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Simon Tolkien comments on the film adaptations on BBC radio....

dormouse
Half-elven


Nov 22 2012, 1:09pm

Post #1 of 20 (677 views)
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Simon Tolkien comments on the film adaptations on BBC radio.... Can't Post

This is an interesting snippet which doesn't seem to have been posted here already:

Simon Tolkien talking on BBC radio

I think what he says about the films is very fair-minded, and interesting. I was struck by the comment about Peter Jackson's interpretation being too faithful - and therefore too action-packed. Never considered it that way before.

Anyway - listen, enjoy


Elthir
Gondor

Nov 22 2012, 2:07pm

Post #2 of 20 (472 views)
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doesn't he rather say... [In reply to] Can't Post

... too much going on, rather than too 'action packed'?


dormouse
Half-elven


Nov 22 2012, 2:44pm

Post #3 of 20 (465 views)
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Yes, sorry [In reply to] Can't Post

... not a good choice of words. I thought his was an interesting comment, though


imin
Valinor


Nov 22 2012, 3:34pm

Post #4 of 20 (473 views)
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He likes the one i like the best :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I think what he says is very fair to PJ.

I also think he is distant enough from the material (unlike his father or grandfather) to give a more reasoned response to the films.

He also is a writer in his own right trying to (and succeeded) in making a name for himself, though ultimately i think he will be known as the grandson of Tolkien - as he himself stated in The Sunday Times interview i think. So he knows about trying to create something unique but under the shadow of Tolkien as PJ has had to do.

Just to put it out there - the most successful film of the lotr trilogy in the UK was the fellowship of the ring, then the return of the king, lastly the two towers - exactly my views - faith restored in the British public :P


Magpie
Immortal


Nov 22 2012, 4:10pm

Post #5 of 20 (449 views)
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to be fair... [In reply to] Can't Post

The opposite of 'reason' is unreasonable or irrational. I don't think being close to anything means one is going to be unreasonable or irrational and I'm not ready to say Christopher, et. al. has been either.

They are just coming from a different perspective or looking at things in a different context than someone who is 'more distant'.

I can appreciate, understand, and respect someone close to and someone distant to the issues. But I'm not so comfortable using 'more reasoned' to describe either side.


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imin
Valinor


Nov 22 2012, 4:31pm

Post #6 of 20 (443 views)
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fair minded sit with you better? [In reply to] Can't Post

For me JRR and Christopher Tolkien were/are too close to the material. I see it as a mother with a child - they love their child unconditionally and even if they do something wrong they will still love them, its not rational.

Someone who is less attached can be more rational about the book (well some, lol).

This is not saying JRR or Christopher are mad, i think everyone here knows i have the up most respect for them. But i can totally understand how they are so engrossed in their lives work that what they see on the screen is not what they envisioned and so dont think it captures the fullness and beauty of their work.

To me that makes sense but sometimes i cant articulate my thoughts that well Tongue


Magpie
Immortal


Nov 22 2012, 5:35pm

Post #7 of 20 (432 views)
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third attempt [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm having a strong reaction to your description of a mother who loves her children even when they do something wrong as 'not rational'. But let me move on from that. :-)

You "can totally understand how they are so engrossed in their lives work that what they see on the screen is not what they envisioned and so dont think it captures the fullness and beauty of their work."

You think they don't like the films (or might not like them) because they are too close as if being 'too close' is a malady that could and maybe should get cured. Just by putting 'too' on it you have pushed it into an 'extreme' condition.

I don't think that being close is a malady and I don't think it needs to be cured. There is not only room for all schools of thought there is, I contend, a NEED for many schools of thought on issues like this. The different schools help keep things in balance and sometimes, what we need is a cold, calculating assessment of the issue (like Sam being dead certain that Gollum was a Stinker up to no good) and sometimes what we need is a more emotional assessment (like Frodo showing Pity to Smeagol because he could empathize with the creature).

But I think it's a mistake to even say that 'they don't get the beauty because they're too close'. How does that excuse hold up for the thousands if not millions of other people who don't like these movies? There could easily be many reasons that Christopher doesn't like the movies other than he's 'too close'. He certainly isn't be the only one who didn't. Dang, some people who 'like' the films don't always 'like' them. (glances at self in mirror)

I think that Christopher and JRR (we can suppose) are perfectly entitled to not like the films for whatever reason they like. We don't have to make excuses for them and I certainly don't think we have to value Simon's reaction over Christopher in any way, shape, or form.

When we try to qualify using words as 'reasoned' or 'rational', I think we're treading on dangerous ground. There is, imo, no need at all to do that.

We can accept Christopher's viewpoints and respect them as his... without judgment.

But this is kind of what mothers do with their children. We accept them. We don't withdraw that acceptance, affection, or love when they don't think like us or follow the paths we have chosen or make the decisions we would have made.

My dear imin... don't get caught up in seeing this sort of acceptance as negating rational thought. It doesn't.

:-)


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imin
Valinor


Nov 22 2012, 5:52pm

Post #8 of 20 (426 views)
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hmm not sure how to respond to this, lol [In reply to] Can't Post

For me i dont see them being too close as something that is wrong, i see it as a natural position to be in if one has dedicated their lives to something so for me its not extreme or something to be cured or anything negative. Its just a natural process.

Of course others who are distant compared to them can like or dislike the films but i do think if one is so close to the material as they were/are then you have such a clear mental image that the film will not reach what you want.

I dont see that as making excuses for them, as i said i dont see it as a negative at all, and from what i have read from christopher i get this impression from him, also the actions of the Tolkien estate lead me to this conclusion.

So going back to my original statement that Simon will be more fair minded (should have put that) or rational or whatever you want to call it is right. He will be as he doesnt have such deep emotional connection.

Does this make one greater than the other? No, but i never felt like i said it did. To me they are two perfectly acceptable opinions to have but one which Christopher and JRRT could never really obtain due to their connection with the work - is this bad, nope, just different.

I kinda get the feeling we are meaning the same but coming at it from different points of view/ways of saying it, with me not being clear enough in my points - as usual :(

as for the mum thing, my mum is totally irrational/biased with me, haha. Again i dont see that as a bad thing, i see it as a parents love, something sweet and touching. (this is only going off what my mum actually says so i could be wrong).


Magpie
Immortal


Nov 22 2012, 6:17pm

Post #9 of 20 (431 views)
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It's possible there is a cultural context to terms like 'irrationality' ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... as well as gender politics.

For a women my age who has lived through the women's movement (and embraced many aspects of it), calling a women who allows emotion to be a part of her make-up... a part of her being... 'irrational', would not sit well at all. It is one tactic of many that has been used to marginalize women.

But that's another topic. I'm trying to put your comments into context of where you are coming from (or might be, since I know little about you).

Just know, many women would think that being called irrational for being - well, female - was a bad thing. We are emotional. That is not the same as irrational. At least, not the way irrational is used - in toto - in the US.

And the same goes for 'reasoned'. A reasonable response is considered 'good'. An unreasonable response is considered 'bad'. If you label something 'not reasonable' in the US you are saying it is 'not good'... for the most part.

(final caveat before I drop this topic for pie... being well spoken and very clear in how one uses words can allow all sorts of words that have 'negative' connotations to be used in appropriate, non-judgmental ways. But most of us just write and don't take extreme care with that - so, on the whole - most loaded words carry at least the whiff of judgmental, biased connotations to them.)


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imin
Valinor


Nov 22 2012, 6:27pm

Post #10 of 20 (411 views)
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oh sorry i didnt mean it that way at all [In reply to] Can't Post

I totally forgot there could be that kind of reaction to what i was saying, to me it seemed totally harmless and sweet and just as applicable to a father. I never meant it as being female therefore makes one irrational, even saying sounds kinda silly to me

Perhaps thats a good thing as it shows how far people have come since when you were younger?

I think i certainly 'just write'. I do try to take care but ultimately i dont think i am very good at articulating what i mean on paper very well - i was never very good at english lang or lit.

I do get what you mean about reasonable and unreasonable - that is the same as in the UK but again i dont think i made myself very clear in that i dont see them being unreasonable even if i think Simon gave a reasoned response.


imin
Valinor


Nov 22 2012, 6:29pm

Post #11 of 20 (444 views)
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wow i have totally derailed this thread! Sorry! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


sador
Half-elven


Nov 22 2012, 6:41pm

Post #12 of 20 (414 views)
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Thank you! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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Magpie
Immortal


Nov 22 2012, 6:53pm

Post #13 of 20 (416 views)
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you got the point I was trying to make! [In reply to] Can't Post

And I don't think many of us write with the amount of care it takes to make sure the words we use are taken in exactly the way we mean them. It would be too much work to do that especially on a site where we are all just enjoying ourselves.

But this just shows how rich language is (or can be... sometimes I think we forget that words have lots of meanings). And things like culture, gender, and age can just add to how we imbue words with meaning.

Once I got my head past my reaction to what you were trying to say (or what I thought you were trying to say), it helped focus my response. And I think we reached a sort of mutual understanding - in terms of language and terminology, anyhow. :-)

cheers.


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imin
Valinor


Nov 22 2012, 8:12pm

Post #14 of 20 (560 views)
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I finally got there in the end, haha! [In reply to] Can't Post

Goodness me i am slow today - i blame it on having to prep for an interview tomorrow!


Elthir
Gondor

Nov 23 2012, 1:06am

Post #15 of 20 (369 views)
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No problem... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and I didn't mean to be pedantic but I thought the distinction was worth pointing out considering Christopher Tolkien's recent remarks about the films, especially his 'action movie' comment.

Anyway Simon Tolkien's comments here are interesting, and I agree with him that Peter Jackson tried to get too much in -- in the sense of what was happening anyway. I would have cut more, altered much less, so to speak.

I'm not sure I would call this being 'too faithful' however -- I get what Simon Tolkien means here, or what I think he means, as it seems obvious enough to me that what Jackson tried to fit into his films in general hails from the books (aside from invented stuff of course), but I would have chosen different wording.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Nov 23 2012, 1:15am)


Elenorflower
Gondor


Nov 23 2012, 1:40am

Post #16 of 20 (408 views)
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I was interested in the question [In reply to] Can't Post

they posed to Simon Tolkien about whether JRR would have liked watching the films or not. Simon said No he would not have done because his vision of ME would have been vastly different from PJs version. and then he made a comment about Elves and Orlando Bloom. For me the beauty of ME is my own personal vision of how ME looks. Perhaps each persons ME is vastly different. what I mean to say (badly) is I dont think there can be a definitive ME. PJs ME is as valid as the next persons ME. We cant have a version exactly like Tolkien would have wished because it existed in his imagination. sorry I am waffling.


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Nov 23 2012, 10:37am

Post #17 of 20 (375 views)
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Validity by degrees [In reply to] Can't Post

A very simple exercise but to the point.

JRRT wrote in canon literature that the orcs bore curved swords and never wrote that elves did apart from a single character in an outdated version of the fall of Gondolin. So it is a more than reasonable assumption that elves generally or exclusively bore straight swords in JRRT's canon works.

SIR PJ's vision has elves predominantly bearing swords with curved blades.

20 years from now a studio exec in a career killing move gives me $2 billion to remake LOTR. I have been driven mad by all the changes/commercialisation/debate/confusion surrounding the previous 7 movies ( 3 LOTR & the eventual 4 Hobbit movies) and have no real rememberance of the books and interpret the glowing elven swords to be made of energon taken from a big metallic rock falling from the sky, is my vision at that time as valid as JRRT's or Sir PJ's.

The point being not everyones vision is as valid as JRRT's. The more changes that are made from known facts within the story, the less valid the vision becomes. If unknown aspects are filled in, fair enough. This is why I don't mind Tauriel in principle, who is to say there is no female elf guard. Her romance with Kili if it eventuates, complete bollocks as far as valid vision is concerned, but completely acceptable if it is noted as a change of the film makers will, which is what they have indicated.


Noel Q. von Schneiffel
Rivendell


Nov 23 2012, 3:19pm

Post #18 of 20 (338 views)
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Sword straightness [In reply to] Can't Post

The simple but shocking truth is that PJ ordered straight swords for the elves. However, he accidentally showed some film footage to a truckload of swords when they were still warm from the forge, and thus somewhat flexible. Upon seeing the offending material, the swords cringed so much that they became bent beyond repair.

A similar thing happened to Grima, by the way; this is how he acquired his hunchback.



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Elenorflower
Gondor


Nov 23 2012, 5:24pm

Post #19 of 20 (357 views)
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fair enough [In reply to] Can't Post

but PJs version of ME exactly coincides with how I imagined ME, so are you saying my imagination is at fault if I dont imagine straight swords?


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Nov 23 2012, 10:37pm

Post #20 of 20 (424 views)
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I don't understand how your imagination can be at fault? [In reply to] Can't Post

If you have imagined curved swords for elves then so be it. All I am saying is that it does not appear to match what JRRT wrote. It was a choice the film makers chose to make for reasons of visually identifying differences between the races. The elven movie swords are impressive in every respect within the context of the movies, I only wish they had made Glamdring curved to, to match the others. The upcoming movies contain at least 2 impressive examples, being Orcrist and Thranduils sword.

 
 

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