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BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!

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Dave the Gnome 19 Dec 01 - 06:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Dec 01 - 07:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Dec 01 - 07:21 PM
Little Hawk 19 Dec 01 - 07:30 PM
Jeri 19 Dec 01 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 19 Dec 01 - 08:12 PM
Little Hawk 19 Dec 01 - 08:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Dec 01 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,Desdemona 19 Dec 01 - 08:58 PM
Bob Bolton 19 Dec 01 - 09:24 PM
Little Hawk 19 Dec 01 - 10:09 PM
Art Thieme 19 Dec 01 - 10:27 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 19 Dec 01 - 10:30 PM
sophocleese 19 Dec 01 - 11:19 PM
GUEST 19 Dec 01 - 11:22 PM
Amergin 20 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM
paddymac 20 Dec 01 - 12:43 AM
Alice 20 Dec 01 - 12:48 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 20 Dec 01 - 01:07 AM
SarahC 20 Dec 01 - 02:54 AM
Greyeyes 20 Dec 01 - 03:42 AM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 03:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Dec 01 - 06:13 AM
Grab 20 Dec 01 - 07:18 AM
BanjoRay 20 Dec 01 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Desdemona 20 Dec 01 - 07:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 01 - 07:59 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Dec 01 - 08:02 AM
Jeri 20 Dec 01 - 08:18 AM
GUEST 20 Dec 01 - 08:57 AM
Jeri 20 Dec 01 - 09:08 AM
GUEST 20 Dec 01 - 09:19 AM
Big Mick 20 Dec 01 - 09:23 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 20 Dec 01 - 10:20 AM
PeteBoom 20 Dec 01 - 10:23 AM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Dec 01 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Jenny the T 20 Dec 01 - 12:00 PM
Desert Dancer 20 Dec 01 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,radriano 20 Dec 01 - 12:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 01:08 PM
Don Firth 20 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM
GUEST 20 Dec 01 - 02:30 PM
Barbara Shaw 20 Dec 01 - 02:31 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 02:46 PM
Jeri 20 Dec 01 - 03:10 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 03:23 PM
Don Firth 20 Dec 01 - 04:30 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Dec 01 - 04:55 PM
Don Firth 20 Dec 01 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Desdemona 20 Dec 01 - 05:24 PM
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Subject: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 06:55 PM

I have! Just got back from the Galleria in Salford (What a cinema btw - well worth a visit in itself) Anyone else seen it yet? Can anyone say any less than WOW?

OK, OK. The purists will have one or two problems but quite simply I found it a real delight - in all respcts.

Music content - bit of folky stuff at Bilbo's 111'st. Nice bit of Irish style flute for the closing credits.

Can't wait till next Christmas for part two:-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome (I might change to a dwarf....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 07:20 PM

That was my son's reaction. I'm looking forward to it. Only adverse comment I've heard which I might treat seriously is one that the hobbits and the Shire were presented as being Irish.

If so I'm a bit disappointed, since they are quintessentially English, and the music should reflect that, with the Irish music saved for the Elves.

But maybe the critic got it wrong - so many people tend to assume that any folk music with a bit of life in it must be Irish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 07:21 PM

And that didn't come from my son - he knows the difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 07:30 PM

This sounds good! I always figured it was too much to hope for that a good Lord of the Rings movie would ever be made....but, by Gollum, they may have done it this time. I can hardly wait to see it myself!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 07:51 PM

I still have NOT managed to read any of the books. I've seen the trailer, and the ads on TV, and it sounds like one hell of a movie. They had a show on here about the making of it. The feeling I got was they went to meticulous detail to create a culture for all of the races. They built the Hobbit village, planted the gardens, and left it for a year to let it grow and settle in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 08:12 PM

Correction as to the "quintessential Englishness" of the story--there is just as many Norse influences in the stories as Anglo Saxon. I agree there isn't much Celtic influence in the books, but that said, it seems like absolute begrudgery to bitch about an Irish flute being used in the soundtrack, fer chrissake. Lots of Irish music would have worked just fine to capture the essence of many a moment.

Please, lets not descend into nationalist begrudgery over the film--it is just too good for that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 08:23 PM

Agreed on the Norse influences! I think that the main reason Lord of the Rings is seen as "English" is that it was written by an Englishman in the first place, rather than because of the nature of the subject matter itself, which could just as well have been presented with equal fervour by a German, a Norwegian, a Dane or a Frenchman...each in his own particular language, with colloquial and place names suiting his culture. Lord of the Rings is a western European tale on the grand mythic scale, not an exclusively Anglo-Saxon one by any means.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 08:41 PM

Who brought in the Anglo-Saxons? The English are as Norse as they are Anglo Saxon, and about as Celtic as well, among other things.

The point is, and it's a casual enough point, Tolkien was, as Little Hawk said, making a world modelled on the whole of Western Europe, at least. The idea of the different peoples and the different societies was a central part of it, with their different languages and customs and no doubt different music and dances.

If the film blurred these differences, I think it would be a pity. Within that tapestry the Shire and the Hobbits are the English part, and I'd hope that that was reflected in the way they and their society were presented - and there's lots of English music that would be exactly right for that kind of treatment.

It's nothing to do with "nationalist begrudgery" for God's sake. (Though that's a great phrase, and there's a lot of that about sometimes on some threads.) You think McGrath is an English name? You think the Engish by and large give their own music anything like the kind of respect it deserves?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 08:58 PM

Yes, hobbits are definitely English---in fact, Tolkien himself went so far as to say they were West Midlanders (my own family's home county, as it happens!). But of course he was also a don of Anglo-Saxon literature at Oxford, and a linguist par excellence; he particularly favoured Old Norse, and amongst modern languages preferred Finnish above most. Obviously, almost anyone who is "English" has some roots in Scandinavian culture, so arguing about it would be silly!

I remember reading that what he meant to achieve was nothing less to invent an entire language & culture, write an epic tale in it in the spirit of the Norse sagas, and then translate it into English. That he allowed it to be published at all was apparently a huge emotional risk for him, because he was exposing something so very personal to anyone who cared to pick up a copy. To say nothing of the not inconsequential amount of crap he took from his colleagues in academia!

McGrath---I like your comment above re:all things folk being perceived as somehow Irish; a mediaevalist friend of mine always cites "St Fiona's Law" in these cases: "Anything Celtic is period"! I'm planning to see the film on Friday, and while I'm sure we all have our resrvations about letting someone else paint pictures already completed in our own imaginations, I'm very much hoping to be amazed & delighted!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 09:24 PM

G'day all,

I think our "GUEST", 4 posts (or so, by now) above is just trying to be the usual advocate's devil (!).

I certainly agree with Tolkien's view of the Hobbits as conservative, homebody English drawn into a much bigger and weirder world (much based on nordic and germanic mythologies). I hope the film retains this essential contrast - right through to where it is a crucial part of the resolution of the tale.

Just don't get the ghost of JRR Tolkein upset without first checking what the surname means in old Norse!

Regards,

Bob bolton


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 10:09 PM

Come to think of it, there were "Eastern" peoples depicted in L of R also...the Haradrim, and some of Sauron's other allies (the "Southrons"? Africans or Arabians?) in the attack on Gondor, as I recall, so McGrath is right that it went even beyond western Europe in scope. I still remember it as the most immense and wonderful piece of fiction I have ever read in my life. I devoured those books around the age of 21 and reread them all several times, but it's been at least 20 years since I last had a good look at them.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 10:27 PM

Hell, you are all WRONG. Hobbits are most assuredly Jewish. The Shire is just outside Tel Aviv and Mount Doom is the same place where the greatest Jew of all time, Jesus, gave his Sermon on the Mount. The Shire was something like the Afghan cave complexes (if not the Viet Namese tunnel systems).

So there. (Just one guy's opinion.)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 10:30 PM

I just got home from opening night- magnificent! Most of the characters are exactly how I imagined them- it was uncanny! There were liberties taken, of course- how else to fit the Fellowship into three hours? But I'll gladly see it again.
Each race has its own distinct integrity, and the Hobbits seemed no more Irish than Bree-ish (hey, come to think of it, there were no hobbits in Bree other than our heroes...); Pippin is played by a Scot, I believe, but that's as un-English as it gets. I'm with you, David-the-Dwarf(!)- can't wait for the next one!
(And yes, I surpassed my 20th time reading the trilogy years ago!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: sophocleese
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 11:19 PM

I just got back from seeing it tonight. Visually stunning in places, very much a movie for the lovers of sword play. Personally I would have welcomed a little more common dialogue, instead of weighty, bonding, discussions in the scene prior to a death. Still looking forward to The Two Towers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 11:22 PM

McGrath says:

Only adverse comment I've heard which I might treat seriously is one that the hobbits and the Shire were presented as being Irish.

If so I'm a bit disappointed, since they are quintessentially English, and the music should reflect that, with the Irish music saved for the Elves.

Desdemona says:

McGrath---I like your comment above re:all things folk being perceived as somehow Irish; a mediaevalist friend of mine always cites "St Fiona's Law" in these cases: "Anything Celtic is period"!

I, an Irish poster, say--enough with the anti-Irish sentiments, already. Please keep your bigotries and prejudices to yourselves, and let us discuss the film without making such offensive (to me) remarks.

Capiche?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Amergin
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM

i saw nothing offensive in their remarks....

well anyways, I have explicit orders not to see this movie...at least not until I go down to Orange County, CA....


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: paddymac
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:43 AM

Well, I saw it this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's darned good story-telling, and I think it's a bit of an exercise in futility to look for great elements of nationalism in it. Just enjoy for its entertainment value.

The only contemporary joke in it (well, at least the only I caught) was the crack about "dwarf tossing." I did notice that the dwarf was the only character to speak with a pronounced Scots accent. Sort of made me recall "Shrek". I'm not sure what, if anything, to read into that (in either case).

Kevin, though I certainly agree with your observation that English folk are an amalgam of other folks (as, indeed, most peoples are), I can't help but think there are some 'catters who might not take kindly to the suggestion that there is any significant "Celtic" element in their "English" make-up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Alice
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:48 AM

I just saw the movie. Great books, very well done film.

Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 01:07 AM

I'm really looking forward to seeing this. I first read the books in the winter and spring before I graduated from high school (way back in 1970). I started out with "The Hobbit," not knowing what I was getting into. One of the most truly amazing things I've realized since that time is the near-universal appeal of this material. Teenagers to stodgy scholarly types all caught up in the magic. A discussion of "why" could go on forever (like the road). I hope JRRT is in a place where he can appreciate the appreciation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: SarahC
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:54 AM

Last night was a bit of a pilgrimage for me. I was lent a copy of the Hobbit by a neighbour of mine when I was 8. He then said he had "deeper and darker books" for me to read. He refused to hand any over until a year later when fed up with me pestering him, he handed over the first book of Lord of the Rings. I read it very fast and demanded the others. I read the whole trilogy before I turned 10. For the next 25 years I started to read the whole thing again every year on the first day of the summer holidays - I wouldn't do anything else until I had finished it. I spent my whole childhood in Tolkien fantasy land.

The trailer for last night's film gave an inkling that the scenery and characters were as I had imagined them all that time ago - in fact, they were virtually spot on, even down to Aragorn. Sam was a little thinner in my head, but a small matter. I can't believe how fey Elijah Wood looks.

My best bits were the Mines of Moria - firstly the gates! I had forgotten that I had drawn them in gold and pinned them on my bedroom wall for years and years - seeing them again gave me a pang.

But the Balrog!! The description in the book was so scary that I never read that bit at night. After seeing it visualised for the first time yesterday (and me aged 40) I am not disappointed. It still frightened me.

I'm going to go back and see this several more times over the next couple of weeks... And I will reread the book from Saturday, the first day of my Christmas holiday!

Cheers SarahC


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Greyeyes
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 03:42 AM

A review in a UK broadsheet was headlined "If you don't like this movie, you just don't like movies."
I had understood that the voice coach had fixed on Somerset for the Hobbits, but I may be misinformed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 03:56 AM

Bollox... LOTR, the whole world of middle earth is the pre-history of EUROPE! Island and mainland... we're ALL in there somewhere!

I saw it Tuesday night at a preview showing after 3+ years of following its development on the net and swearing that I WOULD NOT see it opening night to spare myself the geeks, the nerds, the idiots in SCA costumes and Spock ears!

Outside of a few small niggling details, and a few of my favourite lines (from the otherwise dreary, dull, over-long, over crafted and less-than-characterised book) missing, I loved it!

8 out of 10... the same rating I've given Harry Potter and Monsters Inc.

Not quite the rating I gave Gladiator, but realy close...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 06:13 AM

A GUEST without even a label who claims to be an Irish poster? I don't believe it. A troll more likely.

Irish music is the music I love best, but I don't want to see it swamp out the other musics, that's all. That'd just be a kind of musical and cultural imperialism, and like all such things, ultimately self-destructive.

Whatever, I'm looking forward to seeing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Grab
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:18 AM

Going to see it tonight. Should be good!

Graham.

PS. Post-Riverdance, any music that goes "diddly diddly" is automatically Irish as far as your typical newspaper scribe is concerned (with exceptions, ddw! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: BanjoRay
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:41 AM

Back in the sixties, when I was in university in Aberystwyth doing teacher's training, I made the mistake of borrowing The Fellowship of The Ring about a month before my final exams. I'd finished all three books by the time the exams came around - I never did get into teaching. I can't wait to see the films, the trailer looked superb. The guy in the Guardian only gave it two stars! He needs to get a life.

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:45 AM

GUEST---me own dear great grand-dad was from County Wicklow; no offence was intended by my remarks above! I was merely commenting on what seems a pervasive tendency in America ti view everything folk/traditional/early music-related as somehow "Celtic".


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 07:59 AM

There was only 1 'celtic' accent amongst the hobbits and as pointed out that was Scottish! I thought Gimlis' accent was more Welsh - as was the Elven language. The music at Bilbos' bash was, in my mind, most definitely English country more than anything. I did not notice any trace of Irish or other Celtic influence apart from, as I said, the flute piece during the closing credits.

But, as the thread says, don't argue or fall out about it...

JUST SEE IT!!!

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 08:02 AM

Saved by the Ring, BanjoRay!

It could well be that Grab you are right and it's the newspaper writer that got it wrong - "people tend to assume that any folk music with a bit of life in it must be Irish" was how I put it.

Either way it's not something that's going to spoil the film for me. If the kind of critic that gave it two stars had liked it I'd be looking forward to it a lot less hopefully. There was one of them on the box the other day maundering on about how simplified heroic characters might have been all right at one time, now we were beyond accepting all that, in the wake of Virginia Woolf...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 08:18 AM

Gimli, by the way, is played by John Rys-Davies. He's also the voice of Treebeard.

Almost any music played with diddley-diddley intruments these days is called Irish...or Celtic. (For a lot of folks, the terms are synonymous. If this movie had been made 5 years ago, I'd bet Davy Spillane would have been on the soundtrack somewhere.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 08:57 AM

Like I said, it really isn't necessary to keep on about how persecuted the British folk are by Americans who believe that English country music is Irish, in order to enjoy this film.

In fact, one need not express such snide and blatantly British nationalist sentiments into a discussion of Lord of the Rings at all.

But of course, that won't stop the begrudgers, apparently, from ruining some people's participation in the discussion.

FWIW, ten years ago in the US, most Americans thought Irish music was English. So the hell what?

And please, let us note that it was British posters who started in with their "quintessentially English" nationalist crap, now wasn't it? After all the American bashing by the British folk over Harry Potter, do we really need this?


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 09:08 AM

Guest, if you have to try this hard to get a flame war started, maybe it's time to just give up and talk about the movie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 09:19 AM

I am not trying to start a flame war. When early on in the thread, people's opinions of the film begin with negative comments about Irish music being included in the film, and I'm Irish, I'm going to be a bit put off by it.

I apologize to those of you who wish to discuss this without the nationalist bullshit. It really wasn't my intention to start yet another British/Irish battle of nationalisms here. But I really was offended by the remarks in McGrath's initial post.

As to discussing the film here, well--I don't think this is the place I'll be doing that now, thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 09:23 AM

Nicely done, Jeri. These poor folks must be getting frustrated that most everyone has them figured out.

Saw it last night. The effects and sets were absolutely stunning. I felt they captured, with very few exceptions, the essence of the book. At times they hung with the dialogue to the point of distraction, but all in all this is one helluva movie. I loved it. Kind of pisses me off to have to wait a year for the next one. In fact that is a criticism. This was left in a way that should have had the next one coming out in 3 to 4 months, not a year. I thought they chose and got the dialects very well.

On the side discussion going on, I agree completely with those who tire of the use of the word "celtic" to mischaracterize so much music. To me it shows a listeners lack of abiiity to discern between the many types of music that are peculiar to the amalgam of peoples that are loosely known as Celts. Irish music........I love that term. Which type of Irish music? British music? Which? Welsh? Cornish? The enjoyment is in the hunt, my friends. Start digging into the various styles and become really knowledgeable, and your appreciation and enjoyment will increase geometrically.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 10:20 AM

I'm with big Mick here. The movie is visually stunning and the story pruned almost exactly right.

Most of the 'celtic' music is by Enya so I supposed it must by definition be 'Irish' but the spoken elvish sounds like it has definite welsh roots.

I now have a reason to live for at least the next two years!


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: PeteBoom
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 10:23 AM

Funny thing. Saw an absolutely BRILLIANT biography on JRRT last night (wrapping gifts) and will probably see the film after the Holidays.

They pegged a couple of things that I had suspected for some time, but could not prove - the base language for the Elves was Nordic - a mix of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish. What ol' JRR seemingly did was compare Anglo-Saxon to its development into English, then look at the contemporary Nordic languages and their roots then built Elvish from that, using similar changes in construct and pronounciation over time. The result was not a "static" language that sounded forced, but one that made rhytmic and aural sense.

Secondly, while definitely NOT intended as an allegory, folks have written much on the allegorical overtones on the story. In reality, when one includes the full realm of middle earth lore prepared by Tolkein (started before his service in WW1), what one gets is a complete heroic cycle all from one amazingly complex mind. His work used enchantment in place of magic, and acted as much as a commentary on development and progress as any of the more obvious books of that ilk. When you consider that he finished multiple versions of Silmarilion BEFORE writing the Hobbit, and was working on a final revision to fit it into the final development of the "Red Book" cycle at the time of his death, it is amazing how steady and consistent so much of his work was. Particularly when compared to the much lighter-weight knock-offs floating around these days.

While I'm a bit disappointed that Tom Bombadil is not around, and that Arwen Evenstar is reported to be as involved as she is, as opposed to using grace and wisdom while being protected by the expendible male elvish warriors, it still looks to be quite close to the book. We'll see.

Now, off to work -

Pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 11:00 AM

ClintonHammond said, in part:

"Outside of a few small niggling details, and a few of my favourite lines (from the otherwise dreary, dull, over-long, over crafted and less-than-characterised book) missing, I loved it!"

Watch what you say about LOTR, or you might just get lynched!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Jenny the T
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:00 PM

My daughter and I saw it last night, and came away utterly stunned. I don't know how anyone could expect a better job to be done with it. Just as with the book, we were left after a very lengthy sitting wishing it wouldn't end.

The accents--Irish-ish for the Bucklanders and Scottish-like for the Dwarf--were a nice touch, I thought. It put a polish on the "racial friction" subtext from the book. The hobbits from the main part of the Shire had the expected English accents, but the Bucklanders--who in the book are viewed as rather different (even somewhat odd) by the other Shire-folk--needed something to set them apart a bit, and the accents worked well for that. I didn't see it as anything like derogatory, either. As Merry and Pippin end up as very heroic characters, they'll bring no shame to those accents; quite the opposite, in fact.

If they sounded like _me,_ I'd be absolutely flattered by association. I can't imagine why anyone thought the accents were 'derogatory.'

JtT


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:12 PM

Haven't seen it yet and am looking forward to it. But, a reviewer in our local paper noted this:

"Walsh [the screenwriter] does away with other features of the book that do little to advance the story, including the numerous songs, poems, and riddles, while managing to keep the charm of Tolkien's writing."

I know it's always an amazing challenge (which few succeed in meeting) to adapt a lengthy book to screen time... but, from your special perspective as Mucatters (e.g., lovers of music and verse), did anyone get the sense that these parts of the story were missing? Or didn't you miss them?

Just wondering... and cogitating on the topic of music becoming something to have in the background and the demise of good singing... (or should I start another thread without the BS prefix? ;-) ) Wouldn't this have been a good opportunity to have movie with good singing that comes in context, as opposed to gratuitously, as in a musical?

I'm making lots of assumptions before I see (hear) it, of course.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,radriano
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 12:14 PM

I saw Lord of the Rings yesterday. As I suspected, as people discuss the film there is the inevitable haggling about details. Yes, one of the hobbits has a decidedly Irish accent. Yes, some things are omitted from the book (like Tom Bombadill) but unless you make a seven hour film somethings will have to be left out.

It did not seem to me that the hobbits as a group were portrayed as Irish. The dance scene at the hobbits' party had a decidely English country dance flavor although, to the general public, it might easily be interpreted as Irish. Certainly the dancing depicted did not look Irish.

When I saw the first scene of the Shire it looked right to me. While there is much computer animation involved and many graphic fight scenes I was pleased that the focus of the film was the acting. The friendship between Frodo and Sam is central to the film. The temptation caused by the evil of the ring was clear. The terror of the dark riders was palpable.

Lord of the Rings is a wonderful film although I would not recommend it for young children because there are some very scary scenes. C'mon folks, lets stop bickering. All in all, the film is true to the book and stand on it's own quite well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 01:08 PM

I wish the book had more than one character in it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM

During the Sixties, two or three times a week someone would jump on my chest, hurled me to the ground, flog me about the head and shoulders with a boxed set of Lord of the Rings, and squeal "You gotta read this!! You've absolutely gotta read this!!!" I can't think of a more efficient way of putting me off reading something. Fortunately, about twenty years ago a man whose taste, judgment, and literary acumen I respect very highly told me that about once every five years he reads first The Hobbit, then the entire trilogy. "The Hobbit," he said, "seems as if it started out to be a children's story, then somehow turned into an epic adventure. It may not really be essential to Lord of the Rings, but it introduces you to Middle Earth and some of the characters and sets up what is to follow." I told him that I was a reader of hard science-fiction (among other things), and I tended to get a bit impatient with fantasy. He said, "I think you'll find that this is quite different." On his recommendation, I read all four books. I am eternally grateful to this man. Since then I've followed his example, and every few years I reread all four books. The only problem: now I am really impatient with fantasy that's been written recently. Tolkien's work is like a sumptuous meal—a full banquet. Other stuff I've attempted to read recently is like a bit of bland puff pastry. Tolkien goes beyond fantasy.

When I heard about this movie project, I was filled with dire apprehension. But after having seen stills from the movie, some snippets shown on TV, and a half-hour TV program on the making of the movies, I'm convinced that the "look" is right, they know what they're doing, and if they do make changes (I mourn the loss of Tom Bombadil), they do so with regret and only because of the requirements of the change of media. The reviews I've read so far sound promising. Very promising. I look forward eagerly to seeing these movies.

. . . dreary, dull, over-long, over crafted and less-than-characterised book . . . I'm really sorry your dog died, Clinton. I found the characterizations (if this is what you are referring to) very fine-drawn and vivid, and as far as being "dreary, dull, over-long," and "over crafted," Tolkien's writing is absolutely brilliant. I love his use of words, his images, his descriptions, and the flow of his sentences. He writes for those who truly savour language. God knows, I wish I could write one-tenth as well as he did.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:30 PM

I think the expectation that a general release film audience should be able to distinguish between English and Irish folk music is wholly unrealistic. These are film fans, not music fans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:31 PM

Lord knows I tried reading this book during the late sixties. Couldn't do it. Still can't bring myself to get lost in the fantasy, even though my son the graphic designer created the new official movie web site.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 02:46 PM

It's accepted Tolkien scholarship that there is only ONE fully fleshed out, nearly real character in LOTR... that's Samwise... everyone is a 2 dimensional, archetypal product of what they do, not who they are... Even JRR himself acknowledged that his strength was in world building and storylines, not in characters and story telling...

This should in no way lessen you enjoyment of LTOR, but brilliant?? JRR was NOT a brilliant writer...

"He writes for those who truly savour language."

hence, overlong and over crafted...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 03:10 PM

And that's why I've never managed to get very far into the first book, Clinton.


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 03:23 PM

Ummm Jeri... read The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay... It's the exact same Good VS Evil battle (as a matter of fact, Kay says that all other battles are just shadows of his... How's THAT for a ballsy move eh! LOL!!) only it's much better written... and it has more than one character in it...

The beginning is on the slow side, but sticking with it is VERY rewarding...

If you want another recommendation for great fantasy, get ANYTHING by Neil Gaiman!

I used to be a HUGE LOTR geek... read it once a year for 6 or 8 years... then I took some classes in English lit at university, and starting learning a thing or 3 about the craft of writing, especially in the speculative fiction genre... by the time I'd had chance to study LOTR, well, I could see it for what it really was... There are plenty of reasons why JRR never had much critical success with his books... And I'm forced to agree with probably 95% of his critics...

These days, I can usually get about as far as the hobbits parting ways with Tom Bombadil, and then I lose ALL interest in the tale... I usually then find myself reading The Hobbit, or Leaf by Niggle... JRR's really great writing!

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 04:30 PM

Accepted by whom?

I bugged out of the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics course because I enjoy the act of reading too much to rush it. Incidentally, I spent a helluva lot of time in school. A lot of it was in music, but for a couple of years I was an English Lit major, and since school, I consume an average of a bit more than a book a week. Various, fiction non-fiction, great literature, trash, the whole gamut.

I don't give a diddly-squat what anybody says, Tolkien was a great writer.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 04:55 PM

Yer confusing 'great' with 'enjoyable'...

Great is objective, enjoyable is subjective...


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 05:07 PM

I'm not a total literary doofus. I can judge the difference. Believe me, there is a lot of exceptionally good stuff that doesn't meet with the approval of the pundits. When I was in the U. of W. School of Music, some of the faculty members used to ask me when I was going to stop screwing around with "those cowboy songs" and concentrate on "serious music." One thing I learned early on:-- Authorities be damned, I judge for myself.

True, not everything that is enjoyable is great, but everything that is truly great is also enjoyable.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Lord of the Rings - Just see it!
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 20 Dec 01 - 05:24 PM

As the mother of 3 sons, I feel I must say,

Boys, play nice now!

Tolkien did come in for a lot of criticism from his academic peers, but not all writing needs to be approved by academic standards to be worthwhile. His literary style is assuredly not for everyone, but at the other end of the spectrum, neither was Hemingway's, yet many consider him a great writer.

"LOTR" is enormous fun & beautifully written, and has obviously struck a chord in people for a long while; whether it's "as great" as someone else's work (and I'd have to take exception to Guy Gavriel Kay here: a good enough fantasy writer, but that's all....but again, that's only MY opinion!)is irrelevant. I think part of its appeal is that so many people came to it at that period in their life when they were first beginning to appreciate the wonder of "disappearing" into a book, and Middle Earth gave them a place where they could really lose themselves.

I first read it at about 11, and my 10-year-old son is currently so engrossed in it that he's reading it before school, during breaks, any chance he gets. He doesn't hear when we talk to him---I think it's wonderful! If "LOTR" can give so many people that miraculous sense of visiting & inhabiting another world for awhile, I'd say that's an argument in favour of its being a great book!


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