Thread: Dumbing it down
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:48 AM   #84
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You may like pop music for example, but you can not claim that Britany Spears(or even a real band like Metallica for that matter ) is the intellecual equivilant of Mozart. To me the difference between the books and the movies is the difference between hearing great classical music from an orchestra and hearing the cell phone ringer version.
It is interesting that you draw the argument in this sort of paradigm, Neithan. I think there is a subtle play of rarefied to popular that makes its transition with the movie versions of Lord of the Rings and, as Lalwendë stated earlier, disturbs the "sacred text," or perhaps, in my own words, it destroys a personal innocence from the years before the movie, when one's own mental images and insights were not troubled by an "officially sanctioned" visual version of same.

It is interesting to note that a writer like Edgar Allan Poe was considered a "hack" not so long ago, and even in my own lifetime, the works of H.P. Lovecraft migrated from the dusty, mildewed back shelves of used book stores to the shiny, fresh reprints with glossy covers in the "classics" section of major chain bookstores. Sometimes, it feels better to share a secret and know that it is somehow uniquely yours, or to meet a few underground "like-minded souls," who have been touched by the realm of Middle Earth in a different, but deeply thought-out way with a process as profound as your own. Once upon a time, when you said "Frodo Lives," there was an esoteric meaning, a sort of secret society understanding that is lost when something bubbles into the mainstream. You are just as likely to hear, "I love Lord of the Rings. That elf is hot!" and know that your sacred text has been vulgarized by its popularization. I try to resist reacting negatively to such a line when I encounter it in real life and when asked my opinion, I simply say something like, "Sure, I liked Legolas. He was humble, unassuming and always helpful, if a little silly at times." *pause for confused looks* They don't even want to ask why I like Frodo.... My 12 year old cousin loves me because I give hour long responses to questions like "What is that ring Aragorn is wearing?" Now he knows who Finrod Felagund is and who he's related to, etc. etc. ! (Aw, he's probably forgotten by now--if I keep it up, I'll eventually get him to read the books just to find out for himself!)

lindil: Because what they are, enters my porus mind and fight's with the stories that I know better than the texts of my own Faith and I have read many year before I converted, and a minature battle ensues, which thusly disturbs my heart.
(Before I begin, I must say it is good to see your posts again, lindil! ) Indeed, I think this somehow illustrates my point, and in some ways validates both sides, because it is the very incompleteness and broad strokes of PJ's vision that leaves so much of Middle Earth open and still free for roaming. In some ways, this is a human tendency to equate a partially conceived vision with a fleshed out possible whole vision, thus marred by the partial deviations in the pastiche. Personally, I assume all the business with Tom Bombadil happened offscreen and the fact that I'm familiar with the books makes it easy for me to forgive the holes in the story such as this. It is a little harder to forgive Faramir and Denethor, but somehow, I manage to tell myself that these mockups are simply reflections without the substance present in the books, like a painting that suggests something larger but must present itself with a broad brush. I personally thought that the addition of the one scene of Faramir telling Denethor that he had sent Frodo and Sam along on their quest instead of bringing the Ring to Minas Tirith was the one really positive EE addition to Faramir's character, precisely because it illustrates the fact that Faramir does have a sensibility beyond mere one step advantage, a modern yearning for acceptance and, most of all, it proves Faramir can think for himself. It would have pleased me even more if they had drawn a direct connection between Faramir's decision and his familiarity with Gandalf's teachings. (Or perhaps if Boromir had pointed up a diametrically opposite opinion earlier to contrast the two with respect to the battle of Might vs. Lore, with Gandalf as its focal point. ) But I ramble, don't I?

While I'm at it, I will say that I thought Theoden's line ("No parent should have to bury their child," ) was, as Neithan points out, a cliche, a modern one, a "movie of the week" line. I thought "that I should live to see the last days of my house," to be poignant enough, personally. It is understated, with great implications, seeing Theoden's position as it stands then.

I figure this post has gone on long enough, but also that I'm entitled to a somewhat long post, having not posted for some days....been wrapped up in a book about chaos. Thus, I flipped a coin to decide whether or not to post this stream of consciousness and it came up "no post," so I decided to defy it and post anyway. Talk about a strange attractor! heh heh...Actually it was davem who gave me the thought, as he posted something somewhere and added this bit of info just to let us know that if the deterministic flow in his local area was a bit different, we might not have seen his post! (Or he might have ended up doing exactly what I am doing now!) Tallyho all!

“…she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.”

Last edited by Lyta_Underhill; 02-11-2005 at 02:01 AM. Reason: clarification and correction of bad phrasings
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