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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Hobbit, the movie: will it be a fantasy epic or a children's film? Or both?
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Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 18 2007, 3:41pm

Post #101 of 124 (205 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

As his son Father John Tolkien said:

"The Tolkien family is under perpetual abuse of one kind or another. It goes on all the time. I am anticipating endless bother when the film actually comes out."

and

"It's quite incredible. When I think when we were growing up these were just stories that we were told. Personally, when you've grown up with something you don't want someone else putting their finger on it."

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 18 2007, 4:14pm

Post #102 of 124 (247 views)
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"Art or Cash". [In reply to] Can't Post


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I mean, it was Tolkien himself who wrote that he wished his material to go forward in whatever artistic means possible.


While Tolkien, in a 1951 letter, did envision "other minds and hands" (I think it was) creating art, music and drama from his English mythological cycle, he gave the caveat that this was an old hope: "my crest has long since fallen". And when confronted with unauthorized use of his names (the "Shadowfax" hydrofoil) or proposed sequels to his works by other authors, he got very angry. (He never "railed" against Disney's artistry: there are two mild censures in his letters, that's all.)

To my knowledge, no one from the Tolkien Estate has publically objected to the description of the Ring of Barahir in the LotR films; it's just one of those details of provenance that some fans have noticed. But its description could hardly be considered necessary to convey "the significance of [Aragorn's] lineage" -- or did readers from 1954 to 1977 not understand that?

Strider's song of Lúthien --it's not the Lay, by the way-- is included in the text of LotR itself, and so was available with no objections to Jackson & co.

As for Shakespeare and Homer: if there was a person named Homer, legend portrays him as a blind, itinerant poet; and Shakespeare, as attested in his will, died firmly in the middle class. Possibly tough circumstances make for better art, but I don't see why Hobbit filmmakers should have use of other copyrighted work that they haven't paid for.

As for your conclusion that The Hobbit is insufficient for even one three-hour film, much less two films, that's good news to my ears. But I'm not sure. From Döblin's 600-page novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Fassbinder made a much-admired 16-hour television film that, I've heard, still leaves out parts of the book. Likewise Satyajit Ray wrote that he preferred to adapt short stories, as being the ideal length for feature films.

"Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" is not availalbe for filmmakers. As to Unfinished Tales material that relates to a Hobbit film or films, "The Quest of Erebor" and "The Istari" are the preeminent texts.

(And I'm in Cleveland.)

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hasufel
Rivendell


Oct 18 2007, 4:14pm

Post #103 of 124 (213 views)
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understood [In reply to] Can't Post

The Tolkein family will be hounded because of these movies, noquestion.

But I think he meant by media people asking for their opinion on it, moreso than the people actually making the movie.

I cannot even imagine how many interviewers from across the globe would want to here their views on the adaptation to the big screen.


Plus, how much has the Tolkein family profited from these "stories"? Once they made their fortune selling these "stories", you cannot turn back.

Once they turned into a very profitable business, the innocence of the "stories" is lost.

It doesn't diminish the stories at all in my opinion. But it does diminish their cries of innocence and sentimentality.


labingi_maura
Rivendell


Oct 18 2007, 4:51pm

Post #104 of 124 (226 views)
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on the Tolkien Estate [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope that what I have heard is true: that the younger members of the Tolkien family who will eventually control the Tolkien Estate really liked PJ's LOTR film adaptations (and hopefully will like "The Hobbit" film(s) just as much) and the younger Tolkiens may even be open to the idea of filming "The Silmarillion" and other of The Professor's tales. A more flexible policy would be a great idea, in my opinion.
To the best of my knowlege the current guardians of the Tolkien Estate have not commented much about the LOTR films either for or against, but they have indicated that they are very proprietary regarding new works based on Tolkien's stories and characters. Their interpretation of "fair use" is very narrow.
Here in Los Angeles there was a very cute musical parody theatrical production called "Fellowship! The Musical!" that was shut down by Tolkien Estate lawyers, and I understand that an actor who performed the astonishing "The One-Man LOTR" show was also told to cease and desist. While I understand that an owner of a property needs to protect his copyright, I also think that fan art and fan writing, poetry, music, etc. keep a property fresh and alive to the fan base. Some fan creations are just heartbreakingly beautiful, and are masterful tributes to Tolkien's vision, I think.
"There is always hope," as someone in some old book said, somewhere...
-Maura

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien


Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


Oct 18 2007, 9:23pm

Post #105 of 124 (241 views)
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Christopher is too stubborn about it... [In reply to] Can't Post

But the next two generations seem a little more open. I predict that when Christopher is no longer with us, the rest of the Tolkiens will want as many quality adaptations as they can get, before the rights expire. (30 more years for the Hobbit)

I understand C. Tolkien, even though I don't concur with him. He is the last keeper of the story as it was being written. It must have a sentimental value we cannot even dream to understand.

But the possibilities! I already see an HBO 20 Episode series of the Silmarillion... Jackson executive producing of course.
What the younger Tolkiens have realized, and Christopher will not is that Jackson has already created the visual look for Middle Earth (Alan Lee and John Howe for that matter, but you get the point). Jackson is inseparable of Middle Earth now.
That look will prevail, and more TV or movie exposure means more sold books and more royalties. I do not fear to say that the Estate will eventually give their consent for better expolitation of the works, however, it will not be with this administration.

Let it be heard! We want Jackson for The Hobbit!


Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


Oct 18 2007, 10:34pm

Post #106 of 124 (211 views)
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Main site [In reply to] Can't Post

The url is back to www.theonering.net Tongue

Let it be heard! We want Jackson for The Hobbit!


labingi_maura
Rivendell


Oct 18 2007, 11:15pm

Post #107 of 124 (202 views)
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Exactly my point.. [In reply to] Can't Post

...RE the younger Tolkien clan who will one day control the Estate.
I hope we are right! I also hope they will have a broader interpretation of fair use so that fans can create films, stories, songs, art, etc. to honor the Professor.
The link you posted still gets me the temporary green screen, which has been up since Tuesday (?) I thought you meant the new front page was ready!
-Maura

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 19 2007, 1:16am

Post #108 of 124 (199 views)
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Maybe... [In reply to] Can't Post

Christopher Tolkien is all too aware that "Jackson has already created the visual look for Middle-earth" and "Jackson is inseparable of Middle-earth now". If like me he doesn't particularly care for Jackson's vision of Middle-earth, why would he cede more text to Jackson to muck up?

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

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Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


Oct 19 2007, 1:54am

Post #109 of 124 (200 views)
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I hope we are! [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyway Maura, I didn't make myself clear bout the url. Until yesterday, when you entered the site, the url was newtorn.theonering.net or something like that Crazy I forgot to keep it! Silly me.

Now, it is back to the traditional url. Maybe they realized the were giving away too much Wink. This is just me guessing, though.

NE, I believe you are right to some extent, but Christopher opposed Jackson's adaptation BEFORE the movie was out and the success was evident. I don't criticize him, he's given us an awful lot, BUT the logical tendency would be towards more openness about the rights.

I respect you not liking Jackson's view, but I don't believe many others could have done something that had as good a balance of: respect for the books, respect for the studios' budgets, financial and artistic success and decent theatrical duration as Peter Jackson's vision. Still, he made movies that were too long for many people! Imagine a 5 hour movie so we could see the battle at Pelargir or the Scouring of the Shire.

I do miss Halbarad and Erkenbrand and Imrahil, but compromises had to be made, and I sustain they were the right ones. I believe we've seen some Tolkiens feel the same. Adam hasn't openly approved (as he is very close to Christopher) but hasn't condemned them either. Tim, other younger members and some not so young (see Simon Tolkien) have been quite supportive of Jackson's views.

In any case, it is undeniable Christopher Tolkien owes a lot of money and recognition of his father's works to Jackson's endeavour, and if don't believe me, ask me if the general population had ever heard of The Lord of the Rings in Mexico.

I understand it is personal for CT, but that is bound to change. Even the orphanage that owned Peter Pan's rights had to comission an official sequel now that their rights have expired and Peter Pan has become of the public domain. That will happen in 30 years for The Hobbit and 47 for Lord of the Rings.

As Harry Potter and other fantasy stories take over the children's minds today, they will want Professor Tolkien's works to remain in the spotlight, and visual versions (movie or TV) is still the best promotion.

And on top of artistical recognition, well, nobody eats from recognition.

Let it be heard! We want Jackson for The Hobbit!


Patty
Immortal


Oct 19 2007, 2:18am

Post #110 of 124 (219 views)
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Exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ was showered with accolades for the Trilogy, but let there be one little slip into Eragon-land in The Hobbit and it will be the night of the long knives. You know how critics like to be, well, critical. If I were PJ i'd be reluctant to take it on--it will be an enormous effort to live up to the previous work as well as avoid the pitfalls lesser fantasy movies have fallen into of late.

But thank goodness, PJ has shown that he likes a challenge.





In Reply To


This will not be easy, at all. In fact I would say that these two movies (Hobbit, prequel) are more challenging then the entire trilogy was. If done correctly, they will go down in history as one of the best. But if done poorly, it could down as one of the biggest flops.


For Gondor!

(This post was edited by Patty on Oct 19 2007, 2:23am)


Sunflower
Valinor

Oct 19 2007, 5:45am

Post #111 of 124 (186 views)
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I understand that [In reply to] Can't Post

there are some things about the trilogy that you might not like. (Just trying to guess why you don't care for Jackson's versions--other than you might, like Chgristopher, be a purist:) Things like:
--Frodo's being more helpess and passive in the films than the books--he is always getting rescued etc, instead of standing up to evil and resisting of his own strength and free will; numerous examples of this abound
--a creeping megalomania slowly taking over Jackson's work towards the end, evidences of contemporariness that would have shocked Tolkien and are an insult to many purists and not-so-purists--Pippin's belching and Gimli''s--well, let's not go there; silly things like the avalanche of skulls, etc.
--the "Arwen dying" subplot, which IS very "Hollywood", I have to agree, but if you bite the bullet and go with it, in cinematic terms, it is handled in a very restrained way, and the beuatiful ehgtereal closeups of Liv--what I call the "Luthien shots" in the beg of ROTK show she really IS the fiarest thing in ME....I still haven't made up my mins about this, I either like it or hate it with a passion, depends on my mood when watching it I guess;

But IMO it is astonishing that he has gotten the essesinals right, most notably:

The sense of OVERWHELMING SADNESS at the passing of an Age when all that is fair and wonderful is indeed passing from Arda. Like the Star Wars trilogy, it just gets more heartbreaking each time. Of course, the former was inspired by the latter (Lucas wrote all his origional SW drafts in the early 70's in a red spiral notebook, often sitting in a tree) but I am judging onloy the FILMS here. Not the books.

We are passing through such an Age now, as many forms of life are dying out around us, "and we cannot see it."

About copyright.....I recall a similar story from Chicago, speaking of Star Wars. In the late 90's there was a hugely popular musical called "Jedi! A Musical Tour De Force", complete with a singing and dancing Darth Vader (!!) that sold out something like 2 yrs worth of runs, before the Powers That Be at Skywalker Ranch shutting it down without The Checkered And Bearded One ever seeing a single performance.

Brigand, I thought NE in your siggie stood for "Northeast", now I can see it doesn't, sorry. As to the points I made you replied to....
1) I KNOW it wasn't the Lay of Luthien, I was just quoting Viggo's script. He said that in the film.
2)When I said "The insipidness of Disney", I know Tolkien didn't hate Disney works per se, but he DID openly dread any Disney rendition of his work.and made it clear he considered them getting hold of his work the worst possible scenario. With good reason. Anyone who has read "Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows" and knows about the upcoming Harry Potter Theme Park in Orlando, will appreciate this. (Will part of the DH ride simulate Hermione's screams as she is getting tortured into unconsciousness at Malfoy Manor? Or comic relief Fred Weasley getting killed in an explosion? I don't know what they'll do to portray Snape's gruesome end...We wonders, yes, we wonders.)

And 3....I've been poking around the Reading Room and am suitably humbled. You guys can quote chapter and verse from "Leaf By Niggle" and such. And Brigand, you know this stuff like Billy Graham can quote the Bible. Smile I feel like Pippin's initial reaction to wearing Farmair's livery....I used to work in a Barnes and Noble part-time in the evenings 2 nights a week when the films came out (actually I started there exactly one week before 9/11, I remember very well, it was Teusday Sept 4 2001, b/c I remember exactly where in the store I was standing a week later when I found out) and I delighted in converting people to Tolkien. I used to love quoting passages from LOTR at customers, esp the "come not between the Nazgul and his prey" speech to boys of all ages....yet it's mazing that I never so much as opened the Hobbit then, as i had already readt once before.

Well, I got hold of the Annotated Hobbit today and I am drooling. The 2 paintings by Alan Lee, esp the one depicting Thorin's funeral, have me drooling...I can just hear Shore already. I really widh there was a spot in the Reading Room for people who are either tackling the Hobbit for the first time, OR like me are re-readong and/or discovering the Annotated Edition just now. I'd love to join the Reading Room but1) it's mostly for LOTR discussion right now,I see, and 2)I don't have too much time to post. If I did I'd like to "re-discover" the Hobbit in there, maybe you guys can nursemaid me....:)


Sunflower
Valinor

Oct 19 2007, 6:09am

Post #112 of 124 (179 views)
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Great. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was trying to esit that to add in more stuff and I lost it all. It let me in to edit but timed me out...I am really ticked.

I had awhiole paragraph oin great films that were never remade (like GWTW) b/c they were so far ahead of their time, I asked you what you would have changed in the films, Brigand,and who you'd want to direct, etc. And other stuff...but I lost it and I'm too tired to retype it.....Mad


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 19 2007, 6:25am

Post #113 of 124 (287 views)
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I think this is a response to my post? [In reply to] Can't Post

And not, as might appear, to Patty's post?


Quote
I understand that there are some things about the trilogy that you might not like.



More than a few things: for me, there are easily fifteen or twenty films each year, 2001-2003, that I enjoyed more than the LotR trilogy.


Quote
Just trying to guess why you don't care for Jackson's versions--other than you might, like Christopher, be a purist--



Since C. Tolkien reportedly hasn't seen Jackson's films, can we assert that he didn't like them?

For myself, I went to FotR with hope and was quickly disappointed. The plot kept reminding me of this book I love by J.R.R. Tolkien, but the tone was drastically different. Passing over most of your examples for the moment, I will say that Liv Tyler is more earthy than ethereal to me. (I haven't seen most of her films, but thought she was the best thing in the mostly dull Jersey Girl.) And as for the "sense of overwhelming sadness at the passing of an Age when all that is fair and wonderful is indeed passing from Arda", while I agree that is a notable theme in Tolkien's book (though I don't think the word "Arda" is ever used in LotR), I felt that as with some other themes Jackson overplayed it on film.


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Brigand, I thought NE in your siggie stood for "Northeast"; now I can see it doesn't, sorry.



Actually, it does and it doesn't. Clevelanders often refer to themselves as hailing from "Northeast Ohio". But my nickname is also a reference to "The Black Gate Opens".


Quote
I know it wasn't the "Lay of Lúthien", I was just quoting Viggo's script. He said that in the film.



Sorry, I don't know the film well enough: does Aragorn in the movie say that he will be reciting / singing from the "Lay of Lúthien"? And what does he actually sing -- something from the Lay in HoMe III, or the song from LotR?


Quote
I've been poking around the Reading Room and am suitably humbled. You guys can quote chapter and verse from "Leaf by Niggle" and such



I certainly can't, but I do have a bookshelf near at hand. But thanks for the compliment. And please feel free to respond to the LotR discussion at any time! No credentials required in the Reading Room!


Quote
I used to love quoting passages from LotR at customers, esp. the "come not between the Nazgul and his prey" speech to boys of all ages.



Have you read Shakespeare's King Lear? There's a fantastic connection between the Witch-king's line and a remark by Lear. See Michael Drout's article in Tolkien Studies I (it's available for free online at ProjectMuse).


Quote
I really wish there was a spot int he Reading Room for people who are either tackling The Hobbit for the first time, or like me are re-reading and/or discovering the Annotated Edition just now. I'd love to join the Reading Room but 1) it's mostly for LotR discussion right now... and 2) I don't have too much time...



Lack of time I certainly understand! But don't let the other item keep you away. The structured discussion is only a part of the activity that takes part in the Reading Room, and often in the past it was not even the greater part of activity. Notice the two questions posted there on Tuesday by Fionnan2 and clarkfk. Such posts are always welcome: anyone at any time can post a thread separate from the organized discussion. It's only asked that no one poster flood the board (keep it to perhaps three separate threads per person per week? there's no absolute standard for these things.) So while a regular serialized discussion of The Hobbit would be inappropriate just now (the board having collectively voted a few weeks ago for a LotR discussion) you could ask questions as they occur to you.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 19 2007, 6:32am

Post #114 of 124 (183 views)
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Editing is limited... [In reply to] Can't Post

to just ten minutes. The idea being, I think, that the longer your original post has been up, the likelier it is that someone will have replied to it, and wouldn't it look odd if they responded to something you had edited out. Still, the option to edit is something we never had on the old TORN boards, which were replaced only this past spring. Sorry you were caught unawares, though.

Might I also suggest you work in threaded mode rather than flat mode, at least when replying? Your replies keep appearing in response to the most recent message in the thread, rather than to the person you're actually answering.

But that's no sort of serious criticism! Just advice that will make it easier for others to converse with you.

No time now to really go into a long film discussion, I'm afraid. Possibly there is no director working now up to the challenge of good version of LotR. As for Gone With the Wind, it's a mediocre film, only occasionally rising above dull (and sometimes ludicrous) soap opera.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

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Sunflower
Valinor

Oct 19 2007, 8:05am

Post #115 of 124 (190 views)
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Wow, Brigand.... [In reply to] Can't Post

regarding Film lore, you're a tough customer:). If I had time I'd get into many a debate with you....

As regards replying, it won't let me reply in any other mode than this. I've tried. So I guess I'll put generic titles and address whoever is it I'm replying to in the post. That's the way I do it on other forums....

Well, I'll slip into the Reading Room when I have the time and when I feel ready. The site has changed a lot from the old one in some aspects. I'm getting used to it.

As for King Lear, that was one of his plays where I prefer screen versions. My favorite Shakespeare play has always been (*shhh.....can't say the title or I'll have bad luck this week...the "Scottish Play" ha ha.)
BTW, you might seem to know the answer to this: where did the legend start up that that play was cursed anyway?


Sunflower
Valinor

Oct 19 2007, 8:33am

Post #116 of 124 (166 views)
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One last thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Re: Viggo's lines.

It was in the FOTR EE, in the Midgewater Marshes scene, they are resting for the night. Everyone has turned in and Aragorn thinks everyone is asleep. He sings some snatches of Sindarin? then Frodo asks, "Who is she? This woman you sing of." Aragorn replies: ";Tis the Lay of Luthien, the Elf-maiden who gave her love to Beren, a mortal." Frodo replies, "What happened to her?" Aragorn: "She died..."
As to what exactly Viggo sings, there's a mini-documentary on this in the DVD Appendices. I think it was Roisin Carty, one of the dialect coaches, collaborating with Fran, Viggo and of course with advice by David Salo. I know there was a website up that had translations of all the Elvish song lyrics, script refs, etc, but for the life of me I have forgotten it. Thoughts anyone? Now I'm curious to get the whole translation myself....


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 19 2007, 2:22pm

Post #117 of 124 (174 views)
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Thanks. [In reply to] Can't Post

If it's in (neo-)Sindarin, it's probably not by Tolkien, anyway.

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Sunflower
Valinor

Oct 20 2007, 6:56am

Post #118 of 124 (190 views)
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Meaning...? [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, Brigand, I do not have access to that website I mentioned where all the translations of all the song and "score" lyrics are (longtime readers will know which site I refer to, since it was accessed a lot for reference during the period of the film's release,), and I know David Salo had a website too--bet you don't even know who he is?-- I hope someone can point is there if it is still up, just so Mr. Brigand can be satisfied that Howard Shore and the script team didn't get drunk one afternoon and decide to scribble gibberish on a piece of paper and pass it off as Tolkien. "Neo-Sindarin"? What precisely do you mean by THAT crack? What if Viggo was singing verses from "The Lays of Beleriand"? How could that NOT be Tolkien? Don't you have faith that they would not make sure it was accurately rendered?

If I don't have access to this site, or one like it, (or someone who's a lot more familiar with the translations than I), I will never be able to properly satisfy my curiosity now. I don't remember which Elvish dialect Viggo was chanting in. Someone help me out here?

You know, NE Brigand, you're getting my Irish up. And my Scorpio-ness, and the two are often lethal. Cross one or the other at your risk:). I don';t mean to be impolite, but you're becoming a bit insufferable. I have temporarily pulled out of the Hobbit in-depth discussion so I could finish re-reading it, and I've admitted my ignorance; but yesterday you admitted you didn't know the films that well (by which I mean that you hadn't watched them since they came out, had forgotten a lot of what's in them), and yet you presume to lecture me about how you don;t like the TONE of the films, and you don't even remember such major script pieces as Aragorn singing of Beren and Luthien?

If you aren't "scene and verse" familiar with the films, how can you lecture anyone about the TONE? Of course the action sequences are the most easily remembered--but you haveto watch the films several times for their lyrical depth to jump out at you. There are so many layers, I am still discovering new things. Do me a favor: I am tackling the Annotated Hobbit the first time. Why don't you go back and watch the Extended Editions (you can do it if you handle one film a night; if you're strapped for time you can drag it out a week; each EE is 4 hrs long) and re-familarize yourself with the WHOLE story. The EE's change a lot.

Then, write me a detailed analysis:not on what you didn't like, but what precisely you would change if you had directed it, and give reasons of how that would improve it. I'mnot talking about obvious things like I mentioned before; I'm talking about the subtle things that affect such things as the TONE of the work .

You sound as if you wanted Guillermo del Toro to have directed it, and if the whole thing looked--and felt--like "Pan's Labyrinth" it still wouldn't make you happy. Well, while I feel that del Toro actually would be good for The Hobbit, (if someone put a gun to my head and of PJ was not directing--and on condition that there was some way he could be restrained a bit so he wouldn't make a total Greek tragedy of it), he would have made a mockery of LOTR. Gone would be any rays of sunshine, figuratively and otherwise; the best thing PJ ever did was pay more than lip service to Tolkien's "hope without guarantees."

In one sense you and your Hero Christopher Tolkine are right: the books are unstranslatable. But I stillchallenge you or anyone to tell me how anyone could have made better films.


labingi_maura
Rivendell


Oct 20 2007, 8:48am

Post #119 of 124 (187 views)
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PJ's LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

Regarding PJ's (and his whole team's) interpretation of LOTR, I fall into the category of thinking he did an astounding job translating the major themes, look, and "feel" of Middle Earth from book to screen. The characters and their motivations are all beautifully realized as well, in my opinion. Although initially I too missed the more feisty, proactive adult Frodo in the books (which came across well in the BBC Radio Play version) I ended up finding the callow, innocent youth that PJ chose to depict very appealing and believable. I still have quibbles with the changes made on some story points, and would like to have seen the scouring of the Shire retained. But in general, even with the parts I wish had been done differently, I still don't think anyone could have done a better job. PJ and company really wanted to stick to Tolkien as closely as possible while making as great a set of films as possible, and I think they pulled it off.
-Maura

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 20 2007, 3:23pm

Post #120 of 124 (218 views)
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Regarding Neo-Sindarin. [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry if I've misled you. My comment:


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Thanks. If it's in (neo-)Sindarin, it's probably not by Tolkien, anyway.



wasn't meant as any sort of attack on the filmmakers. it was a sincere response that meant exactly what it said: Thank you for explaining in more detail the nature of the song that Viggo Mortensen sang in FotR. Now that you have indicated the song was in Sindarin (probably Neo-Sindarin) I don't think it infringes on the copyright of the Tolkien Estate.

To my knowledge, Tolkien never wrote a version of the story of Beren and Lúthien in Sindarin -- all the versions that I know are in English. The two long, unfinished versions of The Lay of Leithien in volume III of The History of Middle-earth are in English. So is "Light as Leaf on Lindentree", the poem adapted for use by Strider in (the book of) FotR. (Tolkien didn't even use the word "Sindarin" until late in the writing of LotR anyway. Before that, the language was called "Gnomish", I believe, and its history was radically change around the time Tolkien started LotR -- formerly it had been the language of the elves who returned to Middle-earth, not the elves who never made it to Valinor in the first place. Corrections welcome: this stuff always confuses me.) And Tolkien probably didn't create enough Sindarin for Salo to have written these verses, so Salo had to make some words up: thus "Neo-Sindarin", a term that I did not make up.

Again this is not an insult: Salo is a linguist and my limited understanding of the subject is that he does the best he can to create new elvish words according to linguistic principles so that they are as consistent with Tolkien's words as possible. The term "Neo-Sindarin" indicates only that they are not Tolkien's words (they are asterisk-words, as NZ Strider once said) and as Carl Hostetter has explained in this paper (pdf), it's quite possible that Tolkien would have taken an entirely different approach to each word. But Tolkien wasn't around to advise on the film.

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 20 2007, 4:02pm

Post #121 of 124 (177 views)
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Regarding my ignorance. [In reply to] Can't Post


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I know David Salo had a website too--bet you don't even know who he is?



That guess has been answered, but otherwise you've got me dead to rights:



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I have temporarily pulled out of the Hobbit in-depth discussion so I could finish re-reading it, and I've admitted my ignorance; but yesterday you admitted you didn't know the films that well (by which I mean that you hadn't watched them since they came out, had forgotten a lot of what's in them)...



Yes, it's true: I saw each film once in theaters when they were released, was severely disappointed, and have not seen them since, a fact that I have acknowledged on these boards many times.


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...and yet you presume to lecture me about how you don't like the TONE of the films, and you don't even remember such major script pieces as Aragorn singing of Beren and Lúthien?
If you aren't "scene and verse" familiar with the films, how can you lecture anyone about the TONE? Of course the action sequences are the most easily remembered--but you haveto watch the films several times for their lyrical depth to jump out at you. There are so many layers, I am still discovering new things.



Well, I apologize if my comments on the films' unfortunate tone came across as lecturing -- not my intention. I meant only to (briefly) answer your guess as to what I didn't like about the films.


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Do me a favor: I am tackling the Annotated Hobbit for the first time. Why don't you go back and watch the Extended Editions (you can do it if you handle one film a night; if you're strapped for time you can drag it out a week; each EE is 4 hrs long) and re-familarize yourself with the WHOLE story. The EE's change a lot.



I may eventually see the Extended Editions. I don't own any of the LotR DVDs, though, so it will be a while. Meantime I'll just have to continue to get schooled here on TORN's movie board.


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You sound as if you wanted Guillermo del Toro to have directed it



The only del Toro films I've seen are Mimic and Hellboy, neither of which I liked.


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In one sense you and your Hero, Christopher Tolkien



"He's lovely, absolutely lovely, who'd believe the loveliness of him?"

Probably not the Hero you were referring to. I wouldn't call Christopher Tolkien "my hero". I very much admire him for the tremendous effort he put to editing his father's Middle-earth manuscripts into fourteen posthumous works.


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...are right: the books are unstranslatable.


All books lose something in adaptation to film. What do you think is the least filmable aspect of LotR?


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But I still challenge you or anyone to tell me how anyone could have made better films.



Lose the elves' pointy ears, for starters.

Thanks for a lively discussion!


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labingi_maura
Rivendell


Oct 20 2007, 7:58pm

Post #122 of 124 (182 views)
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Regarding (slightly) pointy ears [In reply to] Can't Post

[

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But I still challenge you or anyone to tell me how anyone could have made better films.



Lose the elves' pointy ears, for starters.

Thanks for a lively discussion!


I agree that lively is good, as long as we're all staying polite and respecting each other's differences of opinion.

I myself am in the "leaf-shaped, slightly pointed ears for elves and hobbits are OK" camp, because Tolkien himself wrote that hobbits have slightly pointed ears, like elves. Here is my source:

This article is from the Tolkien FAQ, by William D.B. Loos loos@hudce.harvard.edu with numerous contributions by others.

Did Hobbits have pointed ears?

Only slightly. Tolkien described Bilbo thusly for purposes of
illustration in a letter to Houghton Mifflin (c. 1938):

I picture a fairly human figure, not a kind of 'fairy' rabbit as
some of my British reviewers seem to fancy: fattish in the stomach,
shortish in the leg. A round, jovial face; ears only slightly
pointed and 'elvish'; hair short and curling (brown). The feet
from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green
velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket;
gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to
a dwarf).
Letters, 35 (#27)

The Annotated Hobbit cites this letter and includes a reasonable
illustration based upon it. [Note that Tolkien's use of the word
"elvish" here refers to the elfs of popular folklore, who were often
pictured with pointed ears. The Elves of Middle-earth (except for
the Silvan Elves in The Hobbit) were at the time of this letter known
to only a few people.]

Annotated Hobbit, 10 (Ch I, note 2).

Contributor: WDBL

And I'm also going by a comment made by Shagrat the orc (I think its Shagrat?) describing Frodo: "...What is it, d'you think? Elvish it looked to me, but undersized..." It seems logical to me that a quick physical identifier that both Elves and Hobbits have in common would be a slightly pointed ear shape, as opposed to rounded human ears.

I thought that the filmmakers' choosing a leaf-shaped ear for these two races was exquisite. That organic shape is reflected in leaf & vine shapes used in clothing, armor, weapons, and architectural elements that define Elven culture.

But if you prefer rounded elf ears, that's fine. In a lot of cases our differences of opinion are just due to personal taste.
-Maura

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 20 2007, 8:10pm

Post #123 of 124 (144 views)
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Yes, in the 1930s... [In reply to] Can't Post

as you have noted, he wrote in a letter that Bilbo should be drawn with slightly pointed, "elvish" ears. At roughly the same time, he also wrote in an elvish grammar of the time that the ears should be leaf-shaped. However, it's curious that he never once in his fiction describes elvish ears. Earlier in his lifetime, he conceived of his elves in much more traditional Victorian "fairy" terms than he later would (though still no reference to the ears, that I know of). I suspect that he was uncertain about this aspect (unlike the size of elves, whose diminutiveness he came to reject) and deliberately vague on this subject, allowing the reader to choose. As you say: personal taste.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

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FarFromHome
Valinor


Oct 21 2007, 8:01am

Post #124 of 124 (246 views)
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Here's the transcript from elvish.org [In reply to] Can't Post

Tinúviel elvanui

Elleth alfirin edhelhael

O hon ring finnil fuinui

A renc gelebrin thiliol...

'Tinúviel [the] elven-fair,

Immortal maiden elven-wise,

About him cast [her] night-dark hair,

And arms [like] silver glimmering...'

Here is the page it's from.



As NEB says, this can't be Tolkien's actual work. It's a "modern" translation of some of his words that were originally written in English. (Tolkien wrote surprisingly little in Elvish - he seems mostly to have enjoyed writing "translations" of things that were never written in another language in the first place.)

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.

(This post was edited by FarFromHome on Oct 21 2007, 8:06am)

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