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The Two Towers

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    A friend answers her professor s questions on the movie, for the online discussion board of a Tolkien class (forwarded by her permission). This ought to
    Message 1 of 20 , Feb 28, 2003
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      A friend answers her professor's questions on the movie, for the online
      discussion board of a Tolkien class (forwarded by her permission). This
      ought to please Ernest and DavidB at least!

      --------------Quoted material
      follows-----------------------------------------------------------

      :>Do you think the film is successful in capturing
      >Tolkien’s basic themes? In what ways do you think the
      >filmmaker’s choices of following and/or altering
      >Tolkien’s exact words and specific storylines added to
      >and/or detracted from the film’s impact? What, if any,
      >new or different themes do you see emerging from
      >Jackson’s vision that might not have been present in the
      >original THE TWO TOWERS text?

      No.

      Gollum is obsessed/possessed by the ring to the point of schizophrenia,
      Saruman and his machines are bad. And that’s about as close as Jackson gets
      to anything Tolkien wrote.

      I am struggling to express my profound disappointment with this movie. I was
      bored out of my skull during the viewing, which was spent wishing I had
      brought a book to read so that I wouldn’t waste the long, long hours spent
      watching characters about whom I cared nothing. If they aren’t going to be
      the characters Tolkien wrote, then I am not interested in what they do or don’
      t do.

      What a wasted opportunity.Although I didn’t love the first one, it is light
      years better than this effort.

      On a purely personal level, I am most disturbed by Jackson’s treatment of
      Theoden, Eowyn, and Faramir. Unfortunately the violence done to their
      characters and personalities doesn’t bode well for the third movie. All three
      are terribly important to the actions of the third book; if they have already
      been so radically altered in this movie, how will Jackson successfully
      portray them in the “Return of the King”?

      Theoden is an old man; a brave old man ultimately, but still old. He is not
      possessed by Saruman, and he doesn’t become young when he escapes from the
      despair that ensnared him until Gandalf returned. Nowhere is there any
      indication that Tolkien’s Theoden would ever say anything so trite and
      hackneyed as “No parent shouldhave to bury his child,” and “I must think of
      the safety of my people first.” I don’t know who this person is but he isn’t
      Theoden, a king who speaks so greatly and bravely to Saruman after the battle
      of Helm’s Deep. This isn’t a man who will risk all to come to aid of Gondor
      and outride his own men on the Pelannor battlefield.

      And Eowyn wasn’t some lovesick maiden all forlorn. She wasn’t mooning over
      Aragorn like a middle schooler with a crush. She is in desperate emotional
      distress but still strong as steel and braver than anyone else in the whole
      book except maybe Frodo. If Grima had laid a hand on her, I’ve no doubt he
      would have drawn back a bloody stump. In the movie, she’s a waif. And if
      Grima Wormtongue says lines to her in the movie that are actually said by
      Gandalf to Eomer after Eowyn has conquered the Nazgul, then what will Jackson
      have Gandalf say at this pivotal point in the story?

      I am beginning to have my doubts that he’ll even have that vital scene
      somewhat correct. Eowyn is wonderful in the book; she’s common and boring in
      the movie.

      And Faramir: what can be said to defend the extreme violence done to this
      noble character? Here is a man that is not tempted by the ring because like
      Aragorn he knows what it is and he would rather die and Minas Tirith perish
      than help it become a tyrannical kingdom controlling Middle-earth. He doesn’t
      care for some “Kingdom of Men,” or “World of Men,” which Jackson keeps
      harping on (not one of Tolkien’s concerns or even themes). He wants freedom
      and peace for all the races of Middle-earth, and he understands and honors
      and helps Frodo in this struggle.

      What is most sad about this movie and indeed about all three movies is that
      it will be decades before anyone makes another attempt to film the trilogy.
      There are good performances, some excellent cinematography, and some decent
      efforts that are causing some good people to read the books. That’s a good
      thing. Too bad it’s the only good thing to come out of the films.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Croft, Janet B
      ... From: Stolzi@aol.com [mailto:Stolzi@aol.com] Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 3:51 PM To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: [mythsoc] The Two Towers A friend
      Message 2 of 20 , Feb 28, 2003
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        ----Original Message-----
        From: Stolzi@... [mailto:Stolzi@...]
        Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 3:51 PM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mythsoc] The Two Towers


        A friend answers her professor's questions on the movie, for the online
        discussion board of a Tolkien class (forwarded by her permission). This
        ought to please Ernest and DavidB at least!

        Nowhere is there any
        indication that Tolkien's Theoden would ever say anything so trite and
        hackneyed as "No parent shouldhave to bury his child,"

        That is pretty darn trite, compared to "The young perish and the old linger,
        withering." Which is exactly right for the kingly Theoden. It man mean the
        same thing, but when he says it this way it is poetic and noble, yet
        completely accessible. It's like Tolkien's rewriting of Theoden's speech in
        his letters: "Not at all, my dear G. You don't know your own skill as a
        doctor..." Why didn't Jackson trust his audience to understand Tolkien's own
        words? I can't comprehend why he used Tolkien's own dialog some places, and
        replaced it with pap elsewhere. Grr.




        Janet


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      • Ernest Tomlinson
        ... From: To: Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 1:50 PM Subject: [mythsoc] The Two Towers ... discussion board of a
        Message 3 of 20 , Feb 28, 2003
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <Stolzi@...>
          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 1:50 PM
          Subject: [mythsoc] The Two Towers


          >> A friend answers her professor's questions on the movie, for the online
          discussion board of a Tolkien class (forwarded by her permission). This
          ought to please Ernest and DavidB at least!

          <wry smile> Not _pleased_, Mary. Partly because, unlike the woman whom you
          quote, I didn't find the movie boring. Bad, maybe, in parts, but not
          boring. But then, sometimes my standards can be appallingly low. I _enjoy_
          the Dino de Laurentiis _Flash Gordon_, and I even sort of like his _Dune_,
          even though both are terrible movies that make complete hash of their source
          material.

          >> Nowhere is there any
          indication that Tolkien’s Theoden would ever say anything so trite and
          hackneyed as “No parent shouldhave to bury his child,” and “I must think of
          the safety of my people first.”

          I wonder why so much of Tolkien's dialogue was replaced with clumsy,
          ham-handed periphrasis. I think, perhaps, that Hollywood[*] screenwriters
          given the task of adapting a famous work of literature to the screen,
          however loudly they proclaim their love of the source, are secretly bothered
          by setting words to paper that are not their own. I am not a writer, but I
          was at one time a software engineer, and I frequently encountered, and
          sometimes indulged myself, the feeling, upon encountering some chunk of code
          writen by another person, that it just wasn't right in some indefinable way
          (never mind whether it worked!) and that it could easily be cleaned up,
          improved, made clearer, whatever. So I'll bet these writers thought that
          they could, you know, make things a little clearer for us. Put down in
          their own words what they _thought_ Tolkien was trying to say.

          Aside: I am glad that Kenneth Branagh made his full-length, unabridged
          _Hamlet_, because he proved that one could be entirely faithful to the
          original words and yet _still_ screw up completely.

          >> I don’t know who this person is but he isn’t
          Theoden, a king who speaks so greatly and bravely to Saruman after the
          battle
          of Helm’s Deep. This isn’t a man who will risk all to come to aid of Gondor
          and outride his own men on the Pelannor battlefield.

          I agree entirely. Theoden was made into an indecisive weakling, who needs
          Aragorn to tell him what to do. The decision to ride forth at dawn from the
          Hornburg is taken away from him.

          >> And Faramir: what can be said to defend the extreme violence done to this
          noble character?

          A fellow on the SpareOom list tried gamely, but I think his argument in the
          end boiled down to the following _non distributio medii_, which I've
          encountered from many defenders of the film: to successfully adapt a long
          story to three hours, changes are necessary; Jackson and his team made many
          changes in adapting _The Two Towers_; therefore all of the changes he made
          were necessary.

          Cheers,

          Ernest.
        • Ernest Tomlinson
          ... From: Ernest Tomlinson To: Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 2:47 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two
          Message 4 of 20 , Feb 28, 2003
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Ernest Tomlinson" <thiophene@...>
            To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 2:47 PM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers


            > I wonder why so much of Tolkien's dialogue was replaced with clumsy,
            > ham-handed periphrasis. I think, perhaps, that Hollywood[*] screenwriters
            > given the task of adapting a famous work of literature to the screen...

            Ack! I forgot to provide the footnote. I was going to add that I know that
            Jackson and his collaborators weren't, strictly speaking, "Hollywood". But
            their product is infused with the Hollywood spirit through-and-through. It
            is sad that Jackson, operating largely outside of the strictures of
            mainstream American movie production, nevertheless adopted their values so
            slavishly.

            Ernest.
          • David S. Bratman
            ... Not all of the defenders are quite that bad, but I ve noticed that an insistence that the changes were necessary does tend to go along with a) a conflation
            Message 5 of 20 , Feb 28, 2003
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              At 02:47 PM 2/28/2003 , Ernest wrote:

              >A fellow on the SpareOom list tried gamely, but I think his argument in the
              >end boiled down to the following _non distributio medii_, which I've
              >encountered from many defenders of the film: to successfully adapt a long
              >story to three hours, changes are necessary; Jackson and his team made many
              >changes in adapting _The Two Towers_; therefore all of the changes he made
              >were necessary.

              Not all of the defenders are quite that bad, but I've noticed that an
              insistence that the changes were necessary does tend to go along with a) a
              conflation of changes with cuts (nobody argued that cuts weren't
              necessary), b) a curious reluctance to try to explain why these particular
              changes improved the film. I wrote a letter to "Quickbeam" of TORN in
              reply to an article of his posted in January; his reply was quite long, but
              to my request that he defend the reasons for the particular changes he
              merely said that he didn't have time to teach me elementary screenwriting
              techniques. Actually, I've read quite a bit about elementary
              screenwriting, and none of it explains the need for these travesties; nor,
              if they are necessary, how the book managed to be so successful without
              them. (To that the reply is always "a book is different from a movie"
              coupled with an absolute refusal to explain how the difference requires
              these changes.)

              - David Bratman
            • jamcconney@aol.com
              In a message dated 2/28/2003 4:48:59 PM Central Standard Time, ... When the 4-hour Hamlet was shown on TV, I really didn t have 4 hours to spare, so I thought
              Message 6 of 20 , Feb 28, 2003
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                In a message dated 2/28/2003 4:48:59 PM Central Standard Time,
                thiophene@... writes:

                > Aside: I am glad that Kenneth Branagh made his full-length, unabridged
                > _Hamlet_, because he proved that one could be entirely faithful to the
                > original words and yet _still_ screw up completely.
                >

                When the 4-hour Hamlet was shown on TV, I really didn't have 4 hours to
                spare, so I thought I'd tune in for the first bit, just to see how they were
                doing it, and then leave. You guessed it--I was sitting there mesmerized 4
                hours later and I don't know many times I yelled (at least to myself) "Yes!
                Whoa! Was this guy a dramatist or was he a dramatist!"

                I liked the _handling_ sometimes and didn't like it others--par for the
                course. But if Branagh screwed up, Shakespeare didn't. I was left remembering
                all the Hamlet's I'd seen in a cut-down version--Olivier, Burton, Richardson,
                even Mel Gibson--and realized how badly the play had been skewed by
                scriptwriters who didn't believe humans could sit through more than two hours
                of classic drama.

                The four hour version actually seemed to play faster than the abridgments.
                Even the terminally boring speech of Charlton Heston as the Player King
                reminded you of what that scene was there for in the first place--to give an
                aging actor a Big Moment on stage.

                I don't argue with you, Dave--I've never cared too much for Branagh myself--
                but I do give him credit: he has a lot of misses, but when he hits it just
                right, he hits it right BIG time.

                Anne


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ernest Tomlinson
                ... From: To: Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 8:18 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers ... were ... Yes!
                Message 7 of 20 , Mar 2 9:07 PM
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: <jamcconney@...>
                  To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 8:18 PM
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers

                  > When the 4-hour Hamlet was shown on TV, I really didn't have 4 hours to
                  > spare, so I thought I'd tune in for the first bit, just to see how they
                  were
                  > doing it, and then leave. You guessed it--I was sitting there mesmerized 4
                  > hours later and I don't know many times I yelled (at least to myself)
                  "Yes!
                  > Whoa! Was this guy a dramatist or was he a dramatist!"

                  Was he! I admit that Branagh at least showed us that there was nothing
                  boring about four hours of "Hamlet", no reason to pare it down by half to
                  accommodate modern attention spans. But I believe also that his staging
                  showed a paradoxical lack of faith at times in the power of Shakespeare's
                  words. He kept goosing things along with an obtrusive visual style and
                  melodramatic moments. When Hamlet is in his "wild and whirling" mood after
                  speaking with his father's ghost, Branagh makes the camera to shake and the
                  earth to split open--why? He interpolates a scene of his and Ophelia's
                  having sex; the cynic wonders if this wasn't merely to show off Branagh's
                  bod (cf. _Mary Shelley's Frankenstein_). When he says to himself, "And now
                  I'll do it," on seeing Claudius at prayer (aside: we've seen far, far too
                  little of Derek Jacobi lately), Branagh resorts to that tired cinemagraphic
                  trick of showing us something--in this case, Hamlet stabbling Claudius--then
                  cutting quickly away to show that it was just a fantasy. Finally, Branagh
                  dispatches Claudius in a ridiculous fashion that reminded me of nothing so
                  much than the ending of _Dead Again_.

                  Branagh's stunt casting of famous actors in walk-on parts did not help.
                  Some worked; I think Billy Crystal made a fine gravedigger. Robin Williams
                  doing Osric with fey, lisping mannerisms was unforgivable, though, and Jack
                  Lemmon shouldn't have been let anywhere near the production. And casting
                  big, shambling Gerard Depardieu for a one scene and a few lines doesn't make
                  any sense to me.

                  (Aside: I have been pleasantly surprised in the past by big-name actors'
                  ability to play Shakespeare. I start with the general assumption that
                  American actors can't do it, and then I can enjoy those who can. Kevin
                  Kline, for example, was brilliant as Bottom in the _Midsummer Night's Dream_
                  movie a few years back, but David Strathairn, an actor I admire greatly, was
                  no good as Theseus. Marlon Brando did a great Mark Antony in John
                  Mankiewicz's _Julius Caesar_ in the '50s; I didn't think he had it in him.
                  Best of all, though, is Arnold Schwarzenegger as Hamlet in _The Last Action
                  Hero_, and Jack Benny as Hamlet in _To Be or Not to Be_. <grin>)

                  > I don't argue with you, Dave--I've never cared too much for Branagh
                  myself--
                  > but I do give him credit: he has a lot of misses, but when he hits it just
                  > right, he hits it right BIG time.

                  "Dave"?

                  You know, I loved his _Henry V_, and love it still. Some of my movie-buff
                  acquaintances would probably kill me for saying this, but his version is
                  ever so much better than Olivier's. (For one thing--and a big thing--he
                  makes Fluellen a serious character, not a comic butt with a vaudeville Welsh
                  accent.)

                  Cheers,

                  Ernest.
                • WendellWag@aol.com
                  I think the chief mistake that Branagh made in his version of _Hamlet_ is that he s miscast the main role. Branagh can t convincingly play a brooding
                  Message 8 of 20 , Mar 2 11:16 PM
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                    I think the chief mistake that Branagh made in his version of _Hamlet_ is
                    that he's miscast the main role. Branagh can't convincingly play a brooding
                    character. (And he was too old, but that's a standard problem for
                    productions of _Hamlet_.) As a slick conspirator in _Othello_ or a hammy
                    war-leader in _Henry V_ he was well cast, but he's all wrong for Hamlet.
                    Where do people get the idea that if you're right for one Shakespearean role
                    you're right for all of them? Jacobi was great as Claudius (and he was also
                    great some years ago as Hamlet in a stage version of _Hamlet_ that's
                    available on videotape).

                    Wendell Wagner
                  • Stolzi@aol.com
                    In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:31 PM Central Standard Time, ... Agreed! ... The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the Emerald
                    Message 9 of 20 , Mar 3 8:53 AM
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                      In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:31 PM Central Standard Time,
                      thiophene@... writes:


                      > I think Billy Crystal made a fine gravedigger.

                      Agreed!

                      > Robin Williams doing Osric with fey, lisping mannerisms was unforgivable,
                      > though

                      The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the Emerald
                      City of Oz.

                      Cd have done without all the super-sexy stuff about Ophelia, and also the
                      idea of Hamlet swinging down on the chandelier (or whatever) in the finale
                      was... regrettable.

                      But yes, it holds attention all the way through, and I can't forget the
                      visual image of the great palace with its wide terrace (like a chessboard on
                      which a great game is being played?) alone in the snowy waste.

                      That lent authenticity to the part of the play which is on a world-events
                      scale: Fortinbras and all that.

                      Diamond Proudbrook


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Croft, Janet B
                      I thought it was one of those uneven masterpieces -- spot-on perfect in most places, squirmingly off in others. But there s another Branagh full-text Hamlet I
                      Message 10 of 20 , Mar 3 9:14 AM
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                        I thought it was one of those uneven masterpieces -- spot-on perfect in most
                        places, squirmingly off in others. But there's another Branagh full-text
                        Hamlet I like even better -- the BBC Radio version, also with Derek Jacobi
                        as Claudius and with Judi Dench as Gertrude. If you search Amazon with
                        "Hamlet BBC", you'll pull it up. It's available on CD and well worth it.

                        Janet

                        (PS Someone asked what Jacobi's been up to recently -- www.imdb.com
                        <http://www.imdb.com> shows he's been very active in 2002, but the last
                        thing he's done that I've actually heard of was Gosford Park, which alas I
                        have not yet seen.)

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Stolzi@... [mailto:Stolzi@...]
                        Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 10:53 AM
                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers


                        In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:31 PM Central Standard Time,
                        thiophene@... writes:


                        > I think Billy Crystal made a fine gravedigger.

                        Agreed!

                        > Robin Williams doing Osric with fey, lisping mannerisms was unforgivable,
                        > though

                        The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the
                        Emerald
                        City of Oz.

                        Cd have done without all the super-sexy stuff about Ophelia, and also the
                        idea of Hamlet swinging down on the chandelier (or whatever) in the finale
                        was... regrettable.

                        But yes, it holds attention all the way through, and I can't forget the
                        visual image of the great palace with its wide terrace (like a chessboard on

                        which a great game is being played?) alone in the snowy waste.

                        That lent authenticity to the part of the play which is on a world-events
                        scale: Fortinbras and all that.

                        Diamond Proudbrook


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



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                      • Ernest Tomlinson
                        ... From: To: Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 8:53 AM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers ... unforgivable, ...
                        Message 11 of 20 , Mar 3 11:48 AM
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: <Stolzi@...>
                          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 8:53 AM
                          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Two Towers


                          > In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:31 PM Central Standard Time,
                          > thiophene@... writes:

                          > > Robin Williams doing Osric with fey, lisping mannerisms was
                          unforgivable,
                          > > though
                          >
                          > The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the
                          Emerald
                          > City of Oz.

                          <snort> I don't think I'll be able to get _that_ similarity out of my mind
                          now! It didn't occur to me at the time because, believe it or not, I saw
                          _The Wizard of Oz_ some years _after_ watching Branagh's _Hamlet_.

                          Branagh does give Osric one fine moment; when he announces the arrival of
                          Fortinbras, he holds up his bloodied hand to demonstrate Fortinbras's
                          "warlike volley".

                          Osric's goofy costume points up another problem with Branagh's film; instead
                          of setting the story in some definite period or place, _any_ place, he
                          cobbles together an odd mixture of costumes and settings. It's everyplace
                          and no place. Now I'm not goose enough to fret over Shakespeare
                          adaptations' not being "faithful" to some definite setting; as Ian McKellen
                          astutely pointed out when his and Richard Loncraine's _Richard III_ came out
                          some years ago, the original Shakespearean productions were already
                          "modernized"; even the Roman-era plays, which would look pretty strange to
                          us if not portrayed in the usual toga-epic fashion that goes back at least
                          as far as _Ben Hur_ (1925), were played in Elizabethan dress. All I ask is
                          a self-consistent setting. McKellen and Loncraine set _Richard III_ in a
                          semi-fantastic '30s England because that was the last time in our memory
                          when it was conceivable that an English monarch could have become a
                          political power; one thinks of the rumors that the Nazis approached Edward,
                          the Duke of Windsor (or "Mr. Simpson" as my mother acidly called him), with
                          plans to make him king if they succeeded in conquering England.

                          It occurs to me though that I enjoyed Julie Taymor's recent _Titus_, even
                          though its setting and costuming is even more wildly muddled than Branagh's.
                          But it works, I hate to admit, in some crazy post-modern way, partly because
                          Taymor's introduction to the film explicitly compares her staging of _Titus
                          Andronicus_ to a child's violent fantasy, and as I can speak from personal
                          experience, childish fantasy isn't bound by consistency; one grabs elements
                          from any old place or source that appeals to the childlike imagination.

                          Cheers,

                          Ernest.
                        • David S. Bratman
                          ... I await the Jackson-defender types who will tell you simply not to think about it. ( Branagh s Hamlet is a movie! The Wizard of Oz is ... er, um ...
                          Message 12 of 20 , Mar 3 12:35 PM
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                            At 11:48 AM 3/3/2003 , Ernest wrote:

                            >[Stolzi wrote]
                            >> The costume & mustaches killed me! He looked like he belonged in the
                            >>Emerald City of Oz.
                            >
                            ><snort> I don't think I'll be able to get _that_ similarity out of my mind
                            >now!

                            I await the Jackson-defender types who will tell you simply not to think
                            about it. ("Branagh's Hamlet is a movie! The Wizard of Oz is ... er, um
                            ... another movie!")


                            >one thinks of the rumors that the Nazis approached Edward,
                            >the Duke of Windsor (or "Mr. Simpson" as my mother acidly called him)

                            Unfortunately for that joke, there really was a Mr. Simpson: he was the man
                            that Mrs. Simpson was divorcing in order to marry Edward. And just to be
                            further irritating, Mr. Simpson's given name was ...


                            - DB
                          • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                            David Bratman said: I await the Jackson-defender types who will tell you simply not to think about it. ( Branagh s Hamlet is a movie! The Wizard of Oz is ...
                            Message 13 of 20 , Mar 3 1:19 PM
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                              David Bratman said: I await the Jackson-defender types who will tell you
                              simply not to think
                              about it. ("Branagh's Hamlet is a movie! The Wizard of Oz is ... er, um
                              ... another movie!") >>

                              (Pauses from deleting movie posts for a sec....) That would require caring
                              as much about either of them as one cares about Tolkien. Or maybe care
                              isn't the word. The power of something to sweep one away is beyond caring.


                              Lizzie Triano
                              lizziewriter@...
                              amor vincit omnia
                            • Jason M. Abels
                              ... If you want to get into, I can go into quite a bit about Books vs Movies, with the Wizard of Oz as my primary example. Both are movies that deviate
                              Message 14 of 20 , Mar 3 1:32 PM
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                                > (Pauses from deleting movie posts for a sec....) That would require caring
                                > as much about either of them as one cares about Tolkien. Or maybe care
                                > isn't the word. The power of something to sweep one away is beyond caring.

                                If you want to get into, I can go into quite a bit about Books vs Movies, with
                                the Wizard of Oz as my primary example. Both are movies that deviate (sometimes
                                greatly) with the source material, even changing character motivations, and yet
                                remain true (in my opinion) to the overall *feel* of the book.

                                --
                                Jason M. Abels
                                "The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few
                                vampires!" - Ben Mears, _Salem's Lot_
                              • David S. Bratman
                                ... (sometimes ... and yet ... Maybe we shouldn t, because the it was all a dream? frame-story of the 1939 Oz film seems to me to be utterly at odds with the
                                Message 15 of 20 , Mar 3 1:41 PM
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                                  At 01:32 PM 3/3/2003 , Jason M. Abels wrote:

                                  >If you want to get into, I can go into quite a bit about Books vs Movies, with
                                  >the Wizard of Oz as my primary example. Both are movies that deviate
                                  (sometimes
                                  >greatly) with the source material, even changing character motivations,
                                  and yet
                                  >remain true (in my opinion) to the overall *feel* of the book.

                                  Maybe we shouldn't, because the "it was all a dream?" frame-story of the
                                  1939 Oz film seems to me to be utterly at odds with the feel and spirit of
                                  the book, casting a pall over the entire proceedings. It's still a great
                                  movie, but it won't give you much of an idea of what Baum is like. (Even
                                  so, I will defend Jackson's LOTR as pretty good films, which won't give you
                                  much of an idea of what Tolkien is like.)

                                  - DB
                                • Jason M. Abels
                                  ... I black out when she says There s No place like home and I wake up when the credit s start to roll. I remember being *horrified* the first time I saw the
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Mar 3 1:52 PM
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                                    > Maybe we shouldn't, because the "it was all a dream?" frame-story of the
                                    > 1939 Oz film seems to me to be utterly at odds with the feel and spirit of
                                    > the book, casting a pall over the entire proceedings.

                                    I black out when she says "There's No place like home" and I wake up when the
                                    credit's start to roll.

                                    I remember being *horrified* the first time I saw the movie and they said "it
                                    was all a dream". I was also horrified at Judy's age, the stupid lion, and
                                    everything else they had cut from the book. Over time, though, it has become my
                                    favorite movie because I think it still captures something of the original
                                    magic.


                                    > It's still a great
                                    > movie, but it won't give you much of an idea of what Baum is like. (Even
                                    > so, I will defend Jackson's LOTR as pretty good films, which won't give you
                                    > much of an idea of what Tolkien is like.)

                                    My opinion exactly.

                                    --
                                    Jason M. Abels
                                    "The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few
                                    vampires!" - Ben Mears, _Salem's Lot_
                                  • Ernest Tomlinson
                                    ... From: Jason M. Abels To: Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 1:52 PM Subject: RE: [mythsoc] The Two Towers ...
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Mar 3 4:00 PM
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                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: "Jason M. Abels" <jason@...>
                                      To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 1:52 PM
                                      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] The Two Towers

                                      > I remember being *horrified* the first time I saw the movie and they said
                                      "it
                                      > was all a dream". I was also horrified at Judy's age, the stupid lion, and
                                      > everything else they had cut from the book.

                                      Roger Ebert lists _The Wizard of Oz_ among his "Great Movies", and defends
                                      the casting of Judy Garland, saying that a child actress--especially, if I
                                      may interject, at a time when serious child roles, qq.v. _Night of the
                                      Hunter_ and _To Kill a Mockingbird_ among others, were still some years
                                      away--would not have had the depth needed for the role of Dorothy. "When
                                      she hoped that troubles would melt like lemon drops, you believed she had
                                      troubles," writes Ebert. But of course he cites her reading--or singing
                                      rather--of a line that is not Baum's.

                                      Cheers,

                                      Ernest.
                                    • jamcconney@aol.com
                                      In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:09 PM Central Standard Time, ... Mea Culpa! Mea Maxima Culpa! Anne P.S. Yes, I agree with you about Branagh, especially about
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Mar 3 6:22 PM
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                                        In a message dated 3/2/2003 11:09:09 PM Central Standard Time,
                                        thiophene@... writes:

                                        > "Dave"?

                                        Mea Culpa! Mea Maxima Culpa!

                                        Anne

                                        P.S. Yes, I agree with you about Branagh, especially about his tendency to
                                        get way too cute. And I too loved his Henry V



                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • jamcconney@aol.com
                                        In a message dated 3/3/2003 1:57:50 PM Central Standard Time, ... I remember reading the suggestion, not entirely unserious, that Titus Andronicus was a
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Mar 3 6:29 PM
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                                          In a message dated 3/3/2003 1:57:50 PM Central Standard Time,
                                          thiophene@... writes:

                                          > _Titus
                                          > Andronicus_ to a child's violent fantasy

                                          I remember reading the suggestion, not entirely unserious, that Titus
                                          Andronicus was a collaboration between Marlowe and Shakespeare because it
                                          would have taken TWO
                                          twenty-something young men to think up all the horrors.

                                          Anne


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Jason M. Abels
                                          ... Oh, I agree. Once I saw the movie, I knew that judy was right for the role as portrayed. Only she could have belted out those songs like that. I try to
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Mar 4 6:06 AM
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                                            > Roger Ebert lists _The Wizard of Oz_ among his "Great Movies", and defends
                                            > the casting of Judy Garland, saying that a child
                                            > actress--especially, if I
                                            > may interject, at a time when serious child roles, qq.v. _Night of the
                                            > Hunter_ and _To Kill a Mockingbird_ among others, were still some years
                                            > away--would not have had the depth needed for the role of Dorothy. "When
                                            > she hoped that troubles would melt like lemon drops, you believed she had
                                            > troubles," writes Ebert. But of course he cites her reading--or singing
                                            > rather--of a line that is not Baum's.

                                            Oh, I agree. Once I saw the movie, I knew that judy was right for the role as
                                            portrayed. Only she could have belted out those songs like that. I try to
                                            picture Shriley Temple in the role and shudder. Judy was the wrong age for
                                            book-dorothy. She was just right for movie-dorothy.



                                            --
                                            Jason M. Abels
                                            "The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few
                                            vampires!" - Ben Mears, _Salem's Lot_
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