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If Tolkien was alive, how would you think his opinion of PJ's movie interpretation?
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Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Feb 22 2014, 3:03pm

Post #76 of 108 (224 views)
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More on artistic control [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
over their work (JK Rowling). How did she manage it? It seems kind of hard to achieve. I had actually come to the conclusion myself that the only way to maintain total artistic control was to keep it to your self and then the amount of control you lose is directly proportional to the amount shared.



Being a well-known and respected author helps, but it really depends on how badly the studio wants the property and how many headaches it anticipates by granting the creator such control. Also, the creator/rights holder has to be insistant and have a very good lawyer versed in contract law. One basic rule when dealing with Hollywood is: Never sign anything that you don't fully understand.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Noria
Rohan

Feb 22 2014, 4:19pm

Post #77 of 108 (222 views)
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Artistic control [In reply to] Can't Post

Obviously when Tolkien sold the rights to TH and LotR, the contract did not include any sort of creative control by the author.

I don't think that necessarily is a bad thing for any book to movie deal. Authors are not film makers, they are not usually even screenplay writers. Input and consultation could be good things but IMO creative control might not be.

In J.K. Rowling's case, the Harry Potter books were so popular all around the world that the studios must have been desperate get the movie rights and willing to concede just about anything. That has got to be a director's nightmare.

And what was the result? The first two Harry Potter movies were very faithful to the books and yet uninspired and somewhat dull. That's more likely to be the director's fault than Rowling's. None-the-less, her input did not produce a great movie.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Feb 22 2014, 4:24pm

Post #78 of 108 (230 views)
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All good points [In reply to] Can't Post

Nor was Tolkien seeking artistic control when he sold the screenrights to TH and LotR to The Saul Zantz Company. As someone previously pointed out, he never thought that the books were filmable (except perhaps through animation) and he never believed that a success film would result from either work.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 22 2014, 7:27pm

Post #79 of 108 (210 views)
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I wonder [In reply to] Can't Post

if the fact that the series was unfinished at the time of the first film strengthened Rowling's argument to have greater than usual input into the movies? After all, only she knew what was coming up in the overall story and those early films had to be consistent with what she hadn't yet written. (Kreacher was originally not going to be in The Order of the Phoenix film but was put in after Rowling said he was necessary for a later story development.)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 22 2014, 8:53pm

Post #80 of 108 (222 views)
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Sad? [In reply to] Can't Post

Saying it's 'sad and ironically convenient' for some fans to think Tolkien would have liked 'X, Y and Z'' is a bit harsh considering that's almost identical to your own POV which is saying that he would undoubtedly have hated 'X, Y and Z.'

Very few people hate 100% of the LOTR and Hobbit movies from beginning to end, just as very few love 100% of them from beginning to end. Those of us who don't like the movies are sure Tolkien would have hated what we hate and those of us who loved the movies would like to think Tolkien would have loved what we loved. Yes, some of Tolkien's comments indicate he wouldn't have liked 100% of PJs movies, but you don't need to quote a letter to come to that conclusion. Of course he wouldn't have liked everything, but we have no way of knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly what things might have irritated him and what things might have delighted him (with the possible exception of leaving out The Scouring of the Shire which is a common denominator in Zimmerman's and PJ's screenplays). That's the one fact in this conversation: none of us will ever know and, in the absence of being able to know, we all put forth our opinions, some of which are skewed pro-movie and some against. That's not 'sad.' It's only human.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





g-stormcrow
Bree


Feb 23 2014, 12:00am

Post #81 of 108 (201 views)
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Hi, how'ya doin'? [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all, I don't think it helps the conversations when describing people's opinions using "hate" & "love" as buzz-words. You seem to be an intelligent person so I'm guessing you can probably understand what I mean when I say that describing other people's opinions using the word "hate" is a very subtle way of putting their opinions into a pejorative category. Imo, it also doesn't help the discussion stay civil or on topic. I think "liked / not liked" would be a more positive, understanding way to describe people's opposing opinions appropriately if that is not asking too much of everyone.

With that said, I believe I wrote that JRR would've been "peeved" & "wouldn't like" the movies, as Christopher does, though the words he used to describe his feelings were "irritation" & "resentment" (obviously a bit more severe than my wording) but I'm positive I never used the word "hate".

I believe I also said, 'I think it is sadly ironic that so many Tolkien fans in one breath conveniently say "we'll never know what JRR would've thought" while disregarding his letters on the subject as well as Christopher's well-founded opinions yet in the next breath they somehow find confidence in saying "JRR would've undoubtedly have loved (X), (Y) & (Z)'.

Did you read this entire comment or did you take part of it out of context just to try and call me out as a harsh hypocrite?

Did you happen to notice the part that read "...while disregarding his letters on the subject as well as Christopher's well-founded opinions..."? My comments were not based on my own opinions of what I "liked / didn't like" about the movies as you have implied. They are based on specific references in JRR's letters regarding the Zimmerman project as well as his life-long collaborator's opinion and first-hand knowledge of JRR. In fact, when I read that Christopher did not like the way PJ & Co. handled his father's story I was at that time very happy The Hobbit was going to be made into a movie.

However, I deeply respect JRR for his wisdom, his quest for perfection in his works as well as all of his sorely needed conscience & altruism for our society. These traits of his come right off the page and into people's hearts if they find it there and are willing to let it in. Therefore, putting aside my selfish desires of seeing Middle Earth portrayed on screen, I decided to find out exactly why, how and what Christopher was "on" about regarding these movies.

After reading his interview, it all became crystal clear. As a songwriter myself, I could easily understand Christopher's reasoning behind someone else mishandling his father's carefully & meticulously thought out works which took JRR & he decades to form & create into a cohesive story.

In his letters, JRR describes many things about the Zimmerman project which got him irritated and occasionally to the point of resentment. I believe it is very convenient to think that JRR, who cared so much about the integrity & legacy of his story, wouldn't have discussed with his son Christopher, whom he appointed executor of his trust, at least once prior to his death the problems he experienced with not having any control over the film makers / studio during the Zimmerman attempt. I think it would be very careless, unlikely and completely out of character that JRR did not talk to the person who would be the executor(s) of his trust about many things concerning the handling of his stories including the possibility of other film makers / studios coming to the estate after his death, feigning "deep respect" for him & his works, while asking the estate to "consult" and/or be a part of their adaptation of his works. Indeed, requests such as these came to JRR countless times while he was alive and there would be no reason for him to think that the requests would stop once he was dead.

Therefore, based on the facts of previous events, does the estate's counter-offer to only be involved in the movies if they have considerable control over the film makers seem so unreasonable? Sure, it perhaps is unreasonable to think that the film makers would give the estate that kind of control over the movies but isn't it also perhaps unreasonable to think that the estate would agree to being only "consultants" on the movies after the factual & well-documented irritation and occasional resentment JRR previously experienced with the Zimmerman project?

There are many more facts in this conversation than the one you quoted which you obviously would prefer to remain alone. I have actually put aside my selfish desires just to acknowledge those other facts while attempting to clear all of the needless "confusion" Tolkien fans seem to be having concerning Christopher's perceived over-the-top opinions & actions with regard to PJ & Co.'s movies and how at least some part of them must be based on things he and his father discussed while JRR was alive.

All of the confusion surrounding this topic is not a 'sad' product of just being "human", it's a 'sad' product of being selfishly & conveniently unfair.

Despite our differing opinions, Best Wishes to you, Altaira

Gandalf receives no welcome at all when he re-enters Meduseld. He stands before King Theoden perceived to be a meddler, trouble-maker, and bearer of woes. Such has been the success of Grima Wormtongue.

"Ill news is an ill guest."

(This post was edited by g-stormcrow on Feb 23 2014, 12:11am)


g-stormcrow
Bree


Feb 23 2014, 12:09am

Post #82 of 108 (202 views)
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Tom Shippey [In reply to] Can't Post

The reason I mentioned Tom Shippey is that some of the same "positive" people saying we'll never know what JRR would've thought while claiming Christopher's opinions are his and not his father's conveniently and arbitrarily used Tom Shippey's opinions previously as a source for claiming that JRR would've loved the LotR movies.

That apparent "swing" wasn't directed at Shippey but instead at the people who chose to unfairly take his opinions over Christopher's.

Best Wishes

Gandalf receives no welcome at all when he re-enters Meduseld. He stands before King Theoden perceived to be a meddler, trouble-maker, and bearer of woes. Such has been the success of Grima Wormtongue.

"Ill news is an ill guest."


g-stormcrow
Bree


Feb 23 2014, 12:19am

Post #83 of 108 (188 views)
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Perhaps it was when you "respectfully" said you "don't really care"... [In reply to] Can't Post

It is one thing to say that JRR and/or Christopher's opinions of the movies don't have any impact on your opinion(s) about them.

However, it is an entirely different thing to say that you "don't really care" what their opinions are. Saying that is the equivalent of saying "I don't really care about anyone else's opinions" which, in contrast, is very disrespectful.

Perhaps you didn't mean it that way but that was how it came off.

Best Wishes to you, Noria.

Gandalf receives no welcome at all when he re-enters Meduseld. He stands before King Theoden perceived to be a meddler, trouble-maker, and bearer of woes. Such has been the success of Grima Wormtongue.

"Ill news is an ill guest."


g-stormcrow
Bree


Feb 23 2014, 12:25am

Post #84 of 108 (177 views)
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"Positive" is definitely a subjective word... [In reply to] Can't Post

...especially on these boards.

Jus'sayin'

Gandalf receives no welcome at all when he re-enters Meduseld. He stands before King Theoden perceived to be a meddler, trouble-maker, and bearer of woes. Such has been the success of Grima Wormtongue.

"Ill news is an ill guest."


g-stormcrow
Bree


Feb 23 2014, 12:37am

Post #85 of 108 (185 views)
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This...is rather convenient... [In reply to] Can't Post

"Someone who has been made responsible for protecting the work of a father he loved will naturally be protective towards it and towards preserving the integrity of it - far more than his father might have been."

This...may very well be the case...unless the father specifically drilled that kind of thinking and responsibility into his son about the work while he was alive. Naturally (though I'm no Freud), a son who wakes up in the middle of the night from an anxiety nightmare which consists of his deceased father being upset with him for leaving something out while publishing his unfinished tales seems to be more indicative of the father's opinions coming through the son than the son being more protective of the works than the father might have been.

Jus'sayin'

Best Wishes, dormouse

Gandalf receives no welcome at all when he re-enters Meduseld. He stands before King Theoden perceived to be a meddler, trouble-maker, and bearer of woes. Such has been the success of Grima Wormtongue.

"Ill news is an ill guest."

(This post was edited by g-stormcrow on Feb 23 2014, 12:44am)


Bumblingidiot
Rohan

Feb 23 2014, 12:50am

Post #86 of 108 (176 views)
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What I was meant was that [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't believe CT would have seriously asked for complete artistic control - it's not in the realms of reality to expect a director to hand over the reins to a consultant to that extent. It may have been a way of declining, without declining, I suppose; otherwise, it seems a very naive thing to ask or expect.

Hope that clarifies.

"reigns" was a typo, by the way, lest you jump to the conclusion that I was accusing CT of delusions of grandeur.

"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear."


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 23 2014, 6:21am

Post #87 of 108 (212 views)
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Apologies [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't mean to offend you by using the words 'hate' and 'love.' However, if you do a search you'll find that the words 'hate' and 'love' have been used often by people here when describing their opinions of PJs movies. I was simply recounting words others have used to describe their own opinions, and attempting to encompass all facets of the opinion spectrum.

I note that you're quoting from lotr.wiki which, if it's like wikipedia and freely edited by anyone, could contain errors. If you have read the related letters, you know that Tolkien was very specific about the things that irritated him about the Zimmerman screenplay, almost all of which have nothing in common with PJ's adaptations. So, I'm still at a bit of a loss as to how any specific parallels can be drawn (other than The Souring of the Shire).

As you pointed out, Tolkien was generally in favor of a movie being made of LOTR. Dislike of screenplay 'A' doesn't prove dislike of screenplay 'B' just as opinion 'A' (that of Christopher) doesn't prove or disprove opinion 'B' (that of his father). Letters, interviews with Christopher, etc. give us clues, but unless J.R.R. himself sat down to view these movies, and Christopher sat down and viewed them with him (or discussed them over a pint or two afterwards) none of us, Christopher included, can say with 100% certainty whether he would have approved or disapproved and/or exactly what parts he would have approved or disapproved of.

In conclusion, I was trying to point out that, using your words, it's just as 'sadly and conveniently unfair' for those who disliked the movies to cherry-pick quotes from his letters or from his son to prove that J.R.R. would have disliked the movies as it is for people who liked the movies to assume he would have liked them just because they did.

No one can possibly ever know for sure, with respect to PJs adaptation, what Tolkien would have liked or disliked. We can only offer our own opinions based on what we've read and what we, ourselves, liked or disliked.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





(This post was edited by Altaira on Feb 23 2014, 1:24pm)


dormouse
Half-elven


Feb 23 2014, 7:59am

Post #88 of 108 (176 views)
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Not at all.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and who mentioned anxiety nightmares? Seems to me that for someone who is picking other posters up on.... exaggeration.... and the subtle use of language.... (and in your case ... punctuation)... to undermine a point he/she disagrees with, you're doing a fair amount of the same yourself. No?

Just sayin'

Simple fact: the custodian of an original artwork relates to it in a different way than its creator. The two roles are not the same.


Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 23 2014, 5:45pm

Post #89 of 108 (182 views)
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Zimmerman Screenplay [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

If you have read the related letters, you know that Tolkien was very specific about the things that irritated him about the Zimmerman screenplay, almost all of which have nothing in common with PJ's adaptations. So, I'm still at a bit of a loss as to how any specific parallels can be drawn (other than The Souring of the Shire).
Agree here Altaira - I have posted before that I do think the current team has seen and taken JRRT's responses to the Zimmerman treatment into account. In truth, JRRT's measured and clearly invested response to Zimmerman would be a fascinating crossover discussion. (May have to do that one of these days).Cool


Reading Letters in general, I do get the feeling he was open to ideas, and had some level of excitement at the possibility of a film version, as he wrote about in 1957:
"But this Mr. Ackerman brought some astonishingly good pictures (Rackham rather than Disney) and some remarkable colour photographs. They have apparently toured America shooting mountain and desert scenes that seem to fit the story. The Story Line or Scenario was, however, on a lower level. In fact bad. But it looks as if business might be done. Stanley U. and I have agreed on our policy: Art or Cash. Either very profitable terms indeed; or absolute author's veto on objectionable features or alterations." (#202, Sept. 1957)

Prior to receving the synopsis of the film version, he said:

"An abridgement by selection with some good picture-work would be pleasant, & perhaps worth a good deal in publicity; but the present script is rather a compression with resultant over-crowding and confusion, blurring of climaxes, and a general degradation: a pull-back towards more conventional 'fairy-stories'. People gallop about on Eagles at the least provocation; Lorien becomes a fairy-castle with 'delicate minarets', and all that sort of thing.
"But I am quite prepared to play ball, if they are open to advice - and if you (Rayner Unwin) decide that the thing is genuine, and worthwhile." (#201, Sept. 1957)



Granted these ideas were in the late 1950's; he retained the rights until 1967. At no time was any film advance available to portray fantasy as we have now. It also seems much of the lighter statements made above, like 'Art or Cash', went to the mat when an impossible-to-accept Zimmerman synopsis was presented to him (1958). In addition, Letters contain his impressions of some of the potential audience not being able to truly grasp the complexity of his work - so, would he have seen SPJ's version as comprehensive to the whole of the ideals? In Letter #210 JRRT says: "The canons of narrative art in any medium cannot be wholly different; and the failure of poor films is often precisely in exaggeration, and in the intrusion of unwanted matter owing to not perceiving where the original lies."


This statement comes from a writer who, in other places, openly notes that he is NOT a film-maker. Yet it reminds us that the cardinal focus is what would have mattered perhaps to the author. The 'unwanted matter' intrusion I think refers to the specifics fresh in his mind of the excesses of the Zimmerman script: the extraneous use of the eagles, the fantastical portrayal of Lorien, the abandonment of seasons as story anchors and symbols, the dismissal of Galadriel's temptation and rejection of the Ring. So without dismissing film in a reflexive way, the question of quality and canon truth becomes the question...


So it is an unanswered question! But an interesting speculation. For my part, I think the ultimate canon truths have been preserved...but this did involve some changes and in some cases character violence to adapt the truths to the screen. Would he have been satisfied? That we will never know.




Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Elskidor
Rohan


Feb 23 2014, 6:10pm

Post #90 of 108 (139 views)
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We can debate this until the cows come home [In reply to] Can't Post

He might be cynical on some things, but I think he would have been by PJs side, and the movies would have turned out slightly different than they have. Isn't it a dream of most writers to have their story told in various formats and inspire others? He continues to accomplish this and it is an amazing feat that his story holds strong all these years later, and have been given films, video games and is one of the top sold books of all times. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings has done wonders to not just the fantasy genre, but literature in general.
I think he would have loved seeing Middle Earth brought together in such an epic trilogy even if some things were left out or altered for the films. I don't really care what CT thinks. He is not his father.

ROUND 10 Tolkien Elimination Game Final Match

http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=717589;sb=post_time;so=DESC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

or found in the Pollantir


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 23 2014, 6:43pm

Post #91 of 108 (144 views)
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I don't care either. [In reply to] Can't Post

Their opinions have no impact on me. I respect the fact that they are entitled to their opinions, but I don't care what they are. I'm sure there are people who model their own opinions on those of others, but I don't.


g-stormcrow
Bree


Feb 23 2014, 8:16pm

Post #92 of 108 (142 views)
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I am a rock. I am an island... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure there are people who call themselves Tolkien fans, too, yet let PJ & Co.'s "explanations" have more of an impact on their thinking & opinions.

There seems to be a lot of opinion modeling going on with regards to the latter thanks to a certain "deep respect" director & a couple "purist" actors... Jus'sayin'

So, first one moderator inferred I was modeling JRR's & Christopher's opinions of the movies on mine but now another admin is now inferring that I'm modeling my opinions on their opinions. How conveniently & respectfully typical."...If the right one don't get 'em then the left one will..."

Open ended Question: if someone said to you "I don't really care" about your opinions, would you think they were being respectful to you let alone a fan of yours? Saying you're being respectful and actually being respectful can be two entirely different actions.

Gandalf receives no welcome at all when he re-enters Meduseld. He stands before King Theoden perceived to be a meddler, trouble-maker, and bearer of woes. Such has been the success of Grima Wormtongue.

"Ill news is an ill guest."

(This post was edited by g-stormcrow on Feb 23 2014, 8:21pm)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 23 2014, 8:20pm

Post #93 of 108 (140 views)
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Doesn't bother me. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't expect people to care about my opinions, so I'm not disappointed if they don't.


g-stormcrow
Bree


Feb 23 2014, 8:28pm

Post #94 of 108 (134 views)
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Christopher mentioned having that exact anxiety nightmare... [In reply to] Can't Post

Or was that just me exaggerating?

Simple fact: countless people have given a basic framework of their wishes, opinions & ideas to the executor of their trust while they were alive to be followed when they are dead. In the case of a father & son relationship, that basic framework can be made quite clear over the span of decades and can become very specific.

Gandalf receives no welcome at all when he re-enters Meduseld. He stands before King Theoden perceived to be a meddler, trouble-maker, and bearer of woes. Such has been the success of Grima Wormtongue.

"Ill news is an ill guest."


g-stormcrow
Bree


Feb 23 2014, 8:41pm

Post #95 of 108 (139 views)
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Good for you... [In reply to] Can't Post

Expecting people to care about your opinions as opposed to reasonably anticipating that people who widely proclaim themselves to be your fans might, I don't know, in some way be inclined to have a care about your opinions - no matter how insignificant they may seem and/or how little impact they may have - are two entirely different things.

Gandalf receives no welcome at all when he re-enters Meduseld. He stands before King Theoden perceived to be a meddler, trouble-maker, and bearer of woes. Such has been the success of Grima Wormtongue.

"Ill news is an ill guest."

(This post was edited by g-stormcrow on Feb 23 2014, 8:47pm)


dormouse
Half-elven


Feb 23 2014, 10:55pm

Post #96 of 108 (123 views)
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Did he? Poor man [In reply to] Can't Post

Completely irrelevant to my post, though, as it isn't what I said or what I meant.

And it doesn't changed the point by a whisker. An executor/custodian of someone else's work cannot relate to it in the same way as the original creator. Trying to interpret someone else's wishes when they are no longer alive to ask is not the same thing at all.


Bumblingidiot
Rohan

Feb 24 2014, 12:14am

Post #97 of 108 (120 views)
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I don't really agree with that. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Tolkien's relationship with modernity is more complex. The Georgians and Victorians kicked off the industrial revolution, and were, generally, in favour of untrammelled industrialisation. I'd say that was the predominant view right up until the 1980s, and still is in some places. Tolkien recognised that unrestrained industrialisation came with heavy costs, both socially and environmentally - in that respect, he could be seen as ahead of his time. Likewise, at a time (early to mid twentieth century) when anti jewish feeling was both common and acceptable, he was expressing distinctly 'modern' anti-racist attitudes. And he wasn't exactly stuck on the idea of class superiority either; despite a pre-medieval setting, he chose his heroes from an unimportant, overlooked people - and considered Sam to be as much, if not more of a hero than Frodo.

Although religious, his christianity was more progressive and subtle than a typical traditionalist, and less old-fashioned than many of today's somewhat fundamentalist christians.

One area where he was old-fashioned, was that he favoured scholarship and complexity over shallow spectacle, and had respect for his readers' intelligence.




In Reply To
And I donít mean that disrespectfully in the least. I greatly admire and respect Tolkien as an author and love his creations. But he was not a film maker.

Also, the man has been gone for forty years and seems to me to have been old fashioned even for his times, rather Victorian and almost a Luddite in some ways. IMO that different sensibility is part of what makes LotR etc. unique and so very great. I expect that Tolkien wouldn't approve of a great deal of what we in 2013 take for granted and believe in.

I agree that people pose these questions with the underlying idea that Tolkien would not have approved of the things they donít like about the movies. But I would be more surprised if he did like any of the films than the converse. That doesn't matter to me any more than the views of Christopher Tolkien do, grateful as I am to CT for giving us The Silmarillion and the other works.


"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear."


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 24 2014, 4:12am

Post #98 of 108 (120 views)
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Movie Locations [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for pulling all those quotes together and putting them in such good context. You said what I meant to say, only much more eloquently. Smile

I recently recalled the letter where Tolkien mentions being excited about the pictures of movie locations. Only a few days ago I was lucky enough to tour the Hobbiton location. As impressive as the location itself is, one of the things that impressed me the most was the countryside on the drive there. You can't see Hobbiton from the road (a requirement of PJ), but I was stunned as we got within maybe 10-15 kilometers at how much the surrounding countryside began to look like J.R.R. Tolkien's drawing of Hobbiton (see below). So much so that I commented to B.G. that I recognized The Shire almost instinctively from being familiar with that drawing.



An example would be the pine trees in the upper right. They were dotted here and there amongst the rolling hills in all their tall glory almost exactly like they appear in the picture. It looked so close to the drawing that I could imagine the location crew flying over it in a helicopter with that picture in their hands.

Among the location requirements was that it had to be secluded, it had to have multiple levels of hills, a party tree (or trees) and water. The Anderson sheep farm was perfect except that the party field was a swamp, so they filled it in. Oh, and one more thing: it *had* to have a tree on the top of the hill above Bag End because that's how Tolkien himself had drawn it. The Anderson farm lacked a tree at the top of the hill, so for LOTR, they brought in a cut tree and added leaves to it. For The Hobbit movies, because it was supposed to be decades earlier, they replaced that tree with a completely artificial one that was made to look like the original tree only smaller and younger. All that for maybe a few seconds of screen time. Below is a shot of Bag End and the top of The Hill from the party field.



Anyway, I could go on and on, about the locations especially. But, at the time I couldn't help thinking Tolkien would have had a smile on his face to see the meticulous care and dedication that went into making that set as perfect as it could possibly be, and at that wonderful tree on top of The Hill.

All IMHO, of course. Smile


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





(This post was edited by Altaira on Feb 24 2014, 4:20am)


Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 24 2014, 4:48am

Post #99 of 108 (99 views)
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What a great post Altaira [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm so happy for you to have seen it all! Angelic I hope to some day.
And I do agree - I think it might make JRRT smile to see the exacting sort of details that have gone into the productions. Other points - I'm sure there would be friction. But to some extent I would say with this sort of thing he might have been very happy (and I like thinking that.)

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





dormouse
Half-elven


Feb 24 2014, 8:47am

Post #100 of 108 (96 views)
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Agreed on all points.... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's all wildly hypothetical, of course, but I like to think that IF JRRT had been alive and IF he had like their initial approach enough to co-operate with them he would have been fascinated (and not a little flattered) by the meticulous attention to detail that went into the settings and the look of the films. All that wonderful artistry. On the writing side I'm sure there'd have been things he really didn't like - but then, if he'd been there to consult and had been willing to be consulted, maybe some of those things would have been different....

Looking at those letters where he talks about film adaptations and sounds quite enthusiastic, and intrigued by it all, I suspect that had he been approached with - say - 'we really need another character here in order to...', he might have relished creating that character for them. He was so involved with his creation and was still shaping and re-working it, so adding stuff might not have seemed like a travesty to him.

But then again, if he hadn't liked the initial approach he might have said 'a plague on all your filming' and had nothing to do with it at all!

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