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Re: FW: Spectacular it may be, but LOTR lacks lasting value

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  • Vogel, Henry
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 1, 2004
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      <<<The visual effects, costumes, and make-up Oscars for The Lord of the
      Rings are richly deserved. But beyond that, and all the lovely money, are
      these films of any lasting value? Let's get a grip.>>>

      While there's been a lot of discussion concerning this opinion piece, there
      is one question I haven't seen discussed. What exactly does the author mean
      by the phrase "lasting values" when referring to the LOTR? Based on my
      reading, the author is telling us that special effects laden movies grab our
      attention briefly then fade from memory, becoming little more than a
      footnote in movie history. I don't believe he backs this point particularly

      Dutton is correct in one sense. Most special effects laden movies do fade
      into obscurity. Of course, most movies in general end up fading into
      obscurity, so this isn't exactly a telling observation that can be applied
      to the LOTR.

      Dutton is well taken with The Wizard of Oz, rightfully so. It's an
      excellent movie that is well remembered and watched long after its release.
      However, even as a child I was never "carried away" to Oz while watching the
      movie. I was interested in the story and well entertained, but when the
      movie ended I wasn't surfacing from an immersing experience. Perhaps this
      had something to do with the musical numbers. Enjoyable as they can be,
      I've yet to actually witness real people going about their daily lives
      suddenly breaking into song and dance routines. It did not have anything to
      do with watching the film on television with the associated commercial
      interruptions. I have managed to immerse myself in other movies under
      similar circumstances.

      Conversely, I found all three of the LOTR movies to be incredibly immersing.
      More to the point, they are the most immersing films I've seen since the
      original Star Wars trilogy. I've spoken with many friends and co-workers
      who feel the same way. This is hardly a scientific audience survey, but I
      believe it's reasonable to say that many millions of viewers feel the same
      as I do. This is, perhaps, best bolstered by the fact that the box office
      take rose with each subsequent movie, something that rarely occurs in the
      movie business.

      What I find most telling, though, is that the basic arguments advanced by
      Dutton have been seen before. Specifically, back in 1977 in reference to
      the original Star Wars. Even reviewers and critics who claimed to have
      enjoyed that movie were sure it had no lasting value. Perhaps there is
      something about film historians and critics that keeps them from being able
      to immerse themselves in films. Too much detailed knowledge, maybe?
      Perhaps they're too busy studying films to be able to simply watch films? I
      can't say, but they were wrong about Star Wars and I expect that Dutton will
      be wrong concerning the LOTR.

    • Vogel, Henry
      wrote: Gareth: I d like the people who took such strong exception to Dutton s op-ed to indicate whether they would
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 2, 2004
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        <<<"Craig Ranapia" <high_windows@y...> wrote: Gareth: I'd like the people
        who took such strong exception to Dutton's op-ed to indicate whether they
        would object to me forwarding their messages and inviting him to reply.
        Can't be fairer than that, can I?>>>

        Speaking solely for myself, I would welcome a response from Dutton.
        Admittedly, I'm probably not one of the people you're really referring to,
        but I'd still be interested in hearing what he has to say to my opinion.

        Thanks for offering!

      • Vogel, Henry
        Dutton is well taken with The Wizard of Oz, rightfully so. Was Oz considered a classic of lasting value at the time of its release? Or two years
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 2, 2004
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          <<<> Dutton is well taken with The Wizard of Oz, rightfully so.

          Was Oz considered a "classic" of "lasting value" at the time of its release?
          Or two years later?


          I'm honestly not sure. I recall reading an article in the newspaper saying
          the movie wasn't big of a hit when originally released and only became a
          classic when it started showing on television. Conversely, my mother, who
          was nine at the time, remembers it being a big hit. One could also look to
          the '80s movie, A Christmas Story, and see a large number of Wizard of Oz
          references at the Christmas parade scene. Don't know how accurate that is,
          but I suspect the film makers tried to maintain accuracy for the time

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