For our Wildwood

What do you think of Tolkien on the silver screen...? Whether Bakshi, Jackson, Amazon, BBC radio play, or whoever else, come on in and discuss your reflections, opinions, and memories...

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:30 am

Gungnir wrote:So it turns out that Jackson was recreating John Howe's painting, not Bakshi, in a similar manner to his recreation of Alan Lee's "The Taming of Smeagol".

Right, so we're down to two that we know for sure are Bakshisms.

oldtoby wrote:I guess, regarding ol' Wormtongue, we have to ask, did Tolkien ever specifically say that Grima is blonde? or that ALL of the Rohirrim without exception are blonde? And that there is no non Rohirrim blood in our bud Grima?

Unlikely. There's an anecdote in Appendix A about a dark-haired man who picks a fight with Helm Hammerhand and gets Helm Hammerhanded for his troubles. His kin were chased out of Rohan but it shows that there may be some Dunlending-blending from time to time.
User avatar
Gorthaur the Cruel
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:32 am
Location: U.K.
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby siddharth » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:28 am

jotnar wrote:I see no reason to ridicule Van Eyck because his painting gives the impression of pregnancy, and likewise no reason to ridicule Bakshi.


In a film where almost every character-design choice is clumsy and reflects a lack of imagination and style, I hardly think the reason for Eowyn looking fat would be Arnolfini rather than simple laziness which is evident in most of the aspects of the film.

As for the merits of the films; as I have written elsewhere, if Bakshi's production values (budget) had equalled PJ's, the former would have been by far the better films. More Tolkien. Less PJ.


So the name confusions are because of the low budget? The poorly crafted and highly confused script (even for some of those who know Tolkien well!) is a fault of the low budget? All the poor character-designs are because of low budget? The hyperactive Gandalf is because of low budget?

ETA:
Thanks for the comparison Labadal. I agree with what you say here, and what OT said.
And in any case, I find the two images miles apart. The only similarity that I can see is that they both are wearing dark clothes.
I do not like the way PJ's Grima looks because he too openly looks like a kidnapper than a counselor. But the portrayal of the character was quite good imo (many props to Mr.Dourif there). It is sort of similar to Beorn in DOS. Looks different but feels very similar.
Last edited by siddharth on Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
siddharth
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 4169
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:13 am
Location: ===Always changing===
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Gungnir » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:39 am

What Siddharth said!!! :D
User avatar
Gungnir
Mariner

 
Posts: 6139
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:05 am
Location: Isle of Man
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:52 pm

So this is how Boromir felt at Parth Galen? :D

For all those suffering from rampant literalism, I'll try and explain (again) the reference to Van Eyck. It has nothing to do with fat being rich (but I guess that's my fault. A hectic couple of days has induced rushed posts). Rather, it is purely aesthetics. The bride at the wedding looks pregnant because of the style of the dress, not because she is fat, nor constipated, nor even a Bakshi illustration. It is purely fashion.

Now, I am no fashionista, but I have noticed how certain dress styles project different body shapes. The fashion as seen in Jane Austen productions, for example, in which dresses are gathered beneath the bosom tends not to exaggerate the waist, whereas regency bodices do the opposite. Now, there are preferences to the modern eye, I am sure, but to react with hilarity because a style chosen for a film does not produce a tight silhouette is, to my mind, rather juvenile.

Sadly, much of the criticism regarding Bakshi does stray often into the juvenile. How many times does it need repeating that late editorial decisions, such as changing Saruman to Aruman, made because of fears that Saruman and Sauron sounded confusingly simiilar, were only partially enacted due to funds drying up? Quite simply, the production ran out of finance, and so the result is distinctly patchy. The editing became piecemeal, and it certainly shows, in too many instances.

However, it is my contention that, had Bakshi had the finance of PJ, and a similarly alloted screentime, he would have told the story far better. There would have been no need for the wanton editorial changes PJ introduced that, far from improving the novel, unbalanced and even undermined it.

Even with Bakshi as his template, PJ tripped up (although to nowhere near the extent he has with The Hobbit. With this project, his self indulgence has run riot, to disastrous effect).

As for the Bakshi to Howe to PJ Black Rider, that is not quite the story. PJ learnt the scene from Bakshi, and copied the imagery from him. And then he found Howe's own Bakshi copy, and used that to embellish the Bakshi original.

So in this case, PJ "plagiarised" both Bakshi and Howe... :D

Nice to see you return to your pugnacious best, sidd. I had worried you had excused yourself to "lick your wounds", but it appears you were simply biding your time. It is a pleasure to lock horns once more. :)

Oh, and PJ chose a fat Sam because Bakshi chose a fat Sam. Or does Tolkien describe Sam as fat? Perhaps, in fact, it is merely Sean Astin's Edwardian attire... ;)

Finally, the caveat. These are my own thoughts, and there is no pretense on my part that they are superior to anybody else's. :)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby siddharth » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:32 pm

Perhaps I should have put a " :) " in there, as I was simply asking (valid, for me) questions regarding your claim and not being "pugnacious" and I certainly have not been "licking my wounds", so take it a step down please.

And seeing that your reply has neither convinced me on pretty much any question I asked nor justified your claim (at least for me), I see this is not going anywhere.

:)
User avatar
siddharth
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 4169
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:13 am
Location: ===Always changing===
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Wildwood » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:08 pm

Is that Grima?? :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D He kinda looks like the Emperor in Star Wars! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
User avatar
Wildwood
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 3938
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2000 9:59 am
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Gungnir » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:13 am

jotnar wrote:However, it is my contention that, had Bakshi had the finance of PJ, and a similarly alloted screentime, he would have told the story far better. There would have been no need for the wanton editorial changes PJ introduced that, far from improving the novel, unbalanced and even undermined it.


Yes, and if my car had wings it would be a space shuttle.

jotnar wrote:Even with Bakshi as his template, PJ tripped up (although to nowhere near the extent he has with The Hobbit. With this project, his self indulgence has run riot, to disastrous effect).


Again this totally unsupported claim that PJ used Bakshi as a template, trotted out as if it were accepted fact. It is not and you have produced no evidence for it beyond your own suppositions

jotnar wrote:As for the Bakshi to Howe to PJ Black Rider, that is not quite the story. PJ learnt the scene from Bakshi, and copied the imagery from him. And then he found Howe's own Bakshi copy, and used that to embellish the Bakshi original.


Do you have evidence to support PJ copying the imagery directly from Bakshi? John Howe, who I would guess might be slightly more informed on the matter than you are, specifically contradicts your reading of the situation.

jotnar wrote:So in this case, PJ "plagiarised" both Bakshi and Howe... :D


PJ did not 'plagiarise' John Howe - he employed him. Unless you would also say that Ridley Scott plagiarised H.R.Giger and George Lucas plagiarised Ralph McQuarrie.

jotnar wrote:Oh, and PJ chose a fat Sam because Bakshi chose a fat Sam.


Again, do you have evidence to support this claim which you present to us as fact? Are you aware of the logical precept 'correlation does not imply causation'?
User avatar
Gungnir
Mariner

 
Posts: 6139
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:05 am
Location: Isle of Man
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:40 am

jotnar wrote:Even with Bakshi as his template, PJ tripped up (although to nowhere near the extent he has with The Hobbit. With this project, his self indulgence has run riot, to disastrous effect)...

These are my own thoughts, and there is no pretense on my part that they are superior to anybody else's. :)

You can't claim that The Hobbit is "disastrous", even in your own opinion. You can claim not to like PJ's choices (that's an opinion) but to claim you think that a film that is, objectively speaking, critically and commercially successful (that's a fact) is "disastrous" just makes you look detached from reality.

Can I just recap the sum total of similarities so far?

  1. "Proudfoots!" (camera angle) - PJ has called this an homage.
  2. Black ride-and-seek - John Howe has said his painting was the template for PJ.
  3. Bed-stabbing - PJ has acknowledged Bakshi, and this may be the one case where Bakshi's idea was better than anything PJ had.
  4. Treebeard was a walking tree.
  5. Gríma had black hair.
  6. Sam was fat.
Are there any others?
User avatar
Gorthaur the Cruel
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:32 am
Location: U.K.
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:14 am

"To disastrous effect" and "disastrous" are not synonymous, but even if they were, I most certainly can make these claims. All it requires is for the criteria determining "disastrous" to be identified.

So if I identify the parameters for "disaster" as failing to convey the pace of the original story, the tone, the characterisation (save Bilbo), the general feel of the written word, and instead replacing Tolkien's beautiful, intimate, clever tale with a bombastic, frenetic, boringly repetitive "blockbuster"... yes, the project is a disaster. :D

And I am also allowed to have my opinions on the degree to which the first two LotR films are founded more on Bakshi than the written word. Jackson firstly saw the Bakshi film, then invited artists to adapt the book (always with the Bakshi enterprise having initial influence). He adapted Bakshi's film, using material from the book. He made changes from Bakshi's film, some that worked, some that were terrible choices in keeping with his "make monsters bigger and badder. Subtlety? What does that mean?". Thus the Black Riders are execrable, the orc that spears Frodo replaced by a troll that would have crushed him with that blow, mithril or no (and the blows that Boromir/Aragorn received would have killed them out of hand), Weathertop, Galadriel, Flight to the Ford, the Exorcism, turning Bree into a bar in Mogadishu...

Jackson's deviations from his Bakshi blueprint are so frequently terrible, and when he no longer had that Bakshi template, the worst of the films resulted; RotK, a mishmash of muddled scenes, interspersed with achingly awful dialogue and actions, powerful scenes such as Theoden's rousing speech undone by the "army of green death".

I can watch FotR, and derive enjoyment. The Two Towers is passable in parts (although overplayed, again), but RotK is the proverbial train-wreck. It has PJ written all over it.

But none of them are as jaw-droppingly disastrous adaptions as DoS.

In my opinion, of course. :)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Gungnir » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:57 am

jotnar wrote:And I am also allowed to have my opinions on the degree to which the first two LotR films are founded more on Bakshi than the written word. Jackson firstly saw the Bakshi film, then invited artists to adapt the book (always with the Bakshi enterprise having initial influence). He adapted Bakshi's film, using material from the book.


You are allowed to have opinions. Just because it is your opinion, it doesn't make it true. If your OPINION flies in the face of objective and verifable FACT then it is worthless at best. IMO
User avatar
Gungnir
Mariner

 
Posts: 6139
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:05 am
Location: Isle of Man
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:16 am

And your opinion on what is "objective and verifable FACT" is subjective, and open to interpretation, just as John Howe self-aggrandises by claiming that it was solely HIM who influenced PJ regarding that infamous scene, rather than PJ alighting on his painting because he enjoyed Howe's interpretation of Bakshi's scene... :D

As an aside, Howe's painting is horrible, so perhaps PJ was more influenced by Howe than Bakshi here, as PJ's films are... horrible. :P

Gungnir, you mistake subjective and questionable claims for objective and verifiable fact. Artists (and I'll grudgingly include PJ in this for the purpose of the discussion) routinely justify their choices post hoc. PJ has invented a whole mythology for his "why". I suppose it is natural to provide historical rationales that inflate "genius". However, these inflations are not indisputable; on the contrary, they are very much open to dispute (just as PJ changed his story a number of times regarding if and when he had actually read the books...)

FACTS are often... not. Separate two witnesses to an event, and ask them to report said event, and the reports rarely match. In actuality, one method used to determine collusion is to compare accounts; too similar, and they become questionable. :)

Wildwood, it is true; Brad Dourif does look like the Emperor! :D
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Sador_Labadal » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:22 am

jotnar, I am curious to know, are you familiar with an American senator from the great state of Texas named Ted Cruz?
User avatar
Sador_Labadal
Rider of the Mark
 
Posts: 616
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:26 am
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:36 am

No, does he look like the Emperor too? :D
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Sador_Labadal » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:46 am

Come to think of it, he kinda does. He is also very good at forcefully pushing a version of "facts" that others find ... fanciful.
User avatar
Sador_Labadal
Rider of the Mark
 
Posts: 616
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:26 am
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby portia » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:19 am

It is very easy to confuse one's own opinions for facts, and to get very defensive about them.
User avatar
portia
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10841
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:57 pm
Location: Lost in the forest
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:29 am

Sador_Labadal wrote:Come to think of it, he kinda does. He is also very good at forcefully pushing a version of "facts" that others find ... fanciful.

I guess those are the "others" who disagree with him? :D

@portia
Yes, I've noticed this. As I repeatedly state, I express my opinion, and concede that my opinion has no greater merit than others'. However, there does seem to be a tendency for people to become very defensive when their own opinions/subjective "facts" are challenged.

Unfortunately, there are occasions when people "take it personally", confusing disagreement about the subject in hand with an attack on the individual who holds the opinion. Still, so long as it remains civil, I think it can remain, if not productive, at least enjoyable. :)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Gungnir » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:37 am

Actually I just remembered, in all of those 'making of' features on the extended versions of Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers, you could see in the background of all the footage a little screen showing Bakshi's film with Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh and the 2nd unit directors, and all the conceptual artists and storyboarders - all of them! - furiously taking notes to make sure the films matched the original 'template'.

Oh, hang on, that didn't happen did it? Because that would be ludicrous.
User avatar
Gungnir
Mariner

 
Posts: 6139
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:05 am
Location: Isle of Man
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:58 am

I know, terrible wasn't it? Most ungentlemanly of PJ to cut those pre-pre-shoot scenes of his first storyboard, with the diagrams showing how he was going to adapt Bakshi's magnum opus. I can't remember whether it was Fran or Philippa who first whispered in his ear "Hey, Petey, this isn't a remake, you know?"

Nor PJ's panicky reaction when told that Lord of the Rings doesn't actually end at Helm's Deep.

"Giant spider?" he queried, tremulously. "Oh hell, there's a giant spider in a second book. And there are thrree books? Why didn't Ralph tell me? Oh well, let's forget that for now, and leave it for a third film.

"So this guy Aragorn. I like him. Far more interesting than that boring Frogo. Let's concentrate on him and his strides. Didn't realise there were Aussies in Middle Earth..."

:)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Gungnir » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:18 pm

User avatar
Gungnir
Mariner

 
Posts: 6139
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:05 am
Location: Isle of Man
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:48 pm

Good try, Gungnir, but you mistake absurdism for the purpose of ridicule as an attempt at proof. As I have (repeatedly) stated that there are no proofs/facts that are inviolable here, it would be impossible to try any proof, even a fallacious proof.

Now, the argument that only those scenes that PJ has that are shared with Bakshi but not the books can only be the scenes that are influenced by Bakshi is a fallacious argument, as it neglects the fact that most of Bakshi's scenes are influenced by the book.

To be able to make the claim that there is proof that PJ was influenced by the books but not Bakshi would require scenes from the books in PJ's films, but not Bakshi's, and then that those scenes were not added to Bakshi scenes, but sourced independently.

And those scenes are? :D
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:49 pm

There is little love for Bakshi's LotR on this forum. ;)

I only ever watched 20 minutes of it before I could take no more. My beloved hobbits looked like a pack of garden gnomes. It was too much to be borne. :angry:

Wildwood wrote:Is that Grima?? :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D He kinda looks like the Emperor in Star Wars! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


Which Grima? Brad Dourif or the Bakshi Grima? :P

Brad Dourif is BRILLIANT as Grima. :) Canon Grima is not quite so well drawn a villain as Saruman, IMO ... Saruman is one of Tolkien's most complex and well-drawn characters, he is a brilliant creation ... Bester, in Babylon 5, reminded me a lot of Saruman, they're both multi-dimensional baddies. But Dourif really brought Grima to life - especially his creepy (canon!) attitude to Eowyn, and the humanity we glimpse beneath his general ickiness. Grima is a pitiable figure, and Dourif brought that out.
User avatar
Diamond of Long Cleeve
Mariner

 
Posts: 6643
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 12:00 am
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:16 pm

Di, I don't think anybody (including myself!) is criticising Brad Dourif in his performance. His glance at Eowyn is superb, as would be expected from the astonishing actor who played Billy Bibbit, the prey of the equally magnificent Louise Fletcher's Nurse Ratched. But that is not the criticism; it is PJ's inability to portray Grima in ought but the most ridiculously over-the-top fashion, like some great carrion crow, an alien dropped into Edoras. And a "dark" alien at that, at odds to both Tolkien's description, and sensible expectation. Grima was of the Edoras household, a wizened, trusted servant, corrupted by Saruman, not this cuckoo imported from Bakshi.

You think Bakshi's hobbits look like gnomes? Which gnomes are they? I have come to value your commentary, Di, but I am puzzled by this criticism. I found PJ's yobbish Merry and Pippin far more objectionable to Bakshi's, and only Sam was repulsive (but I found Astin incredibly weak, and fat for no reason... except to ape Mr Potato Head).

It is a shame that those who dislike Bakshi don't ever get past their initial objections. I dislike PJ's films, but I try to be rational (when I'm not poking the hornet's nest :P ), but the repetitive nature of the Bakshi criticisms has become tedious. So Saruman/Aruman, Gandalf waving arms, Ugly Sam etc. Small beer compared to Arwen at the fords, Denethor bashing, Green army of the dead etc etc etc. No? :)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:06 pm

jotnar wrote:You think Bakshi's hobbits look like gnomes? Which gnomes are they? I have come to value your commentary, Di, but I am puzzled by this criticism.


Well, puzzle away. ;) I adore hobbits and I don't envisage them with pudgy faces and big hair, aka Bashi. They look awful, and that seriously offends my aesthetic sensibilities. It's pretty difficult to take heroic characters seriously when they look silly in a cartoon.

I found PJ's yobbish Merry and Pippin far more objectionable to Bakshi's, and only Sam was repulsive (but I found Astin incredibly weak, and fat for no reason... except to ape Mr Potato Head).


Astin's Sam isn't fat. He's sturdy. Only Gollum calls Sam 'fat' (Canon Gollum and, IIRC, Movie Gollum). I'm surprised you found Astin 'weak'. :? It's not often I defend Astin's Sam, as I find him far too bossy, but I can't fault Astin's committal to the role. I grump about Movie Sam because PJ made him so much stronger than Movie Frodo. I can only surmise this is because PJ regards Sam as the 'true' hero of LotR. (Yeah yeah I know Tolkien said that too, and Sam is of course heroic ... but Tolkien also describes Frodo as the hero.)

It is a shame that those who dislike Bakshi don't ever get past their initial objections. I dislike PJ's films, but I try to be rational (when I'm not poking the hornet's nest :P ), but the repetitive nature of the Bakshi criticisms has become tedious.


Honey, I'm sorry, but you'll just have to get used to the tediousness of the Bakshi-bashing. It's pretty much unanimous amongst all my Tolkien friends. That's just the way it is. 'Tis part of the overall mythos: thou shalt bash Bakshi. :D And yes, it's perfectly rational. ;) I like animated films. I love Up and Toy Story and How to train your dragon and Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Tangled and Spirited Away and Wall.E and Finding Nemo. Animation can be a truly beautiful art form. These films are works of art, and witty and intelligent with it. They eclipse Bakshi's LotR at every turn. LotR is a story crying out for beautiful visuals. I can find fault with certain aspects of PJ's LotR, but on this he CANNOT be faulted. His LotR is a visual feast, in a Pre-Raphaelite style. And that counts.

So Saruman/Aruman, Gandalf waving arms, Ugly Sam etc. Small beer compared to Arwen at the fords, Denethor bashing, Green army of the dead etc etc etc. No? :)


Actually, no, not small beer. Worse than a lot of things in PJ's LotR, because they're kind of inept. Besides, I don't know how Ugly Sam even begins to compare with Arwen at the Ford, because the former thing is all about appropriate aesthetics and the latter is all about storytelling, and having a rationale for Arwen replacing Glorfindel and being more powerful than she is in the text. It makes perfect sense for an adapter to beef up the role of the almost-silent Arwen of the book narrative if she is not to appear as nothing more than a 'trophy wife' for Aragorn. The only real problem I have with Arwen at the Ford is that PJ ignores Frodo's heroism, reducing him to a pathetic baggage. Oh, and I don't like Arwen blubbing over Frodo - it feels synthetic. (Look, Arwen, I know he's cute and all but get a grip, Evenstar ... you only met him hours ago ... :D)

And outside the narrow confines of fandom, the normal cinema audience didn't find things like the green army of the dead remotely absurd.

I've cited Susan Hill's fine ghost story The Woman in Black before and I'll do so again. The 2012 film version of TWIB made multiple changes to Susan Hill's novel and yet still preserved the spirit of her tale. The author, interestingly, promoted the movie version on her website. She was clearly quite accepting of the changes the film people made. And now I'm imagining TWIB being made into a cartoon (highly unlikely, LOL - it's a terrifying story) with Arthur Kipps having a Potato Head. ;)
User avatar
Diamond of Long Cleeve
Mariner

 
Posts: 6643
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 12:00 am
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:47 pm

Well answered, Di, but have you seen Bakshi's scene of Frodo's flight to the Ford of Bruinen? Watch that (and try to get past the psychedelic graphics), and the WiKi exerting control over Frodo, how he reaches out his hand, and through his actions causes Frodo to pull back on his reins. It is beautifully done, and knocks the frothing lipped Elijah Wood and cringe-inducing She-Elf dialogue into a cocked hat!

I found Sean Astin's Sam unwatchable; dumb where Tolkien's Sam is uneducated, and fat, forever fat (not sturdy) even after a starvation trip to Orodruin. Every moment he was on screen jarred with me, and I'm a great believer that Sam is the true hero in the novel, not Frodo. Astin's Sam was an apologist for a hero to me, an actor who can't act. Astin wasn't more powerful than Wood, just louder.

What is this "big hair" of Bakshi's Hobbits? Perhaps the "page-boy" look grates (the film is of its time) but Elijah Wood isn't exactly a skinhead! :D

I'll partially agree on the visuals; as I have said, PJ's is sumptuous, but what is the point of a well presented banquet when the food is putrid? Time after time what could, and should, have been triumphs were let down by woeful interpretations. Weathertop is a prime example; Bakshi may well have had vastly inferior graphics, but the tension and storytelling blows PJ's out of the water. Hurt's Aragorn is such a cut above Viggo's here (and most everywhere else), but all the Bakshi-bashers have to say is he isn't wearing "trousers" and looks like a "Red Indian". As if someone who lives in the wilds would have milk white skin?

My impression is that those who criticise Bakshi here would be those who applaud the TV production of A Wizard of Earthsea, in which the main characters all become white. Because white is right? OK, maybe not, but neither is brown wrong...

Di, it's not that adaptations shouldn't have changes from the book. For heaven's sake, my own editing of PJ's AUJ cuts Bag End down to 15 minutes from 40 minutes. It is the choice of editing that is contentious, and you really do highlight a most egregious example; by beefing up Arwen at the Fords, Frodo is short-changed, and his most powerful speech is jettisoned. That is, for me, criminal.

But I find it difficult to take your objections really seriously if you have only seen the first twenty minutes of Bakshi's film... :P

If you can find it, watch the section in Bakshi's of Frodo's flight to the ford. Then imagine that done with the visualls available to PJ. Then tell me PJ deserves praise for his version. :)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby heliona » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:56 pm

I've seen the Bakshi film once and was rather flummoxed by it. I didn't like the look of it - the style of drawings did nothing for me, and quite frankly, the fact that I was confused by the plot put me off. Someone who's read the book shouldn't be wondering what on earth is going on most of the time! (And yes, that applies to parts of PJ's films, but to the additional parts, most of which after a full viewing show some logic, whereas Bakshi's seemed to have less additions but make less sense.) And as Di says, PJ's films look amazing, and that holds weight with me (even if the plot additions I don't agree with, I can tune them out and just enjoy the beauty of them).

jotnar wrote:My impression is that those who criticise Bakshi here would be those who applaud the TV production of A Wizard of Earthsea, in which the main characters all become white. Because white is right? OK, maybe not, but neither is brown wrong...


Are you referring to this production? Because all the main characters are not white. Tenar is played by Kirsten Kreuk, who is of Chinese descent (I know it's descent, but if we're getting picky, I wouldn't say she was "white") and Ogion is played by Danny Glover, who is decidedly not white. That's at least one main character (if you don't count Tenar) - the most influential character in the story, who isn't white. I love the Earthsea books, and I like the television series (although it has been changed quite a bit and my favourite bits of the story are missing).

I don't care about the colour of the characters in the Bakshi story (that's not why I don't like it), although I do think that they should be of European look due to the origins of the story (ie: in Europe). However, I'm not the type of person who thinks that in general certain characters should be a certain colour (such as in Earthsea) - I'd much rather the right actor for the job be found, no matter what their ancestry is.
Image<-- Celebrating Science in the TVM!

Life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly; laugh uncontrollably; and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for the might-have-beens. - Arthur Ransome

Just because I have the vocabulary of a well-educated sailor doesn't mean I'm not a lady.

In Memoriam EDW - March 14th 2009
In Memoriam rowanberry - March 1st 2014 (~In Memoriam AHH - Alfred Lord Tennyson~)

Photos: My Flickr Photo Collections & Wee Nell - the furry ball of mischief!


(I occasionally post as White Shadow - you've been warned!)

New posters, there's a Welcome and Comprehensive Guide to the Messageboard to answer your questions.
User avatar
heliona
The Sexy One ~ Hellaciously Huggable

 
Posts: 10531
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 11:14 am
Location: Atop a sunny hill
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:20 pm

Heliona, Ged (Sparrowhawk) is described by Le Guin as looking Native American, Estarriol(sp) (Vetch) is black. In the TV production they are white. They are the main characters, and Le Guin disowned the production because of this gross racial calumny.

It's interesting how people approach film. I appreciate the ideals of dogme cinema, in which simple conventions of acting, story and theme supplant technology and special effects. For me, story is all, whereas PJ reminds me of the dubious salesman, winking and advising "never mind the quality, feel the width". I don't care how much lipstick is put on a pig; to me its still a pig.

Now saying that, I am not pretending that Bakshi produced a racehorse. He didn't, but there are components there, strong withers, a noble brow, beautifully feathered fetlocks, that tell me that there is more to his film than the end product. It is the opposite of PJ's. PJ's is like the warhorse in the stage play; looks like a horse, but on close examiination is wood frame, canvas and lifeless.

Except Warhorse was brilliant, so my analogy isn't quite up to scratch... :D

Bakshi's film was a foul up. No denial. The plot was edited with a knife and fork, cut and squeezed into a running time that left ample scope for confusion. Which is why I say, given PJ's budget, and an equivalent running time, I could envisage it being far superior to PJ's cack-handed butchering of Tolkien's work.

I guess what it boils down to is what we each find important. I can watch a super 8 film of low quality, and be spell-bound, whilst a 48fps blockbuster can leave me wishing for the exit. It's not the quality of the image that matters most to me, but the quallity of the storytelling.

Two scenes in Bakshi's production sum up the difference for me between him and PJ. The first I have mentioned, which is the flight to the ford. I find it brilliantly presented, even when at times rather ugly. The second is the mirror of Galadriel. The subtlety of Galadriel, her tinkling laugh when Frodo offers her the ring, reversing the temptation, is beautiful.

And no need for radioactive bombasticism! :)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:28 pm

jotnar wrote:Well answered, Di, but have you seen Bakshi's scene of Frodo's flight to the Ford of Bruinen? Watch that (and try to get past the psychedelic graphics), and the WiKi exerting control over Frodo, how he reaches out his hand, and through his actions causes Frodo to pull back on his reins. It is beautifully done, and knocks the frothing lipped Elijah Wood and cringe-inducing She-Elf dialogue into a cocked hat!


Watched it. The chase sequence itself is pretty good, minus the psychedelics, but I can't get over how ugly and un-engaging Bakshi Frodo is, or the weird expressions on his face ...! It absolutely ruins the pathos and heroism. At least PJ's Frodo just pulls weird faces in a couple of scenes - otherwise, he's very appealing visually. ;) Also, Bakshi's Nazgul appear to be wearing hats and gas masks. :D Oh well, Asfaloth was pretty!

I found Sean Astin's Sam unwatchable; dumb where Tolkien's Sam is uneducated, and fat, forever fat (not sturdy) even after a starvation trip to Orodruin. Every moment he was on screen jarred with me, and I'm a great believer that Sam is the true hero in the novel, not Frodo.


I do not accept Sam as the 'true' hero of LotR. (And I love Sam.) Because ... "Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... " Letter no. 246 (Of course, it's really Team Frodo and Sam.)

But you've just achieved the impossible - you make me want to defend Astin's Sam. :rofl: And he still isn't fat!!

I'll partially agree on the visuals; as I have said, PJ's is sumptuous, but what is the point of a well presented banquet when the food is putrid? Time after time what could, and should, have been triumphs were let down by woeful interpretations. Weathertop is a prime example; Bakshi may well have had vastly inferior graphics, but the tension and storytelling blows PJ's out of the water.


I'd have preferred silently menacing Nazgul to PJ's shrieky Nazgul, but I don't hate his Weathertop as some do, and my non-Tolkien friends certainly didn't. They found it quite a scary scene. Job done. 8)

But I find it difficult to take your objections really seriously if you have only seen the first twenty minutes of Bakshi's film... :P


I watched another clip, on YouTube. The Balrog. Hugely amusing. So it's true: Bakshi's Balrog DOES have fluffy slippers! :D

I also found a very funny over-dubbed version of the entire film:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1x3XkHs-BE
Last edited by Diamond of Long Cleeve on Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Diamond of Long Cleeve
Mariner

 
Posts: 6643
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 12:00 am
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby heliona » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:38 pm

So what you meant to say was that characters who were not white in the books were white in the films, not all the main characters became white, which is plainly not true. I have to admit that when I read the books as a child, I never paid any attention to what colour the characters were, so such a change wasn't so noticeable to me (although I've been informed that Le Guin was making a point in the books with regards race, although not well enough for me as a child to notice). In that case, I can understand why she was upset, although I also don't understand a filmmaker not consulting the author when they're adapting a film.

However, it does not follow that people who don't like the colour of the characters in Bakshi's film (those who are not northern Europe and looking) because they do not tie-in with Tolkien's mythology will approve of the racial changes in Earthsea. In fact, the opposite is likely to be true, if they know about the reasons behind Le Guin's choices (which as I stated, completely flew over my head - I guess that point was for people older than I was when I read it).
Image<-- Celebrating Science in the TVM!

Life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly; laugh uncontrollably; and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for the might-have-beens. - Arthur Ransome

Just because I have the vocabulary of a well-educated sailor doesn't mean I'm not a lady.

In Memoriam EDW - March 14th 2009
In Memoriam rowanberry - March 1st 2014 (~In Memoriam AHH - Alfred Lord Tennyson~)

Photos: My Flickr Photo Collections & Wee Nell - the furry ball of mischief!


(I occasionally post as White Shadow - you've been warned!)

New posters, there's a Welcome and Comprehensive Guide to the Messageboard to answer your questions.
User avatar
heliona
The Sexy One ~ Hellaciously Huggable

 
Posts: 10531
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 11:14 am
Location: Atop a sunny hill
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:47 pm

Diamond of Long Cleeve wrote:
jotnar wrote:Well answered, Di, but have you seen Bakshi's scene of Frodo's flight to the Ford of Bruinen? Watch that (and try to get past the psychedelic graphics), and the WiKi exerting control over Frodo, how he reaches out his hand, and through his actions causes Frodo to pull back on his reins. It is beautifully done, and knocks the frothing lipped Elijah Wood and cringe-inducing She-Elf dialogue into a cocked hat!


Watched it. The chase sequence itself is pretty good, minus the psychedelics, but I can't get over how ugly and un-engaging Bakshi Frodo is, or the weird expressions on his face ...! It absolutely ruins the pathos and heroism. At least PJ's Frodo just pulls weird faces in a couple of scenes - otherwise, he's very appealing visually. ;) Also, Bakshi's Nazgul appear to be wearing hats and gas masks. :D Oh well, Asfaloth was pretty!

And to me that is the problem; worshipping style over substance. I couldn't give tuppence if the Nazgul looked like Steptoe and Son if they managed to embody the story, nor whether Frodo gurned like a Lancashire glass-worker if he managed to convey the emotion as he calls defiantly on Elbereth Gilthoniel, rather than some pouting actress supplanting his role. Give me Frodo's greatest speech, not a third rate confrontation between dodgy black riders and a "she-elf".

I want Tolkien, not Terry Brooks (I've written this somewhere before... :D ) :)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

Re: For Wildwood

Postby jotnar » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:56 pm

heliona wrote:So what you meant to say was that characters who were not white in the books were white in the films, not all the main characters became white, which is plainly not true. I have to admit that when I read the books as a child, I never paid any attention to what colour the characters were, so such a change wasn't so noticeable to me (although I've been informed that Le Guin was making a point in the books with regards race, although not well enough for me as a child to notice). In that case, I can understand why she was upset, although I also don't understand a filmmaker not consulting the author when they're adapting a film.

However, it does not follow that people who don't like the colour of the characters in Bakshi's film (those who are not northern Europe and looking) because they do not tie-in with Tolkien's mythology will approve of the racial changes in Earthsea. In fact, the opposite is likely to be true, if they know about the reasons behind Le Guin's choices (which as I stated, completely flew over my head - I guess that point was for people older than I was when I read it).

No, I deliberately wrote main characters became white. Ogion is a supporting character. Ged and Vetch are the two (non-white) characters who are the main protagonists, who become white in the production.
So I stand by my original comment. The hero from the books, Ged, and the secondary hero, his best friend, Vetch, are not white, but are presented white in the TV production.
It's funny, I first read A Wizard of Earthsea when I was eight, and one of the things that struck me then was the focus on the different races, and how they fit with "our world" races. But that was me, and each and every one of us ttakes something different from what we read. :)

However, I am becoming confused myself now over what point is under review, so I guess it is time I stopped. Thanks for the discussion. I have enjoyed it immensely. :)
User avatar
jotnar
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:10 pm
Top

PreviousNext

Return to Movies and Media: Tolkien

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest