The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Another unfilmable paragraph?



Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 14 2009, 2:53am


Views: 5533
Another unfilmable paragraph?

Back in December, N.E. Brigand started a thread called An Unfilmable Paragraph in which he quoted what many (including myself) consider to be the key paragraph of The Hobbit and posited the question of whether it could be filmed faithfully.

I want to posit a similar question about another key paragraph, one that not only is important to The Hobbit but also sets up one of the most important moral themes of The Lord of the Rings.


Quote

Bilbo almost stopped breathing, and went stiff himself. He was desperate. He must get away, out of this horrible darkness, while he had any strength left. He must fight. He must stab the foul thing, put its eyes out, kill it. It meant to kill him. No, not a fair fight. He was invisible now. Gollum had no sword. Gollum had not actually threatened to kill him, or tried to yet. And he was miserable, alone, lost. A sudden understanding, a pity mixed with horror, welled up in Bilbo's heart: a glimpse of endless unmarked days without light or hope of betterment, hard stone, cold fish, sneaking and whispering. All these thoughts passed in a flash of a second. He trembled. And then quite suddenly in another flash, as if lifted by a new strength and resolve, he leaped.



Does anyone have any thoughts about how the filmmakers might be able to show Bilbo's sudden understanding, his pity mixed with horror, that led him to go from being about to stab Gollum to attempting the desperate leap over the pitiful figure?

Does anyone else feel -- as I do -- that the failure to successfully portray this moment would be an almost fatal flaw in adapting The Hobbit?

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea


Jun 14 2009, 3:45am


Views: 3806
How about this?

We see Bilbo gripping his sword (OK, he's invisible, but never mind). We see Gollum squatting, muttering, looking like an easy target. Music builds dramatically, then...cut to Bilbo (or Bilbo's footprints) running down the tunnel, squeezing through the door, grunting, brass buttons scattering. All this time it seems that Bilbo must have killed Gollum to escape. But when Bilbo catches up to the dwarves, he tells the story and we see the leap in flashback (although Bilbo is invisible. Hmm. Will they use "flame world" again like when Frodo had the Ring on?) and the dwarves will ask Bilbo why he didn't just stab Gollum and kill him. Bilbo will respond with the lines about pitying him.

Where's Frodo?


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 14 2009, 4:03am


Views: 3763
That's better than anything I can think of

Well done. That might be how it needs to be done. But it is certainly an example of telling, not showing. On the other hand, I simply can't see how such an emotion could adequately be shown, instead of told.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


sador
Half-elven

Jun 14 2009, 6:00am


Views: 3712
Well done!

Yes, I like it. It's a good solution, IMO.
But one that doesn't solve the problem with the paragraph NEB asked about.

"In that case you may, perhaps, not altogether waste your time." - Smaug


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 14 2009, 7:43am


Views: 3775
Think of it from another perspective.

Instead of asking "How can we show what is going on inside Bilbo?, the filmmakers should be asking "How can we make the audience feel the same way as Bilbo?" It seems to me that the answer to this problem is Gollum.

Go back a page or so, and you'll find the beginning of a conversation between Gollum and Smeagol. It doesn't say so, but given how we've already seen that double personality displayed, it's easy to see the division. Here's how I envision the scene playing out.

*******

Gollum is leading the invisible Bilbo unknowingly toward the exit. He comes to the mouth of the tunnel leading to the goblins' back door. He peers in and shrinks back.

Smeagol: "But we dursn't go in, precious, no we dursn't. Goblinses down there. Lots of goblinses. We smells them. Ssss!"

Gollum: "What shall we do? Curse them and crush them! We must wait here, precious, wait a bit and see."

Gollum sits humped up right in the opening, eyes gleaming green in the dark, head swaying from side to side.

Cut to Bilbo. He stops uncertainly, then begins to creep slowly forward. Gollum stiffens and looks in his direction. He leans forward, his hands on the ground in front of him. His eyes glow and he hisses menacingly.

Gollum (whispers): "Sss! We smells it, the Baggins. It stole the Precious from us. We hates it, we does! We must find it, we must catch it, gollum, gollum!"

Cut to Bilbo. Close up on his face, showing fear and disgust. His face is smeared with sweat and dust. He takes a slow, deep breath and his hand clenches on Sting's hilt as he nerves himself to fight. He begins to very slowly draw it out of its scabbard.

Smeagol (weeping): "It has the Precious, the Precious is lost to us! We are lost without it, lost in the dark. All alone in the dark under the cold stone we are. Never safe now from the nassty sneaking goblinses. Always alone, Precious, always hungry, always hiding. Oh my Precious, my Precious, we are lost....."

Bilbo hesitates, then slowly lets go of Sting. His face sets in determination, then he rushes forward and leaps over Gollum. He nearly stumbles on landing but recovers his balance and runs down the tunnel, followed by the shrieking of Gollum who is frantically feeling about the passage after him.

Gollum (shrieking and wailing in despair): "Thief, thief, thief! Baggins! We hates it, we hates it, we hates it for ever!"

********

I think, given what we've seen from Andy Serkis and the Gollum animators, that it is quite possible to make the audience feel the same pity for Smeagol that Bilbo does, and if the actor playing Bilbo does a decent job of showing his emotions on his face, the audience will understand his position and get the full impact of the situation.

If anything more were needed after this, it would only be a confiding comment from Bilbo to Gandalf later on that it may have been foolish, but when it came right to it, he could not bring himself to kill such a pitiful creature, unarmed and unaware.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 14 2009, 4:41pm


Views: 3738
Yes - if the actor can show

that "sudden understanding" with pity and horror, matching to his actions as he releases Sting, then that, in combination with the Smeagol/Gollum duality, and followed by his immediate resolve to leap, should be able to give the audience the feel of the moment!

And produce yet another "cheering" moment! Laugh


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915



Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 14 2009, 7:50pm


Views: 3708
The thing that really makes it possible

is the fact that Gollum talks to himself all the time, so he can tell us what Bilbo realized without it feeling unnatural or exposition-y. And when we see Bilbo's expression change, we will understand what changed it because (hopefully) we just had that twinge of pity too.

This is one of those moments I hope really lives up to my internal movie. I can just picture Bilbo escaping Gollum, racing down the passage, dodging goblins and squeezing through the door with buttons flying. That should be a great scene too: cut from seeing Invisible Bilbo stuck and struggling in the doorway to a shot of the half-open door with buttons suddenly appearing in midair and falling all around the doorstep, with a few good goblin reaction shots. Yep, that will be worth cheering for! Cool

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 14 2009, 9:02pm


Views: 3708
You don't film paragraphs.

I suspect that the first thing a screenwriter needs to do is break away from the conventions of words on a page. I can't imagine an approach more certain to fail than going paragraph by paragraph. How deadly would that be?

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea
upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 14 2009, 9:55pm


Views: 3713
You don't film books either.

But if you feel a book is worth adapting to film in the first place, you recognize that part of the essence of the original --that you are presumably trying to honor on film-- is tied up in the very arrangment of the author's words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters. A great written story lives every bit as much in its specific word choices as in its broadest themes, and a good film adapation respects both. As you say, you recognize that film doesn't have written words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters, but dialogue, lighting, music, shots, scenes, etc., and for that reason among others you find substitutes for the source's many "unfilmable" elements. But you ignore the effect created by those elements at your peril.

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squire
Half-elven


Jun 14 2009, 10:32pm


Views: 3736
But you might film "moments"

This scene isn't so much a paragraph as a very important moment in the story, a turning point. I should think screenwriter/adapters would be on the lookout for those. Then the question of their relative "filmability" arises, and that must certainly be answered in a filmic way. I like the suggestion of using a Smeagol/Gollum mono/dialogue to which Bilbo can facially react.

A while back NEB (I think) similarly brought up the "unfilmable moment" of the "bravest thing that Bilbo ever did", when he proceeds down the tunnel towards Smaug, by himself. If I remember, there was some discussion not of whether to film this scene, but of how to, given the hobbit's invisibility due to wearing his ring in an unlit tunnel. That same objection is valid with the end of the Riddles chapter, as has been pointed out today.

I am truly leery of the vast number of scenes in The Hobbit that take place in near-total darkness or, as Tolkien prefers even more, pitch blackness without the hint of a glimmer of light. Add to that an invisible hero, and ... oh dear.



squire online:
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Curious
Half-elven


Jun 15 2009, 5:48am


Views: 3729
Film is a visual medium. A filmmaker should not, I judge,

attempt to preserve the voice of the narrator, which a bigger part of The Hobbit than of LotR. I think the film can show Bilbo gripping his sword and contemplating a strike before softening, and leaping. I don't think there should be a voiceover, nor do I think that Bilbo should explain his behavior to the dwarves in an attempt to preserve the voice of the narrator. Trust the audience to figure it out.

The voice of the narrator is something we lose in Jane Austen adaptations as well, yet the adaptations still can work. We just have to turn to the books for the witty asides of the narrator.

Now, the issue of how to film Bilbo when he is invisible or in complete darkness is another matter. I'll have to think about that.


(This post was edited by Curious on Jun 15 2009, 5:51am)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 15 2009, 10:04am


Views: 3675
Yes indeed.


In Reply To
This scene isn't so much a paragraph as a very important moment in the story, a turning point. I should think screenwriter/adapters would be on the lookout for those.



That's what I was trying to say. You can't look at this paragraph as just a paragraph, in isolation. Not if you're a screenwriter. This is indeed a very important moment, and in the dramatic form a turning point such as this reaches backwards and forwards into the development of the characters, and the building of drama, so that everything turns, precisely, on the turning-point. So with a good screenplay, I'd say, you wouldn't be able to look at the one moment that corresponds to the action in the source "paragraph" and expect to find all the subtext of that paragraph right there. But you should expect to find that subtext underlying the characterizations and interactions of the protagonists throughout the scene - and perhaps also reaching forward to later changes in those protagonists and their fates.

Peter Jackson liked to say that LotR was like a "jigsaw puzzle" that had to be taken apart and then put back together. I think he was talking about this kind of process - forget about the paragraphs, and reassemble the story on its turning-points and other "iconic moments". You can recreate the impressions and emotions of the book, but not by literally following the paragraphs - even the important paragraphs - of the book. Something that might have been rich and vibrant in its own medium may not survive a direct transplant to another medium that has different needs, and you risk ending up with a pale and lifeless copy of the original instead.


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea
upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 15 2009, 10:26am


Views: 3655
The darkness is a serious problem.

I hope The Hobbit won't all take place in the harsh, bluish "darkness" of LotR. I don't have a very good visual memory, but I have the impression that the underground scenes in Pan's Labyrinth weren't so stark - were they a bit less harshly lit, and/or a bit more greenish or brownish maybe? Still, those were fairly short scenes compared to the amount of time Bilbo spends underground in The Hobbit. I would think that a lot of thought is going to have to go into the "palette" for these.

I agree that you don't need either a narrator or Bilbo's own words later to the dwarves to make this kind of moment work. The scene should have brought the audience to the place where they can understand Bilbo's thoughts - we'll have had our own chance to sense what Gollum's life must have been like, and our own chance to see what Bilbo is capable of, and so we should be able not only to understand Bilbo's reaction but to empathize with it as well.


In Reply To
Now, the issue of how to film Bilbo when he is invisible ....



I have a feeling that this problem has already been addressed in other films (Harry Potter's invisibility cloak for example), as well as in the way the Ring-world works for Frodo in LotR. Bilbo wouldn't get the scary Eye-related stuff that Frodo gets, of course, but he could have some kind of fuzzy-edged view of the world. And conversely, as we see Frodo through that misty aura we could see Bilbo through his own gentler one when he's invisible. When the camera switches to the POV of someone else, of course, he would actually be invisible. That's how it works in LotR, and it doesn't seem to cause any problems of comprehension - I guess the conventions are well enough established that we hardly notice it's being done at all.


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea
upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 15 2009, 10:31am


Views: 3654
Oh, I thought that was the issue...

...that you had with Jackson's LotR. That he hadn't filmed the book.

I certainly agree that you don't film books. But I don't think you film "the very arrangement of the author's words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters" either. I agree that the essence and the effect of those words etc. needs to come through. But I don't think you should expect to produce them by trying to duplicate the physical arrangement of the words on the paper.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea
upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Jettorex
Lorien


Jun 15 2009, 3:12pm


Views: 3633
interesting question

I think it could be filmable.
I don't think you would need to do a narrator voiceover, Bilbo talking to himself in his mind, or even have Bilbo explain his feelings later. I think a skilled filmaker and ACTOR/S could show those feelings through closeups of of facial expressions, body language, etc. (of both Bilbo and Gollum).

now how to portray the darkness- Shots of facial expressions, etc only face is lighted evrything else around black. Perhaps interspersed with occasional shots of dimly blue lit rocky walls, floor. Charactors acting like they can't see (or barely can see), groping moving tentatively.

Bilbo's invisability-Show him kind if like they did Frodo in LotR only not as "harsh". Tone down the flame world.
From Gollums point of view-show nothing, perhaps subtle sounds of movement, footsteps, darkness and perhaps near darkness shots of traces of movement by surrounding environment being slightly disturbed by Bilbo's presence.

And yes I also think that they need to be able to show this successfully or it could be a (perhaps not fatal) major flaw.


- "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 15 2009, 4:52pm


Views: 3640
It depends on the actor.

Does anyone have any thoughts about how the filmmakers might be able to show Bilbo's sudden understanding, his pity mixed with horror, that led him to go from being about to stab Gollum to attempting the desperate leap over the pitiful figure?

Get a good actor. A good actor can convey a range of emotions, and show thought processes without saying a word. That's what film acting is all about.


Does anyone else feel -- as I do -- that the failure to successfully portray this moment would be an almost fatal flaw in adapting The Hobbit?

Not just this moment. Bilbo is going to have to carry most of the film. They need a good actor with range. If they end up casting on the basis of looks and youth rather than experience and skill, then yes, it's going to be a disaster.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 15 2009, 5:24pm


Views: 3616
Well Said

I think you have pretty much hit the nail on the head with the proverbial hammer.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 15 2009, 5:52pm


Views: 3658
Lots of hammers in "The Hobbit", none proverbial.

But just one nail, which may not make it into the film.

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Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 15 2009, 9:06pm


Views: 3643
It took me a while to figure out what you were referring to

Then I remembered the Warg-skin. And I bet it will make it into the film.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


sador
Half-elven

Jun 16 2009, 6:36am


Views: 3611
How were the clothes in the troll-cave hanging from the walls?

Were they likely to have only natural ledges?

And there is plenty of mail in The Hobbit, but I suppose not all of it will be shown in the films. Some are likely to find the morning letters jarring.

"When they came to Bill Ferny's house they saw that the hedge there was tattered and unkempt, and the windows were all boarded up.
'Do you think you killed him with that apple, Sam?' said Pippin.
'I'm not so hopeful, Mr. Pippin,' said Sam."

Ferny is a small fish; a delinquette, and part-time ruffian.
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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 16 2009, 1:03pm


Views: 3580
Snails, too.


Quote
And there is plenty of mail in The Hobbit...


Also wails, trails, tails, and things that are frail or fail or sail, or happen gaily or daily.

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Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 16 2009, 1:17pm


Views: 3607
And trails. Lots of trails

But, alas, no whales. Unsure

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


sador
Half-elven

Jun 16 2009, 1:18pm


Views: 3626
That's way beyond my pail.

Yes, I know that's the wrong spelling; but I wracked my brains on a major scale - to no avail. Pirate

Serves me right for starting a pun-game in my second language!

"When they came to Bill Ferny's house they saw that the hedge there was tattered and unkempt, and the windows were all boarded up.
'Do you think you killed him with that apple, Sam?' said Pippin.
'I'm not so hopeful, Mr. Pippin,' said Sam."

Ferny is a small fish; a delinquette, and part-time ruffian.
But this week in the Reading Room - a real dragon is NOT AT HOME.
Join us!

(This post was edited by sador on Jun 16 2009, 1:19pm)


Jettorex
Lorien


Jun 16 2009, 1:56pm


Views: 3605
and a Jail

or two


- "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 16 2009, 3:35pm


Views: 3589
And quite a tale.

There's also ale, dales and scales, a gale and a sale, and things that are pale.

But no males.

(And no mail in the sense of posted letters.)

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 16 2009, 3:48pm


Views: 1765
"Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world, but for...?" //

 

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 16 2009, 4:03pm


Views: 1771
Yes, but not by that name. //

 

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FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 16 2009, 4:27pm


Views: 1784
Only one?


Quote
...just one nail, which may not make it into the film



Wouldn't it take several nails to attach a warg-skin to a tree? I always imagined it stretched out, the way tanned hides would be stretched for drying.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea
upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



cameragod
Lorien


Jun 17 2009, 10:20am


Views: 1755
try's to think of a rhyme

...only to fail

All artists are prepared to suffer for their work, but why are so few prepared to learn to draw? :BANKSY


"A Cameraman without a camera is just a man." Stephen Press


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 17 2009, 1:29pm


Views: 1767
But aren't you begging the question?


Quote
Get a good actor. A good actor can convey a range of emotions, and show thought processes without saying a word. That's what film acting is all about.



Isn't good acting in the eye of the beholder? Look at the lead hobbit actors from LotR - some people see complex emotions in their performances, while others see nothing at all.


Quote
If they end up casting on the basis of looks and youth rather than experience and skill, then yes, it's going to be a disaster.



I agree with this as it stands, unless you're expressing an either-or choice here. "Looks and youth" don't have to be incompatible with "experience and skill", although it may be true that actors with looks and youth find it harder to have their skill appreciated.

And even the best actor is only as good as the writing and direction. If the writing doesn't lead the audience to the place where they can understand Bilbo's predicament, I doubt there's an actor on the planet who could make this "unfilmable paragraph" work. (Conversely, though, a weak actor would probably produce a disaster, as you say. Peter Jackson seems to be very good at pulling performances out of his actors, but I don't know enough about GDT to know how skilled he is in this area.)

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea
upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 17 2009, 3:16pm


Views: 1762
The answer is "no".

Isn't good acting in the eye of the beholder?

I’ve often debated with others whether there are any objective criteria for judging cinema. Is there such a thing as good acting? Is there such a thing as bad acting? I’ll leave the choice to you:

Lawrence Olivier versus Klinton Spilsbury.

Bette Davis versus Pia Zadora.

Toshirô Mifune vesus Ricky Nelson.

Katherine Hepburn versus Brittany Spears.

Jean Reno versus Tom Arnold.

Jeanne Moreau versus Paris Hilton.


Look at the lead hobbit actors from LotR - some people see complex emotions in their performances, while others see nothing at all.

I think a large part of the objections come from subjective problems with the adaptation than with the objective quality of the performance. For example, Elijah Wood is a very skilled actor, and does a great job portraying an adolescent hobbit. But book Frodo is not an adolescent hobbit. So people look for the book Frodo, find him missing, and blame Wood.



Quote
If they end up casting on the basis of looks and youth rather than experience and skill, then yes, it's going to be a disaster.

I agree with this as it stands, unless you're expressing an either-or choice here.


A lot of times that’s how Hollywood works. "Zac Efron is a hot property, so let's cast Zac Efron in it!"


"Looks and youth" don't have to be incompatible with "experience and skill", although it may be true that actors with looks and youth find it harder to have their skill appreciated.

How good was Orlando Bloom’s fresh-out-of-acting-school performance in LOTR? Could he have carried two three-hour films by himself? That's what the actor who plays Bilbo will have to do.


And even the best actor is only as good as the writing and direction. If the writing doesn't lead the audience to the place where they can understand Bilbo's predicament, I doubt there's an actor on the planet who could make this "unfilmable paragraph" work.

As Stanislavsky said, “There are no small parts, only small actors.”


In the end (Conversely, though, a weak actor would probably produce a disaster, as you say. Peter Jackson seems to be very good at pulling performances out of his actors, but I don't know enough about GDT to know how skilled he is in this area.)

Del Toro has gotten some very good performances out of small children, latex faced actors, and cgi constructs. That bodes well.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Annael
Half-elven


Jun 17 2009, 3:27pm


Views: 1805
well, if they had an actor as good as Jimmy Stewart . . .

Ever see It's a Wonderful Life? There's such a moment there. George (Jimmy) has been waiting for four years for his brother to finish college and come home to take over the Bailey Building & Loan so George can finally fulfill his dream of world travel. But his brother gets off the train with a surprise: a wife, who tells George that her father has offered the brother a very good job. She walks off, and the camera stays on George's face. In 30 silent seconds you see him realize that his dream has ended for good, go into bleak despair, accept the situation, and pull himself together enough to smile at his brother.

I could see the actor hefting his knife, getting ready to strike, then looking at the miserable Gollum and his face softening from hatred to pity. We wouldn't know his specific thoughts but we'd recognize the inner shift.


I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:
How are you? ...
I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:
What is God?
If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,
If you think that the Sun and the Ocean
Can pass through that tiny opening
Called the mouth,
O someone should start laughing!
Someone should start wildly
Laughing – Now!
- Hafiz

* * * * * * * * * *
NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 17 2009, 3:57pm


Views: 1741
Okay.


In Reply To
Lawrence Olivier versus Klinton Spilsbury.

Bette Davis versus Pia Zadora.

Toshirô Mifune vesus Ricky Nelson.

Katherine Hepburn versus Brittany Spears.

Jean Reno versus Tom Arnold.

Jeanne Moreau versus Paris Hilton.



Your reductio ad absurdum works for me!

Tongue


Quote

A lot of times that’s how Hollywood works. "Zac Efron is a hot property, so let's cast Zac Efron in it!"



Oh well, if that's all you mean, then I think we can relax. PJ and GDT have enough clout not to let something that stupid happen. Haven't they?


Quote
How good was Orlando Bloom’s fresh-out-of-acting-school performance in LOTR? Could he have carried two three-hour films by himself? That's what the actor who plays Bilbo will have to do.



No. Orlando Bloom has shown himself not to have much range or talent after all. But we didn't know that from LotR, because Peter Jackson cast him in a role he could do, and got the performance that he needed for that very specific role.

I can see that finding someone who can carry two three-hour films is going to be tough. I suspect that finding someone who can carry two three-hour films in the persona of a hobbit might be tougher still. I'm not sure your explanation about Elijah Wood's age not corresponding to book-Frodo's is really the whole story. A hobbit hero is not an easy thing to portray, I'm thinking. There's a well-trodden route for action-hero warriors like Aragorn, Legolas and Boromir, but a hobbit is in a peculiar position. I'm not sure a middle-aged Frodo would have been any more convincing, especially as Tolkien depicts even Frodo as a child-man when it suits him. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what GDT comes up with.


Quote
Del Toro has gotten some very good performances out of small children, latex faced actors, and cgi constructs. That bodes well.


I've only seen Pan's Labyrinth, but you're right, he got a beautiful performance out of the little girl. I also like the subtle way he uses the magic in that. I wonder if any of that subtlety will transfer to The Hobbit?


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea
upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 17 2009, 4:10pm


Views: 2832
Great example!

Of course that also depends on the director to be able to hold a shot for more than five seconds and keep the attention of an audience raised on quick cutting music videos.

Ought to be interesting.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”