > "Tolkien virgin" has been around for years as a label for people who are
                        >

                        I think the most famous use of the term "virgin" for someone who's experience
                        a particular cultural item for the first time is among regulars at midnight
                        screenings of _The Rocky Horror Picture Show_, where a first-time viewer is
                        called a virgin.

                        Wendell Wagner


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • WendellWag@aol.com
                        O.K., I didn t screw up that quoting of Trudy s message. That s a problem with the software. I am responsible, I admit, for putting who s instead of
                        Message 11 of 11 , Dec 30, 2001
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                          O.K., I didn't screw up that quoting of Trudy's message. That's a problem
                          with the software. I am responsible, I admit, for putting "who's" instead of
                          "whose".

                          Wendell Wagner


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