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Old January 1st, 2003, 01:52 PM   #16
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I wish I was still in film school. I'd love to research and write a master's-level thesis about the process of adapting a large literary fictional narrative into a large visual-media fictional narrative. The LOTR trilogy represents an excellent example of the shortcuts and trade-offs that must be made due to the forced economy of film. Despite a total run-time of most likely 12 hours when it's all said and done, the film version of the complete LOTR will have made some significant sacrifices to the book version. I think it would be a fascinating area of film study and hope to see what some sharp graduate student will write someday about this subject.
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 04:08 PM   #17
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Well, you still could Chris. You might even be able to sell it if it
is any good... But time might be more pressing than anything
else I'm afraid!
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 06:06 PM   #18
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>>And yet these films manage to escape the criticisms of racial stereotyping that plagued early and recent entries in the STAR WARS franchise, for example, the Lord of the Rings films feature characters of only caucasian ethnicity and Gollum is a slave who alternately dotes adoringly on his "master" and deliberates insurrection. Jar Jar Binks should have been so lucky.<<

Tolkeins work is based primarily on Northern European Mythology, with elements from Egyptian and ancient MiddleEastern mythos thrown in for good measure. He was a product of his times, and like most others wrote in in EthnoCentric style. That doesn't make him racist, nor the movie racist. It is doubtful he ever had any meaningful contact with nonwhites, and was as ignorant as others at the time. Changing the movie to make it more PC would have been the true crime.

Thin skinned knee jerk reactionaries sometimes read to much into things. They see racism in every word, in every scene. They are usually wrong.

There was even some psycho marxist lenonist who was claiming the fantastic french film 'Amalie' was an attack on non whites. Really digusting how people will twist things to their own ends.
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 07:12 PM   #19
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I can't help but get amused at the various criticisms of the movies in particular and Tolkien in general. Tolkien and the LOTRs have been so over analysed, interpretted and spun over the last 50 years that it all gets really silly. The Orcs are metaphors for the Nazis, no they are the Communists. The Hobbits represent the good common folk of England. Now the film, especially the TT suggests that the Orcs are the products of the machine age against the pure pastoral elements of the Hobbits and Elves. Ignore the dwarves who are also machine age but siding with the good guys all the same. The charge of racism is equally silly. In the case of Lucas and old Jar Jar, it may have some merit but not in jackson's Middle Earth where the heros are halflings, elves, and dwarves, unless one gets really hung up on skin pigment.

Ultimately LOTRs is grounded in Finnish folk tales which had their own magic rings and quests. By modern standards the book and movies are all totalitarian. Good kings and bad kings are still all despots, elightened despots or not.

Overall I think Peter Jackson has done one hell of a job bringing the books to life. The weaknesses of the first and second movies are largely the weaknesses of the books.

I saw a video clip of one of the CG managers addressing a Linux convention. Apparently they used a lot of Linux workstations for gang rendering. The stuff they did was fascinating. In the battle scenes they used a program they developed called Massive which used object oriented programing and artificial intelligence to get whole armies of CG elves, orcs and Gondorians to fight on their own. Apparently they had something 100,000 CG critters fighting each other in the TT and will have more in the Return of the King. The also relied heavily on CG "doubles" of the major characters in scenes where the action would have been too dangerous for a human actor or where the camera angles would have been impossible without a 300' crane shot.

Now having seen the first two movies I am enjoying the trilogy much more than I did the first time I read it, some thirty odd years ago. Great fun. but best not thought about too hard.

Rick
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Old January 10th, 2003, 02:32 PM   #20
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2002Dec27.html

For the stupidest, most ridiculously politically correct analysis of the LOTR you have to check out Chris Mooney's article in the Washington Post.

First he charges the Riders of Rohan with war crimes, draws all sorts of parallels between the LOTR and Al Queda, Sadaam and US foreigh policy and finally ends up with the statement - "And even orcs are living creatures -- just not ones possessing rights under the Geneva Conventions."

Amazing.


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Old January 10th, 2003, 03:42 PM   #21
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Well Rick, it's all a bit tongue-in-cheek. But you know, for me, at least, his points aren't without resonance. With rhetoric like "axis of evil" somehow back in the mainstream, it's important to recognize and be sensitive to enemies' humanity, even in times of war.
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Old January 10th, 2003, 04:05 PM   #22
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My problem is Mooney's "orc's are people too" is too much. I want to say "Chris, it was a movie!"

He suggests "But if we're going to use "The Lord of the Rings" as a heuristic device to debate the gravest matters of international politics...."

If we are to use the LOTR as a heuristic device to debate the gravest matters of international politics, we have bigger problems than imaginary orcs. Maybe we should use Harry Potter as a heursitic device to establish domestic policy and Sponge Bob Square Pants ... oh never mind.

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Old January 10th, 2003, 04:07 PM   #23
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No you've got it all wrong. Harry Potter is the Bible, the Sirius character is Jesus. . .at least that's what they're teaching in some classes (seriously!).
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Old January 10th, 2003, 04:13 PM   #24
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What? So some evangelicals are burning the books and others are reintepreting them as Biblical.

I don't even want to know how Sponge Bob is being reintepretted.

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Old January 10th, 2003, 04:14 PM   #25
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http://www.bbspot.com/News/2003/01/jaromir.html

Another look at LOTR.

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Old January 11th, 2003, 01:08 AM   #26
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I think I read it in Newsweek or something. They have cliffnotes for it now.
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Old January 11th, 2003, 04:44 AM   #27
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<<<-- Originally posted by Josh Bass : I think I read it in Newsweek or something. They have cliffnotes for it now. -->>>

That is very sad. How can a Cliffnotes version even begin to do this tome any justice.
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Old January 11th, 2003, 09:58 AM   #28
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Here are more theories on Tolkien's books.
* warning, these might be a little deep into Tolkien lore :-)

http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/theories/theories.htm

My favorites:
Ten rejected Lord of the Ring plot twists
http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/theories/10twists.htm

The Great Balrog Slippers Debate (for those who saw the animated version)
http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/theories/10twists.htm

The Truth about Windows 95
http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/theories/win95.htm

And the 2nd half of Pulp Tolkien (scroll down a bit)
http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/theories/pulptolk.htm
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Old January 12th, 2003, 12:30 AM   #29
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Harry Potter is a tome?
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Old January 12th, 2003, 08:30 AM   #30
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Hello all! It's been too long since I last habitated here :)

As far as the movies go, I have only seen the first, but I thought it was beautifully shot. The story wasn't too bad, but like most Book to Movie crossovers, it paled horribly. Of course, someone already pointed out the best sacrifice- the poetry. I can't stand reading poetry and songs in a book, unless it is a book dedicated to prose.

Tom Bombadil was not overly important, but the rescue of the Hobbits from the tomb was a pivotal point. I would have liked to see that sequence of events over some of the other material that was added in.

As far as the special effects and cgi, I liked most of it. There were many scenes with the hobbits next to the tall folks that looked cheesy. It reminded me of the original Star Trek fight scenes with the stunt doubles. Nice thought, but awful when done.

I did thoroghly enjoy the books, and still look forward to seeing the other two movies- just not in the theater. I'll wait for the DVD. It's a trade off between great sound and big screen vs. being able to pee and get munchies without missing an integeral bit of the film. But, I have a nice home theater sound system, and will eventually get a screen that is more worthy.

One last scrawl... I would have rather seen them do the Hobbit this kind of justice first, and then do the LOTR. But, maybe thats just me... again :)
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