Tyranny of the Text

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...

Postby akallabeth » Sat Jun 23, 2001 9:17 pm

I found this in the NY Times, and thought it was interesting in light of several conversations on this board (some of which I've had strong feelings about). It essentially gives perhaps a "director as artist" eye view of adapting a beloved text to the screen. The link for the complete article on Spielberg is: <BR><BR>http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/24/arts/24LYMA.html<BR><BR><BR>Here is the excerpt I found interesting:<BR><BR><i><BR>Mr. Spielberg sighed. "Well, `Color Purple' is a good example," he<BR>said. "That was a film where there was more ink shed on the comparison with the Alice Walker novel than there was on the merits or problems with the film. In fact, the film was not analyzed. Instead, a mirror of Alice Walker was held up to it."<BR><BR>It taught him a lesson, he said, one that came to mind last year when he was considering which project to choose to end his three-year hiatus, and briefly thought of directing the adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" for Warner Brothers.<BR><BR>"Every kid in the world will be waiting to see how close `Harry Potter' will be to the books," he said. "And if they make it religiously and everybody gives it up to the book, there will be tremendous satisfaction." But this leaves little for a creative artist to do who wants to tell stories in his own way, free of the tyranny<BR>of some sacred text.<BR></i><BR><BR>Ah, the tyranny of our sacred text... <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Woe be onto any heretic!<BR><BR>a.
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Postby DarthFëanor » Sat Jun 23, 2001 11:44 pm

LOL so I guess he's saying that artists want to do their own stuff instead of following the book letter to letter... <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Leonides* » Sun Jun 24, 2001 12:10 am

God forbid we allow any creativity to seep into a production. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I can understand his concern. As a filmmaker he wants to be creative, that's what he got into this business for. We should allow Jackson some leeway as well in this respect -- as long as he doesn't get TOO creative.
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Postby akallabeth » Sun Jun 24, 2001 5:42 am

<i>as long as he doesn't get TOO creative</i><BR><BR>Aye, THERE's the rub - just what is "too" creative? As we all know, it varies from person to person, and likely would vary witin a single person depending on how the change is accomplished.<BR><BR>a.
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Postby Cerin » Sun Jun 24, 2001 11:30 am

"In fact, the film was not analyzed. Instead, a mirror of Alice Walker was held up to it."<BR><BR>There's a reason for this. Many people (mistakenly) suppose that the primary purpose of a movie adaptation is to cinematically tell the story that is being adapted. <BR><BR><BR>"But this leaves little for a creative artist to do who wants to tell stories in his own way, free of the tyranny of some sacred text."<BR><BR><BR>I believe this shows that Mr. Spielberg (as I believe other directors do) views his source disdainfully, as a raw material to be used in any way that serves his own creative interests, rather than as something to be respected and brought to the screen as a work of integrity in its own right. He doesn't regard the source as something he is serving, rather it is serving him as material with which to exercise his own creativity. I think this shows a different attitude than if someone (theoretically) sought to faithfully translate a written story to the screen (which apparently no one would attempt to do because it would just be too boring).<BR><BR>I'd really like to see how Mr. Spielberg (or any director) would react to one of his "sacred" works of art being taken by some other artist and hacked up, the characters and storyline altered, all the decisions he so painstakingly made disregarded in the name of someone else's creative desire to tell the story in their own way. I don't imagine he'd take kindly to it, yet they all do it so easily to other people's work. <BR>
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Postby DrStrangelove » Sun Jun 24, 2001 11:57 am

Cerin<BR><BR>I think you are being unfair to Spielberg here. I cannot see any disdain to the source novel at all. <BR><BR>I think there is a valid point that if you deny the adaptors creativity in the translation of the book to the film then what's the point of making the adaptation. By such terms it can only be a poor second to the books.<BR><BR>
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Postby Cerin » Sun Jun 24, 2001 12:19 pm

DrS<BR><BR>I am referring to the phrase "tyranny of some sacred text" as a disdainful way to refer to the privilege of adapting another artists' creative work. Of course, the texts aren't "sacred," but they are the result of someone's painstaking creative efforts, just as Spielberg's movies are the result of his own painstaking creative efforts, yet he clearly doesn't regard his source material with that kind of respect, IMO.<BR><BR>
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Postby bucca » Sun Jun 24, 2001 1:49 pm

I love watching those little pieces that are presented on American Movie Classics and on Turner Classic Movies where they interview film directors (Scorcese, Ron Howard, et al.) on the topic of film preservation and they lament the damage that is done to their work and that of their fellow directors by short-sighted broadcasters who don't show films in letterbox, or arrogant owners of copyrights who colorize film originally shot in glorious B&W, or who allow work to be edited down and not shown in their original length.<BR><BR>I watch these and I sympathize with them, but, like Cerin, I think directors are almost universally guilty of the same thing. If a director reads and admires a novel so much that he/she sets out to make a film and subsequently realizes that the film can't adapt the novel faithfully, he/she has the option of writing an original screenplay that is inspired by the novel but doesn't misrepresent the author's characters, storylines and backstories.<BR><BR>I expect more from directors in this case than I do from broadcasters and studio execs. If directors want to see some respect shown for the results of their creative efforts, then they should start by showing some respect for the efforts of others in the creative process.<BR><BR><i>Oh, the tyranny of our sacred film.</i><BR><BR>New Line Cinema presents "Peter Jackson's Production of "ARAGORN & ARWEN, a love story" loosely based of the characters created by JRR Tolkien.<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-devil.gif"border=0><BR>
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Postby DrStrangelove » Sun Jun 24, 2001 2:03 pm

Cerin<BR><BR>The tyranny comes from those who will judge according to any differences from the text - not from the text itself. This is particularly true in the case of The Color Purple IMO where critics had an agenda to insult Spielberg for trying to be a serious film-maker rather than the merits of the adaptation which the writer of the book approved of.<BR><BR>You assume that writers - in producing a novel - intended that story to be as equally applicable as a complete screenplay. The act of adapting the story to a screenplay that involves changes is not necessarily the act of disrespect.
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Postby Cerin » Sun Jun 24, 2001 3:03 pm

DrS<BR><BR>You really must not tell me what I assume, thank you very much. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I said nothing about screenplays or writers intentions with respect to them. That was your train of thought, not mine.<BR><BR>I believe Mr. Spielberg referred to a tyranny because he looks at it as a tyranny, the serving of another person's work of art with his own efforts. Someone whose purpose was to honor the original work of art with their translation to screen wouldn't look at the text as a tyranny, their service to it would be a voluntary act of love, not a forced submission.<BR><BR>
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Postby akallabeth » Sun Jun 24, 2001 3:39 pm

<i>Someone whose purpose was to honor the original work of art with their translation to screen wouldn't look at the text as a tyranny, their service to it would be a voluntary act of love, not a forced submission.</i><BR><BR>As far as I believe I understand you here, Cerin, this is also my own feeling. Perhaps (aside from intrinsic lack of training and talent) this would make me a bad candidate for doing an adaptation. But deep down I feel that there must be a way to marry a very faithful, loving adaptation with the production of a good film that could appeal to a broad audience. But I quoted Spielberg to start this thread because it underscores a frame of mind very different from my own (at least w.r.t. LOTRs, I haven't thought much about other adaptations), and I therefore found it interesting. The comments so far, although I fear potentially repetitive for the Ancient Ones of the board <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>, I have also found interesting, especially comparing a director's dislike for alterations in their art with their typical alterations of other's art in film adaptation.<BR><BR>a.
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Postby Frode » Sun Jun 24, 2001 4:01 pm

Directors who whine about the 'tyrany of texts' can avoid filming books and hire a screenwriter to write specifically for the film. It's the least of problems.
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Postby TomCotton » Sun Jun 24, 2001 4:22 pm

I don't have a problem with an adaptor/director to remove/adjust scenes/dialogue or even add scenes of his own if he feels it better tells the story on film. Qualifing a bit I mean additional scenes of people, places or events described or alluded to in the novel that are not part of the main narative. Some examples of what is acceptable would be showing Gandalfs capture and escape from orthanc(although perhaps without the spinning wizards), Saruman giving instructions to his army or new scenes involving Aragorn and Arwen at Rivendell. This gives plenty of scope for the the adaptor/director's creativity doesn't it?<BR>What I do have a problem with is if scenes or characters from the source are radically changed by the adaptor eg. AATF. The thing is if we have too many of these kinds of changes, it ceases to be LoTR adapted for the screen and becomes a film based on LoTR, and I'd like to see the former. I don't know if Spielberg took many or any such liberties with the Color Purple, I've not read the book or seen the film, but if it is based on the book rather than adapted from the book perhaps it should have been retitled.<BR>
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Postby Shagrat() » Sun Jun 24, 2001 7:56 pm

Cerin said:<BR><BR><b>"Someone whose purpose was to honor the original work of art with their translation to screen wouldn't look at the text as a tyranny, their service to it would be a voluntary act of love, not a forced submission"</b><BR><BR>I don't see why a film-maker should be attempting to <i>do service</i> to a literary work, rather than using it to create something new and vital. <BR><BR>To "do service" to a work seems to indicate that the filmmaker should merely provide a sequence of filmic illustrations for the book. This is hardly likely to fire the imaginations of ambitious and talented filmmakers.<BR><BR>The examples that spring to mind in this context are the two films entitled <i>Nosferatu</i>, by Murnau and Herzog respectively. Both are generally agreed to be the finest film adaptations of <i>Dracula</i> ever made. Murnau intended to call his film "Dracula", and was only forced to change the name because Stoker's widow refused to sell him the rights. Both films take massive liberties with the text, changing all manner of plot details, names and character roles, and even the ending. Yet both are widely considered masterpieces and <i>the best adaptations ever made of Stoker's novel</i>.<BR><BR>Now, we have no reasons for assuming that Jackson and Co. are going to produce a masterpiece. They may, but then again they may produce a dreadful mess. All we have seen so far are some pictures, which tell us much about design and costuming, but little about the quality of the film - stills from Lynch's "Dune" are more striking than those from Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai", but there can be no argument about which is the better film. However, it would surely be better if Jackson produces something more akin to <i>Nosferatu</i> than one of Hammer's insipid "Dracula" films.<BR><BR>Note here that it is incidental that Murnau, and later Herzog, did not call their films "Dracula". Murnau wanted to, but was unable to.
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Postby Cerin » Sun Jun 24, 2001 8:31 pm

I don't think it is incidental, but an important point that the films you referred to were not called "Dracula." If the Jackson films were being called something other than The Lord of the Rings (and J.R.R. Tolkien's at that) you would be hearing far less from me, but they are being called "J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings," which is false. They should not claim to be that because that is not what they are, they are the director's creative exercise inspired by Tolkien's life's work. Apparently the filmmakers don't have the courage to be honest about what they are producing, they want their artistic freedom as well as the financial advantage that will come from being explicitly associated with the author's success. It's dishonest and cowardly, IMO.<BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby freaqboy » Sun Jun 24, 2001 9:16 pm

<BR> And again, Cerin, we see that you view Cinema as nothing more than a secondary art form meant to "serve" literature. It's insulting to the artists involved, and this discussion can go nowhere as long as you hold on to those outdated and long since disproven ideas.
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Postby Telemachos » Sun Jun 24, 2001 9:39 pm

<i>Apparently the filmmakers don't have the courage to be honest about what they are producing, they want their artistic freedom as well as the financial advantage that will come from being explicitly associated with the author's success. It's dishonest and cowardly, IMO.</i><BR><BR>If the upcoming LOTR films were called ANYTHING but LOTR, they'd be attacked as plagiarism by everyone here (and everywhere else, for that matter, and rightly so).<BR><BR>What most people assume is that the "based on" credit does not mean absolute adherence to an original work -- merely what it says: that the film (or whatever) is based on another (original) work.<BR><BR>JRRT is credited as neither the screenwriter or the director, so I fail to see how the folks at NLC are being misleading. And I very much doubt that audience-members will be confused about what they seeing -- an adaptation of someone else's work.<BR><BR>Speaking for myself, I know (well, I don't, exactly, but I strongly expect <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>) that when I see LOTR unfold on the big screen, it would be INSTANTLY recognizable as LOTR, even if I had no idea the movies were being made and no title was shown at the beginning. I would certainly notice differences, but not enough to differentiate it as a separate story.<BR><BR>A little personal note: I was mentioning the TORC boards with my father a while back, and was describing some of the interesting philosophical points that were being made (both by purists and pragmatists). He related to the concepts we were discussing immediately, as he is a book-editor. And he told me a story about a similar conflict he had a number of years ago.<BR><BR>My father has been profoundly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi over the last 25-30 years. He has studied him and his life intensely, on a personal, political, and spiritual level. In the early 80s, the Richard Attenborough film came out, and of course my father went to the premiere showing where he lived. He went with a great deal of doubt -- after all, could a British production understand, profoundly or otherwise, what the Mahatma's life was about? How could you condense such a life into 3 hours? So he took his seat with a great sense of trepidation, convinced that the movie would not do the man justice (and knowing many of the facts to point out where the film-makers went wrong).<BR><BR>The movie started, and almost immediately, my dad remembers, he knew that somehow they had gotten it right. There was no particular moment, just a feeling, a sense of relief that despite all odds, somehow Attenborough and John Briley (the screenwriter) had managed to shine a light (in some small way) into the Mahatma's soul. This despite the fact that the movie made a GREAT many changes and condensations, and dealt with Gandhi primarily on the political level without delving more deeply into other areas of his life. But my dad sat there, noticing every change -- but the editor in him noticed as well, and noted how and why each change was made, and indeed how sensible some of them were: how by removing this character and adding this other character and by cutting years away the central story was strengthed and the themes reinforced.<BR><BR>In other words, as each change occurred, he couldn't help but notice how each HELPED the film, and although no one would take the final film as an exact chronicle of Gandhi's life, it managed to encapsulate it wonderfully.<BR><BR>And THAT is what I expect PJ's films to do.
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Postby Linden » Sun Jun 24, 2001 10:02 pm

<i>Speaking for myself, I know (well, I don't, exactly, but I strongly expect <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> that when I see LOTR unfold on the big screen, it would be INSTANTLY recognizable as LOTR, even if I had no idea the movies were being made and no title was shown at the beginning.</i><BR><BR>Say, Tele - I think that showing a plain gold ring on which funny writing appears when it is placed in the hearth for a bit would be a bit of a clue <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> I know what you mean though. (BTW Gandhi is on my "to see" list).<BR><BR>I know we will be seeing LotR - the question is, will my heart know? I suppose the answer to that is different for each person. I do believe PJ is after the "heart" of the work - not sure if his vision is the same as mine though, and what I am most apprehensive about is that he (or NewLine) doesn't trust the audience enough to "get it" without an "in your face" approach. I don't believe that such a philosophy is required to make a great and financially successful film - look at the success of the book.
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Postby Leonides* » Sun Jun 24, 2001 10:06 pm

*Leo gives Tele a round of applause*
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Postby Shagrat() » Sun Jun 24, 2001 10:20 pm

Cerin, <BR><BR>Murnau wanted his film to be called "Dracula". It was clearly based on Stoker's novel, despite major changes (names, ending, character roles, location, details, character appearances, character deaths etc.), so much so that Stoker's widow successfully sued, and won the right to have every reel of the film destroyed. (Some reels, thankfully, escaped destruction, which is why we have the masterpiece today).<BR><BR>Would the film be a lesser achievement if it was called "Dracula"?<BR><BR>And given that it is an attempt to film Stoker's novel, is it harmed in any way by the sweeping changes?
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Postby Hama » Mon Jun 25, 2001 1:45 am

Bucca made the point very well indeed.<BR><BR><i>I watch these and I sympathize with them, but, like Cerin, I think directors are almost universally guilty of the same thing. If a director reads and admires a novel so much that he/she sets out to make a film and subsequently realizes that the film can't adapt the novel faithfully, he/she has the option of writing an original screenplay that is inspired by the novel but doesn't misrepresent the author's characters, storylines and backstories.<BR><BR>I expect more from directors in this case than I do from broadcasters and studio execs. If directors want to see some respect shown for the results of their creative efforts, then they should start by showing some respect for the efforts of others in the creative process.</i><BR><BR>The question really should be why are directors filming any book? Are they retelling the story their way? Or are they attempting to visualise a story they really enjoyed? I feel that at some point an admission should be made as to their motives, so that the viewing public knows what to expect. Or is this too radical, might this not interfere with the studios ideas for marketing their product?<BR><BR>If Peter Jackson said 'We are making a film of "The Lord of the Rings"', what is the public expectation? If Peter Jackson said 'We are making a film based upon "The Lord of the Rings"', what is the public expectation then? And if he says 'We are making a film inspired by "The Lord of the Rings"', what then? The investors at New Line wish to maximise their return. The film is presented as 'The Lord of the Rings' in order to hook the public. They hit us with statements such as 'It has been named as the greatest story of the twentieth century' and so on, and so forth. Expectations are raised by such ploys. I know it happened to me with Lynch's DUNE.<BR><BR>To be fair to Peter Jackson, he has made comments to the effect of 'Of course this won't be "The Lord of the Rings" (meaning the book I presume), but it will could be a pretty cool movie.' Fine. But when I hear about some of the rumoured changes, I do have to wonder to myself why Peter Jackson chose to film this book in the first place.<BR><BR>Hama.<BR>
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Postby akallabeth » Mon Jun 25, 2001 3:55 am

<i>To "do service" to a work seems to indicate that the filmmaker should merely provide a sequence of filmic illustrations for the book. This is hardly likely to fire the imaginations of ambitious and talented filmmakers. </i><BR><BR>If a filmmaker loves a story, especially one as challenging as LOTR to bring to screen, why wouldn't s/he be fired up and inspired in a creative way to faithfully adapt it?<BR><BR>a.
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Postby ToshiroMifune » Mon Jun 25, 2001 5:00 am

Helllo folks,<BR> First post but I finaaly decided to join the fray with this thread because it brings up some interesting points about the difference between two media: that is print or text and film. I think that we need to remember that different devices will be used when outlining a narrative structure on the screen then are used in the course of a book. With a film we have an audio as well as a visual component with which to communicate stroy elements to the audience. In a book there is the luxury of richly textured prose(.... a la JRRT...) that triggers the imagination to run wild. A direct translation of a book to screen I think is a ridiculous, fool hardy endeavor and I personally would not want to see it in the first place. I'm at the cinema to see what the director and producvtion crew has done with the work not to see a steo for step, inch by inch recreation of a novel. In most cases it would be cumbersome and awkward leaving the audience slouching in their chairs. There are points of extended dialogue and luxury of lengthy explanations of story elements in a book that would be stagnant on screen. By all indications we seem to have a production crew working on this film that have a deep respect for the source material. I mean cast members speaking elvish on screen with subtitles! If that's not an effort to bring us into the world of middle earth I don't know what is. Blade Runner, The Shining, The Thin Red Line, One Flew OVer the Cuckoos Nest, Crouching Tiger are just some film adaptations that stand up on their own right and are quite powerful by themselves. They don't follow the books by the letter but they are damn entertaining, and above all they captured the spirit, mood and overall essence of their source material quite well. I think somebody earlier on in the thread said that a film maker should engage in an adaptation with a degree of love and with this project I think we have a man who has exactly that.
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Postby akallabeth » Mon Jun 25, 2001 5:29 am

Toshiro,<BR><BR>The points you make are well taken and have been discussed to great depth in many previous threads. I think debators are now more carving at the edges of the argument than anything else, because there really seem to be a few set camps about film adaptation.<BR><BR>In one camp are a group of people who are, shall one venture, more tuned into the creative process of film adaptation and see it more as an independent form of art with rules set by the filmaker by his own sensibilities. Many in this camp feel that whatever the filmaker senses as right for making the best film s/he wants if fine, regardless of how it affects the logic, plot, characters, etc. contained within the original work on which the film was based or derived its inspiration. <BR><BR>At the other extreme are a group of people who feel that if one is truly seeking to adapt a textual story (like LOTRs), one must be creative not in story creation but in story translation. In other words, one should do what is necessary to bring as much of the story to the different medium as possible while seeking to minimize alterations to the art of another.<BR><BR>In the wide middle are people who identify with aspects of each extreme painted (broadly) above. Because of how loved and respected LOTRs has become for many, the film has gone under what is likely the most severe microscopic examination in cinematic history - especially as noone really knows what kind of a final product is going to come out.<BR><BR>But I agree with you in that I think PJ and crew do CARE. But as with any translation, different people may disagree with certain choices in translation. This is the root of many debates here. <BR><BR>a.<BR><BR>
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Postby Shagrat() » Mon Jun 25, 2001 8:39 am

alkabeth said:<BR><BR><b>"Many in this camp feel that whatever the filmaker senses as right for making the best film s/he wants if fine, regardless of how it affects the logic, plot, characters, etc. contained within the original work on which the film was based or derived its inspiration."</b><BR><BR>One point that I can never understand is why some people seem to believe that the film's internal logic must match the book's internal logic. What is really important is surely that the film has its own consistent internal logic.<BR><BR>For example, when Merry stabs the dwimmerlaik in the film (as presumably he will), need the filmmakers be concerned about the origin of the blade? Obviously not - unless elements from the books, which stipulate why only Merry's weapon (or its ilk) could have done the job, are carried over into the film.<BR><BR>As another example, Bill Ferny's ill-favoured companion need not look Orcish (or even feature) unless the other Half-Orcs are in (and he doesn't appear to be).<BR><BR>Again, there is no need to show Mordor Uruk-hai in the films, even though there are plenty of them in the book. As long as the "Black Uruks of Mordor" line is cut, then they can be left as Saruman's unique speciality. Only Saruman having Uruk-hai is at odds with the logic of the book (Sauron first bred them, after all), but can hardly harm the film <i> if the film's own internal logic is consistent</i>.<BR><BR>Having the films accept all the logic of Tolkien's books would almost certainly smother them in confusion for the average viewer, including the average viewer who has read and enjoyed LotR. But if the films are <i>internally consistent</i>, they can achieve the illusion of a real, historical world, just as Tolkien does in his (largely) internally consistent books.
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Postby akallabeth » Mon Jun 25, 2001 9:01 am

<i>One point that I can never understand is why some people seem to believe that the film's internal logic must match the book's internal logic. What is really important is surely that the film has its own consistent internal logic.</i><BR><BR>Just to be clear, I have never claimed that the film MUST follow the book's logic (and I realize you are not necessarily implying that I am). I have said that I would LIKE the film to follow the book, when it is reasonable as film - I certainly understand that one must tell a story for film differently at times than how it would be done in a book. As always in these debates, I think differences center on how much one should try to adhere to the book (and when and where with the how), and whether a difference represents more than just a "translational" change (in other words, some changes could alter some fundamental aspects about the LOTRs as found in the books - the only source, really, outside of Tolkien's mind).<BR><BR>a.
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Postby Cerin » Mon Jun 25, 2001 11:10 am

<BR>Shagrat<BR><BR>Yes, you said Murnau wanted his film to be called "Dracula," but Stoker's widow did not want it to be called Dracula because she had not sold the rights. It was right to destroy the film if Murnau didn't obtain the rights to Stoker's creation. Why should not the authorship and the integrity of a person's work be protected from those who would steal their ideas as foundations for other works? It's not about the film being a lesser or greater achievement with a different title, it's about the fact that someone wrote a book and the person protecting the integrity of that work declined to make the story available for others to interpret. It would be up to each individual author (or guardians of their work) to decide if they are willing to risk the misrepresentation of that work by other artists. <BR><BR><BR><BR>Telemachos<BR><BR>"If the upcoming LOTR films were called ANYTHING but LOTR, they'd be attacked as plagiarism by everyone here (and everywhere else, for that matter, and rightly so)."<BR><BR>Not if they made it clear that the movies were based on Tolkien's work. They could say, "Based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien," or "Inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien." How hard would that be? The way the credits are said to be shaping up at this point, they are out and out saying, "This is J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings," which is false.<BR><BR><BR>"... when I see LOTR unfold on the big screen, it would be INSTANTLY recognizable as LOTR ..."<BR><BR>I would say it will be instantly recognizable as being based on LoTR, and instantly recognizable as NOT being LoTR to anyone who has read and remembers the book.<BR><BR>
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Postby DrStrangelove » Mon Jun 25, 2001 11:18 am

Cerin<BR><BR>Sorry but that assumption is there. If an adaptor changing stuff can be decried for ignoring the authors painstaking efforts - then you ARE assuming that the writer, when writing the story, is putting their painstaking efforts into making a fully workable screenplay. Otherwise how is an adaptor writing the screenplay at all showing disdain for this?<BR><BR>The point would stand if someone came and re-wrote the story and re-published it as a novel. That would dis-respect the author's pain-staking efforts - but not adapting the thing to a different medium. That necessitates creativity, and often changing the story. Why would Tolkien have proferred that the battle of Helms Deep could be lost if this was not the case?<BR><BR>It is tyranny of the text if the adaptors work is solely to be judged by how akin (or dissimilar) it is to the original. This is what Spielberg is referring to in relation to "The Color Purple." Changes to successfully translate the novel to classic cinema do much greater honour to the source than merely trying to ape the text to produce a version that can only ever be seen as inferior.
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Postby Jessica*Evenstar » Mon Jun 25, 2001 11:33 am

Hama<BR><BR><i>I feel that at some point an admission should be made as to their motives, so that the viewing public knows what to expect</i><BR><BR>I think we already have this. The only problem being that people who disrespect book when they adapt them will lie about it till they got cinema-goers money.<BR><BR>FWIW I'm convinced Peter Jackson is a fan.<BR><BR><i>But when I hear about some of the rumoured changes, I do have to wonder to myself why Peter Jackson chose to film this book in the first place</i><BR><BR>Really? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>
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Postby Telemachos » Mon Jun 25, 2001 12:47 pm

Cerin,<BR><BR>They are using Tolkien's name essentially as an extension of the title; this is a common technique these days. I understand your frustration at including JRRT's name in the title, but there will definitely be a credit that says "based on". When the official regular poster (not the teaser poster) comes out, with all the credits at the bottom, the "based on" credit will be included, as well as in the full scredits of the film (which sounds like they occur at the end of the film).<BR><BR>You are correct with regards to my statement that I would recognize a film that was based on LOTR, not LOTR itself, for the simple reason that I would be watching something in a theatre, not reading it at home. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR>
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