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Kangi Ska

Jul 23 2009, 4:53pm

Post #51 of 69 (545 views)
How about Reclaiming the Blade [In reply to] Can't Post

Or the Royal Armory Show of this past year or any of a number of other resources on Swords & Armor that I can site.

Kangi Ska

Kangi Ska

Jul 23 2009, 4:58pm

Post #52 of 69 (526 views)
and [In reply to] Can't Post

I did not say that Weapons and Warfare was the bible...I sited it as a beginning step to a complete understanding of what was produced for the Trilogy.

Kangi Ska

Arwen's daughter

Jul 23 2009, 5:09pm

Post #53 of 69 (518 views)
You're right [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, I didn't mean that to invalidate your claim. I just have a problem with the book Weapons & Warfare because it's not really about the props; it's about the ideas behind the props. Sometimes I find it fascinating, but when I'm trying to track down accurate information about the costumes I find it more frustrating than useful.

Yes, many of the hero weapons were made of real steel. I remember the filmmakers discussing the fact that Viggo refused to use the aluminum counter-part to his ranger sword. He wanted to carry the more authentic, heavier one. Another good resource -- and one you can get to online -- is this interview with the swordmakers: http://www.algonet.se/~enda/a_lotrinter.htm

"My task was to make the weapons as well as I possibly could, functional except for having a blunted edge. All the blades are made from heat treated spring steel, and if sharp would be weapons to trust your life to. The fittings are mostly steel and bronze, the grips of wood covered with leather, wire and other materials. The weights all had be manageable for an actor carrying it on set all day, without be so light the blades would wobble - the requirements of any real weapon."

You can also find a list of articles about the weapons here: http://www.alleycatscratch.com/...ticleLink.htm#Swords Some of the links are probably broken, though. I haven't checked.

My LiveJournal
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TORn's Costume Discussions Archive
The Screencap of the Day Schedule for July

Kangi Ska

Jul 23 2009, 5:19pm

Post #54 of 69 (537 views)
Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

I am going to check out the resources you cite. I recognize that very pretty book lacks depth and substance in regards to the history of European swords but it has really good pictures of some of things I believe are worth saving from the artifacts produced for the Trilogy.

Kangi Ska

(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Jul 23 2009, 5:23pm)


Jul 23 2009, 6:32pm

Post #55 of 69 (541 views)
Me too.... [In reply to] Can't Post

.... and I felt just as you did about seeing the actual pieces from the film in the exhibition when it was in London, years ago now, before RotK was released. Galadriel's costume and Saruman's, and most, most of all Theoden's armour - and some of the exquisite drawings. I was spellbound by those things and whatever the practicalities, I would like them to be available somewhere for those who want to look and wonder at the workmanship involved. I would love to see them again (and more) myself. I would hate them to be destroyed, or shuffled off piecemeal into private collections somewhere where they would be far more vulnerable to long-term damage, accident or loss.

I'd like to think that something of all that extraordinary artistic effort - and the Hobbit things we haven't seen yet - will be preserved and accessible somewhere, just because it's worth preserving.


Jul 23 2009, 9:58pm

Post #56 of 69 (517 views)
Some of the finest ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... props and historical costumes ever made were for Richard Lester's two 'Musketeer' films of the 1970s. Breathtaking and accurate down to the last detail, everything from the weapons, horse furnishings to the court costumes were magnificent. Where are they now? Goodness knows, and as repro costumes they would have been invaluable to a museum. The swords were as real as they could make them (to the point, if you'll excuse the pun, where Oliver Reed had his hand run through in one of the immaculately staged fight sequences) and had weight and substance - if they hadn't, the sequences would not have worked. Props like that would have far more use in a museum because of the fine craftmanship and detail in reproducing a certain era - much as the costumes and props from the TV series 'Sharpe' were used in a display in the Castle Museum, York, to illustrate the impact of the Baker Rifle during the Napoleonic wars (they also displayed Sergeant Harper's amazing naval volley gun created by the genius who was Henry Nock - if anyone ever wishes to buy me a present, a volley gun wouldn't go amiss :D).

While the Tolkien films have a certain draw, granted, I just can't see that it would be a long-term sustainable project that would pay its way down the line. To have some select props and costumes stored safely somewhere and used in a travelling display ... that would perhaps make more sense, especially coupled with design sketches, notes and so forth. But I just don't think it is a choice project that will continue to bring large crowds of folks to New Zealand for decades to come.

Several years ago we had a travelling display in one of our museums about the Titanic, a display owned by a private company who had some original artefacts from the wreck and also some of the more choice props from the Oscar-winning and hugely popular film. A very nice display, very informative and well-designed. Folks came to see it, but not exactly in droves. To be honest, it just created a small blip in our visitor numbers. We had more visitors for a whaling exhibition.


Kangi Ska

Jul 23 2009, 11:36pm

Post #57 of 69 (508 views)
If [In reply to] Can't Post

someone had cared enough about The Musketeer movies and had acted to save the material you describe they might still be available for display. (The Dodo is dead! Save the sea otter!)
There is at least one Museum dedicated to Judy Garland and the Wizard of OZ. It isn't big but it is nice in a quaint sort of folksy way. All museums do not have to be the Smithsonian to serve the purpose.

Kangi Ska


Jul 24 2009, 12:47am

Post #58 of 69 (526 views)
OKay--NEB Alert:) [In reply to] Can't Post

MAybe it's time for Mr. Brigand to drop in with a quoted missive or three, conveying the impreturbable opinions of The Professor himself on such a subject as this...just how and why it is that Christopher and Priscilla are so sure that "Pa wouldn't like that."

Would activities of this sort fall under the category of "Disnification" or "Deplorable Cultus" or some weird crazy aspect of rampant (and often greedy--that word again!) fandom run amok.
(In which case anyone who visits the WETA Cave--the "halfway house", good one Entmaiden) is NARF?Tongue

In that case, we are back to the old debate as to what effect the films themselves, their very existence, has done or not done to the Professor's legacy. That for us is a moot point, but not for the older members of the Estate. (Curiously, it's as many have said--if they truly hadn't wanted the books "desecrated", then they'd have sued Saul Zaentz and Mirimax back in 1997. Just b/c in hindsight the films turned out so well and by and large were not the Disney horror Tolkien always dreaded, seems not to have deterred said members from continuing their opinions.
But recall, too, the numerous interviews PJ< Fran and Philippa gave over the yrs, hinting at strange things that happened during the yrs of the films' creation..strange things that led them to beleive that just maybe, they DID have a sort of "approval" from :THE source."
(My favorite, and the one that continues to amazr me, is PJ's insistance that the shot of the Rohan banner blown by the wind off the roof and falling at Aragorn's feet as he rides up the Edoars path was NOT CGI...you can see even Viggo looked amazed.)

OKay, that's beside the point, though interesting.

Maybe it is a "chicken and egg" scenario--popularity of the one feeds that of the other, once you get past a certain point.

As for film sets..I was thinking more along the lines of the best parts of a set recreated/e-raised in a room on the studio lot....I mean, MGM kept its artifacts foruse in films.
If tens and hundreds of milliions of dollarsare spent creating theme parks built upon a film's legacy (Universal exhibits, the T2 ride) than why can't something else from a film be rperserved for a fraction of the cost? I repeat my assertion that I would LOVE to walk through the Great Hall of Hogwarts, on the Warner's lot!


Jul 24 2009, 1:09am

Post #59 of 69 (499 views)
Actually... [In reply to] Can't Post

regarding the Interstate Highway system's origional purpose, it HAS worked quite well on a number of occasions. Katrina was a colassal failure but the failures there were political,IMO. I notice that the Interstate has served quite well as an evacuation route for other hurricanes in the past, as well as Hurricane Rita less than 2 weeks later, where the evacuation went comparatively smoothly. The Mt St Helens area was also successfully evacuated--all those who wanted to, anyway--in 1980.
When we have the mind, the heart, the incentive and the will, isn't it funny how we can accomplish what we want to.

As far as the permanence of monuments goes--you cite Rushmore and the Washington momuments. These for the most part are pre-WW2, an age just as different from ours that it mayas well be the Middle Ages, in a way. The first half of the 20th century was a time of great deprivation and hardship for many; and for Europeans it remained so well into the 2nd half (Ireland didn't even have a national TV station until the early '60.s) . In America the era of Prosperity (and accompanying Era of Transience) began as soon as the returning soldiers and sailors stepped back on US soil. We were drowning in oil and gas and farmland and other natural rescources, had the world's mightiest industrial machine (DON'T get me started), and the illusions that this would all last forever.

Therefore our production values became more and more shoddy. We thought we could throw it all away, and by and large we did. Look at the quiality of construction of a suburban home in the US built in the past 15 yrs, as opposed to those built in the 40s and 50's. The materials. We "can concieve of a time of change" and "Prosperity' but IMP that is our great illusion.
(Actully, our great sin is that we think we can take and take and not give back....I feel I'll start to preach a semon on this in a minute, so I'll stop:). But this is thiinking about an article I read the otherday where someone talked of an office building that was contruscted to last *20 years*.Crazy I kid you not....

(Deliberately building shoddy buildings that will be ripped down in 20 yrs so as to generate economic activity (construction crews, etc) b/c you gave away your industrial base and hoped building houses would take the place of factories? OH BOY.

(You mentioned the White City--I think too, of The Crystal Palace of London. That was built to last too, but what happened to it?
And the City Beautiful Movement in the US a hundred yrs ago (much of it, ironically, financed by the robber barons of the day.)

Getting back to films--it's the perfect irony isn't it. Spending all that money on "shoddy" sets that will only survive on celluoid/digital, by itslef, a termporary medium--or at least it will be if Hollywood crews don't do a better job preserving it.

And BTW, America's actual Archives, outside of Washington DC, are in shoddy shape too. Our written records aren't being converted to databases fast enough and are fading, IMO!

(This post was edited by Sunflower on Jul 24 2009, 1:14am)

Kangi Ska

Jul 24 2009, 1:42am

Post #60 of 69 (510 views)
"It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish, as my old gaffer used to say." [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally I would like to see action on something real soon. With the production of the Hobbit ramping up this is the time to make plans for the future. The salvation of the Hobbiton complex can be engineered into its construction. The other issues can remain on the side for a while. We need to start a movement now to "Save Hobbiton!!"

Kangi Ska

Kangi Ska

Jul 24 2009, 1:59am

Post #61 of 69 (515 views)
http://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/ [In reply to] Can't Post

Your wish...

Kangi Ska


Jul 24 2009, 4:02am

Post #62 of 69 (519 views)
MY wish?? [In reply to] Can't Post

I said, "Just b/c we spend lots of money building theme parks, why can't we spend lots of money for worthier projects of preservation. related to film (that are totally different."

Did I say I supported the idea of theme parks for certain films based on books?

NO, NO and NO. I still get down on my knees (figurativily speaking) once a month and thank GOD that Mirimax lost LOTR, b/c if that studio had kept it, and boght up by Disney, we'd have seen hobbits and Elves in Orlando. Seriously--how many articles did I read at the time that told how *angry* Disney execs were, they were dying to put hobbits and Dwarves in Disneyworld. They were going to do it.

As for Harry Potter in Orlando--somewhere in the early archives of TORN phase 2, from 2 yrs ago or so, is a batch of my comments on the matter. Let's just say I'm surprised Jo finally agreed to it.
I suppose they'll have an exhibit where you, too, can "Walk through the Forest", complete with your own Magical Opening Snitch (TM), get attacked by a Dementor (aw Mom, kewl!) and..oh well, forget it...in 50 yrs time, it'll all just be about the Quidditch.


(End for today.I promise)

N.E. Brigand

Jul 24 2009, 6:03am

Post #63 of 69 (528 views)
We don't know what J.R.R. Tolkien's response to Jackson's films would be. [In reply to] Can't Post

That Tolkien's children, Priscilla and Christopher, dislike the films is not proof that their father would feel that way, though their informed supposition on his opinion should carry more weight than the guesses of any other person now alive -- but have they in fact stated that their father would dislike them films? I don't know.

That said, just because Tolkien sold the film rights to LOTR and The Hobbit does not mean, as 5x5 asserts above, that he would approve of the results. Tolkien and his publishers famously agreed to a policy of "art or cash", meaning that he would was willing to relinquish full artistic control over a film adaptation in exchange for substantial payment, but he expressed the opinion that LOTR was unsuitable for filming. Tolkien did find the terms offered by United Artists financially acceptable, and relinquished all artistic rights in exchange for an initial payment and a percentage of box office receipts. So his estate would not have been able to sue to regain control of the film rights in 1997 for fear of "desecration", as you suppose, because they have no artistic rights.

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

Join us July 20-26 for "The Return Journey".

And sign up for The Silmarillion!
How to find old Reading Room discussions.

(This post was edited by N.E. Brigand on Jul 24 2009, 6:04am)


Jul 24 2009, 2:14pm

Post #64 of 69 (517 views)
Miss Tolkien's comment [In reply to] Can't Post

I was working from memory when I said that Priscilla Tolkien has expressed her belief that JRR Tolkien would not have liked the New Line films. Since this question is being pursued, I looked for where I had heard this. What I found was a TORn post from Feb. 2008 in which Peredhil lover recalls that Miss Tolkien had, in response to a question in 2003 on whether her father would have like the movies: "said she doesn't believe it, but she doesn't know".

Now I could have sworn we here on TORn got a more extended report of that comment, or another one like it, long before 2008. I thought I remembered reading that Miss Tolkien had explained to a disappointed audience of film fans that her father held his book to be most valuable for its treatment of moral and mythological themes, which she thought the film ignored, oversimplified, or reduced to sentiment - in favor of action scenes and fast pacing. But it remains very hard to search the old boards, so that's the best I can offer.

As N.E.B. reminds us today, Miss Tolkien's given opinion is explicitly her own, not her father's. It is not unimpeachable, but it deserves the respect of having been offered by one who knew J.R.R. Tolkien very well in the context of his feelings about his book.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

Kangi Ska

Jul 24 2009, 2:24pm

Post #65 of 69 (486 views)
Sory, I did not [In reply to] Can't Post

intend it as a serious statement. Your comment about walking through the great hall of Hogwarts struck a couple of cords.
1. If I remember correctly, the great hall actually is a place at Oxford, a real room.
2. I recalled that I had heard Conan O'Brien mention a Harry Potter theme park coming to Florida so I did a Google search and the official site popped up.

The subject of theme parks has a curiously interesting intellectual draw for me. They are so very much an icon of the rise of post WW2 popular culture in the United States of America. I remember Walt Disney presenting the drawings of Disneyland on "Ther Wonderful World of Color" on my parents black & white Television and forty years later I took my son to Disney World in Orlando. Between those two points lay, The protest by Nikita Khrushchev of the old Soviet Union of the fact that he was not allowed to go to Disneyland, National Lampoon's movie 'Vacation' and a whole bunch of commercials with various popular sports stars saying that they were going to Disney World.
Well I approached my visit to Disney world with great trepidation. I had won a the trip and was leveraged by my son to go and after some thought I agreed but only on two conditions. We would only visit Epcot Center and we would spend two days at Cape Canaveral / Kennedy Space Center. ( I am and always have been a fan of the exploration of space.)

I have, since that visit in the year 1999, often thought about theme parks and museums and how they might relate to Lord of the Rings.

1. Museums (at least the major ones that I have visited) have changed radically in my lifetime. When I first visited the Field Museum of Natural History you could wander among objects on open display on the lowest level.. Now everything is very formal and only a small portion of their holdings are on public display. In turn, the presentation of the displays has been Disneyfied (to coin a term). Everything is pristine, perfect, minimally documented and arranged in a manner to keep the crowds moving. At Cape Canaveral two tours were offered. The first is a tour of the modern Kennedy Space Center,, including the NASSA visitors Center. The other tour was a behind the scenes tour of old Cape Canaveral and sites involved in the early space programs. The Visitors center is magnificent. An obsessively restored Saturn Moon Rocket, over 360 feet long is suspended overhead. Every display has sound. There is video and audio and all manner of minimally documented and arranged in a manner to keep the crowds moving. (Disney actually helped in design an construction). On the other tour one of the sites visited was the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base Museum. This was in an old cinder block garage. It was a real mathom house arranged much like a somebody's private collection. It was wonderful. It was real. A real German V2 rocket motor sat next to a mercury capsule that had actually flown.There little glass cases with mementos going back to the earliest days of rocketry at the cape. This was a place that took time to see.(now push to get you out). Here things were preserved and displayed with the care that comes from personal respect and involvement.

2. Should there be Museums and / or Theme Parks involved with Tolkien's work? And if these do indeed come about; what should they be like.
I must say that I have an unusual view of the structure and role of Museums. I believe strongly in conservation and preservation. Restoration is a questionable act. It should be approached with great reservation. I rely like things to connect me to their original context. Seeing an arrowhead presented under glass with favorable lighting and good documentation is very different from finding an arrow head on a gravel bar at the edge of the Mississippi River. It is very hard to accomplish both of these.
Now comes the hard and controversial part of my observation. It goes back to my "book versus movie" views. If done well, why not both? If the realm of Middle Earth touches so many people in so many different ways why not allow parks, museums, symposiums, video games and presentations in media yet to be invented. There will be bad examples, There might be wonderful things produced. The books and scholarship can exist with popular culture. Why limit peoples enjoyment.

3. Well the for-profit-world wants to extract as much cash as it can from what ever it touches. It has little consideration for the subtleties. It is no wonder Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate resists involvement. I think that Professor Tolkien had a very curious relationship with popular response to his work. As an older English gentleman he reacted like Bilbo when thirteen Dwarves an a wizard showed up at his door. Another part of him was the sub-creator who always had part of his heart and mind in Middle Earth. There must have been great joy in being able to share that. There would have also been sorrow and anger in seeing his vision distorted or misused.

Do I have solutions to all of this. No, not really. It is bound up with the nature of twenty first century society. But If solutions are to be found they will begin with discussions between the concerned parties.

Kangi Ska

Eowyn of Penns Woods

Jul 24 2009, 6:31pm

Post #66 of 69 (478 views)
I have to be careful what I say here [In reply to] Can't Post

as members of the extended family have been locked in a dispute with a museum over family property on loan, so I'll just move on to your comments about arrowheads instead.

That kind of interactive display and connection to place and time can be achieved quite easily. I know this because my father is a non-professional knapper, and within his circle of associates are experts in both the craft and its history who have and still produce replicas for museums. They have meets and knap-ins all over the U.S., some at the actual material source locations and at historical sites and reenactments. You can also meet experts in the use of stone implements and weapons as well as test your own skill at throwing an atlatl / atl-atl. If he likes you, one of the part-Native American experts might let you observe a dig or explore riverbanks and islands for tradebeads. And, of course, you can see real artifacts and take a side in all the debates over them if you like. If you'd rather not take advantage of the free tutoring, you can have someone make a stone point for you and have him sign it as a replica.

Bit more info than necessary, but I had to get a plug in there. :)

Kangi Ska

Jul 25 2009, 4:36pm

Post #67 of 69 (458 views)
Stones [In reply to] Can't Post

I have met some of the people who knap stone tools. On my wall next to the reproduction of Glamdring by United Cutlery is a skinning tool made of fire hardened Athabaskan chert with a caribou antler handle made by a man (an anthropologist) who lived several years among the Inuit. He had wonder filled stories he told that that I still treasure. I also have an Archeologist friend who is one of the nations leading scholars in the realm of pictoglyphs and rock art. This is a very interesting diversion both in my life and in this discussion.

To return to the core of your response which involves museum displays that are "interactive" and make a "connection to place and time".
What you say is true but the assertion of it being simple is debatable. Some times the simplest things are the most difficult to accomplish.

"Living History" sites, "Renaissance Fairs and the reenactors and artisans who demonstrate the elder arts & crafts such as flint knapping, blacksmithing, potting, glasblowing, horsehair weaving, loom-work, and needlework (among others that do not occur to me at this moment)are good examples of attempting to make these kinds of connections. There are attempts to incorporate these types of things into the more formal museum settings but generally these are sporadic. But all of this is still a digression.

Lets think about this: A reconstruction of the Hobbiton film site with a quality of workmanship that could maintained as a long term a (dare I say) attraction. Along with this a small facility to preserve and display materials involved with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. This could be enhanced with "living fantasy" guides and events. This would not be hugely expensive; indeed it could be self sustaining. It would depend upon the cooperation of Warner Brothers, PJ, GdT, Weta / Richard Taylor, the Tolkien Estate (this may or may not be required but it would be good) and gods know who else. It will also depend upon the Middle Earth fan base. It is a good Idea that, if it was carried out with the same level of care as the making of the films, would benefit all.

Save Hobbiton!

Kangi Ska

Kangi Ska

Jul 25 2009, 5:36pm

Post #68 of 69 (542 views)
Detractions, distractions, Discussions and Debates [In reply to] Can't Post

Even the Ralph Bakshi version of "The Lord of the Rings" and Orson Bean's voicing of Bilbo in the Rankin/Bass animated adaptations, did not destroy or even damage the reputation of the original. The quality & quantity of scholarly work and publications has not dropped off with the release of the Peter Jackson films. Indeed the inverse is true. There has also been a lot of questionable and exploitative products (such as; the box of "The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers" chocolate chip cookies, with the cookies framed by a picture of the One Ring that I own.) as well as poorly written books and tracts attempting to cash in on the Rings Thing. These have not destroyed or damaged the reputation of the original.
The Professor once said that he would like to create a mythic past for England. He created a myth for the post-modern world. The world has taken possession of it; has retold it in many forms and formats. It has influenced nearly all of popular culture. It is an Idea that can not be owned and that will break free from any attempted limitations. It contains a truth that has and will speak across generations, classes, cultures and international boundaries. Like the indigenous peoples of North America who held no concept of owning the Earth, I have been unable to grasp the concept of owning a thought. A book you can own. It is a thing onto itself. But the ideas it contains, the thoughts it inspires belong to the reader. A book is like your child. You shape it as well as you can, then you put it out into the world with the hope that it will do good things. Professor Tolkien was an amazing man who accomplished things with his writing that even he could not have foreseen.
I cherish all of it!

Kangi Ska

(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Jul 25 2009, 5:43pm)

Tol Eressea

Aug 5 2009, 3:05am

Post #69 of 69 (464 views)
Actually... [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
That Tolkien's children, Priscilla and Christopher, dislike the films is not proof that their father would feel that way, though their informed supposition on his opinion should carry more weight than the guesses of any other person now alive -- but have they in fact stated that their father would dislike them films? I don't know.

That said, just because Tolkien sold the film rights to LOTR and The Hobbit does not mean, as 5x5 asserts above, that he would approve of the results. Tolkien and his publishers famously agreed to a policy of "art or cash", meaning that he would was willing to relinquish full artistic control over a film adaptation in exchange for substantial payment, but he expressed the opinion that LOTR was unsuitable for filming. Tolkien did find the terms offered by United Artists financially acceptable, and relinquished all artistic rights in exchange for an initial payment and a percentage of box office receipts. So his estate would not have been able to sue to regain control of the film rights in 1997 for fear of "desecration", as you suppose, because they have no artistic rights.

I didn't say he'd approve of any results just because he sold the movie rights, it just proves in my mind that he was open to making movies based on the books. Sorry if I was confusing on that point. :-)

I have a very sexy learning disability.

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