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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Another unfilmable paragraph?
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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 16 2009, 3:48pm

Post #26 of 34 (540 views)
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"Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world, but for...?" // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

Join us June 15-21 for "Not at Home".
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How to find old Reading Room discussions.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 16 2009, 4:03pm

Post #27 of 34 (540 views)
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Yes, but not by that name. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

Join us June 15-21 for "Not at Home".
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 16 2009, 4:27pm

Post #28 of 34 (552 views)
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Only one? [In reply to] Can't Post


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From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings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

Post #29 of 34 (534 views)
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try's to think of a rhyme [In reply to] Can't Post

...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

Post #30 of 34 (534 views)
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But aren't you begging the question? [In reply to] Can't Post


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

Post #31 of 34 (533 views)
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The answer is "no". [In reply to] Can't Post

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

Post #32 of 34 (574 views)
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well, if they had an actor as good as Jimmy Stewart . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

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

Post #33 of 34 (515 views)
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Okay. [In reply to] Can't Post


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

Post #34 of 34 (1602 views)
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Great example! [In reply to] Can't Post

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.”


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