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Old 01-15-2008, 12:43 PM   #161
Sauron the White
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Baloney. You chose the word purposely and deliberately as you do everything that you write. You are an intelligent, well read person and you know that words have power. To use a term such as "patronising" is a pejorative term that has immediate negative connotations. And I strongly suspect that you know that. The number of people who saw the film and care about your nitpicking is probably the same number you could have dance on the head of a pin. And just about as meaningful. I would bet that the vast, vast majority of film viewers see nothing wrong with the usage in the least. And until you brought it up here I had never heard of this point. And I have been haunting Middle-earth board for many years now. I really do not see anything here to make a big deal about. But then again, making mountains out of molehills is a big part of this place.

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Old 01-15-2008, 01:17 PM   #162
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Oh, dear, Sauron, are you really so tone-deaf towards the nuances of language? I'm afraid you might be one of those whom the good Professor trmed 'misologists.'

Do you not appreciate that "No living man am I" and "I am no man" are *not* the same thing?
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:27 PM   #163
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You nitpickers must be correct because now that I recall, I distinctly remember scores, nay hundreds, collectively tens of thousands of people rushing from the theater holding their bloody ears crying "oh foul use of the Kings English". Or was it "the Kings English has been fouly used"? Something like that more or less.

I also distinctly remember nearly every other professional film critic who ignored almost every scene in the 3 hour film to harp paragraph after paragraph about this mortal sin of language usage.

And who can forget the night of the Academy Awards when the Writers Guild themselves picketed the proceedings complaining loudly to anyone that would hear about the butchering of proper English.

Yeah, I remember all that.

I guess it took you two chaps six years to remember it also.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:06 PM   #164
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One thing I find most interesting is that the line which so offended a small number of you is from the film FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. That year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences - Academy Writers Branch though so highly of the film that they nominated for a writing award. These were not actors, musicians, make-up technicians, best boys, gaffers or anyone else doing the nominating. This was done by the Writers Branch of the Academy. These are professional writers who make their living from use of language. They thought highly enough of FOTR - complete with Galadriel and her scandalous line - to nominate it for their highest professional honor.

It did not win that year but two years later the same writing crew was so honored with the award. But here in this thread we have some self important amateurs puffing out their chests and waving their dictionaries around with righteous indignation at the tragedy of it all.

Were it not for the absurdity of it all, this would be rather pathetic.

I have no doubt that - in your mind at least- this very minor thing means something to you. I have no doubt you are sincere in your criticisms. But as the great writer Oscar Wilde said “The worst vice of the fanatic is sincerity.” And your loathing of the films has approached fanatical proportions at times.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:14 PM   #165
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Sorry but I entirely fail to comprehend how anyone could improve on anything a writer has written in an original work. Maybe if the writer was horsedung of the highest order, someone like Kathy Lette maybe, but certainly not if the writer was someone with a great mind, including anyone discussed in this thread, Tolkien, Lewis or Pullman. There may be flaws to this or that reader but nevertheless, what is the purpose of seeking to improve their flaws? How presumptious!

Suggesting that Tolkien could be improved on by Jackson or anyone else is rather like saying The Mona Lisa could be improved if only Banksy could maybe paint some eyeliner and lippie on her. It might be funny, it might make a point, it might be ironic or postmodern but fact remains, it's never ever going to be anything more than a version, a fan-fic at best.

Take Jane Austen. Her work has been adapted, modernised, rewritten, sequelled, fan-ficced and so forth to death. Some of it is very good, Clueless for example. But nobody ever suggests that her original work could be improved on if only someone else (probably the execrable Kathy Lette ) would go through it correcting her class bias or making Mr Darcy more sexay etc.

Dare I venture that this is because such things are viewed as Art and hence untouchable, while to many, Tolkien is still just Pop Culture Trash?
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:32 PM   #166
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Lalwende ... this is really quite simple. Either JRRTolkien was a human being like the rest of us or he was a God. If he was a human being, then he was not perfect and his work was not perfect. It would be the worst sort of pride and hubris to think that one cannot be improved upon.

I do not believe Tolkien was a god, God or GOD. And thus, I do not believe his work was perfect allowing not an iota of room for improvement.

In point of fact, there are plenty of people who have written posts over the past six years who make thier case that - for them - Jackson did improve some things in the film over the way it was presented in the book. That has been stated here in a variety of threads. It has been stated repeatedly and often on at least five other Tolkien related message boards as well over the last six years.

You may feel that this is impossible for you. But clearly others do not feel that way.

And it worth noting that the area of improvement is not in the books of JRR Tolkien. Peter Jackson and his writing team did not attempt to rewrite the books of JRRT. The process of adapting a book to film was well known to Professor Tolkien. He sold the rights with the knowledge that changes would be made. Nobody makes a change because they believe that the change will make the product worse. They make changes believing they are improving the product. JRRT was a very smart man and he fully was aware of how the process worked. And he sold those rights of his own free will knowing that he had no further part in the adaption process. The areas of improvement were in the medium of film, not in the books.

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Old 01-15-2008, 03:02 PM   #167
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Perhaps we could move away from this 'lots of people liked it' argument & you could offer a proper defence/refutation?

I don't know of any serious Tolkien student who even takes the movies seriously, let alone considers them to have improved on Tolkien's work. Shippey has said some positive things about them, but has also offered much thoughtful criticism & has never claimed them to be superior.

No-one in their right mind would say that it is impossible to improve on Tolkien's work - he himself acknowledged its imperfections. You're introducing a complete red herring here. The point being made is that the scriptwriters did not improve on Tolkien, & have demonstrated no evidence that they have that capability. Your position seems in fact to be that while neither JRRT or Peter Jackson is God, Jackson is far closer to divine status, & less deserving of any criticism. The Lord of the Rings movies are adaptations of Tolkien's work & as such they stand or fall by how well they present Tolkien's work, not by how much money they made, how many awards they won, or how many people like them. Are they a worthy tribute to Tolkien?
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:21 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White View Post
Lalwende ... this is really quite simple. Either JRRTolkien was a human being like the rest of us or he was a God. If he was a human being, then he was not perfect and his work was not perfect. It would be the worst sort of pride and hubris to think that one cannot be improved upon.

I do not believe Tolkien was a god, God or GOD. And thus, I do not believe his work was perfect allowing not an iota of room for improvement.

.
What exactly is this hypothetical perfection that you seek though? Who is judging it? Why do you want it?

Art is not perfect. Fact.

Taking Tolkien apart to find the bricks and rebuild them into some perfect tower would for some involve the removal of Tom for example. To me, that would destroy it. Tom alas, is not suited to the modern taste. Tastes which are governed by all kinds of things which are not necessarily artistic choices.

Politics for example. I note that Jackson was rumoured also to be remaking the British classic Dambusters and there was plenty of discussion about whether he would rename Guy Gibson's dog; the conclusion was he undoubtedly would. And even Susan's treatment in Narnia may be something I hate but I would never be so presumptious as to think if her end were forever Bowdlerised out of future editions then it would be OK. Because it wouldn't be OK at all. It would be wrong.

But such things are entirely and utterly subjective.

Your improvements to Tolkien are not mine. Mine are not yours. Who is going to decide which is 'correct'? I'm sure you appreciate the kind of subjectivity and tail chasing this can only result in.

The easy answer to which improvements are 'best' or 'appropriate' is that ultimately, none are.

They are not 'improvements', it would be sheer arrogance to claim your own version was better. They are instead 'versions' or 'interpretations'.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:26 PM   #169
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Perhaps we could move away from this 'lots of people liked it' argument & you could offer a proper defence/refutation?
The success of all three films is a fact that is very relevant to this discussion. The purpose of a big budget film is to bring even more money for the studio that makes it. Beyond that, other considerations are secondary. The fact that the public loved it and made all 3 films very successful is important. The fact that ROTK is still the second highest grossing film of all time is important. The fact that the film succeeded by other standard measurements of success such as professional critics reviews and film industry awards is important. Those are the standards the world uses to judge if a film was successful or not.

And what is it that I am suppose to refute? Your contention about the Galadriel line? I have told you repeatedly that it is only a very small number of people who seem to share your ire about this concern. And that is some six years after the film was released with that line in it.

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I don't know of any serious Tolkien student who even takes the movies seriously, let alone considers them to have improved on Tolkien's work. Shippey has said some positive things about them, but has also offered much thoughtful criticism & has never claimed them to be superior.
So what? While these films were made with the help of several serious Tolkien students, they were not made for that audience exclusively. The greater audience was the general public. And we already know the success the three films enjoyed with the public.

And I am not claiming the films to be superior to the book. I have said many times in many posts that the books and the films are very different things. One cannot fairly compare the qualities of a cinder block and an orange. Yes, I have said that the movies did improve in some ways upon the way things were presented in the book. Many other people have said the same thing here and in other places. That does not make them superior to the books. It simply means that the filmmakers did their job and came up with some innovations which improved the story as told in the medium of film.

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No-one in their right mind would say that it is impossible to improve on Tolkien's work - he himself acknowledged its imperfections. You're introducing a complete red herring here.
Oh really? And you or any others here never said anything about the real crime of Jackson was in the mistaken belief that he could actually improve on the books? You never said anything like that? Mr. Hicklin never said anything like that? Others here never said anything like that?

I could do a few hours of research and come up with it but lets save the trouble and just go the the post from minutes ago directly before yours. From Lalwende, whom I believe you know.

Quote:
Suggesting that Tolkien could be improved on by Jackson or anyone else is rather like saying The Mona Lisa could be improved if only Banksy could maybe paint some eyeliner and lippie on her
I believe that Lalwende is indeed in her right mind. She comes across as a very intelligent person. But there you have it in the post right before yours --- someone saying that Its absurd to think Jackson or anyone else could improve upon Tolkien.

Quote:
Your position seems in fact to be that while neither JRRT or Peter Jackson is God, Jackson is far closer to divine status, & less deserving of any criticism.
Where and how did I state that Jackson was close to divine status or a god? Your position seems to be continually restating what you think my position is, or what you think it should be to better argue against.

Quote:
The Lord of the Rings movies are adaptations of Tolkien's work & as such they stand or fall by how well they present Tolkien's work, not by how much money they made, how many awards they won, or how many people like them. Are they a worthy tribute to Tolkien?
And you get this objective standard to judge a films success from where exactly? I have been attending films for four and a half decades. I have read countless books on the subject. I have even taught high school classes in film appreciation for what thats worth. I have never heard anyone use the standard of faithfulness to the book as the key element of a films success. Perhaps to you- but not to the world.

You have asked for refutation. I humbly attempted to oblige you sir.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:37 PM   #170
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After reading this thread once again, I have to ask a serious question here, because the thread brought it to mind and for some reason I think I have been told this before.

Were not Tolkien's LoTR books highly criticized by his own peers...i.e. English Professors?
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:48 PM   #171
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I'm not a Tolkien fundamentalist, and as far as I'm concerned, there are certain things that work brilliantly in the films.
For example, Eowyn and Aragorn exchanging looks, with a fluttering banner of the white horse on the green field falling to the ground, combined with Shore's haunting Rohan theme.
That moment tells you a very great deal about Eowyn's concerns about the fate of the house of Eorl, about why she developed her "soldier's crush" on Aragorn, etc.
All *without* corny dialogue.

Then, there's scenes using Tolkien's language - Gandalf on the bridge, "Flame of Udun", for example, so memorably.

And moments that were not in the book at all but also worked, for me - Eowyn's lament over Theodred, for example. And, hell, yes, Arwen at the ford. It looked fabulous.


But I don't like film-makers assuming I'm stupid. I got that feeling a lot in the LotR trilogy....LOOK THIS IS HOW X IS FEELING RIGHT NOW all-spelt-out-in-your-face-dialogue. And, to get this thread back on topic, ahem. I also got it a lot in Compass. There, I felt the film-makers weren't even trying to talk to me, just show me a whole bunch of stuff, really fast so I wouldn't get bored. What with me being so stupid and having such a short attention span and all.

I didn't get that feeling in Stardust, in that movie it felt like the film-makers were treating you like an adult, and taking you into a private joke. But maybe I would have felt differently if I'd read the original Gaiman novel. I don't know.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:51 PM   #172
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Yaaa-wwww-nnnnn.

Yes, we've heard the rant before.

Is Tolkien a deity? No. Is his work perfect? No Could it, hypothetically, be improved upon? Possibly.

But could this brilliant writer's work be improved upon by writers as mundane, insensitive, cliche-ridden and tone-deaf as Jackson, Walsh and Boyens? Not by a hundred leagues.



But the capper is this:
Quote:
I have no doubt that - in your mind at least- this very minor thing [the Galadriel line Davem cited] means something to you.
How dare you presume to comment on Tolkien if you actually think that Language is a 'very minor thing'? For Tolkien Language was the beginning and core of *everything.* But to you it's 'trivial.' Tell me, why the hell do you read Tolkien? Pearls before swine. Stick to David Eddings

And you know what? I don't give sweet buggerall if a bunch of Hollywood writers took PBW's script for Shinola rather than what it was. Hollywood writers- yeah, there's some real arbiters of artistry. I'm not in the least surprised that denizens of the Hollywood tripe-factory are utterly oblivious to Language. Their little gold statue is to my mind about as meaningful as a painting award from the Black Velvet Artists' Guild.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:53 PM   #173
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:53 PM   #174
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from WCH

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How dare you presume to comment on Tolkien if you actually think that Language is a 'very minor thing'?
You really get yourself worked up in quite a lather over nothing. But your righteous indignation only proves one thing. You have no idea what you are talking about. You seem to be under the delusion that we are arguing about the writings of Tolkien. The books. No way Jose. The discussion was about a line in a movie written by a screenwriter.

In case you have forgotten or never knew in the first place... a book is one thing and a film is quite another. Or maybe on some elemental level you knew it but just cannot accept the truth of it because it causes so many inner and intellectual conflicts.

And get ready to call the thought police. Because I dare. I dare over and over and over again. And when you tire of it. I will dare some more.

Sorry for the hyperbole but I am just trying to get into the spirit you showed here of going way over the top and being ridiculous.

Quote:
For Tolkien Language was the beginning and core of *everything.
Actually, language is one way to communicate meaning. And thats about it. Just because the author who wrote my favorite book believes something does not mean I suddenly convert to his value system. I will leave that to the True Believers, toadies and sycophants.

Quote:
Tell me, why the hell do you read Tolkien? Pearls before swine. Stick to David Eddings
And you went to college for how many years to be able to express yourself like that? Now I completely understand all those sardonic lawyer jokes. Swine indeed!

Quote:
Their little gold statue is to my mind about as meaningful as a painting award from the Black Velvet Artists' Guild.
Again, your own statements show your lack of knowledge. It matters not if you do not have any respect for the Oscars. The film making world certainly does. And that is what this thread is all about movies.

You wanna play nice - we can play nice. You wanna be a jerk - we can do it that way too. I prefer nice. How about you?

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Old 01-15-2008, 07:25 PM   #175
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Actually, language is one way to communicate meaning. And thats about it.
Hopeless. Simply hopeless. I suppose therefore we should render Shakespeare into modern idiom, because nobody talks like that any more, and the only function of language is purely utilitarian?

Language was an essential part of Tolkien's artistic technique. *You* don't have to subscribe, but anybody who presumes to undertake an adaptation of Tolkien had bloody well better understand what he's doing.


Yes, I know, I know, I know, movies are not books. I get it. But you act as if that that truism provides a convenient excuse for any act of vandalism in the name of 'adaptation.' Well, I ain't buying. An adaptation can legitimately be judged on how competently it translates its subject into a new medium. PJ's is a poor translation- which is unsurprising, given an interpreter without fluency in the original.

p.s. Lack of knowledge? Oh, no- this particular True Believer, toady and sycophant knows all too well how Oscar voting works, including the screenplay awards. You are aware, aren't you, that *every* person with a single writer credit gets a vote? Including those responsible for Porky's 3 and Ernest Goes to Camp. Survey your local Blockbuster for a grasp of the standards applied.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:41 PM   #176
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Weird thing about this is if I posted an angry over the top raving post asking you "what the hell" and calling you a "swine" I am sure I would get a very angry email telling me I am no longer welcome here. Instead, you, get a fan raising a flaming video game control in tribute. Go figure.

You don't like my defintiion of purpose of language. Check out the start of the entry on Wikipedia

Quote:
A language is a system of visual, auditory, or tactile symbols of communication and the rules used to manipulate them. Language can also refer to the use of such systems as a general phenomenon. Though commonly used as a means of communication among people, human language is only one instance of this phenomenon.
Sounds like a ten dollar way to say the same thing I did - language is a way to convey meaning.

But instead you wrap it in the shroud of JRR Tolkien and invoke his love of language. So what?

And now you parrot davem (lots of that going around too) in saying

Quote:
An adaptation can legitimately judged on how competently it translates its subject into a new medium.
Oh really. Please cite the authoritative and objective source which states that you judge the success of a movie by its slavish faithfulness to the book that it originates from? Do you guys just make up your rules as you go along?

You want competence in translation. Sit on this for a bit. JRRT may have sold 50 million books in fifty years. Then Jackson does his films and suddenly over 500 million tickets are sold to see them. And he did that in only three years and that is not counting DVD sales which were considerable. Peter Jackson translated the books of JRRT to an entire new audience who did not previously know LORD OF THE RINGS from LORD OF THE DANCE. Scratch that. More people probably knew LORD OF THE DANCE.

To most people who recognize LORD OF THE RINGS, they are a series of very successful movies. And that is by a ratio of 10 to 1 in terms of sales.

You added this after my reply so i will reply to the addition.

Quote:
You are aware, aren't you, that *every* person with a single writer credit gets a vote? Including those responsible for Porky's 3 and Ernest Goes to Camp
Imagine the total injustice of a sytem which allows professionals within the business to actually nominate the best in their own profession. WOW!!! I can see why you are outraged. Professional screenwriters judging the work of other professional screenwriters. What a concept.

Of course, every screen writer has to begin somewhere, even with entry level silly comedies. Of course, such writing can never be compared to the Shakespeare like lines

Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong? hop along! fal lal the willow!


Who could ever improve on that?

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Old 01-16-2008, 08:57 AM   #177
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Any reply at this point would be wasted pixels. You simply don't get it. I strongly suspect you can't.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:05 AM   #178
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WCH - a good nights sleep must have helped you a bit. At least this morning you did not call me a swine. Pixels are not like mushrooms or fish of which there is only a limited supply. I do not think the pixel community will go into mourning if a few more are sacrificed upon the altar of debate.

What is it that I "do not get" or somehow am incapable of getting?

It has been my experience in the past that when people resort to the "you just don't get it" reason what they usually mean is that "you do not share my particular way of seeing this issue because of a different mindset". Or - "I have exhausted all my arguements and you still don't see it my way".

But please, elaborate.

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Old 01-16-2008, 09:25 AM   #179
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anyway back to the Thread.

The Golden Compass has not translated as well across to the screen as Lord of the Rings because the source material is an inferior piece of writing and plot compared with Lord of the Rings

It's still a good tale, but is no where near as good as LOTR (to me anyway) and yes I have read Pullman's trilogy
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:14 AM   #180
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anyway back to the Thread.

The Golden Compass has not translated as well across to the screen as Lord of the Rings because the source material is an inferior piece of writing and plot compared with Lord of the Rings

It's still a good tale, but is no where near as good as LOTR (to me anyway) and yes I have read Pullman's trilogy

Interesting idea, Essex, that the difficulties of the movie derive from faults in the original material. It sort of puts screen writers and directors in an inferior position, but I'm sure there are script writers (or hopeful script writers) here who would take issue with that idea.

However, it is your claim of Pullman's inferiority that I want to think about. Of course all of us here on a Tolkien board would naturally favour Tolkien, but I wouldn't want it said that such preference would blind us or make us incapable of reaching an informed, perceptive and intelligent response to any other author, especially one who appears so clearly to be in a rival camp.

Pullman's His Dark Materials is not pure fantasy/fairie as is Tolkien's work. While Pullman clearly points to Blake and Milton as his inspiration, there is another English writer whose work clearly is a forerunner in the mode of fantasy. That is Jonathan Swift. His Gulliver's Travels is equally difficult to place within a genre. It isn't pure allegory. It isn't pure fantasy. It isn't pure philosophical fable. It isn't pure travel story. (Travel stories were of some interest back when Swift wrote.) It's an amalgm of all of those.

The readerly history of GT shows this--often expurgated to omit the Yahoos for children and to focus on the Lilliputians and secondly the Brobdingnagians. The third book is often regarded as the least appealing. Interestingly, it is the third book which is the most overtly philosophical. (I do get a kick out of the idea of philosopher's thought balloons though.) Movies of GT follow this line, often limiting themselves to the first one or two books only.

There is something to be said for literary works which don't adhere to pure aesthetic demands for uniformity, consistency, overarching coherence. I think Pullman's triloogy follows Swift in this regard. Thus, quite possibly it isn't as you say inferior writing which mars Pullman's work and makes it fail to translate to the screen, but that it is a different kind of work. And to force it into the fantasy/adventure/blockbuster movie genre is to demonstrate misunderstanding of its original nature.

Of course, the same can be said of PJ's work on LotR, that he forced Tolkien into the movie blockbuster mode and in doing so damaged the original work.

Cheers!
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:55 PM   #181
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Of course, one can draw a distinction between being inferior per se and inferior in terms of suitability for screen adaptation.

Despite all the hullabaloo over HDM on the Downs over the years, I've never read Pullman, so I can't form an opinion, but at least one A-list screenwriter, Terry Rossio, half of the writing team behind the Pirates franchise, Shrek, and others, publicly opined that Golden Compass "...wouldn't get made, or if it did get made it would have to be greatly changed, or if it did get made and wasn't changed it wouldn't succeed."

Thread here.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:32 PM   #182
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Non-filmic?

Mr. Underhill,

Thanks for that link and also the identification of the poster, which I would never have known. I skimmed through Terry Rossio's later comments and wish he would have been more specific. His basic explanation in a later post was this:
Quote:
I hated the first book ...... and beyond hating the book, the story seemed to me to be non-filmic as well.
Rossio never really says why he hates the story....if it's Pullman's underlying viewpoint or something totally different, nor does he say exactly why it's "non-filmic". Also, his comment on "non-filmic" is not too different from comments we've all read on LotR by JRRT and many others. While the opinion of someone with this much experience certainly has to be taken seriously, I do not concur that the story is "non-filmic".

I was deeply disappointed in the movie GC. Some of the visuals were appealing but I never made an emotional connection with the characters. The film seemed like a series of choppy vignettes set in a world that was only half explained. I am probably more of a Pullman "fan" than most on this site. I snatched onto an autographed copy of the American first printings very early on and definitely enjoyed the story (even the later volumes that many feel fall down in quality and have too much "propaganda").

I would be stunned and surprised if New Line filmed the later books, given the profits from GC, but will not give up all hope of decent movie adaptations of HDM. In the 70s, after a series of lousy cartoons, I thought I would never see a rendition of Lord of the Rings anywhere as good as PJ's. Everyone was groaning and complaining that Middle-earth could never be represented in a film. Despite definite flaws, PJ's films were better than what I ever expected, especially in capturing the look of Middle-earth. And while opinion is far from unanimous (putting it mildly! ), many long-time "bookies" I know feel that way. So maybe someday Pullman will be filmed in a way that captures some of the real spirit of the story.

The real question is whether or not these books will continue to be read. Will HDM be good enough to stand the test of time and appeal to future readers? If they don't, then you can wave goodbye to further films. If they do, then I would guess someone will try again to film them, perhaps with better luck, despite the assertion that they may be "non-filmic".

*************

BTW, maybe this is far afield, but what makes a story....any story..."non-filmic"? In what ways is LotR more "filmic" than HDM? Or then again maybe it isn't....
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:00 AM   #183
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Kristin Thompson, writing yesterday in her Fodo Franchise blog, uses sections of very recent interviews with the top financial officers at New Line and parent company Time Warner. Among the thing discussed was GOLDEN COMPASS. Here is the key excerpt

Quote:
Coincidentally or not, on February 5, the day before the conference call, Ron Grover, Los Angeles bureau manager for BusinessWeek, editorialized in favor of Warner Bros. absorbing New Line. He pointed out that despite the successes of the Rings trilogy, Rush Hour 3, and Hairspray, the studio has grossed only $68 million domestically on the $180 million-budgeted Golden Compass. Grove points out that despite the $315 million overseas gross, “New Line sold off the foreign rights to others, which means there is a big time write-off coming for Time Warner.”
So it does seem that GC did make some money overseas but precious little of it made it to the coffers of the company who both made the film and has decision powers over any sequel. Plus the very low US figures seem to have soured the company on such future ventures.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:51 AM   #184
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So do you think that that will stop New Line Cinima from finishing His Dark Materials trilogy?
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:01 PM   #185
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I suspect it will spell the end of that.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:52 PM   #186
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I suspect it will spell the end of that.
Maybe not. It's just won a Bafta.
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:50 PM   #187
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what category did it win in?
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:53 PM   #188
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Maybe not. It's just won a Bafta.
A Bafta is just an award. It hardly equates to financial gains, which is what the companies are after. It will not increase the movie's gross by a single cent.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:56 PM   #189
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A Bafta is just an award. It hardly equates to financial gains, which is what the companies are after. It will not increase the movie's gross by a single cent.

As usual, not a single reply
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:58 PM   #190
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Sir K - an award can help the box office of a film, Academy Awards have been known to do that especially if the film was an underperformer on its first release. I agree with you that the Bafta will mean nothing to this film.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:29 AM   #191
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Sir K - an award can help the box office of a film, Academy Awards have been known to do that especially if the film was an underperformer on its first release. I agree with you that the Bafta will mean nothing to this film.
Alright, if British film awards are no more than scrap metal, how about an Oscar? 'Cause it won one.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:43 AM   #192
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Lalwende... if I caused you to believe that the BAFTA's were scrap metal, that was not my intent. They are wonderful awards. I was simply agreeing with the statement made by another poster - Sir Kohran - that it would not add to the films box office receipts. Did it have that effect or not?

Regarding its Oscar win last night. I would add that a single win in a technical category will also have the same effect as the Bafta win. At this point, the only way it could have a box office impact would be for New Line to re-release it for more theatrical showings. Such a movie is not unheard of after the Oscars but is usually limited to a film which has won the Best Film honor and not one technical award.

But congrats to COMPASS for its Oscar. Thats one more than I have.
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:42 PM   #193
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An interesting development in the Compass saga was reported in the trades yesterday -- it seems that New Line sold not only foreign distribution for Compass, but also options on any sequels. In other words, Warners may not be able to reap significant foreign profits from sequels because of deals already in place, considerably complicating their decision on whether or not to continue the franchise.

Full article here. Stay tuned...
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:47 AM   #194
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I'm still left wondering why TGC flopped in the US - was it because US audiences decided it was a bad film (ie badly made, dull, confusing, etc), or because it was a 'good' film (ie well-made, interesting, exciting, etc) but with a 'bad' message - in other words, did the 'athiestic' element kill it in America? Or was it the marketing - one line of reasoning I've heard recently is that it was marketed by New Line as another LotR - big battles & cool beheadings 'n' stuff - & when audiences actually got a 12 year old girl her talking polar bear they went home disappointed & told their friends not to bother..

Whatever - one assumes that if Warner decides to go ahead with sequels the sensibilities of US audiences will play a smaller part in their calculations than they did for New line - it will probably be the same story for the sequels as for the original - poor performance in the US & big box office everywhere else.

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Old 03-16-2008, 09:04 AM   #195
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As a resident of the USA, it seemed to me that the film was sold around the idea of a little girl and a polar bear. Those two elements were very up front and center in every trailer and ad that I saw. If there had been more advertising pushing big epic battles the film may have done better. The negative publicity surrounding the anti-religious message (not saying there was one but that perception existed) did not help. However, I do not think it was conclusive. It really was not advertised as the second coming of LOTR in the trailers and ads that I saw.

Hollywood studios made several fortunes offthe formula of "a boy and his dog" stories up to and including E.T.. But maybe times have changed and the publics - or at least the American public - taste has changed. . Perhaps the American public simply did not want to see "a girl and her polar bear" no matter how it was dressed up or what lipstick was placed upon its face.

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Old 03-16-2008, 09:27 AM   #196
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Interesting point about the nature of the heroine.

There's lots of evidence garnered by elementary school teachers in North America--and I don't know how it would break down vis-a-vis Canada versus US--that elementary school girls will read books with heroes of both genders but that elementary school boys will not read books with girl heroes. This is not an absolute, hardfast characteristic, but it is quite substantial, extensively documented, especially among educators who are concerned about the reading gap between girls and boys. Is this trait limited to North America or can it also be found in European education?

So, if little North American boys don't like or want to read books about little girls, perhaps that trait carries over to male choices about movies as well, and also into adulthood? It didn't seem to apply to The Wizard of Oz, but we are no longer in Kansas now.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:09 AM   #197
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. Perhaps the American public simply did not want to see "a girl and her polar bear" no matter how it was dressed up or what lipstick was placed upon its face.
But isn't it interesting that the public in just about every other country did? Shall we have to resort to Oscar Wilde for an explanation of this? Why did the rest of the world go mad for something the American public didn't?
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:34 AM   #198
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from davem

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Why did the rest of the world go mad for something the American public didn't?
First, how to you define the term "go mad for"? Boxofficemojo reports that the worldwide take on GC is $345 mil of which $70 million is from the USA and the rest ($275) being other markets. Thats about 20/80 split.

The LOTR films had the following non USA reciepts
ROTK $742 MIL
TTT $584 mil
FOTR $556 mil

GC is at $245 mil foreign receipts. That is still not half of what the lowest earning LOTR film took in outside the USA. And then consider that USA receipts ranged from 33 to 36 % of the gross.

So your description of the rest of the world going mad for GC is a bit of over selling the idea.

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Shall we have to resort to Oscar Wilde for an explanation of this?
I would never reject anyone using the great man as a source of inspiration. However, I also think that someone from the opposite viewpoint could use the standard and well worn "a fool and his money are soon parted".
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:44 AM   #199
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FOTR $556 mil

GC is at $245 mil foreign receipts. That is still not half of what the lowest earning LOTR film took in outside the USA. And then consider that USA receipts ranged from 33 to 36 % of the gross.

So your description of the rest of the world going mad for GC is a bit of over selling the idea.
No it isn't - you can't compare any movie to the LotR films (apart maybe from Titanic). I'm speaking generally - TGC was not a flop anywhere else in the world as far as I'm aware. In fact, it was a huge success (I think it was the third most popular film in the UK last year, after HP 5 & Bourne 3).

Quote:
I would never reject anyone using the great man as a source of inspiration. However, I also think that someone from the opposite viewpoint could use the standard and well worn "a fool and his money are soon parted".
Yes - but you're the one who keeps bringing up 'little Jonny' being out of step with the rest of the band.... Maybe the rest of the world got it wrong & the US is the little boy shouting out that 'the Emperor's got nowt on ' but... these are matters of personal taste so I don't think that applies. Outside the US TGC was a popular movie - people wanted to see it. In the US they didn't. Clearly the RotW got something out of the movie that US audiences either didn't get or didn't want.
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Old 03-16-2008, 01:29 PM   #200
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Truthfully, I don't think anyone got it right... or wrong for that matter. Like you said, its simply a matter of taste. The film underperformed in the States probably by a good 50%. If you figure that the Stateside revenues should have been about 35% of the total, you would have to double the actual revenues to get something around that figure.

I realize that you don't like them, but I do think that if they had stacked the film with more action - more epic battles ala LOTR, the film would have performed better here. And the word of mouth was not very good.

Why do some nations embrace certain things while other nations do not? Thats a serious questions for sociologists and social anthropologists. Why do the French - with their reputation for sophistication and the better things in life - go gaga for Jerry Lewis? Thats one of the great cultural mysteries.

Bethberry has a valid point about the boys not wanting to see the film. I have a six year old grandson who simply adores everything LOTR. One of his favorite things is to watch it when he spends the night and we have seen those movies more times than I can even count. He thought the first Narnia movie was good but nothing like LOTR. He liked SPIDERWICK also. I showed him the trailer for COMPASS and offered to take him but he did not want to see it. When we see the toys in the store he has never wanted them.

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