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RE: [mythsoc] Books and movies

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  • dianejoy@earthlink.net
    I have this strange capacity to forget; I ve only seen one HP film, and all I can recall from it are a few instances, the wonderful train ride, and the table
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 24, 2003
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      I have this strange capacity to forget; I've only seen one HP film, and
      all I can recall from it are a few instances, the wonderful train ride, and
      the table of food and the candles hanging in the air. If I thought about
      it, I'd recall some of the Quidditch match, but not vividly (there's so
      much to see there, and I have limited vision). It takes more than one
      viewing of a fim for me to have the images engraved. Seeing the first film
      does not affect how I read HP V.

      I think the problem is worse for LOTR, but even there, I still retain some
      of my own imagery. Maybe it's because I imagine events slightly
      differently each time I read JRRT. I do know that I imagine Middle Earth
      in a specific way, because when I first saw Ted Naismith's drawings, I
      gasped---because they looked so close to how I imagined those scenes. Does
      that make sense? It's really difficult to describe this process of
      imagining! ---djb

      Original Message:
      -----------------
      From: Croft, Janet B jbcroft@...
      Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 11:13:48 -0500
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Books and movies


      While reading the new Harry Potter book, I do find myself seeing some visual
      images from the films, but not hearing the voices of the actors. The visual
      images aren't as bothersome to me as the whole image-plus-voice-plus-action
      would be -- in other words, just seeing the picture of Maggie Smith as
      Minerva McGonagall in my mind when first encountering her in the book is not
      as bothersome as imagining the actress actually delivering the lines would
      be. On the other hand, frequently the image I find appearing in my head is
      the one from Mary Grand-Pre's illustrations instead, which may in a way
      capture the essence of the characters depicted better than a live actor can.

      Janet Croft

      -----Original Message-----
      From: David S. Bratman [mailto:dbratman@...]
      Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 11:02 AM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [mythsoc] Books and movies


      In the various discussions of Peter Jackson's films, people keep saying I'm
      weird or even unique in finding that the films infect my mental images when
      I return to the book. But I believe that being strongly affected by
      striking dramatizations is the common experience of humankind.

      So I was interested to read this testimony - nothing to do with Tolkien -
      in a review of Harry Potter V. The reviewer, Polly Shuman, is wondering
      why she's feeling disappointed by the book. It's not length alone, because
      she liked HP IV. She writes,

      >The problem, in part, lies with the movies. Do you agree? For me, it's hard

      >to read the books now without hearing those awful child actors flub the
      >lines. And even though the films were full of actors I love (Robbie
      Coltrane
      >as Hagrid, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall), I resent having their
      >faces superimposed on the characters I'd imagined. Even Rowling's witty
      >touches--the talking portraits, the touchy ghosts, the Floo transportation
      >system, the Every Flavor Beans--seem almost stale now, as if her
      sensibility
      >has entered the mass mind and started to fade into cliche.

      Of course, she's discussing a new book, not a re-reading; and even implies
      that the movies have affected the author more than the reader. But I think
      the point is still valid: a big-budget film of a story strongly affects the
      way that story, and those characters, are seen.

      The review (first installment in a dialogue intended to last the week) is
      at http://slate.msn.com/id/2084660/entry/2084710/
      <http://slate.msn.com/id/2084660/entry/2084710/>

      By the way, I recently attended a performance of the Lord of the Rings
      Symphony by Johan de Meij, essentially a set of character studies, written
      15 years ago, long before the current films were thought of. It was a pops
      concert, and each movement was preceded by an actor who'd explain the
      content, in character as the person depicted. I found it interesting that
      Gollum, in particular, was the Gollum of the film and not of the book.
      (The actor quoted extensively from Gollum's film lines, not from the book.)
      The film has hijacked de Meij's symphony, which has nothing in common with
      it except the book.

      - David Bratman




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