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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Six years ago....
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Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 17 2007, 9:54pm

Post #76 of 90 (267 views)
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Danged if you do, danged if you don't. [In reply to] Can't Post

...offering good cinematic alternatives to what Jackson created)

I've noticed many of the alternatives that book purists offer boil down to "He shoulda put *my* favorite bits in the movie!" Yeah, I'll agree with that. The trilogy would have been much much better with more Eowyn. Especially if she was in a few shower scenes. The movies would have been perfect!!! (As always, it really depends on whose toes are being stepped on.)


....I would say that the onscreen action in Moria includes a cave-troll battle and crumbling staircase,
neither of which appear in the books, and thus not subject to frodolives' truism, that it takes more time to show action on film than in print.


There were fissures and chasms in the walls and floor, and every now and then a crack would open right before their feet. The widest was more than seven feet across, and it was long before Pippin could summon enough courage to leap over the dreadful gap.

As for the cave troll, yes, Jackson could have done like Tolkien did, mentioning it, and then not saying what happened to it. But then, look at all the flak that Jackson took for being slavishly faithful with the vanishing horses at the Morannon.


Unlike Helm's Deep, which dominates TT out of any sense of proportion: it is just one chapter out of twenty in the book.

Actually the book has 21 chapters. One chapter out of twenty-one. That's 4.8%. In the movie it's 20 minutes out of 180 minutes. That's 11%.

Though actually the movie omits "The Departure of Boromir", "Journey to the Cross-roads", "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol", "Shelob's Lair", and "The Choices of Master Samwise." So we're talking about one chapter out of 16. That's 6.25%.

Well, yeah, I'd quibble over a difference of 4.75% in interest rates with credit cards or home mortgages, so I'll concede the point.

But Jackson's Battle of Helm's Deep encapsulates so many of Tolkien's themes of duty, death, immortality, brotherhood, self-sacrifice, plus has wonderous moments of exquisite eucatastrophe. Best of all it has Elves!

Yeah, the book could do with more Elves. And an army of Dwarves.

Still:

It was now past midnight. The sky was utterly dark, and the stillness of the heavy air foreboded storm. Suddenly the clouds were seared by a blinding flash. Branched lightning smote down upon the eastward hills. For a staring moment the watchers on the walls saw all the space between them and the Dike lit with white light: it was boiling and crawling with black shapes. some squat and broad, some tall and grim, with high helms and sable shields. Hundreds and hundreds more were pouring over the Dike and through the breach. The dark tide flowed up to the walls from cliff to cliff. Thunder rolled in the valley. Rain came lashing down.
Arrows thick as the rain came whistling over the battlements, and fell clinking and glancing on the stones. Some found a mark. The assault on Helm's Deep had begun, but no sound or challenge was heard within; no answering arrows came.
The assailing hosts halted, foiled by the silent menace of rock and wall. Ever and again the lightning tore aside the darkness. Then the Orcs screamed, waving spear and sword, and shooting a cloud of arrows at any that stood revealed upon the battlements; and the men of the Mark amazed looked out, as it seemed to them, upon a great field of dark corn, tossed by a tempest of war, and every ear glinted with barbed light.


Wonderful!!! Jackson got it so right!

******************************************
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.



Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 17 2007, 10:44pm

Post #77 of 90 (174 views)
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Of course! [In reply to] Can't Post

How can anyone *not* love *any* film by William Wyler?

******************************************
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


Dec 18 2007, 12:18am

Post #78 of 90 (193 views)
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Nice to have you back. [In reply to] Can't Post

Your suggestion that Jackson's crumbling staircase was inspired by the fissures the book-Fellowship encountered just a little earlier in the story is reasonable, but it also shows the vast difference in tone between book and film: could the film ever pause for this quiet moment where nothing more happens than Pippin trying to work up the courage to leap over a gap in the floor? You know, without the place falling down and without enemies hot on their heels?

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

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 18 2007, 3:12am

Post #79 of 90 (159 views)
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Thanks. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll try to check out those clips.

That's a fascinating list! Pather Panchali is a favorite of mine as well. Beauty and the Beast, not so much. The Silence of the Lambs was covered in the only film class I've ever taken, where its feminist aspects were downplayed in favor of its (possible) commentary on American foreign policy.

I think that European film critics and historians are as influential as the Americans.

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

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 18 2007, 3:12am

Post #80 of 90 (179 views)
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I doubt it. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not necessarily because of an antipathy toward quiet moments, of which LOTR has an unusually large proportion for an action-heavy movie, but because a quiet moment where one simply watches a hobbit trying to summon up courage to jump over a chasm that everyone else has jumped without incident would be...boring to watch.

Just visit a summer camp and take a look at the faces of the campers watching the one timid one on the ropes course. It's incredibly tense for the poor kid afraid of heights, but for everyone else: utter boredom. In a book you can acknowledge and move on; reading about the long time Pippin stood there takes a second or so, and doesn't require that you settle down on that sentence for the actual length of time. In a movie, you must experience everything as the characters do, and I don't see an audience being too enthralled by that scenario. However, with the whole Fellowship in peril, it becomes compelling to watch.

Not that I'm a huge fan of the falling staircase, myself. But it certainly beats watching a vacillating hobbit without any immediate motivation to make up his mind.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 18 2007, 3:45am

Post #81 of 90 (174 views)
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I understand. [In reply to] Can't Post

We've just come back to the idea that some written passages can't be commited to film in any, um, literal way. But is it possible to convey the tone of something like the leaping-Pippin passage on film? Is there some other scene in the LotR films that conveys that sort of emotion? Or is that beyond cinema's grasp?

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

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 18 2007, 3:49am

Post #82 of 90 (181 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm still sleepy alla time.

Well, the thing is, instead of a character moment just for Pippin, Jackson gives us nine character moments (ten if you count the orc getting shot in the forehead) *and* the place falling down and enemies on their heels. In a film one scene usually has to do multiple things, especially if it's an adaptation of a loooong book.

******************************************
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


Dec 18 2007, 3:57am

Post #83 of 90 (174 views)
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ZZZ. [In reply to] Can't Post

Why do we need "the place falling down"?

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

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 18 2007, 4:17am

Post #84 of 90 (195 views)
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Lotsa moments like that [In reply to] Can't Post

Frodo hesitating just before he asks "What must I do?", Sam hesitating in the cornfield, Merry hesitating just before "Right.... Buckelberry Ferry! This way!!", and Frodo at the Anduin. Oddly enough, in FOTR Pippin acts just the opposite, He acts instantly and implusively, like when he breaks cover at the Council of Elrond (""We're coming too!") and again when he breaks cover at Amon Hen. (Merry: "He's leavin'." Pippin: "No!!!") However, being captured by the Uruks (especially with an unconscious Merry) is a pivotal moment for him. In the next two films his decision processes become more thoughtful. In TTT look at his face as he works to a decision between Merry's fierce "There won't be a Shire, Pippin!" and his "Wait! Stop! Stop! Turn around. Turn around. Take us south!" to Treebeard. And later in ROTK watch his face as he watches the Battle of the Titans (Gandalf and Denethor), thinks hard,works up his courage, then steps forward with "Boromir died to save us, my kinsmen and me. He fell defending us from many foes. I offer you my service, such as it is, in payment of this debt."

Whoa! There's more to this hobbit than meets the eye! Talk about your long moments (both quiet and not so quiet) with Pippin trying to work up the courage to leap over a (metaphorical) gap!!

******************************************
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.



Patty
Immortal


Dec 18 2007, 4:25am

Post #85 of 90 (171 views)
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Darkstone, I love you. [In reply to] Can't Post

you are so right. (uh, except for Eowyn shower scenes.)

For Gondor!


Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 18 2007, 4:30am

Post #86 of 90 (183 views)
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Cause it's in the book. [In reply to] Can't Post

The place *was* falling down!

'What it was I cannot guess, but I have never felt such a challenge. The counter-spell was terrible. It nearly broke me. For an instant the door left my control and began to open! I had to speak a word of Command. That proved too great a strain. The door burst in pieces. Something dark as a cloud was blocking out all the light inside, and I was thrown backwards down the stairs. All the wall gave way, and the roof of the chamber as well, I think.'

******************************************
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


Dec 18 2007, 4:39am

Post #87 of 90 (192 views)
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I am in awe... [In reply to] Can't Post

of your ability to identify transpositions of this sort (even though I doubt the filmmakers intended them, usually, but why should I subscribe to the intentional fallacy?) but the thing is, it seems like one could apply your astounding logical efforts to show that almost any work was actually a secretly faithful adaptation of another. But don't stop! Any disbelief on my part is my problem.

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

Join us Dec. 17-23 for "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony".


stormcrow20
Gondor


Dec 18 2007, 8:11am

Post #88 of 90 (148 views)
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Thanks, glad it gave you a giggle! :-D // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Behold the magic of the Holiday Season!

Before: After:


Owlyross
Rohan


Dec 18 2007, 10:17am

Post #89 of 90 (172 views)
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I love Finding Nemo too [In reply to] Can't Post

But I like Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna Everage) as Bruce the Shark...

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Dec 18 2007, 7:55pm

Post #90 of 90 (404 views)
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Not to deny Darkstone's awesomeness [In reply to] Can't Post

but I don't think his "astounding logical efforts" are above and beyond what the filmmakers were actually doing. Darkstone's exceedingly good at figuring out the parallels and patterns that link the movies to the book, but I don't think he's making them up. The complex interweaving of ideas and imagery between the films and the book seems to become more impressive the more you look at it.

...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.

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