The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Jackson Quibble: Is the new Hobbit flick harming the greater good?



imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 12:59pm


Views: 3061
The Jackson Quibble: Is the new Hobbit flick harming the greater good?

An article posted on this site - http://tolkienlibrary.com/press/1081-The-Jackson-Quibble.php?551&utm_source=Tolkien+Library&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3ed0d87f6a-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_RSS

The article was written by the New York Film Academy Faculty apparently and i thought it was interesting and people here might like a read.

It is not a bashing of PJ as such - they have good things to say about LOTR and its effects on people reading the novels.

I just wondered if people agree with firstly the comments on the film - AUJ - in relation to how it will impact on the books and also people's love for Tolkien in general.

Also do you think the suggestion of a dedicated Tolkien museum in Oxford created from the proceeds of the film would be a good way to spend the money and help people learn about the 'real' Middle-earth?

(If someone can link the article that would be awesome, thanks).


stoutfiles
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 1:34pm


Views: 1689
Good and bad

The films have and will continue to introduce people to Middle-Earth. If they enjoy them, then some will want more and start reading the books, where they will get the true story. That alone makes the movies worth having.

I get why the movies changed so much from the books, movies almost have to be nonstop exciting with cliche after cliche. That's what the people want and that's what they're paying for. I can also understand why the Tolkien estate is disgusted by the films; they have the same title and same characters, but it's not the same feel at all. However, you have to agree that the end justifies the means.


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Feb 1 2013, 1:41pm


Views: 1651
Anecdotal evidence

The anecdotal evidence in my own life is contrary to the claims in the article (which are not, I note, supported by any evidence). I saw the movie with two people who had not read the book. Of those two, one is now reading it. The other is fascinated to learn additional details of Tolkien's imagined world, like where did Orcs come from? What are Wizards, in this world? (I think he may take a stab at the book too, later; he has been reading his way through Harry Potter for the past month or more and still has 2 books to go.)

I have no idea how accurate the claims the author makes about the death of reading (in favor of electronic media) might be in actuality. But accurate or not (and I suspect they may be exaggerated, I can recall this same lamenting over TV vs books in by own childhood, that is, in the 1970s...!) I don't see the tie to Jackson's movies specifically.


ShireHorse
Rohan

Feb 1 2013, 1:46pm


Views: 1619
Here's a link, Imin.

http://tolkienlibrary.com/...S_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_RSS

I don't like the article because it is full of sweeping statements about how "everyone" hates the film etc. He also gets his facts wrong when he says that Christopher Tolkien reckoned PJ "eviscerated" TH - that was a reference to LotR. The posters underneath are having a decent conversation.


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 1:48pm


Views: 1589
What do you think about the idea

Of using the proceeds of the film to create a museum?

Where are they talking about the death of reading? I couldnt find that in the article. If anything the author is saying its a good thing there are other types of media as it gets them back to the books.


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 1:50pm


Views: 1575
Thanks

And yeah that was from CT interview in Le Monde which was in reference to LOTR not TH, made me roll my eyes, lol.

Personally i would love it if they made a Tolkien museum in Oxford though :P


ShireHorse
Rohan

Feb 1 2013, 1:57pm


Views: 1570
Speaking of Oxford....

my daughter, who lives there, has just sent me this information about a 3-day series of Tolkien lectures and tours being held there in March.

http://www.english.ox.ac.uk/...olkien-spring-school

Those who have access to Oxford might be interested.


dormouse
Half-elven


Feb 1 2013, 1:59pm


Views: 1601
I saw that....

.... and my reaction was that the whole thing is based on a false premise. The writer, whoever he or she might be, begins by assuming a concensus view on the film. 'Let's be honest, the new Hobbit film is disappointing at best' or words to that effect, going on the say that the majority know this to be true, and so on. Well, who says?

That 'let's be honest' lost me from the start. If I were to go along with an argument that began in that way I'd be lying. I wasn't disappointed by the new film, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I've known and loved the book for almost half a century. My brother, who is older than me, also enjoyed it, as did his son (20-something) and a number of other friends. I know some people enjoyed it with reservations, or only enjoyed bits of it, or were disappointed and didn't enjoy it at all - but I'm not in a position to say which group are in the majority and I can't see how the writer of the article is in a position to say it either. Which makes the rest of his/her argument fall very flat. 'A sense of fatigue' ... 'current boredom with the movies'.... 'if the general population feel oversaturated at this stage and box office takings plummet'.... I'm beginning to feel as if I'm reading about a different film here - after all, is The Hobbit not doing rather well at the box office?

A Tolkien museum in Oxford would be an interesting idea in its own right. But the notion of funding a museum with the takings of a film which the writer dislikes so much is bizarre - and as for the roller coaster ride into Mount Doom - words fail (as they do at the suggestion that the Tolkien Estate is happy with the idea of a theme park. Words fail - is this meant to be a serious article?

Anyway, here's the link


Elessar
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 2:06pm


Views: 1586
Not gonna bother now

If an article starts out like that then its pretty pointless for me to read it. I did not feel the film was a disappointment at all and have seen it four times with a fifth coming tomorrow. So stating something like that means they're bringing their baggage to the article and try force their opinion in a way on the reader which I don't think is the proper thing to do. For me after having seen The Fellowship of the Ring and hearing from my mother how good the book was coupled with my own interest from high school I jumped right into Tolkien. The movies led me to the books and I love both with all my heart.



imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 2:11pm


Views: 1564
Why would that be bizarre?


In Reply To
A Tolkien museum in Oxford would be an interesting idea in its own right. But the notion of funding a museum with the takings of a film which the writer dislikes so much is bizarre]


They said why it would be a nice idea to use the money so they can do some good instead of just fighting the movies, why not use some of it for good in making a museum? They are getting the money anyway so make best use of it?

Seems clever to me not bizarre, though i can see if you dont like the article then one can be put off by things suggested.

I dont believe they will make a Tolkien theme park and i really hope they dont (as i said in the Tolkien theme park thread, lol) but its not the first time i have heard someone say the Tolkien estate is not a million miles away from agreeing to it - though this could all be internet speculation from someone and its getting copied.

One thing i am curious about is - was this really written by someone from the New York Film Academy Faculty? It just seems like something they would never do!

Also yeah flat out saying people found it disappointing is not true as obviously many did like it. I only know one person who likes it more than LOTR though so maybe that is the disappointment they are referring to - disappointing in relation to the previous movies? I think there is a larger minority of people who feel this movie is ok to not very good in comparison to the LOTR movies, and this can be read when looking at the different Tolkien websites, but the majority certainly seem to either think its good (like me) or love it (most on here) so for me i dont think his comments are correct and would feel safe to say you and me are in the majority.

Also i dont know if its meant to be serious or not, lol, that is why i posted it on here as i thought people would find it interesting and curious it was apparently written by a member of the film academy.


bborchar
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 2:14pm


Views: 1588
Aren't people taking these movies WAAAAY too seriously?

The only way these movies would be harming the "greater good" is if they somehow spread disease and warfare across the earth. Since they do not do so, any criticism of them saying such is automatically invalid. They're movies. Get over it. They don't "harm" the books in any way, shape or form, because I haven't seen anyone edit or rewrite the books based on the movies. It is just as easy to ignore the movies completely if you don't feel they fit within your view of the story. Other people are more flexible, and can appreciate the movies for what they are: an entertaining way to spend a few hours. It's the same with the books. I have many books that I love- I love discussing them with people, and I love the insight they give me into everyday life. But it stops there. They are supposed to augment reality, not replace it. Anyway, that's my opinion on the subject.


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 2:54pm


Views: 1542
It is too serious

But then the same could be said for Tolkien fandom in general, people have based their entire careers around it.

For me the idea that the movie could only harm the greater good if it spread disease or warfare is nonsense. Many things cause harm but not disease.

For myself i dont believe the film is harming the greater good though some people do. One of those is Christopher Tolkien, who stated as such when referring to the lord of the rings trilogy in Le Monde back in July.

He felt the movie had created a world which was detrimental - harming Tolkien's work/ Middle-earth and was becoming the sole source or the primary source for the vision of middle-earth when he wanted it to be the books which he felt gave a person a better understanding of what the world was really about.

It is about the collective populations image/understanding of the works.

For me i dont think it will do much harm. It will mean more people end up buying the books than would have and some of those may then like it so much as to go on and read Tolkien's other works.

One way i feel the films have harmed the Tolkien fandom is through the artwork. Prior to the films there was lots of artwork done by well known artists - which continues now. But also by amateurs and fans of the books. Due to it being a book, one could draw/paint etc ones own mental image - it seems now with the films there is an over dominance of film imagery in the art scene. This is to the detriment of the scene as it narrows its collective vision.

Overall though i agree, the books will always be there and be able to be read by anyone who wishes to pick them up.

Personally i think there will be more of a split between those who are fans of the movies and those who are fans of the books (irrespective of whether they watched the films or not). I am also kinda unsure why book fans feel threatened by the film (in the same way CT has) i mean their own personal vision of M-e will be the same and so why get bothered about it?

All i can come up with is those peeps feel the book is better and want the film only fans to experience something better or so that the general publics perception of M-e is based on the books imagery not the films - which again leads to the question - but why is that important that the public think of the books when thinking of M-e?

All far too serious for me, lol.


bborchar
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 3:19pm


Views: 1536
As far as CT is concerned...

...it's personal. That doesn't mean that it actually affects the "greater good"- it simply has changed their lives. It was his choice to embrace that or fight it, and he chose the latter. I have my own opinions about that, but they really don't matter- it's his life, and if he wants to be miserable about it, then so be it. I also have my own opinions as far as how long copyright should last (far shorter) or when things should go into public domain (far sooner), but that's a different issue.

The people who think that these movies are causing "harm to the greater good" have obviously never seen how most of the people in the world live. It's ludicrous to think that a mere movie adaptation could be one of the worst things that has ever happened. Now, they may have been upset by how the movie interpreted one of their favorite books, but that's pretty much where it stops. It's personal, and sweeping statements such as "everyone thinks this movie is disappointing" is rather short-sighted...everyone obviously does NOT feel that way, and it's insulting to those who did like it to be included in that overreaching statement.

Any movie is going to "set" the imagery of a book for people who don't already have strong imagery in their minds. I'm sure the animated films did nothing to help this, because it probably set into many peoples' minds that this was a fantasy story for children. I sometimes use movie imagery when reading, but if I like my own image of someone better, I will continue to do that. A good example of this for me is when I read Terry Pratchett's Discworld, my mental image of the character of Sam Vimes doesn't match up at at all with the illustrations...but it doesn't affect me at all.

But I agree, this all gets too serious for me, too :) I have a personal rule that if something doesn't affect my marriage or my children, then it's not worth worrying about. And movies or books are definitely not even on that list, lol.


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 3:35pm


Views: 1483
It's called first world problems, lol


In Reply To
The people who think that these movies are causing "harm to the greater good" have obviously never seen how most of the people in the world live

In Reply To

Many things could be took the same way - getting angry at phone being broke - most people dont have enough to eat never mind have a car - its all first world problems.

Essentially it is all debate and i hope that noone thinks genuine harm will come from the films, its as i said harm to people's collective opinion of the world created - if one is as invested as CT then i think i would be the same way and i think he can be excused for thinking the way he does.

For others i dont really get it, but at the same time i want the books to be the main source of imagery and understanding of the world and not the films - but i dont even know why really as like you say it just doesnt matter and i make no money from it and it doesnt affect my life - and yet i still want it to be the books as the main thing, lol. I think its something like - i love the books so much i want others to love them as well, haha so childish!


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 1 2013, 3:46pm


Views: 1476
We have our own Tolkien culture

Other films have their culture. We're fortunate that Tolkien's writings are as interesting as they are. I've seen similar wars over good versus bad on other boards devoted to films made from lesser literature, and it takes exactly the same shape as they concerns here. I find the human tendency to tear down work that isn't there own very disturbing sometimes. My theme park thread over on the Main sub-board has gotten some interesting pros and cons, too.


dormouse
Half-elven


Feb 1 2013, 3:48pm


Views: 1476
Bizarre?

Well, it does seem pretty bizarre to me to take funding from something you really don't approve of.

Suppose Christopher Tolkien were to give his support to a museum dedicated to his father's work. If he did it would be a very serious undertaking, aimed at exploring the themes behind JRRT's writing - because, judging by the 'History of Middle Earth' series that is what interests Christopher Tokien and what he wants people to appreciate and understand. The museum would be academic - it might have a section on the illustration of the books, the drawing of the maps. It might have photographs and artefacts relating to Tolkien's life, but it certainly wouldn't have a gift shop with plastic hobbits. So to fund the enterprise with the takings of a film which, in CT's eyes is probably the antithesis of everything that matters to him about the books would seem almost to undermine it - rather like funding cancer research by selling cigarettes, though obviously not so serious.

As for who wrote it, I'd have thought anyone in a position to give an authoratitive opinion on something would also sign it. If the writer isn't willing to put his/her name to it then isn't worth much.


bborchar
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 3:53pm


Views: 1453
Exactly first world problems :)

I guess I'm so used to people not liking the same things I like (things that I like range from translating Japanese light novels for fun to going to Boston to see the USS Constitution sail in the Boston Harbor) that it doesn't bother me at all when the people around me don't care for the same things I do. It used to embarrass me when I was a teenager, but now I'm past the point of needing validation for things in which I take pleasure. Life is too short to worry about what other people think.


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 3:55pm


Views: 1457
They are getting that money anyway

Why not use it for something that is of interest to them and their aims?

Technically in the UK cigarettes generate more money than is spent on healthcare for smokers and as such the money does go into the NHS - it is a big reason as to why they havent been banned altogether - too much money but that is a different subject and the parallels arent as clear as they may seem.

I just think if they are getting money from the film - and rightly so in my opinion. Then it would be nice to do something with that money which would help 'their cause' as well as what they are currently doing as a charity.

There are also other things than movie memorabilia to sell, if one would be worried about that.


dormouse
Half-elven


Feb 1 2013, 3:56pm


Views: 1461
Fair enough

Just the way it seemed to me.


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 3:59pm


Views: 1449
You know what i think that is kinda what it is for me

I like certain things which most people seem to think is rubbish but obviously when it comes to LOTR/Tolkien there are many many people who like it just as much or more than myself which i cant help but feel good about - i think it is a human response though to feel that way.

I also think it is perfectly human to be puzzled when someone doesnt like something you do so much but i am also quite used to people liking things i find enjoyable as well.

Probs just my age though at 25 i would hope it ends soon, haha


Elessar
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 4:16pm


Views: 1433
It does end eventually

I would say within the last couple of years I just stopped worrying if people liked ir disliked what I liked. I also quit letting myself get nervous if others thought I was a geek or not because of what I liked.



Bombadil
Half-elven


Feb 1 2013, 4:18pm


Views: 1432
Imin... Unlikely

45 years Bomby has deep love for Middle Earth..
.. Ask magpie
ask gramma...
Ask Aunt Dora Baggins
Ask Elizabeth..
ask those
here
...that live in Valinor..

Once our professor
grabs
Hold of you
there is no letting go..

As Sam said at the Cracks of Doom
" just let it go"

not...
Bomby


Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 4:28pm


Views: 1462
I was quite puzzled

by the reference, made twice, to the idea that the manuscripts that Tolkien sold to Marquette University back in the late 1950s should be sent back to Oxford. This is the first I've heard of such an idea. Has anyone else seen a reference to a push for the manuscripts to go back? Clearly Tolkien wanted his material to go there. It's a small Catholic university that showed enormous respect for his work at a time when the books were being looked down upon by a lot of academics at Oxford. There's no reason why it should be sent back. (Plus I happen to live about an hour and a half's drive from it, so I definitely want the material to stay there!)

As to a museum, I wonder where there would be enough material available for more than a small one. Marquette owns all the drafts of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, plus I believe Mr. Bliss and Roverandom, along with a lot of Tolkien's original drawings and paintings. The Bodleian Library in Oxford has some similar material, but my impression is that it's not enough, and it's not clear that they would allow it to be used in a museum.


Bombadil
Half-elven


Feb 1 2013, 4:39pm


Views: 1416
Solution?

MU.....
could make it
a traveling exhibition
Loan this
to galleries
Libraries
shows
Comic Con?

They could spread the wealth.

Bomby
( holds you KT.. in the Highest Reguard.)


bborchar
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 4:40pm


Views: 1419
For me...

I gradually grew less concerned with other peoples' opinions starting in college. Then the birth of my first child and subsequent near death experience shortly after made me realize how little it all actually mattered. So I just try to have a good attitude and find joy in what I do, and if I don't, then it's not worth doing. My favorite book is Pride & Prejudice- there was a movie made in the last decade that I didn't care for...I saw it, said "hmm, not a good movie", and I've never watched it since nor given it another thought. It didn't ruin the pleasure I take in reading that book.


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 4:44pm


Views: 1321
Cheers Bomby and Elessar :)

I am coming into my 18/19th year of being a Tolkien fan - not bad for my age but of course very much less than yourself and a good number of people on here.

I am also interested to see how i relate to the works as i go through my life - Magpie talks about how they changed for her from reading it when younger then later in life, wonder if that will happen for everyone as they read it throughout the years.

I definitely pick up new things every time or even just things i knew previously but just forgot - just read Treebeard chapter last night and i completely forgot the water in the bowls glows, also the description of Treebeard made me go look for artists interpretations on how he looked - face wise i like Lee's best, scene wise i really like Nasmiths vision.

I dont want to come across as some militant tolkien fan though, lol. I am not going to storm into someones house if i know they dont like the books or said something i disagree with, lol.

Just more little niggles i guess. I have lots of friends who dont like the book but love the movies, i dont keep going on at them to read it but when some did i was pleased as i was hoping they would like it as much as me.

Hmm not my best thread, lol
Crazy


Elessar
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 5:04pm


Views: 1316
I understand that

For me it was always how do I explain these things to people who might think they're dumb or girls that thought I was giving too much time/energy/money to something that didn't matter. I let that get in the way instead of just accepting everyone won't feel the same way. In the end with the material itself both book and movie I enjoy what I do, aceept what I don't, and even try to learn to find ways to like what I haven't in the past. It has worked and made me just love Tolkien's world so much better and made it easier for me to explain what I love.



Elessar
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 5:11pm


Views: 1296
Cheers

Well, you've got me by a few. I would say my fandom started in 2001 but I understand the passion you have quite well obviously.

I think that you will find some changes with both the books and movies. There are things I did not like for the most part in my early readings that now I enjoy far more (Tom Bombadil for example) and there may even be a change in things you used to like a lot that you like a little less. It all depends on how your life goes but in the end I think you will be like a lot of us in that Middle-earth is a refuge from the stresses of everyday life when you need it.

Its all good. I think most of us accept some will fall either fully on one side or the other with many (like me) inbetween. Its all about accepting that people will feel differently and finding a way to be respectful about the feelings of others on the subject. You're cool. :)

Its a good thread. :)



Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Feb 1 2013, 5:42pm


Views: 1309
Try the BBC

series. Much better.

Vous commencez ŕ m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 1 2013, 6:52pm


Views: 1312
Harm? *snorts* No... not at all

There have been many franchises that held great promise but were utterly ruined in the execution of the film or TV series. This series of films will hold up as popular.

The greater good? Yes. Here's just some of it:

They have broken many milestones; advanced film and computer technologies; employed hundreds of craftspeople and artists; helped popularize some great writing; inspired other people to take a chance on the genre; won awards; broadened the fanbase; created whole industries with trickle-down products and even more cottage industries; promoted tourism to New Zealand; inspired stage and musical symphonies; and probably started the careers of a new generation of production crew under Jackson that will in turn make their own mark on things.

It touoches people's lives everywhere

Yes, these films have completely contributed to the greater good.


(This post was edited by Rostron2 on Feb 1 2013, 6:52pm)


Lindele
Gondor


Feb 1 2013, 7:05pm


Views: 1304
This article lost all credibility

with it's opening statement. Too bad.


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Feb 1 2013, 7:18pm


Views: 1284
To be frank

Even if the film followed the book word for word the book would still be better-the book is the original! It would be impossible for the film based upon it to be better, and thus film companies have to make changes.

I have to say that although there were a few minor let-downs, there were bits of the film that I wish were in the book-I always wanted to see more of Radagast, for example.

The simple fact is that those people who have read the book appreciate the book for it's simplicity and comfortable, homelike feel-those who have seen both the book and film see them as two different mediums and (like Christopher Tolkien) either embrace this medium for what it is or fight it for its differences. That's just opinion for you.

Yet I see the film as, in many ways, a lens through which you can see the book in greater detail and with more vivid imagery-for example, while I will still imagine my own version of Ori when I read the book, I now see the film's version of Goblin-Town when I read it because it is better than the one I imagined.

"These are Gundabad Wargs! They will outrun you!"

"THESE are Rhosgobel Rabbits! I'd like to see them try...."



andwise
Rivendell


Feb 1 2013, 8:34pm


Views: 1249
wel said dormouse!

It seems to me that a large percentage of people who don't like the movie really do think that theirs is the only and correct opinion and try to soften or justify this by saying 'oh well this is only what I think,you can all think what you want..' but they go away convinced that they are right and that by saying things like 'lets be honest' they can shame people in to admitting they don't really like it!! Also,people who have some film making knowledge think that just because they have some good ideas they would have made a better job that PJ!!!! Good ideas don't translate in to great results.I completely understand that some like it and some don't,that's how the world works so can't we all just stop bickering and trying to convince each other to change our minds?Smile

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


andwise
Rivendell


Feb 1 2013, 8:47pm


Views: 1247
very well put..

You've just said what I wanted to say there,well said!! way too much seriousness over all this.

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 9:11pm


Views: 1236
Adaption verses Re-imagining

I really am not surprised by the intellectual starting point of the article. The LOTR was an adaption of a substantial book written for adults which in the main was a compression. The Hobbit is a complete reimagining, using the spine of a childrens book, as its compass and nothing more. If the writer choses to ignore that distinction then the Hobbit will look bad from the adaptive position.

The fundamental point that this type of critique misses is that the Hobbit is not the central love of JRRT it was the Silmarillion. If someone had the rights of the that material and began fundamentally changing and adding fresh elements to the story of Luthien and Beren or Tuor I would accept the charges he makes.

CT critique is to broad brush, surely he didn't expect a fairy tale film for seven year olds incoporating the books key failing, the post Smaug collapse and muddling of tone.? One day some one will write a thoroughly balanced piece about the challanges facing a film maker, making more movies about middle earth based on the Hobbit and then we will be able consider PJ's efforts with a little more light than heat. Literary snobs opinions are no more helpful than over the top fans. Mercifully the great value of this site is we can, in community, interact gradually piecing together our long term view based on the unfolding 460 minutes of material.

Imagine a 15 year old in late 2014 being given the book to read for his/her christmas present having watched the three films. Their view will shed some interesting light on what has been achieved.

I tried to save the shire , and it has been but not for me.


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Feb 1 2013, 9:37pm


Views: 1236
Should we listen to Critics

Or at least this one? And the answer is decidedly no. One of the joys of Tolkien's works is how you come to them and how you leave afterwards. I read LOTR for the first time when I was in High School -- a lonely and not very friendable girl -- and by some elvish magic met a not-popular guy who was reading it too. We would meet in the hall everyday to talk about what we read the night before. It was wonderful.

A couple of years later when my sister was very ill and bed-ridden, I spent the summer reading LOTR aloud to her. We have had a special relationship ever since.

The books are an entirely different experience than the movies -- as they should be.

The critics can go pound salt.


Loresilme
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 9:53pm


Views: 1248
How is this any different from what happened in the 1960s?

As I recall, in the '60s, lots of LOTR imagery and characters were seized on and transmogrified by hippies and rock bands, etc., for all manner of counter-cultural purposes. And yet it didn't result in the world losing sight of any of the 'real' Middle-earth as found in the books, so why does the Tolkien Estate fear that that is what will happen now with the films?


hutch
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 2:45am


Views: 1192
Things change

despite surface similarities

Davy Jones could've been Bilbo...I mean he was a Brit with a sense for adventure, singing & dancing. And think of the costs it would've save with forced perspective: he was ACTUALLY 5'3. He also hung out with a grumpy tall dude in a hat (Mike Nesmith.) While we're at it let's just have Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork as Merry & Pippin.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 2 2013, 3:28am


Views: 1193
Agreed. Dissapointing how, to whom, and from what perspective? I

also take issue with some of these "journalists", who, not unlike certain media pundits, speak with an almost "voice of God" authority about entirely subjective matters. . . or when they are actually factually in error. I enjoyed it IMMENSELY, with some caveats concerning very specific incidents. I believe that was the case for many ardent fans, and for many more casual fans. Indeed, a great many casual fans seem to have enjoyed An Unexpected Journey more than Rings, due to the easier to follow material and more jovial tone. But. . . you know. . . haters gonna hate. I don't mind constructive criticism of the films or of Jackson et al. I have it myself, and there have been and doubtless will continue to be choices of theres and stances that will annoy me, and in some cases even leave me apoplectic with outrage. Yet I can seperate my specific irritation or even disgust over certain smaller aspects from the movies as a whole. And if the overall effect is good, I am not going to label it a bad movie because I hated some line, omission or questionable aspects of a scene. I can say it is a less great film than it might have been. . . but that is about it.

In Reply To
.... and my reaction was that the whole thing is based on a false premise. The writer, whoever he or she might be, begins by assuming a concensus view on the film. 'Let's be honest, the new Hobbit film is disappointing at best' or words to that effect, going on the say that the majority know this to be true, and so on. Well, who says?

That 'let's be honest' lost me from the start. If I were to go along with an argument that began in that way I'd be lying. I wasn't disappointed by the new film, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I've known and loved the book for almost half a century. My brother, who is older than me, also enjoyed it, as did his son (20-something) and a number of other friends. I know some people enjoyed it with reservations, or only enjoyed bits of it, or were disappointed and didn't enjoy it at all - but I'm not in a position to say which group are in the majority and I can't see how the writer of the article is in a position to say it either. Which makes the rest of his/her argument fall very flat. 'A sense of fatigue' ... 'current boredom with the movies'.... 'if the general population feel oversaturated at this stage and box office takings plummet'.... I'm beginning to feel as if I'm reading about a different film here - after all, is The Hobbit not doing rather well at the box office?

A Tolkien museum in Oxford would be an interesting idea in its own right. But the notion of funding a museum with the takings of a film which the writer dislikes so much is bizarre - and as for the roller coaster ride into Mount Doom - words fail (as they do at the suggestion that the Tolkien Estate is happy with the idea of a theme park. Words fail - is this meant to be a serious article?

Anyway, here's the link


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 2 2013, 3:57am


Views: 1177
You know. . . you'd be surprised.

Fandoms are rather like religions. . . and people could get really ugly about that, even when they still had 3rd world problems. Ancient 3rd world problems at that. Fandom becomes part of how a person defines themselves. And woe betide anyone who tinkers with such a thing Unsure.

In Reply To

In Reply To
The people who think that these movies are causing "harm to the greater good" have obviously never seen how most of the people in the world live

In Reply To

Many things could be took the same way - getting angry at phone being broke - most people dont have enough to eat never mind have a car - its all first world problems.

Essentially it is all debate and i hope that noone thinks genuine harm will come from the films, its as i said harm to people's collective opinion of the world created - if one is as invested as CT then i think i would be the same way and i think he can be excused for thinking the way he does.

For others i dont really get it, but at the same time i want the books to be the main source of imagery and understanding of the world and not the films - but i dont even know why really as like you say it just doesnt matter and i make no money from it and it doesnt affect my life - and yet i still want it to be the books as the main thing, lol. I think its something like - i love the books so much i want others to love them as well, haha so childish!


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Súlimë
Rivendell


Feb 2 2013, 4:44am


Views: 1209
I'm just going to repeat what others have said...

People who are interested in reading will read, and movies will just be a gateway to introduce them to the original source. I saw the movie Troy when it came out and didn't like it, but after that I thought it would be interesting to go read The Illiad. At that time I knew the Illiad existed, but nothing so far had prompted me to take a special interest in it. Seeing the movie just brought the subject to my attention.

Did the movie taint my perception of the book? This I can safely say no. Reading is a totally different experience from watching a movie. It feels a lot more personal, and eventually the 'movie images' that I might have in the beginning usually fade and give way to my own imagination. In the end, it becomes my own reading experience and enjoyment, which is something unrelated to the movie.

People who don't want to read will not read, whether there is a movie or not, and it's nice that you can share a book story with them in a medium they can enjoy.


geordie
Tol Eressea

Feb 2 2013, 10:41am


Views: 1158
I agree -

I don't put much stock in this article; it reads more like a blog entry, or at best an opinion piece, to be agreed with or not.

There is, AFAIK, no talk of the Marquette manuscripts coming back to the UK. Why should they be? (Indeed, Christopher sent more material to Marquette whilst he was going through his father's papers). I think this idea is mere wishful thinking on the part of the author of the article. (One of my own ambitions is to visit Marquette one of these days).

As for the idea of a museum - once again, I think this is wishful thinking - folk on the internet seem happy to come up with suggestions on how others (in this case the Tolkien family) - 'ought' to be spending their time and / or disposing of their property. The family are no more museum-keepers than they are movie-makers. At the time of JRR's death Christopher was teaching at Oxford. The property where he and his family lived at the time had a barn, into which all of Tolkien's papers, diaries, books etc, were bestowed for Christopher to sort through and work on. This is where The Silmarillion as published took shape; and, I guess, probably several other projects too; such as Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Tolkien. Guy Kay gave an image of this workspace in a talk at Cheltenham many years ago. There was a long table in the middle of the floor of the barn, and against the walls were ranks of filing cabinets full of material, with boxfiles on top. A lot of stuff.

Maybe not enough to fill a museum; but to give an idea of the volume of material: Christopher didn't keep everything - for example he sold off a selection of off-prints of scholarly works which Tolkien's colleagues had presented to him over the years. These are mainly philolological; some bore his father's ownership signature. Some carried Tolkien's marginal notes. These are of great interest to collectors. From what I can tell, there were a couple of hundred of these items in the second-hand market at one time. And that is just a small part of the tolkien legacy.

Anyway; rather than set up and run a dedicated museum - (which, while it may sound to some like a kewl idea, sounds bloody impractical to me) - Christopher deposited a great part of his father's writings at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This seems logical; given his own and his father's connections with the University of Oxford. The Tolkien Trust has set aside funds for the conservation and digital photographing of the material, which is still an ongoing project as far as I can tell; and also a fund for a curatorial position within the library itself.

Contrary to what newspapers tell us occassionally, there are no 'lost' Tolkien papers in the Bod. waiting to be found - everything is catalogued, as scholars such as Drout, and Lee & Solopova can attest.

And the family have granted permission for the Library to hold exhibitions of their Tolkien holdings, too. The largest of these was in 1992, to commemorate the centenary of Tolkien's birth. This exhibition filled the whole of the Bodleian's exhibition space; the accompanying catalogue lists 248 items (many of which are reproduced). The catalogue itself is a good sized paperback book; it's called 'JRR Tolkien: Life and Legend', and is well worth seeking out on the second hand books market.
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(This post was edited by geordie on Feb 2 2013, 10:48am)


Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 3:13pm


Views: 1206
Manuscripts do not a museum make

Thanks for all the information, geordie! There is, of course, a huge amount of manuscript material, but just putting pages and pages of them on a wall doesn't in itself make for an interesting museum. People don't want to go slowly around reading pages, especially given JRRT's notoriously difficult handwriting. Plus with The History of Middle-earth volumes available, one can read many of the drafts and get Christopher's comments as well.

Marquette University occasionally mounts exhibitions of Tolkien's work. There they use the drawings and paintings, of course, but also pages of manuscripts where Tolkien sketched in little maps or views, presumably to guide his writing of descriptions. But even these exhibitions are rather small.

Apart from the Bodleian catalog that you mentioned (and which occasionally shows up on eBay), there are two Marquette publications: J. R. R. Tolkien: The Hobbit: Drawings, Watercolors, and Manuscripts (1987, from the exhibition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the book's publication) and The Invented World of J. R. R. Tolkien: Drawings and Original Manuscripts from the Marquette University Collection (2004). The 1987 exhibition was supplemented by loans from the Bodleian.

The 2004 catalogue contains one of my favorite Tolkien manuscript items: the "Synoptic Time-Scheme," p. 36, which is a chart Tolkien created to synchronize the activities of March 13 to 17. It includes columns for Enemies, Men and Allies, Aragorn, and Frodo and Sam and is neatly written with blue and red ink (with revisions).

Anyway, the Trust putting money (and it must be a considerable amount) into digitizing the vast quantity of manuscripts and providing a dedicated Tolkien curator is exactly what is needed. The material belongs in an archive, not a museum.


dormouse
Half-elven


Feb 2 2013, 3:55pm


Views: 1332
True

And when you think about it, there aren't really many museums devoted to a single writer. It's usually homes - Dickens' house, Jane Austen's, the Brontes' and so on, where there is something for visitors to walk round and explore - something to fire the imagination. Illustrations, drawings and photographs make good museum exhibits as do actual artefacts, particularly if there is a relevant building in which to house them, manuscripts not so much. Occasional exhibitions sound a much better prospect.

As for the suggested 'rollercoaster ride into the simulated fires of Mount Doom'..... I think perhaps not!


geordie
Tol Eressea

Feb 2 2013, 5:53pm


Views: 1119
True enough -

- mind you, for a biblionut like myself there's nothing much I like better than wandering round a display of manuscripts, such as was to be found in the exhibition organised by the Tolkien and Mythopoeic Societies at Keble College during the week of 17-24th August 1992. These were not actual manuscripts, I hasten to add; but thirty-six colour photocopied pages of The Lord of the Rings, lent by Marquette and exhibited by permission of the Tolkien estate. I have the programme here - this exhibition was, as I say, organized by the Tolkien Society mainly; the aim was 'to illustrate not only Tolkien's life, his scholarship and his fantasy fiction but also the influence of his writings around the world.' Highlights included the Marquette manuscripts, and also original artworks by Pauline Baynes; and a display of book bindings by Philip Smith.

I also remember a display of pages of Wayne Hammond's Tolkien Bibliography, which was something of an epiphany for me - this book is the Bible for collectors of tolkien's works, and I took away an order form and got a copy as soon as it was published. And there was a display of black & white illustrations by Denis Gordeyev, for a Russian edition of TH and Lotr. I particularly remember his picture of Eowyn as Dernhelm, with Merry. These pictures were for sale; a silent auction IIRC, I didn't manage to get one at the time, but I managed to buy the original of Frodo, just lately. It's on the wall behind me as I type.

As I say, I've never visited Marquette; but I do have copies of the programmes which Kristin mentions - the time-scheme is very good, isn't it? And there's another, also for March, to be found in Hammond and Scull's 'The Lord of the Rings: A reader's Companion'. I also have a couple of programmes for exhibitions at the Bod; and for the Ashmolean Museum: and also a third one for an exhibition of drawings, watercolours and manuscripts of TH held at Marquette from June 11 - Sept. 30, 1987. This also contains a letter from JRR to a friend called Selby, written on Dec, 14th 1937 in which he writes: 'I don't much approve of 'The Hobbit' myself, prefering my own mythology... to this rabble of Eddaic-named dwarves out of Voluspa, new-fangled hobbits and gollums (invented in an idle hour) and Anglo-Saxon runes.... '

Smile

.


Escapist
Gondor


Feb 3 2013, 4:57pm


Views: 1037
I have noticed the same.

And some people who I have found to appear to define themselves the most by Tolkien's work and to have certain kinds of refined attitudes, at times have a very negative reaction towards others who share that love but who are not people who they would want to share an association with.


Escapist
Gondor


Feb 3 2013, 4:59pm


Views: 1048
I had the same reaction to that opening line ... "let's be honest ... " ...

as if everyone has a single opinion or as if there is one true criticism or opinion about it ... which there isn't clearly for this film! Not at all. Not in any way whatsoever except maybe on these points:

*The scene with Gollum was awesome.
*The acting was well done.


Escapist
Gondor


Feb 3 2013, 5:04pm


Views: 1675
I bought a friend the Children of Hurin for their birthday because they liked AUJ.

This person hadn't been super thrilled with The Hobbit for years and prefers sort of like lovecraftish darkish stuff.