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Re: [mythsoc] Ruining the book

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  • David S. Bratman
    ... I m puzzled by your use of the word however here, because you d just finished quoting my specific disavowal of the very error you then go on to caution
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 25, 2002
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      At 07:54 AM 2/22/2002 , Jamaq wrote:

      >I'm hesitant to reply because I may not be understanding you properly--let me
      >know if I'm off-base. You say, "The comparison would not say whether this
      >un-evenness was meaningful, necessary, or wise, or better art." Within those
      >terms, I think your comparison might be very interesting and even valuable.
      >
      >I do think, however, that we have to avoid any idea that a film adaptation
      >can be or should be judged solely on how slavishly it reproduces the
      >original.

      I'm puzzled by your use of the word "however" here, because you'd just
      finished quoting my specific disavowal of the very error you then go on to
      caution me against.

      My intent is to compare the time allocation objectively, and then use my
      judgment to decide whether the changes worked or made sense.

      Your comments on film adaptation in your post are interesting, but there's
      a lot of fog surrounding this subject. I see an insufficient rigor in
      distinguishing between changes that are actually necessary because of the
      differences in the media, changes that are not necessary but are made to
      fit the director's or screenwriter's preferences (usually dignified as
      "expressing a vision"), and changes that are made purely out of guesswork
      or superstition about what will sell to movie audiences.

      I'm confident that the last category exists because of the screenwriter
      William Goldman's Law of Filmmaking, which reads "Nobody knows anything."
      Nobody knows what will be popular, nobody knows whether what was popular in
      one film will replicate its popularity if repeated in some other film.

      However, as you guess, my main interest is in analyzing what Jackson did
      first, and reach conclusions afterwards.


      >So I think your problem will be finding some way of establishing a consistent
      >ratio between the space/time of the book and the space/time of the film. I'm
      >not sure this is possible, but who am I to say? If you succeed, I for one
      >would be very interested in the result.

      That's an intellectually trivial problem, though it may be tiresome working
      it out. It will require judgment to tag the parts of the movie properly
      and decide exactly what chapters constitute "the book" it's being compared to.


      David Bratman
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