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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

LotR at the IMAX, Everything is Illuminated, and Ariel's daughter....

Posted on 2005.10.24 at 17:10
Tags: , , , , ,
The state museum in Indianapolis has an IMAX theatre built into it. To go with the LotR exhibit, the museum showed a different LotR film, in rotation, every night except Sunday. Our exhibition tickets were for Saturday, but I drove down early to see the films.

K-D's Sandcastles let me stay at her house on Thursday night, so that I could see FotR. On Friday and Saturday nights, I split a hotel room with K'D's Ariel. TTT was shown Friday night, and RotK was on Saturday. This would be the first time that I would see the theatrical version of "Fellowship." I had seen the EE just before RotK was released, but people told me that some snippets from the theatrical were not included in the EE. They were right. And if I had thought 18 year-old Elijah Wood as "fireside Frodo" was beautiful before, I found him uncannily so on the giant screen, with every eyelash on view.

More than getting to see any snippets that were excised from the subsequent EE's, it was lovely simply to see them on a big screen again. It would have been great to them again on a big screen of any kind. On the IMAX screen (which was even wider than any of the "super" screens I had seen the LotR films on in various good theatres in Minneapolis and the D.C. area), seeing them was more powerful than any of my previous experiences. The level of detail that I was able to see in all three films was literally and figuratively eye-opening. I might as well have been on hallucinogens! I felt as though someone had come along and washed the windows of my eyes. The sound, too, was unparalleled. I heard sounds and understood bits of dialogue I had never understood before. Other K-D'ers echoed these sentiments.

Even if there had been no museum exhibit, I would have felt it was worthwhile to have taken this trip. Seeing the films at an IMAX affected me that much.

I thought again how absolutely great these films were, even when script decisions I thought were off the wall made my jaw-drop all over again. On the last night, watching RotK I gasped aloud at the folly of Elrond being made to say, "Arwen is dying .... her fate is now tied to the Ring's." How could Hugo Weaving bear to say it? (But he did and he said it well.) Then, the very next moment, he and Aragorn went from that bit of ridiculousness to the superb moment of the unsheathing of Anduril and the deeply moving "Estel" exchange. That three minutes of film seemed to show in miniature how wrong-headed a script decision could be, yet, how the overall scene could be powerfully effective in spite of it.

Another film experience showed me the greatness of the films by way of contrast. Friday afternoon a group of us drove to a little hole-in-the-wall theatre that showed small films, down near one of the colleges. They were showing Everything is Illuminated.

I, for one, would have no other chance to see it, theatrically, so I leapt at the opportunity.

Because I had really liked the book and very much had been looking forward to seeing the film. Further, I have a fondness for "weird" films; visionary films. I don't mind if they take their time or are not perfectly logical, either. What I mean is, I was prepared to like this film, whether Elijah Wood was in it or not.

Surprisingly (to me), I thought the film was only so-so. It wasn't terrible, but it's wasn't very good, either. I don't know why it didn't "work" for me. I didn't like it enough to see it again, so I don't expect I'll be able to really discuss it in depth.

But, as I watched The Two Towers that same night, and The Return of the King the following night, the contrast showed me all the more how stupendous the LotR films are. Their makers made some glaring mistakes, yes. But the larger achievement of these films is so awesome, in my opinion, mistakes that would have destroyed another film merely mar the surface of these.

WARNING: SPOILERS, AND CRITICAL REMARKS ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF JONATHAN:

Sadly for an EW supporter, I thought, too, of what a massively more impressive showing Elijah Wood made as Frodo, than as Jonathan in Everything is Illuminated. What a waste of his talent to have him play Liv Schreiber's conception of that character.

Throughout the film I kept thinking, "Why did they choose to portray Jonathan in this way?" No film ever does what a book does, and the part of Jonathan in the book is notably sketchy. Still, there is enough in the pages to give a distinct impression of the sort of person Jonathan might be, to have written those letters and to have elicited the response he did from Alex, who sought him for a friend.

Jonathan was an unconventional character in the book: withdrawn, wry and observant. Except for Jonathan's wry sense of humour, I almost could think of him as a 'Mikey Carver' sort of character (in The Ice Storm), or a less flamboyant Ricky Fittes sort of young man (from American Beauty). Both of those characters socialized awkwardly, but not because they really were such dorks. It was more because of their own inner visions, which were so strong, their powers of observation so honest, their feelings so vivid, and their ability (or desire) to hide all this from public view so thin, they just naturally were "different". It made them out of step with their shallower, far more conventionalized peers. They were a puzzle to others. and exasperating to others, but they were not simply "weirdos".

Why should film-Jonathan be portrayed so freakishly -- comically so -- even when he was little? With that suit he wore in his flashbacks the only clothes he owned? With his mime-like stiff deportment, his plastered-down black hair, and his pasty face and almost pencil-sharp features, the comedy glasses and the frequently puzzled or mournful expression, Jonathan looked to me like a ventriloquist dummy of Cary Grant (from Bringing Up Baby), behaving like Buster Keaton.

No, the 'Frodo' that Walsh/Boyens/Jackson wrote for Wood was not as good as the 'Frodo' Tolkien wrote. But Foer's 'Jonathan' was MASSIVELY better than the 'Jonathan' Schreiber wrote.

Ah, Elijah! May someone, anyone, write you a really good part one of these days.

Just my opinion, of course.

* * *

Harem-oriented addendum....

One of my keenest mental images from the trip was the time Ariel and her daughter were cuddling, watching TV together while they lolled on the other hotel bed. Ariel's daughter is an utterly charming, warm, and engaging 7 year-old who, unlike my 17 year-old, still loves to snuggle with her mom. As I watched them, I thought, "Hmmmm ... Ariel's daughter is just a little taller than Frodo would be...."

It didn't take more than this to set my mind wandering down R-rated paths. As Ariel's daughter draped herself over her mother's torso, I thought of how "Harem Frodo" would enjoy being in a similar situation. (Ariel, if you have not met her, is a strikingly attractive woman, tall and buxom.)

Yes, I am sure our Frodo would have enjoyed trading places with Ariel's daughter verrry much. (He's a hobbit who can never get too much of a good thing.) I imagine they could watch re-runs of LotR on the late show.

Maybe they'd get as far as the opening credits. *grin*

~ Mechtild

Comments:


Ariel
elasg at 2005-10-25 10:55 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I so agree with you about EII in comparison to the other films! My daughter was bored out of her mind and, while I enjoy Elijah as an actor, I am not anywhere near fan enough to go out of my way to see that thing again. You are right, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. And I share your keen desire to see someone give this boy another part where he can show us his talent. There's too much of it in him for such undemanding vehicles.

'Striking' I'll buy, but if Frodo's around, I had better find myself shrinking down to be a LOT smaller meeself! LOL! Where's that bottle Alice had? LOL! Strangely enough, I never see Frodo as really being as small as my daughter without also realizing that I would be that small too. My inner eye sees me as a hobbit, even if my outer form looks nothing like one! LOL!

Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-10-25 12:43 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I, too, will just have to wait and be patient for the film that will make significant use of Elijah Wood's wonderful talent and personal magic as a performer. I had wanted it to be EII, but, alas, that film was not "it."

Oh, I know you have borrowed some of Alice's "Drink me," in order to enter imaginatively into stories starring Frodo, sweetie-pie. In fact, I know that you drink enough to be short enough that you have to stand on tiptoe to manage certain positions. *snort*

But, from his point of view, I think Frodo would adore throwing himself upon the heaped treasures of your real, human-sized self. He could positively wallow in the maternal charms we are always trying to provide him anyway (I just know Frodo's a "breast man", per Pearl's astute observations about there being a "mother-shaped emptiness" in his soul). It would be like a sweets-hungry kid getting to spend the night in a candy store.

Not canon Frodo, of course, who might be seriously alarmed at the prospect of chatting up a woman two feet taller than he. But fanfic, Harem Frodo? Oh, now there's a lad who is always up for anything.
golden_berry
golden_berry at 2005-10-25 13:50 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, but canon Frodo is smitten by Galadriel and Goldberry--two women who are at least two feet taller! Book Frodo is gallant, charming, and not too intimidated by tall women to speak to them. :>D

This is a wonderfully written post, Mechtild. I'm glad to have met you, albeit too briefly. And I'm so very glad you got to see the entire trilogy on the big, big screen!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-10-26 03:07 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Goldenberry, for your kind words. I, too, regretted not speaking to you more. You probably mentioned how briefly you would be there at the exhibit when we met, but it did not sink in properly. Then, when it was about time for you to leave, I was in the midst of the "My car keys are lost!" trauma. But I thought you and your husband exceedingly gracious.

Ah, but canon Frodo is smitten by Galadriel and Goldberry--two women who are at least two feet taller! Book Frodo is gallant, charming, and not too intimidated by tall women to speak to them. :>D

How true! Yet, I believe Frodo's love of these women was more awed than amorous.

That doesn't mean one can't imagine something a little more *earthy* in Frodo's sentiments for these two women, however. *grin*
Mariole
mariole at 2005-10-26 04:03 (UTC) (Link)
I might as well have been on hallucinogens! I felt as though someone had come along and washed the windows of my eyes.

This is me, drooling with envy. . . .. . . . .. . .. . .... ..

I'm sorry you didn't like EII. I liked it, I felt an emotional punch from it, but it was a little too odd (and upsetting) to become a favorite of mine. I actually liked EW's look in it, because I thought it suited the character. But I'm coming from not having read the book. IMO a movie is always better if you read the book second; the book is so deep and well-thought out it generally never disappoints, whereas a filmmaker's adaptation often comes up short (again IMVHO).

And I agree with Ariel; Frodo likes tall women. And he's a breast man. I'm sure of it.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-10-26 12:42 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Mariole, if you ever get a chance to see the films shown on an IMAX screen, DO IT. Drool, indeed.

*****SPOILERS*****

You needn't be sorry I was disappointed with EII. It wasn't bad, I thought, just not that good. It will not get any nominations for anything, I shouldn't think. This, in itself, is not the end of the world, and from reading the Faculty, Wood had a lot of fun and learned a lot making it. It certainly was not a waste of his time, by any means. Still, I don't think it made much use of his considerable talent. I saw more from him, acting-wise in one scene -- from any of the LotR films -- than I saw from him in EII. He did a very good job, considering what he was given.

My main complaint with his role was not that it wasn't big enough or that he didn't do a good enough job, but with the concept of the role itself. As you say, it probably is too much of a challenge for me to forget the book while watching the film. I very much disagree with the way they decided to portray Jonathan in it, whether Elijah Wood played him or not.

Not only did the characterization not (to me) synch with what was in the book, I just don't see how it helped the film be better, either. I guess I just don't understand why they made the choice they made. All of the characters differed from the book, of course, and in significant ways -- mostly through extreme simplification -- but they were immediately recognizable as their book selves. But I felt that the interpretation of Jonathan came out of ... who knows where? Some personal issues Liev Screiber wanted to work out? I don't know.

In a way, the change was so great, I thought it shifted the movie away from the book more than any other single element, making it a story about Jonathan. Now, you might say, "Well, as an Elijah fan, what's bad about making Jonathan the main character?" I suppose I wouldn't have minded if the Jonathan they had created better resembled the book, thus, better able to convey the book's message and particular charm.

As the book stands, when Alex is the star, the story itself is the star. Jonathan is merely an observer of that story in the book. He is subordinate to what the reader sees, through his POV. One almost forgets he's a character, until Alex is reading one of his letters, or remembering him in a particular situation. But, what Alex does read from Jonathan and remember from their interactions during the search, does not much resemble the Jonathan on the screen.

I am sorry I read the book first, since the film is so different. Faculty members have been pointing to changes made for the films, such as those in the Grandfather story. These were major, yet were the sort of changes like Frodo nearly handing over the Ring in Osgiliath: Frodo was still Frodo, even while the viewer wondered why he would do that. But, to me, the change in Jonathan was not that he performed this or that odd action; he, himself, was so different he shifted the whole story -- not only into another direction but into another story. If I were writing a blurb for the film I might say something like, "Buttoned-up nebbishy guy learns to open up, if just a little, through warm, real-life experiences." That would not be a jacket blurb about the book.
Mariole
mariole at 2005-10-26 14:13 (UTC) (Link)
I can't respond to this, as I haven't read the book. I hear and feel your disappointment. To me, because characters drive the story, they _are_ the story. Change a character, you change the story. I wrote off Aragorn in FOTR because I didn't know who he was-- some guy running from his past, instead of embracing it and doing everything he could to one day become King of Gondor and Arnor. I had to watch the movie "around" Aragorn. He, and certainly Legolas, were turned into Hollywood action cutouts, and it ticked me off! Where was my king? *sniff*

As for Frodo in Osgiliath, I was so brain damaged at that point, my reaction was, "Whatever." I went into ROTK with that "Whatever" attitude, so all the F&S disappointments I was at least somewhat prepared for. The parts of ROTK I watch again and again are the beautiful cinematic ones; the lighting of the beacons, Pippin's song over the charge (though horrendously non-canon, it's pretty to watch all those horses), and most of all the charge of the Rohirrim down that hill. I often watch only that 2 times, and then I'm done. Because I don't know who these people are. I have no idea. Their actions are pretty random, and I frankly don't care. F&S's relationship is reduced to bad high school behavior--Denethor was right to berate Faramir for sending _this_ Frodo into Mordor. I wouldn't have minded Frodo falling into the lava; I seriously wouldn't have. It was all in the land of "whatever" for me. "Hmm," I would have thought. "Wonder what PJ will do with that? Nice lighting."

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to turn this into a rant, it's just that the mental conceptions we create are far more powerful than what we see. I think it's how we live our lives, mostly. If you see someone acting out of character, you think, "What's up with Bob?" You don't think, "Oh, Bob seems to have changed from an introvert to the class clown. I think I'll embrace this new version of Bob, and interact with him that way from now on. I see it before my eyes, so it must be so." Right.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-10-26 21:42 (UTC) (Link)
I can't respond to this, as I haven't read the book. I hear and feel your disappointment.

((((Mariole))))!!! I can see from what followed, you have more than "been there and done that" dealing with your response to LotR, esp. in the second and third films.

After all, I am not at all personally invested in whether Everything is Illuminated is made into a good film (except that I want EW to be in a real hit). I liked the book, but, frankly, I never would have read it if it hadn't been for EW being cast in it and because the book was given to me as a lovely surprise gift.

What sort of film LotR was made into, on the other hand, mattered to me keenly. That you were that unhappy with the way the characters were portrayed in the films is a surprise to me. I have heard that sort of vehement response before, of course, especially in the "purist/revisionist" wars over at TORc. And I have heard you say you were disappointed by this or that aspect of characterization and plot changes in posts, but not with this intensity.

...[I]t's just that the mental conceptions we create are far more powerful than what we see. I think it's how we live our lives, mostly. If you see someone acting out of character, you think, "What's up with Bob?" You don't think, "Oh, Bob seems to have changed from an introvert to the class clown. I think I'll embrace this new version of Bob, and interact with him that way from now on. I see it before my eyes, so it must be so." Right.

Astutely, sharply said. It makes me want to stop and reassess: "Were the LotR film portrayals that much at odds with their book originals?" I mean, as different as I found the two Jonathans -- so that the story as a whole was significantly skewed by the changes in the one characterization? I would have to think about that.

When I think of the LotR films from your point of view, based on what you just wrote, I wonder how you can bear to listen to what sounds like a lot of gushy twaddle over them issuing from of so many mouths, including mine. Right away, Mariole, I feel like retracting that remark, afraid that I sound perjorative or sarcastic. I don't mean it that way. I can't think of a proper comparison from my own experience, except, perhaps, in relation to the way I have responded occasionally to an LotR fanfiction. Every once in a while, I will read a story and strongly dislike it, for the way in which I think it trashes the character of Frodo. Then I'll read reams of gushing reviews for it -- reviews by people whose ideas and posts I admire and respect. I know I should just say to myself, "Well, everyone has their own opinion; it's only fanfiction, after all." But, invariably I feel offended and hurt on Frodo's account, irrational as it is, that people seem to be lapping up what I think is a seriously distorted version of his character. I do try to put these feelings aside, since expressing them would only cause discord and probably cost me the good will of people I have come to like.

It sounds as though you have felt this way about the films -- made really unhappy by them, even repulsed by them, but not always willing or wanting to fully express it. Am I way off? Or have you already said all this quite baldly, back in the K-D and COE days before I arrived at K-D?

Gee, I wish I could have met you in person in Indianapolis, Mariole. You seem such an interesting, passionate thinker (besides being so witty). I feel a little hindered, writing to you like this while I can't see your face and your expressions. Maybe you were just saying all this in a kidding, tossed-off sort of way, but I have taken it seriously.
Mariole
mariole at 2005-10-26 22:16 (UTC) (Link)
No, you are absolutely correct in how you interpreted my remarks. I LOVED FOTR, was destroyed by TTT, and was neutral about ROTK. But please don't spread my remarks any farther. I wouldn't have said this to you, probably shouldn't have, even in your own LJ. I'm just having a lousy week and it felt good to rant. But I really really try to avoid that.

See, in my opinion, fandom should be FUN. It's way hard to be fun if people are complaining all the time. I try to pick out what I liked in the films, and there's a lot there to like, but it's not LOTR as I had read it, and I have that aching regret in my belly, because they had assembled such a talented group of people on and off the screen, but the script, in my opinion, took that wonderful chance and blew it.

I have read later of the battle PJ and Fran fought to keep some laughable 1-movie idiocy from being made, which is all to their credit. I'll never know (don't want to know) how much of the story and character changes were pressure from studio nitwits or just shitty thinking on the part of the director/writer, who perhaps thought he could improve on a masterpiece that has withstood the test of time. Some things PJ did great; he really did IMO subordinate the special effects to the story, which worked beautifully for me throughout.

But the dialog in so many cases was lame (again IMHO), and the story just not well thought out. (Example: Faramir asks Frodo why Boromir might have been killed. Movie!Frodo reacts like Book!Frodo: "I have no idea!" How lame! Perhaps Movie!Frodo might have remembered that the entire party was attacked by Orcs, and this just _might_ have something to do with Boromir's death. Pah.) And any dialog that has one character repeating "What?" for the sake of response is lacking. In good dialog, _both characters_ have interesting things to say. That's what makes it interesting!

But here was the deal: PJ promised to deliver an _action film_. That's what TTT was; it got rid of subtleties of character interaction to concentrate on Warg battles and a Saruman exorcism. I think he was a bit embarrassed about how FOTR didn't have enough "action," but to me it continues to be by far the most enjoyable movie. I really identify with Frodo's predicament because I'm put so strongly in his shoes. In TTT I'm suddenly asked to care about weenie Aragorn, who is running from his destiny as king (spits in disgust) AND decides he and Arwen should break up instead of remaining true to each other through the threat of the Shadow-- I mean, is this remotely like the book? Then when he throws himself via ladder onto a flock of Orcs at HD (and Lego's skateboarding didn't help), I said, "I'm not watching LOTR; I'm watching some juvenile action flick with Rambo characters." Tolkien would _never_ have done that; he was IN battle. One of things that most grips me about LOTR is the very realistic feel of people in or under threat of war. All thrown away on some Robin Hood crap. Gawd.

This is just how the movies affected me. Obviously I still love many aspects of the movies (Frodo! Pippin! Horsies!), but they didn't move me the way I had expected they would after watching FOTR. But the beauty of the message boards is that I encounter people who have exactly the opposite opinion. Then I can see what they liked in a new light, and help reconcile me to my disappointments. So the answer is, Please! Keep right on gushing! I enjoy it, it lightens my day, and it's FUN. This ...this RANT thing, is just me being disappointed. But there's so much to love, it seems a waste to spend any more time on it. *hugs*

I hope we do meet in person someday. I'm 7 feet tall and weigh 37 pounds with purple hair and a high, screechy voice. You'd like me.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-10-26 23:09 (UTC) (Link)
I hope we do meet in person someday. I'm 7 feet tall and weigh 37 pounds with purple hair and a high, screechy voice. You'd like me.

I would like you, that is true. The rest? Sorry, not true. I've seen your piccie in the Harem, Mariole. You are, instead, an extremely cute, if not frankly pretty young woman (young to me at 54, anyway) who would make a darned poor Ripper. I think the real Mariole would melt in a puddle if she met up with the real Frodo. That Mariole (so lovely, so devoted, so enamoured), would be scooped right up by the dashing, intelligent, perceptive, doughty, wryly humourous Frodo of JRRT to be pressed to his creamy bosom, there to swoon -- nay -- to die of love requited.

I am glad you have had a chance to rant. Everyone needs to say such things to someone. You know from my own comments that while I love these films and think they are great films, flaws and all, I do not think them consistently faithful to Tolkien. I loved the BBC radio production, too. It is, perhaps, more faithful to Tolkien, but, in other ways, it, too, betrays the intent of the author. No adaptation is perfect.

Which is good, in a way.... For I look forward to being alive when another film version of LotR is made, hopefully stressing the themes and charisms of the book that PJ did not bother with much. When it comes to epic and heart and spectacle, I think PJ will be hard to beat. But someone could beat him in other ways, producing an LotR that is marked by a spirit that values wisdom (rather than cleverness), moral gravity (doing what is right rather than what is expedient), and mercy (showing grace to the enemy, rather than only reaffirming and strengthening the bonds that already exist between those who love and esteem one another), and subtlety (the Big Gesture is what PJ is best at, for better and for worse).

Mariole, I have loved talking to you. Conversations in messageboards can be "Communication Lite," but in LJ they tend to be even more so.

~ Mechtild

Mariole
mariole at 2005-10-27 03:16 (UTC) (Link)
That Mariole (so lovely, so devoted, so enamoured), would be scooped right up by the dashing, intelligent, perceptive, doughty, wryly humourous Frodo of JRRT to be pressed to his creamy bosom, there to swoon -- nay -- to die of love requited.

Okay, it's official: I love you forever. *dies of the thought of love requited* :-D

How true that "No adaptation is perfect." PJ did some things splendidly. But I'm a very character-driven, I want to say internally activated person, so to me the changes he made to character were significant, even if he more or less followed the plot. ASIDE: One of my favorite quotes from Evadne's parody of TT is Faramir saying, "Go and tell my father I have completely changed the plot." Brilliant!

I look forward to being alive when another film version of LotR is made

Oh, don't you? This would be so grand. There were lovely moments of heart, and the whole slash thing is evidence of that. But I would like to see someone tackle Tolkien's actual themes. Aragorn whacking the head off the Messenger in the movie, vs Gandalf's assurance that he is safe in the book, make a world of difference to the meaning of the scene, to silly people like me, who believe Right makes Right and not whoever pulls his sword fastest.

And now I will close with a typical LJ comment: :-D
Cheers!

Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-10-27 04:49 (UTC) (Link)
But I would like to see someone tackle Tolkien's actual themes. Aragorn whacking the head off the Messenger in the movie, vs Gandalf's assurance that he is safe in the book, make a world of difference to the meaning of the scene, to silly people like me, who believe Right makes Right and not whoever pulls his sword fastest.

You cut right to the heart of the features of the films that I most chafed at. It is in a scene like that, that I think PJ and the writers most failed as adapters (though I don't think it hurt the film as film). Frodo fans wailed over Faramir taking Frodo to Osgiliath, and over the "Go home, Sam," scene, but I thought the beheading of Sauron's emissary was the most flagrant departure from Tolkien in all three films. I was speechless when I first saw it as a clip on an "EE spoilers" thread at TORc. I had been waiting SO LONG to see that scene from the books restored. It started so well, too! -- then -- a debacle. It was akin to but even worse than the other "most flagrant violation of Tolkien" film moment for me, also in RotK, when Gandalf whacks Denethor with his staff. These moments share in being a shocking departure from Tolkien's notion of what a good character, a noble character does and does not do. I suppose the filmmakers were just too ingrained with modernity to get it -- clearly believing that "Might makes Right", not, "Right makes Right," as you canon-faithfully said.

It's been stirring to talk to you, although we may be working ourselves up into a fresh book-to-film snit. I think a visit to Frodo's bath is in order (for a soothing winding-down). Hey, we could have a go at releasing him from Eowyn's chastity belt! The line must be shorter by now. But whether I have a turn or not, I want to make sure to be there when you have your turn. I don't want to miss seeing Sting with that "rosy glow" it gets when you, the Ripper, draw near.

Well, I'm off to bed. "Cheers," indeed, Mariole. *grin*
Mariole
mariole at 2005-10-27 13:49 (UTC) (Link)
I enjoyed this conversation very much. And yes, I too am ready to get wet with the Squire! *kisses*
Ariel
elasg at 2005-11-19 13:25 (UTC) (Link)
Just glancing through a discussion I found interesting, I hope you don't mind.

"Were the LotR film portrayals that much at odds with their book originals?" I mean, as different as I found the two Jonathans -- so that the story as a whole was significantly skewed by the changes in the one characterization?

I would have to answer yes - though in a story which relies on an ensemble rather than one, it is harder to take the whole story off track with one highly altered role. Though I know that I didn't care nearly as much for the film characters as I still do and always will for the book ones.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-11-19 15:08 (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm. I still think the changes to Aragorn and Gandalf (in their behaviour towards their enemies) skewed the film story away from Tolkien more harmfully.

Ariel, I am hoping you will be directing the next adaptation of LotR. ((((hugs)))) Seriously, I would wish for writers who believe more in the "playability" of the book material in front of their eyes. I can see why many decisions were made for the sake of translating book to film, but others remain puzzling if not maddening.
Maewyn
maewyn_2 at 2005-10-26 10:13 (UTC) (Link)
IMAX is something isn't it! I'm envious you got to see all three LOTR movies on IMAX (I only saw FOTR - the theatre had closed down before the other movies were released).

I'm still not sure when EII will be released here, but I think I'll make an effort to see it (I wimped out on Sin City!). I've tried to avoid major spoilers, so that I can watch it with an open mind.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-10-26 12:44 (UTC) (Link)
Maewyn, you were sooooooooooooooooooooo right about seeing LotR on IMAX. I hope you get to see the others that way someday. If only to see the opening of TTT, it is worth a really, really significant journay.

As for EII, I hope you have not been reading the spoilers. However, reading spoilers would not be as "bad" as reading the book first, it would seem. Save that for after. (You may not like the book, anyway; my husband found it too eccentrically written to enjoy, for instance, and he's an avid reader with wide tastes."
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