Re: FW: Spectacular it may be, but LOTR lacks lasting value
- <<<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
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
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.
- <<<"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!
- <<<> 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