View Full Version : Newsweek story on LOTR movies

01-11-2001, 02:54 PM
<BR>Anybody out there interested in helping a Newsweek reporter with a LOTR story? We're planning a piece to follow up on the enthusiasm surrounding the LOTR trailer debut tomorrow (one of those lovely times my work coincides with personal interest...). And I'm looking for a bunch of fans to talk to about the trailer, the movies themselves, the hype, etc.<br> <br> If you've got a few moments to spare, I've got a bunch of questions. Either post a response here or e-mail me at dgordo@newsweek.com. Whichever's preferable. <br> Here's a few questions for starters...<br> <br> 1. How would you describe your feelings about the upcoming movies? Excited? Nervous? Suspicion? Abject terror?<br> <br> 2. What have you heard about the movies, if anything, that you think Peter Jackson and New Line are getting totally wrong? Anything that sounds promising? What about the casting? I've heard a lot of Liv Tyler bashing already.<br> <br> 3. If it's Friday and you've already seen the LOTR trailer, what did you think? What was the theater like where you saw it? Lots of fellow fans?<br> <br> 4. Are there any academics out there? I'm particularly curious what students of literature (who like Tolkien) think about a film adaptation.<br> <br> 5. Anybody seen/remember the 1970-something animated version? Thoughts?<br> <br> Hope to hear from many of you soon.<br> Devin Gordon<br> Newsweek Magazine <p></p>

01-11-2001, 03:57 PM
<BR><br><br> 1. I would say many of us are excited, but there are also many that aren't going to see it because they think it is an abomination of Tolkien's work.<br> <br> 2. I have been reading up on it, I have visited the Tol Galen website several times. Tol Galen is based in New Zealond and it gets a lot of inside information or at least better than most magazines are putting out. <br> I think the expansion of Arwen's role in LotR is in poor taste and the deletion of Bombadil and the barrowdowns from the movie is also. Although Bombadil isn't even an important part of the book it still should be in the movie. <br> Something that I do think that will be good will be the scenary, it is kind of hard to picture everything in your mind when reading, the movies should help out a bit.<br> I don't think Liv Tyler will do that bad of a job, I just think it is because she is American and a lot of people on these sites think someone else more suited should have been cast as Arwen.<br> <br> 3. I saw the teaser trailer but it is still thurs. now so I will tell you what I thought about the teaser, it was great.<br> <br> 4. I think the films will be good, as long as they stay relatively close to the books.<br> <br> 5. Bakshi's film? Horrible anyone will tell you that. I was just a terrible movie and it didn't even finish.<br> <br> Hope I helped out a little. <p></p>

01-11-2001, 04:29 PM
<BR><br><br> I view the upcoming movie with reservations. Middle Earth resides in the imaginations of the readers, who have highly individualized conceptions of what the principal characters look, sound and act like. Further, a key element of the Lord of the Rings is the feeling that behind the scenes lurks a lengthy and seemingly real history extending back thousands of years before the tale begins. Treating the books as an isolated tale in a vacuum would cause the film to lose a great deal in the translation. <br> <br> I have generally ignored the growing furor and the rumor mill among afficianados of Tolkien's work, and have adopted a wait and see attitude. I will see the movie when it comes out and hope I will enjoy it. I fear, however, that Mr. Jackson will not be able to satisfy everyone. A movie must necessarily have mass market appeal. To reach that mass market, Mr. Jackson may have to simplify or modify the tale to such an extent that he may alienate the guarantied market of those who appreciate the books. <p>--Mithadan--<BR> "The Silmarils with living light<BR> were kindled clear, and waxing bright<BR> shone like stars that in the North<BR> above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

01-11-2001, 07:50 PM
<BR><br><br> Ah, you brought up a good point on how you say LotR will be isolated. I do not believe this however. For everyone that hasn't read the book there will need to be some explaining. There is supposed to be a brief overview at the beginning of the movie that explains Middle Earth's plight. I think this will show some of the history behind the events taking place. <p></p>

01-12-2001, 07:15 AM
<BR><br><br> In answer to your questions, Deving13:<br> <br> I have grave reservations about the forthcoming films. The fact that Peter Jackson is taking serious liberties with the plot, especially the oft-discussed Arwen scenario, is an unforgiveable error of judgement. I don`t doubt that the films will look spectacular (I`m especially looking forward to the battle scenes), but I will just view them as a few hours entertainment. I doubt that they will add to my enjoyment of JRRT`s work.<br> <br> While it is true that some `classic` novels, like those of Dickens and Austen, for example, have been successfully translated to the silver screen, I suspect that Peter Jackson`s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings will prove to be different. Rather than concentrating on dialogue and characterisation, as the aforementioned authors do, Tolkien`s work relies heavily on vivid description and the stimulation of the reader`s imagination. I find it doubtful whether this can be successfully conveyed in a film.<br> <br> I remember Ralph Bakshi`s film, which was released around 1980, if I recall correctly. All I will say about it is that if Jackson doesn`t do a significantly better job, then he will lose New Line a lot of money. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000099>Taimar</A>&nbsp; at: 1/12/01 8:19:01 am<br></i>

The Barrow-Wight
01-12-2001, 08:00 AM
<BR><br><br> I, too, am worried that the movies could be a terrible translation of the books. But I'm so ready to find out that I'm going to sneak out of work today to go see the trailer before 13 Days <br> <br> I may come back ranting or raving. Saty tuned! <p>The Barrow-Wight (RKittle)<br> I usually haunt <a href="http://www.barrowdowns.com">The Barrow-Downs</a> and The Barrow-Downs <a href="http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi">Middle-Earth Discussion Board</a>.</p>

01-12-2001, 03:32 PM
<BR><br><br> <blockquote><i>Quote:</i></b><hr> Literature works from mind to mind and is thus more progenetive. It is at once more universal and more poignantly particular. if it speaks of <i> bread</i> or <i> wine</i> or <i> stone</i> or <i> tree</i>, it appeals to the whole of these things, to their ideas; yet each hearer will give to them a peculiar personal embodiment in his imagination. Should the story say &quot;he ate bread&quot;, the dramatic producer or painter can only show &quot;a piece of bread' according to his taste or fancy, but the hearer of the story will think of bread in general and picture it in some form of his own. If a story says &quot;he climbed a hill and saw a river in the valley below&quot; the illustrator may catch, or nearly catch, his own vision of such a scene, but every hearer of the words will have his own picture, and it will be made out of all the hills and rivers and dales he has ever seen, but especially out of The Hill, The River, The Valley which were for him the first embodiment of the word<hr></blockquote><br> JRRT, Tree and Leaf, On Fairy-Stories <p>...less doth yearning trouble him who knoweth many songs, or with his hands can touch the harp - his possesion is his gift of glee which God gave him...</p>

Mister Underhill
01-16-2001, 02:07 PM
1. Can't wait to see the movies. It's the most exciting movie event since I first saw Star Wars some 24 years ago (yikes!). I've been reading the books since I was about that age, and have always dreamed of seeing them come to life on the silver screen.

2. It's regrettable that scenes will have to be cut or compressed due to time constraints, but I can't think of anything that I've heard of so far that Peter Jackson & Co. have gotten grieviously wrong. Of course, I've been avoiding most movie news as I'm the type who likes to go into a movie knowing as little as possible about what I'm about to see. What I read of Peter Jackson's take on the books and what the tone and look of the movies should be like before he began filming sounded very promising. It sounded like he had the right idea on how to treat the material and I was very encouraged. Everything I've seen since then has only reinforced that feeling of confidence. I think he's nailed it.

I'm not excited about Liv Tyler either, but as I've said elsewhere, we'll just have to Liv with her. At least we were spared an appearance by Ben Affleck.

3. I didn't see the trailer until Monday. There weren't a lot of fans that I was aware of in the theater -- but the trailer did receive a positive response. I thought it was great! Not too revealing... just an intriguing taste of the splendor of what we will see. Any doubts I had about the look of the actors portaying the various roles were dispelled. McKellin as Gandalf and Mortenson as Aragorn were particularly impressive. The Hobbits looked better than I expected, too.

4. I'm not exactly an academic -- but I suppose you could say I am a student of literature. I read incessantly, but I also love movies. There's a Stephen King quote which I unfortunately don't have handy, but it goes something like this: when asked by an interviewer what he thought of Hollywood ruining his books, King replied, "They didn't ruin my books. There they are, right there on the shelf." The movies will not "be" the books. They cannot be, nor should they be. They are an interpretation of the books, directed and guided by the vision of one fan (as PJ most assuredly is) and made by others who were also fans or became fans during the making. I'm sure there will be things that I think were done wrong or don't match my vision of Middle-earth, but I'm looking forward to the things that PJ & Co. got right and/or did even better than I myself could have imagined it. To answer your question more directly, perhaps, I am not offended by the thought of an adaptation. It's like covering a great song. Guns N Roses covered Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door". Same song, different renderings, both arguably great.

5. As you will find on other threads, not everyone hated the Bakshi films outright. Many agree that John Huston was wonderful as Gandalf's voice; the musical renderings of JRRT's poems seem to have gotten mostly high marks as well.

01-19-2001, 04:24 PM
<BR>Just wanted to send a quick note of thanks to everyone who responded to my plea for help from LOTR fans. We got a couple dozen responses from here and one or two other web sites, so unfortunately, the vast majority of people who helped me out didn't get quoted directly in the story. Sorry about that. But if you take a look at the piece (it'll be this Monday's issue of Newsweek and online by Sunday night--please check it out!!!) I think you'll notice that every opinion we gathered helped shape the overall tone of the piece. Anyway, please let me know what you think of our story, and thanks again to everyone who helped out!<br> <br> Devin Gordon<br> Newsweek <p></p>

01-19-2001, 09:22 PM
<BR><br><br> You know I'm not worried about how the movies are being translated to the screen. Of course things will be changed a little and not everything can be put in it. <br> <br> What I am excited about is the fact that people who have never heard of or have just a little bit of it will now be presented with a full blown production of the story. The trailors blow you away and I often think to what it would be like going to a movie, seeing the LOTR trailor having never heard of it and thinking, wow!!<br> <br> My whole site is basically purposed to those wishing to learn about Tolkien and Middle-Earth and these movies will peek the interest. I know I often tell people of it and they never heard of it. They have heard of the Hobbit but not the LOTR. My friend after I showed him the first trailor just had to borrow my books and he loved it. To me that is priceless.<br> <br> Bring on the movies!!! <p>Lord of the site <a href="http://ring-lord.tripod.com">Ring Lord </a></p>

01-21-2001, 07:07 PM
<BR><br><br> The story is out. Here's the link: <a href=http://www.msnbc.com/news/519157.asp?cp1=1#BODY>One Ring to Lure them All</a>.<br> <br> There's a Mr. Underhill quoted in this article. Could it be? Could it possibly be OUR Mr. Underhill??? <br> <br> -réd<br> <br> <p><blockquote><p>"He was as noble and as fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer."</p> <p>-A Short Rest, <i>The Hobbit</i></p></blockquote></p>

01-21-2001, 07:29 PM
<BR><br><br> It would seem that <i> is</i> our Mister Underhill. He's far too knowledgable to be Peter Jackson though. <p>Manwë keep you under the One, and send fair wind to your sails. </p>

01-21-2001, 07:33 PM
<BR><br><br> 1. I am excited about the movie but I definately have my doubts. As a writer I'm not confident that the essence of the books will be captured.<br> <br> 2. I find the elimination of Bombadil and the added role of Arwen to be both huge mistakes and a terrible alteration of the story.<br> <br> 3. I haven't seen the trailer and I don't really want to as it will make me more impatient for the release.<br> <br> 4. I am a student and as I said I am not confident in the transition from literature to film and I am doubtful it will capture the greatness of Tolkiens writing.<br> <br> 5. I saw the animated film and I also really hope that Jackson does alot better! <p>Armiel </p>

Mister Underhill
01-23-2001, 10:00 AM
<BR><br><br> Congratulations on a well-balanced piece, Devin. I take it from your earlier posts and from the tone of your article that you're at least a casual fan. Now that you've taken off your reporter hat, you should come back to the Downs and post as a civilian!<br> <br> <p></p>