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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Jackson Quibble: Is the new Hobbit flick harming the greater good?
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Feb 1 2013, 12:59pm

Post #1 of 48 (3119 views)
The Jackson Quibble: Is the new Hobbit flick harming the greater good? Can't Post

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).


Feb 1 2013, 1:34pm

Post #2 of 48 (1747 views)
Good and bad [In reply to] Can't Post

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.

Grey Havens

Feb 1 2013, 1:41pm

Post #3 of 48 (1709 views)
Anecdotal evidence [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 1:46pm

Post #4 of 48 (1677 views)
Here's a link, Imin. [In reply to] Can't Post


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.


Feb 1 2013, 1:48pm

Post #5 of 48 (1647 views)
What do you think about the idea [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 1:50pm

Post #6 of 48 (1634 views)
Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

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


Feb 1 2013, 1:57pm

Post #7 of 48 (1629 views)
Speaking of Oxford.... [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Those who have access to Oxford might be interested.


Feb 1 2013, 1:59pm

Post #8 of 48 (1659 views)
I saw that.... [In reply to] Can't Post

.... 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


Feb 1 2013, 2:06pm

Post #9 of 48 (1644 views)
Not gonna bother now [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 2:11pm

Post #10 of 48 (1622 views)
Why would that be bizarre? [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 2:14pm

Post #11 of 48 (1646 views)
Aren't people taking these movies WAAAAY too seriously? [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 2:54pm

Post #12 of 48 (1600 views)
It is too serious [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 3:19pm

Post #13 of 48 (1595 views)
As far as CT is concerned... [In reply to] Can't Post

...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.


Feb 1 2013, 3:35pm

Post #14 of 48 (1541 views)
It's called first world problems, lol [In reply to] Can't Post

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!


Feb 1 2013, 3:46pm

Post #15 of 48 (1534 views)
We have our own Tolkien culture [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 3:48pm

Post #16 of 48 (1534 views)
Bizarre? [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 3:53pm

Post #17 of 48 (1511 views)
Exactly first world problems :) [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 3:55pm

Post #18 of 48 (1515 views)
They are getting that money anyway [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 3:56pm

Post #19 of 48 (1520 views)
Fair enough [In reply to] Can't Post

Just the way it seemed to me.


Feb 1 2013, 3:59pm

Post #20 of 48 (1507 views)
You know what i think that is kinda what it is for me [In reply to] Can't Post

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


Feb 1 2013, 4:16pm

Post #21 of 48 (1491 views)
It does end eventually [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 4:18pm

Post #22 of 48 (1490 views)
Imin... Unlikely [In reply to] Can't Post

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

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

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


Kristin Thompson

Feb 1 2013, 4:28pm

Post #23 of 48 (1521 views)
I was quite puzzled [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


Feb 1 2013, 4:39pm

Post #24 of 48 (1475 views)
Solution? [In reply to] Can't Post

could make it
a traveling exhibition
Loan this
to galleries
Comic Con?

They could spread the wealth.

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


Feb 1 2013, 4:40pm

Post #25 of 48 (1477 views)
For me... [In reply to] Can't Post

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.

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