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What's your problem with the movie?

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  • spark654@aol.com
    In a message dated 12/30/02 8:05:59 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... What is the charge? I think it might clear up some misunderstandings if a one-sentence
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 30, 2002
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      In a message dated 12/30/02 8:05:59 AM Eastern Standard Time,
      mythsoc@yahoogroups.com writes:


      > >Please--I understand that when you cherish a book, then cinematic
      > deviations
      > >become desecrations,
      >
      > How many times do we have to explain that that's not the problem, that's
      > not the charge ...
      >

      What is the charge? I think it might clear up some misunderstandings if a
      one-sentence summation of each person's problem with the film were
      posted--not a definitive statement, but something solid, such as, "The movie
      diverted too much from the book, the actors didn't look like I imagined the
      character, and the inventions Jackson made to cut through the narrative
      complexities were silly." Because all of the ad-hoc interpretations are
      getting mystifying--all I can figure out is that some people are really
      hostile to the movie.

      Just an idea.

      Sparkdog


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • JP Massar
      ... I ll try. But it won t be one sentence. The basic charge is that the movie made gratuitous (note particularly this word, that is completely key here)
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 30, 2002
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        At 05:15 PM 12/30/02 -0500, you wrote:
        >In a message dated 12/30/02 8:05:59 AM Eastern Standard Time,
        >mythsoc@yahoogroups.com writes:
        >
        >
        > > >Please--I understand that when you cherish a book, then cinematic
        > > deviations
        > > >become desecrations,
        > >
        > > How many times do we have to explain that that's not the problem, that's
        > > not the charge ...
        > >
        >
        >What is the charge? I think it might clear up some misunderstandings if a
        >one-sentence summation of each person's problem with the film were
        >posted--not a definitive statement, but something solid, such as, "The movie
        >diverted too much from the book, the actors didn't look like I imagined the
        >character, and the inventions Jackson made to cut through the narrative
        >complexities were silly."


        I'll try. But it won't be one sentence.

        The basic charge is that the movie made gratuitous (note particularly this
        word,
        that is completely key here) changes to Tolkien's plot and/or Tolkien's
        characters.

        Changes were made that seem to have nothing to do with the constraints
        of either film run-time or the change from a written to a visual/audio medium,
        or even appeal to a mass-audience many of whom had never read the book.

        Explanations of these changes from the director / screenwriters, when
        forthcoming, do not seem very convincing. When the director and screenwriters
        state again and again that they tried to stay as true to Tolkien's story as
        they
        possibly could, such statements seem unconvincing in light of the reality.

        If the producers could spend literally tens of millions of dollars making
        realistic armor, inscribing Elvish on swords, creating an Edoras on a
        mountaintop from nothing, etc, etc -- seeming to REALLY, REALLY care
        about getting all the details just right -- why such an apparent lack of
        such care in the script?

        ----------

        Now whether the charge is true is subject to debate. Are the changes
        gratuitous? Which ones?

        Since everyone does not agree as to which changes were gratuitous, it would
        then seem plausible to make an argument that all the changes were justified,
        since even the 'fanatics' cannot agree amongst themselves which were reasonable
        changes and which weren't. I'm not sure I buy it, but it seems at least a
        plausible argument.

        My own opinion agrees with Mr. Bratman's, to the extent that I understand it
        (and I apologize in advantage if I am mis-paraphrasing here), when he says that
        it seems that with a really minor amount of adjustment the film could have
        stayed MUCH truer to Tolkien without in any way having harmed the constraints
        I listed above: film run-time, changing the medium, or appealing to a mass
        audience.
      • David S Bratman
        My one-sentence description of the first movie is the one that was quoted in the New York Times, of all places (12/24/01): I felt as if I were seeing two
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 31, 2002
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          My one-sentence description of the first movie is the one that was quoted
          in the New York Times, of all places (12/24/01): "I felt as if I were
          seeing two films at once: one in the visuals which was faithful and true to
          Tolkien; another in the script and in the general tone and style which was
          so unfaithful as to be a travesty." That's one sentence, but I doubt it
          would satisfy Sparkdog's curiosity. So, onward.


          At 03:50 PM 12/30/2002 -0800, JP Massar wrote:

          >The basic charge is that the movie made gratuitous (note particularly this
          >word, that is completely key here) changes to Tolkien's plot and/or
          >Tolkien's characters.
          >
          >Changes were made that seem to have nothing to do with the constraints
          >of either film run-time or the change from a written to a visual/audio medium,
          >or even appeal to a mass-audience many of whom had never read the book.
          >
          >Explanations of these changes from the director / screenwriters, when
          >forthcoming, do not seem very convincing. When the director and screenwriters
          >state again and again that they tried to stay as true to Tolkien's story as
          >they
          >possibly could, such statements seem unconvincing in light of the reality.
          >
          >If the producers could spend literally tens of millions of dollars making
          >realistic armor, inscribing Elvish on swords, creating an Edoras on a
          >mountaintop from nothing, etc, etc -- seeming to REALLY, REALLY care
          >about getting all the details just right -- why such an apparent lack of
          >such care in the script?

          This is a good description of the problems, which I will go along
          with. But I will add that, within the realm of script and tone, it was the
          superficials and least important points which were most faithfully adhered
          to, and the deeper meanings, and those matters which set Tolkien apart from
          run-of-the-mill fantasists, which were most altered or dropped.

          It is the near-complete loss of the things that make me cherish Tolkien
          that annoys me so, and is what leads to the illusion that I'm annoyed
          because he altered a book which I cherish. That's not true: many
          alterations, especially abridgments, don't bother me at all. What annoys
          me is that he dropped what I cherish about it. All that's left that's any
          good is the exciting adventure story, and some part of the riot of
          invention. That's not enough to separate Tolkien from the average cracking
          adventure fantasist, and he's much more than that.

          And what is it that I cherish that was changed? Again, one sentence I
          wrote at the time of FR's release sums it up best: "The book smells of
          elves; the movie smells of orcs."


          >Since everyone does not agree as to which changes were gratuitous, it would
          >then seem plausible to make an argument that all the changes were justified,
          >since even the 'fanatics' cannot agree amongst themselves which were
          >reasonable
          >changes and which weren't. I'm not sure I buy it, but it seems at least a
          >plausible argument.

          You're wise not to buy it, for it's less plausible an argument than it
          seems. First, there is in fact a general consensus among at least a large
          circle of recognized Tolkien experts as to what is worst about the
          films. (In the discussions I've read, the finger in TT is pointed most
          firmly at the character of Faramir, and his relationship with
          Frodo.) There is much less agreement about what is best about the film:
          some like the visuals (I do), others don't. There is complete disagreement
          only about one thing: whether the movie is any good as a film, divorced
          from Tolkien. I am perceived as an extremist among "PJ-bashers," but
          that's not true: I actually _like_ the films, as films. Most of my fellow
          Tolkienists don't: and if they were to post as often and openly as I do,
          the wrath of their opinions would scour down the world. By comparison, I
          am a positive fan of Mr. Jackson's work.

          Second, even if there were complete disagreement, it does not logically
          follow that they must all be wrong. One can apply the same stricture to
          those who praise various changes.


          >My own opinion agrees with Mr. Bratman's, to the extent that I understand it
          >(and I apologize in advantage if I am mis-paraphrasing here), when he says
          >that
          >it seems that with a really minor amount of adjustment the film could have
          >stayed MUCH truer to Tolkien without in any way having harmed the constraints
          >I listed above: film run-time, changing the medium, or appealing to a mass
          >audience.

          Mr. Hostetter is the principal mover of that argument, I believe, though I
          agree with him. It is even possible that the films would have been more
          popular if they'd been truer to Tolkien. There's general critical
          agreement that the Extended version of FR is both truer to Tolkien and a
          better film than the original theatrical release - this tends to confirm
          that possibility.


          At 01:20 PM 12/30/2002 -0800, Ernest Tomlinson wrote:

          >I found myself thinking that the first thirty minutes or so of the film
          >were far too elliptical and disjoint. Partly this is because Jackson
          >decides against any ceremonious buildup or recap of events from the
          >previous film, but launches straight into the action ...
          >
          >Occasionally over the years I have found people online who think that
          >long movies ... would be improved if all the "slow stuff" ... were
          >excised, and only the dramatic or active scenes kept. It occurred to me
          >while watching _The Two Towers_ that I was watching a movie based on just
          >this principle, and the result was not so much exciting as exhausting.

          Occasionally this criticism is made of the book as well, usually by authors
          of workmanlike commercial fiction who can't imagine any other way to
          write. And in some cases they'd be right. But in Tolkien the spaciousness
          is necessary to paint the world.

          With PJ's FR, I'd agree that the spaciousness is lost: it's too crammed and
          congested, where only a few minutes' worth of the right additions could
          have conveyed a good sense of breadth. With his TT, though, I disagree: it
          had more of a sense of breadth than FR. It wasn't trying to cram so much
          story in, and unlike most popular action directors, he has what seemed to
          me a good sense of pacing and buildup, especially in editing. There was
          even room for Theoden to recite a few lines of Rohirric poetry -
          proportionally to script length, as much as in the book. Most such films -
          "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "The Phantom Menace" are perfect examples - I
          found utterly boring and tedious. Not this one. It threw away the book,
          but worked as a film.

          - David Bratman
        • David J Finnamore
          ... Two reasons that I can think of. After viewing much of the extra material in the extended DVD of FotR, I no longer think it was lack of care so much as
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 1, 2003
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            JP Massar <massar@...> wrote:

            > If the producers could spend literally tens of millions of dollars making
            > realistic armor, inscribing Elvish on swords, creating an Edoras on a
            > mountaintop from nothing, etc, etc -- seeming to REALLY, REALLY care
            > about getting all the details just right -- why such an apparent lack of
            > such care in the script?

            Two reasons that I can think of.

            After viewing much of the extra material in the extended DVD of FotR, I no longer
            think it was lack of care so much as lack of understanding. They do seem to care
            quite a lot, and to have made every effort to be as true as they considered to be
            feasible. I think that PJ and the script writers look at life so differently than
            JRRT did -- so naturalistically and humanistically as opposed to theologically and
            mythically -- that they are practically incapable of understanding some of the most
            important things about the stories. That's both understandable and forgivable.

            Exacerbating the problem was the overwhelming task of managing the production of a
            9+ hour movie of an epic mythological tale, with a cast and crew costing tens of
            thousands of dollars per hour. A few actors said the script changes were coming so
            fast at times that they have many scripts they never even got a chance to look at.
            Jackson described the process as laying down the tracks just in front of a train as
            it's rushing headlong toward you. You can't stop the train, so you just have to
            keep laying down the tracks as fast as you can. Some quality is bound to get lost
            here and there.

            Tolkien had the luxury of spending many years rewriting and revising his story, and
            it still has a few loose seams here and there, for those willing to look. It
            doesn't surprise me at all that Jackson's 5 or 6 year film process produced a
            handful of odd side-effects to the story.

            I'm intrigued that the film mirrors the story in that it seems to be getting better
            as it goes along. It has always seemed odd to me, though not in a bad way, that
            both /The Hobbit/ and LotR change in style over the course of the story. They get
            nobler and more mature as they go along, which I think resulted partly from
            Tolkien's style maturing as he wrote over a period of years, and from his
            understanding of the scope of what he was doing growing rather dramatically during
            that time, too. The film team seems to have learned some things from the making of
            FotR, and to have produced a more mature film in TTT. I half expect RotK to be
            even better. One can always hope.

            --
            David J. Finnamore
            Nashville, TN, USA
            http://www.elvenminstrel.com
            --
            "A story must be told or there'll be no story, yet it is the untold stories that
            are most moving: mountains seen far away, never to be climbed, distant trees (like
            Niggle's) never to be approached." - J.R.R. Tolkien, letters
          • SusanPal@aol.com
            In a message dated 1/1/2003 12:27:38 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... I m interested to hear more about what you think they missed by viewing the story through a
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 1, 2003
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              In a message dated 1/1/2003 12:27:38 PM Pacific Standard Time,
              daeron@... writes:


              > I think that PJ and the script writers look at life so differently than
              > JRRT did -- so naturalistically and humanistically as opposed to
              > theologically and
              > mythically -- that they are practically incapable of understanding some of
              > the most
              > important things about the stories. That's both understandable and
              > forgivable.
              >

              I'm interested to hear more about what you think they missed by viewing the
              story through a humanistic lens.

              As for RotK being better -- Jackson likes it the best of the three, and so, I
              believe, does Elijah Wood. I agree that TTT is a better film than FR, but I
              consider it a less successful adaptation, which makes me concerned about RotK
              on that level.

              Susan


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Stolzi@aol.com
              In a message dated 1/1/2003 3:14:29 PM Central Standard Time, ... I don t know what Daeron thinks, but I would say that the scriptwriters believe in spreading
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 1, 2003
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                In a message dated 1/1/2003 3:14:29 PM Central Standard Time,
                SusanPal@... writes:


                > I'm interested to hear more about what you think they missed by viewing the
                > story through a humanistic lens.

                I don't know what Daeron thinks, but I would say that the scriptwriters
                believe in spreading a little kindness around, whereas Tolkien believed in
                forgiveness and repentance, both in their fullest theological sense. That
                makes a difference in THE TWO TOWERS (which I'm rereading just now).

                Diamond Proudbrook


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • tghsaw
                ... From: SusanPal@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 3:13 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: What s your problem with the movie?
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 2, 2003
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: SusanPal@...
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 3:13 PM
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: What's your problem with the movie?


                  In a message dated 1/1/2003 12:27:38 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                  daeron@... writes:


                  >As for RotK being better -- Jackson likes it the best of the three, and so, I
                  believe, does Elijah Wood. I agree that TTT is a better film than FR, but I
                  consider it a less successful adaptation, which makes me concerned about RotK
                  on that level.

                  >Susan


                  From the start of the project, Jackson has said that TTT would be the movie that deviated the most from the book, so I don't expect RotK to go farther in that direction.

                  And, since I dropped Jackson's name in there, I think I've put my finger on one of the differences I've been feeling between discussion of the LotR movies here and in lists I read that center on the movies. These movies aren't a one-man show. Maybe "Jackson" is used here as shorthand for anything having to do with the movies (and, in that case, I apologize for telling everyone what you already know), but it's not really accurate, as we're discovering more as time goes on. Jackson's LotR movies are the vision of one man *more than most big-budget movies* (i.e., not indies) in somewhat the same way that they're faithful to the book *more than most movies based on books*.

                  I'm certainly not exonerating Jackson--the director's and scriptwriters' commentary on the FotR extended DVD confirms that a lot of the decisions to deviate from the book came from him. But it's interesting that almost all of the material restored in the extended version is character and story development, not fight scenes that would have bumped the movie to an R as a lot of people expected. And much of it is pretty close to the book, at least in spirit. For example, we don't have the encounter with Gildor, which *would* have taken quite a bit of time, but we do see a group of Elves passing through the Shire on their way to the Havens. Some of the added material comes off as choppy and with continuity problems, which I'd imagine is a common problem with things added later--we have Gandalf speaking the Ring Verse in the Black Speech at the Council of Elrond and Sam reciting his verse of the lament for Gandalf in Lothlorien, but IMHO neither of them quite "fit." And there are certainly a few groaners and cringe-producers in the added material. But, in general, that's the kind of stuff Jackson wanted to include but "there wasn't time" or "it hurt the pacing."

                  We've known all along about the 3-hour time limit and the contract for PG-13 ratings (if, especially, TTT or RotK were held true to the book, they'd definitely be R rated because of the violence--I'm not sure what the ratings people would do with hobbits running naked on the grass in FotR [and, yes, that's meant to be a joke--I do realize it could have been filmed in a PG manner]). If Saruman doesn't die by getting his throat slit by Grima, it's because the scene would have necessitated an R; both versions seem to have been filmed and the outcome isn't known yet. Why the ratings gods consider it more violent to get your throat slit than to be impaled is a mystery to me, but I guess that's why they're gods.

                  But as time goes on, we're learning that everything else hasn't been quite as lovey-dovey between Jackson and New Line as we've been led to believe. Sometimes Jackson has won the battles and sometimes New Line has. [Regarding New Line, with their recently released movie _About Schmidt_, they created their own edited version of the movie that was very different from the director's. Hopefully, Jackson has made enough money for them that they won't go that far with his.] Because Jackson's scriptwriters won one particular battle, we *don't* see Frodo having to fight off a herd of orcs in order to be able to get into the boat at the end of FotR!

                  There are other examples of the types of decisions mentioned in the previous two paragraphs, but they get into the realm of rumors. (Of course, in the way of the movie industry, the ones I've listed might turn out to be false, but they're pretty well substantiated. Any corrections will be appreciated.)

                  And there's a little power play going on now that's right out in the open--which would seem to be the point. Both Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood have said publicly that they're "hoping" for a 3.5-hour RotK. Going past the magical 3 hours decreases how many times per day a movie can be shown, so cuts down on the revenue. IMVHO, Jackson's and Wood's public statements are a way of going "over the head" of New Line straight to the fans (in somewhat the same way the President sometimes goes over the head of Congress by giving an address straight to the public). It will be an interesting little battle to watch in the coming months--and it will probably be fought quite politely at this point. But what will be even *more* interesting is what we learn after the final DVD has been released and the parties don't have to sustain a working relationship!

                  So, again, I'm not trying to paint Jackson as innocent in the way the movies have been made. I'm just pointing out that his isn't the only input we're seeing on screen.

                  --Trudy



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                • SusanPal@aol.com
                  In a message dated 1/2/2003 10:09:29 AM Pacific Standard Time, Stolzi@aol.com ... Interesting -- seems to me that Tolkien s emphasis on Pity as a theological
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 2, 2003
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                    In a message dated 1/2/2003 10:09:29 AM Pacific Standard Time, Stolzi@...
                    writes:


                    > I would say that the scriptwriters
                    > believe in spreading a little kindness around, whereas Tolkien believed in
                    > forgiveness and repentance, both in their fullest theological sense.

                    Interesting -- seems to me that Tolkien's emphasis on Pity as a theological
                    virtue *does* come across in the films, although perhaps more strongly in the
                    first one. Gandalf's "pity and mercy" speech (moved from Bad End to Moria)
                    is really played up, and in the second film, Frodo keeps the line from the
                    book, "Now that I see [Gollum], I do pity him."

                    Susan


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • SusanPal@aol.com
                    In a message dated 1/2/2003 10:22:34 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Yes, he has said that; the problem is that the changes he s made in TTT (especially to
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 2, 2003
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                      In a message dated 1/2/2003 10:22:34 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                      tgshaw@... writes:


                      > From the start of the project, Jackson has said that TTT would be the movie
                      > that deviated the most from the book, so I don't expect RotK to go farther
                      > in that direction.
                      >

                      Yes, he has said that; the problem is that the changes he's made in TTT
                      (especially to Faramir) will *necessitate* further changes in RotK.

                      But of course you're right, Trudy, that the films are nothing if not a group
                      effort (and, I believe, an extraordinary one simply from the point of view of
                      film-making).

                      Susan


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Stolzi@aol.com
                      Well, I can imagine PJ shortening things by omitting that whole digression of Aragorn going to the Sea and coming up with ships to save the day. But then, as a
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 2, 2003
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                        Well, I can imagine PJ shortening things by omitting that whole digression of
                        Aragorn going to the Sea and coming up with ships to save the day.

                        But then, as a friend pointed out, we miss the Paths of the Dead, which it
                        would be a shame to leave out. (Unless the story were changed so that the
                        Paths of the Dead bring unexpected reinforcements directly to Minas Tirith??)

                        Or, the Ring could get tossed in to the flame just in time to end the battle
                        of the Fields of Pelennor successfully - omitting the journey of the Armies
                        to the gates of Mordor.

                        If Faramir and Eowyn don't get together in the manner depicted in the
                        original, I'll feel as if everything, just about, has gone for naught. And
                        yes, she certainly needs to have her deed of valor, otherwise why introduce
                        the character?

                        Diamond Proudbrook
                      • tghsaw
                        ... From: disneylogic To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 5:40 PM Subject: [mythsoc] Re: What s your problem
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 3, 2003
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: disneylogic <disneylogic@...>
                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 5:40 PM
                          Subject: [mythsoc] Re: What's your problem with the movie?


                          On Thu, 2 Jan 2003 05:57:59 -0600 "tghsaw" <tgshaw@...>
                          wrote in part:

                          [snip]

                          >>But it's interesting that almost all of the material restored in
                          >>the extended version is character and story development, not fight
                          >>scenes that would have bumped the movie to an R as a lot of people
                          >>expected.

                          >That it was PG-13 is not accidental. Peter Jackson's contract says
                          >the movies as delivered to theaters can be no more "adult" than
                          >PG-13. He is not, however, so constrained with the extended DVDs,
                          >and I expect we may see some of his former skill as horror movie
                          >director displayed on TTT's DVD.

                          [snip]

                          --jtg




                          I'm not sure I understand--I was talking about the DVD (extended edition FotR). And, yes, that contract is exactly why the violence had been expected on it. Sorry if I wasn't clear on those points.
                          --Trudy



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                        • Matthew Winslow
                          ... I m thinking that a horror director like PJ would not want to leave out the Paths of the Dead. Perhaps PJ ll take a route you suggest, Mary -- having the
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jan 3, 2003
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                            Stolzi@... [Stolzi@...] wrote:
                            > But then, as a friend pointed out, we miss the Paths of the Dead, which it
                            > would be a shame to leave out. (Unless the story were changed so that the
                            > Paths of the Dead bring unexpected reinforcements directly to Minas Tirith??)

                            I'm thinking that a horror director like PJ would not want to leave out the
                            Paths of the Dead. Perhaps PJ'll take a route you suggest, Mary -- having the
                            Dead march directly to Minis Tirith with Aragorn?

                            --
                            Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
                            "People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading."
                            --Logan Pearsall Smith
                            Currently reading: J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey
                          • David J Finnamore
                            ... I was afraid I d be asked to be more specific about that. I d better put some thought into it. At the moment it s little more than a hunch. ... I ve
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jan 4, 2003
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                              Susan <SusanPal@...> wrote:

                              > I'm interested to hear more about what you think they missed by viewing the
                              > story through a humanistic lens.

                              I was afraid I'd be asked to be more specific about that. I'd better put some thought
                              into it. At the moment it's little more than a hunch.


                              > I agree that TTT is a better film than FR, but I
                              > consider it a less successful adaptation, which makes me concerned about RotK
                              > on that level.

                              I've gravitated toward the view that the movies are an alternate form of the story, so
                              that success as adaptation is no longer very important to me. Too much was changed,
                              even in FR, for me to regard it strictly as an adaptation. The first time I saw FR, I
                              was simultaneously delighted and disturbed. Delighted to see things I had imagined for
                              years coming to life before my eyes, often so much like I had imagined that it took my
                              breath away. So I regard it as a visual triumph, with only a few exceptions. But also
                              disturbed by how much of the story was sacrificed for the sake of eye candy. I must
                              admit, I'm a sucker for eye candy, but I prefer it to be balanced better with, what
                              shall we say, eye broccoli?

                              Someone on this list mentioned, about a year ago, the idea that the movie(s) could be
                              enjoyed in their own right as an alternate form of the story. (I wish I could remember
                              who, but thank you, if you know who you are :-) After that, I was able to let go and
                              appreciate the movie for what it was. Surprisingly, I then found some deeper
                              book-story elements in the film that I had missed before, things on the level of theme
                              as distinguished from plot. It's quite possible to compartmentalize the movie story
                              from the book story once you get used to it. I find that it's like to learning to play
                              both acoustic and electric guitar, which are very similar to, and very different from,
                              each other. Same with learning to play both the 6-hole Irish whistle, and the
                              recorder, which has 7 finger holes and a thumb hole. You just have to build separate
                              pockets for them in your mind.

                              So, on my first viewing of TTT, I quickly accepted most of the changes, and thoroughly
                              enjoyed the almost whole thing. I found it deeply moving. The only part that I had to
                              wrestle to come to grips with, oddly, was a distinctly different interpretation of
                              Gollum/Smeagol's attitudes as reflected in his vocal inflections. I had heard his
                              voice in my mind so distinctly so many times that almost everything he said in the
                              movie sounded wrong. But I started to get used to it on second viewing. I'll always
                              be disappointed by the dumbing down of the dialogue, of course, but that's life in the
                              post-modern West, I guess.

                              --
                              David J. Finnamore
                              Nashville, TN, USA
                              http://www.elvenminstrel.com
                              --
                              "A story must be told or there'll be no story, yet it is the untold stories that are
                              most moving: mountains seen far away, never to be climbed, distant trees (like
                              Niggle's) never to be approached." - J.R.R. Tolkien, letters
                            • David J Finnamore
                              ... Well, Susan, I still haven t had a chance to go back through the interviews and find what they said that made me shake my head and say, They don t get it,
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jan 7, 2003
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                                SusanPal@... wrote:

                                > In a message dated 1/1/2003 12:27:38 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                                > daeron@... writes:
                                >
                                > > I think that PJ and the script writers look at life so differently than
                                > > JRRT did -- so naturalistically and humanistically as opposed to
                                > > theologically and
                                > > mythically -- that they are practically incapable of understanding some of
                                > > the most
                                > > important things about the stories. That's both understandable and
                                > > forgivable.
                                > >
                                >
                                > I'm interested to hear more about what you think they missed by viewing the
                                > story through a humanistic lens.

                                Well, Susan, I still haven't had a chance to go back through the interviews and find
                                what they said that made me shake my head and say, "They don't get it, they really just
                                don't get it." But in his review of TTT
                                http://www.sfsite.com/01a/2t143.htm
                                Sean Russell said it about as well as it might be said:

                                "I don't think Jackson has much faith in words."

                                Think John 1.

                                --
                                David J. Finnamore
                                Nashville, TN, USA
                                http://www.elvenminstrel.com
                                --
                                "We never remember what is important, only what matters to us." - Suzanne Finnamore,
                                /Otherwise Engaged/
                              • SusanPal@aol.com
                                In a message dated 1/7/2003 5:34:09 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... Ah. Okay. Thanks for the explanation! SP [Non-text portions of this message have been
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jan 7, 2003
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                                  In a message dated 1/7/2003 5:34:09 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                                  daeron@... writes:


                                  > Sean Russell said it about as well as it might be said:
                                  >
                                  > "I don't think Jackson has much faith in words."
                                  >
                                  > Think John 1.
                                  >
                                  >

                                  Ah. Okay. Thanks for the explanation!

                                  SP


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