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Criticism of the film, I mean book

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  • David S Bratman
    I recall postulating a couple times that one bad effect of Jackson s LOTR film on Tolkien s book is that people will tend to confuse and conflate the two,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 29, 2002
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      I recall postulating a couple times that one bad effect of Jackson's LOTR
      film on Tolkien's book is that people will tend to confuse and conflate the
      two, criticizing the latter for the former's mistakes. This thesis seemed
      to puzzle some on this list, but the problem was brought forcefully to me
      on a panel at the 2002 World Science Fiction Convention, whose topic was
      Tolkien's book, but which featured a panelist who admitted never having
      finished the book, but was ready to denounce it vehemently for plot
      problems she noticed in the first film - every one of which was not a
      problem in the book for one reason or another, but despite the protests of
      the rest of the panel, this panelist would not stop.

      Most of you were not at this panel, but the link below is to a web page
      that will show you the sort of thing I mean. This writer knows the book
      and the film are different, but is ready to toss them both in a hopper and
      criticize them as if they were interchangeable.

      My reply, lower down on the page, demonstrates another point I've tried to
      make that seems to have puzzled some: that, as a student of the book who
      wishes to discuss it, I am forced to become equally familiar with the
      film. Because if I wasn't, I wouldn't have known what this critic was
      talking about, and I wouldn't have been able to write a reply clearly
      distinguishing the film from the book. This is why I can't follow Susan's
      advice and ignore the film, any more than Theoden can ignore Saruman.

      But it still bothers me, for two reasons: first, LOTR is the novel I
      cherish most, while the film is just a good fantasy film, and I resent
      having to let this interloper take up valuable space in my mind and
      heart. Second, the better I know the film, the more vigilance I have to
      apply to keep from confusing them myself. I'd better go back to re-reading
      the book in full every year, something I haven't done in a long time.

      Here's the link:

      http://www.ufobreakfast.com/archive/00000211.htm

      - David Bratman
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