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Old 10-28-2005, 03:29 PM   #41
Mister Underhill
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I'm not even suggesting that an extremely limited POV is called for, but it's interesting to imagine the alternatives.

For instance, say we didn't have the Prologue, or even Bilbo's introduction to the Shire. We start with Frodo. He's taking a walk around the Shire, so we still get an idea of hobbit-life and what the Shire is like; also, we start to get the idea that Frodo is a bit different than these simple rustic folk.

Then here comes Gandalf.

Frodo jumps in his cart, their dialogue is much the same, except now we focus on Frodo's reactions to Gandalf. Frodo mentions Bilbo's weirdness, sees Gandalf's troubled reaction, presses him on it -- but Gandalf is reticent. "Fine, keep your secrets!" or whatever the dialogue is.

At Bag End, Bilbo and Gandalf greet. Now, when Gandalf gives his "haven't aged a day" line, Frodo is there -- and he takes note of Gandalf's slightly puzzled/troubled reaction. Gandalf wanders off to supervise party/fireworks preparation or something. Inside Bag End, Frodo and Bilbo have a scene that conveys much the same information as the Gandalf/Bilbo scene, but instead it's from Frodo's point-of-view, reacting to Bilbo's "butter scraped over too much bread" line. Certain things are starting to seem strange to him, especially after Gandalf's reactions and mysterious silence...

And so on. You see? So far things aren't too far different in terms of the sheer plot information in each scene, but the choice to focus on Frodo as the POV character shifts the story a bit, has a different effect on the audience.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:54 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by alatar
I must say that I'm very surprised that persons do not find PJ's presentation of the Shire to be the spot-on perfect paradise that I do ...
I think that's probably why it doesn't quite ring precisely true with me. The Shire should be a "working" place, a place where Hobbits live out their everyday lives. Jackson's Shire is almost too perfect ...

But I'm really being nitpicky here. I cannot deny that I was delighted to see it there on screen the first time that I saw the film.

What's this? Alatar defending the film while I pick holes in it! What is the world coming to ...?

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Originally Posted by Mister Underhill
For instance, say we didn't have the Prologue, or even Bilbo's introduction to the Shire.
Fine, but that's going to require a lot of exposition in the dialogue between characters. Jackson chose (or perhaps just instinctively followed) the course likely to appeal to the greatest number of people. Perhaps he did take the easy option, but who can blame him?

Hmm, I think that might become a common refrain from me as this discussion develops ...
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:23 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by SPM
but that's going to require a lot of exposition in the dialogue between characters
Not necessarily. You could shift the exposition to later sequences, as Tolkien did (you've saved 8 or 9 minutes by starting with Frodo in my hypothetical which can be used elsewhere). I'm not saying "This is the way it should have been done!", just thinking about a way it could have been done.

Rather than get into a "He took the easy option!"/"Who can blame him?" argument, which is rather played out by now, I'm more interested in looking at what the implications of Jackson's choices are, and in some cases how they might have been different. Isn't that what this discussion is for? Not just as a scene-by-scene rehash of the "Jackson did a great job!"/"This part doesn't match the books!" argument.

I know we're all used to capturing a position and then holding it against all attackers, and I am historically as guilty of that as anyone, but I hope we can investigate how the films might have been different without always arousing counter-attacks from Jackson defenders.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:09 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Mister Underhill
Rather than get into a "He took the easy option!"/"Who can blame him?" argument, which is rather played out by now, I'm more interested in looking at what the implications of Jackson's choices are, and in some cases how they might have been different.
I don't disagree, although I think that this may be difficult, since any suggested alternatives will need to be thought through. Like Jackson's own changes, they will have knock on effects, possibly throughout the trilogy. For example, omitting the Prologue would fundamentally affect the (non-book) audience's attitude to, and relationship with, the Ring. "What's all this fuss about a little Ring" might be one reaction without having seen it's history and past "deeds". The exposition could be inserted by "flashback" early on, say in Gandalf's discussion with Frodo (as in the book), but what effect would this have on the pacing?

I am most certainly not planning on defending the films for the sake of it. But, if we are to look at why Jackson made the choices that he did, we have to take into account all of the factors influencing his decisions. And "played out" though the argument may be, mass marketability is undoubtedly a major factor.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:25 PM   #45
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I just don't think there's only one way to "mass marketability". Adaptation is an art, not a mathematical proof.

And you're right that there are obviously future implications to be thought through for any particular approach. Maybe by going down some roads, we will see why the filmmakers ultimately didn't take them. In the case of my hypothetical, you trade the exposition up front for a more mysterious build-up of the Ring. Why does Gandalf seem so unnerved by it? Why does Bilbo have such a hard time giving it up? And who are these dudes in the black cloaks who are sniffing around? Eventually you get the whole story. This is how it works in the book, and it doesn't seem to have hurt Tolkien's mass-appeal.

I think we can stipulate that Jackson's adaptation demonstrably has mass-appeal because his movies made a boatload of money. And naturally there were constraints governing some of the choices he made, and these are worth discussing. But just remember that every time you defend one of Jackson's choices based solely on mass-appeal or cite his box office returns as argument-ending proof of his genius, a skwerl dies. Don't be a skwerl-killer.
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:55 PM   #46
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But just remember that every time you defend one of Jackson's choices based solely on mass-appeal or cite his box office returns as argument-ending proof of his genius, a skwerl dies. Don't be a skwerl-killer.
Aw! Whyd'ya have to go and take away all my arguments so early on ...

Seriously, I'm not planning on defending any of Jackson's decisions based solely on mass-appeal. I'm just saying that it's a factor in his decision-making. And I am keen to make sure that we keep in mind that these films were made for a wider audience than solely pre-existing fans of the books.

Nor am I suggesting that a delayed exposition wouldn't necessarily work. My inclination is that film audiences, particularly today, have less patience than book readers, at least when it comes to setting up the basis for the story. Or, to put it another way, film-makers have less leeway, in terms of timing and audience expectation, than authors. But I'm willing to suspend judgement and see how it works out (if you're willing to follow it through ).

Of course, any suggested alternative structures are unproven, whereas Jackson's decisions are proven at the box-office ...

*Hark, is that a skwerl I hear thudding to the ground?*
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:16 PM   #47
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As I'm sure you all know that I'm maybe one of the most critical people when it comes to the films. I will say that even as a book fan, I happened to like the Prologue. And do not think it would work well later on in the movies, or cut out and replaced with some more indepth information.

The Prologue gets you introduced to the story of the Ring and the set up. I think if you keep it as a narrative (atleast for me) it wouldn't be as interesting. I mean having Gandalf and Frodo (or even Bilbo if they wanted to) sit in Bag End and talk replay history through dialogue wouldn't be as eye-catching. Unless they wanted to use flashbacks sort of interspliced with the dialogue?

Quote:
Why does Gandalf seem so unnerved by it? Why does Bilbo have such a hard time giving it up? And who are these dudes in the black cloaks who are sniffing around?
I actually think most of these are pretty well answered early on. Maybe because I've read the book prior to the movies, but I thought the movies answered these pretty well. Atleast the first two questions, maybe not the Nazgul.

We see (through the prologue actually) the corruption the Ring has. We see it wiht Isildur, and Gollum (There it consumed him) right off the bat. Then Bilbo has trouble giving it up. I do wish that they would have had some mention of Bilbo saying the Ring kept slipping off his finger. Because, I think this is rather an important aspect of the ring. It can change sizes (a question I've heard alot...does the Ring change sizes? Why?)

And as to Gandalf being unnerved by it is pretty well shown with his reaction to Bilbo "disappearing" at the party. He knows something's up with that Ring, then we delve further into when he says "It's been called that before, but not by you." So, he obviously feels this is the One Ring and he goes to read Isildur's scroll to get a confirmation. (Though that's not til the next scene I think).
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:51 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Boro
I actually think most of these are pretty well answered early on. Maybe because I've read the book prior to the movies, but I thought the movies answered these pretty well. Atleast the first two questions, maybe not the Nazgul.
Quite right, Boro -- and you've done a proper job of explaining how the film answers these things. I was just wondering how it might work in a scenario where the audience wasn't given the answers to these questions right off the bat. Because as it stands now, we already know the Ring is the Ring, we know it's bad news, we've learned that it's the creation of the Big Bad Dude in Black Armor -- we spend the good part of this sequence waiting for Gandalf to start to catch up to what we already know.

On the other hand, the prologue arguably works in the sense that we know that this evil thing is in the Shire and are anticipating, "What is going to happen in this idyllic, peaceful place because the Ring is there?" It's hard for me to judge one solution against the other objectively because I can't recreate being a movie-goer seeing the story unfold for the first time Jackson-style.

Whether you keep the prologue or not, though, I was simply noting ways in which the sequence might have been presented more from Frodo's point-of-view rather than Gandalf's. Just sort of wondering what motivated that choice, and how it impacts the story as a whole, and what effect a different approach might have had.

And any way you slice it, you're absolutely right that you don't give the Ring's history by having two characters sitting and chatting about it. But flashbacks with Gandalf (and maybe Elrond too) as narrator are interesting to think about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPM
Or, to put it another way, film-makers have less leeway, in terms of timing and audience expectation, than authors.
I tend to agree with this, but I still don't see how it necessarily militates for Jackson's solution. In fact, conventional moviemaking wisdom dictates that you don't start a movie with ten minutes of solid exposition, so in a way I see Jackson actually bucking a traditional "mass-appeal" dictum with his approach.

Interesting side note: in ancient Greece, a character named Prologue would come onstage and simply tell the audience the information they needed to know in order to understand and become emotionally involved in the play.
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Old 10-28-2005, 09:01 PM   #49
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Mister Undrhill:

It's interesting how slippery Jackson's grip on POV is this early in the film: Galadriel narrates the prologue, Bilbo tells us about the Shire, Gandalf's POV dominates most of the rest of the scenes up to this point, though we also have a few Frodo-POV scenes to warn us that he will be an important character.
I'm not so sure he loses his grip, so much as setting up the shifting of POV that we inevitably encounter in TT and RotK. He discusses POV in the commentary during the prologue (the POV is from the Ring's perspective), so he's not unaware, or, I think, out of control. I think the shifting is deliberate, at least in the EE.

Quote:
I don't know -- I think even a successful ensemble film has to pay close attention to POV within its various storylines. And your typical action movie doesn't have nearly so many important characters to handle. But leave that alone for now. I think it's interesting simply on the basis that the book is deliberately written from a very limited, hobbit point-of-view. I'm not arguing yet that Jackson's more omniscient point-of-view is necessarily good or bad -- just making an observation that we're a bit all over the map POV-wise so far, and wondering how this affects movie watchers who are fans of the books. Is this the reason, or one of the reasons, why you don't identify so closely with the hobbit characters?
An omniscient POV tends to distance the viewer, a handy technique, if that's what you want. Very effective in the middle of a film, if it's an action scene, where you want to see everything going on, enjoy the 'eye candy'. It's also the film version of literary exposition short of the old mathom of the one-sided phone conversation, where the speaker repeats everything out loud from the other end of the dialoque. Phones were (clearly) not available in the Shire for this purpose. Not so good at the beginning, though, where you want to grab the audience. The audience needs to relate to someone. I think one of the issues here is that in the theatrical version, our introduction to the Shire is strictly from Gandalf's POV, whereas in the EE, PJ took advantage of the "Concerning Hobbits" narration already done by Ian Holm, inherently shifting the POV to Bilbo at the outset. I think it may have been been a mistake, to start the story from Gandalf's POV, as this story is, ultimately, the story of the end of the Ring, and of the Elves from the perspective of the Hobbits. He should never have decided to tell this part of the story from Gandalf's POV. We should have been more related to at least one of the Hobbits, preferably Frodo. I don't think anyone would argue that he is the hero of the next twelve hours.

Quote:
For instance, say we didn't have the Prologue, or even Bilbo's introduction to the Shire. We start with Frodo. He's taking a walk around the Shire, so we still get an idea of hobbit-life and what the Shire is like; also, we start to get the idea that Frodo is a bit different than these simple rustic folk.

Then here comes Gandalf.

Frodo jumps in his cart, their dialogue is much the same, except now we focus on Frodo's reactions to Gandalf. Frodo mentions Bilbo's weirdness, sees Gandalf's troubled reaction, presses him on it -- but Gandalf is reticent. "Fine, keep your secrets!" or whatever the dialogue is.

At Bag End, Bilbo and Gandalf greet. Now, when Gandalf gives his "haven't aged a day" line, Frodo is there -- and he takes note of Gandalf's slightly puzzled/troubled reaction. Gandalf wanders off to supervise party/fireworks preparation or something. Inside Bag End, Frodo and Bilbo have a scene that conveys much the same information as the Gandalf/Bilbo scene, but instead it's from Frodo's point-of-view, reacting to Bilbo's "butter scraped over too much bread" line. Certain things are starting to seem strange to him, especially after Gandalf's reactions and mysterious silence...
You should have gotten the Oscar, instead of PJ, Fran, Phillippa. In fact, they say in the commentary that they had abandoned the idea of a prologue until New Line told them they needed one (two minutes long, no longer!). Keeping that in mind, the theatrical version (at least) would have started with the shot of Frodo reading under a tree. That would have at least been close to your version.

Quote:
Saucepan Man:
Fine, but that's going to require a lot of exposition in the dialogue between characters. Jackson chose (or perhaps just instinctively followed) the course likely to appeal to the greatest number of people. Perhaps he did take the easy option, but who can blame him?
You're probably right, but remember that the best films reqire NO dalogue at all. It should only enhance the experience. Otherwise, leave it out, or at least make it beautiful. It will come up that I miss much of Tolkien's poetry in the film. Just because the words are so beautifully constructed. Despite the fact that I am making a real effort to look at these films AS FILMS, apart from the books that I have grown to love over the many years. Tolkien is an incredible poet, aside from everything else, and I wanted more. More on that as we come to the places where it's missing, though, as I say, I'm trying to approach this apart from the books. My best efforts will inevitably fall short. I'm trying to keep it in mind though.
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:20 PM   #50
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Mr. Underhill, should be pretty interesting as to how it would work. As Sauce said the majority of movies are made where the audience are bystandards, just basically watching behind a clear wall. They see everything that goes on. There's not many movies that try to get the audience to see from one perspective, and see what one person sees.

The last movie I saw kind of like this limitted omniscient, not knowing everything, it was quite a while ago. It was a Japanese movie made in the 30's (forget the name I'll have to see if I can think of it).

But, basically, a murder happens. The audience doesn't see the murder. It starts out with a merchant who finds a priest and says he's got a story to tell him that he saw and witnessed in the city. So, we're hearing the story not directly from the people involved, but from someone who witnessed the "trial." And as an audience we don't know what happened, what we're hearing is right, we just simply hear a story from this man telling a priest.

The merchant goes on to tell us that a beautiful wife and her husband were travelling through the woods and a bandit kidnapped the wife and killed the husband (allegedly). It continues to give us 3 difference stories of the event (from the three people who were involved). The wife who says the bandit murdered her husband and kidnapped her. The Bandit who says the wife killed her husband, because she fell in love with him and the only way to be with him was to be free from her husband. And a poor fisherman that didn't see what actually happened, but remembers seeing the girl and the bandit.

So we get the stories from the 3 perspectives (actually two) and we never know what's the truth, we're sort of left to guess who to believe. It was actually a very good movie, I'll see if I can remember it. But, I think it's a good example of the audience only knowing what's told through the characters, we only know what the merchant has passed down to the priest.

Now, I wonder if LOTR would be more effective this way. Rather interesting to think of. I think it's easier to write a book based on one or two different POV's, and follow one person's train of thought, but as far as making a movie, I think it's a lot more difficult. However, I think it can be done and if done properly could be quite successful.
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:28 PM   #51
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So we get the stories from the 3 perspectives (actually two) and we never know what's the truth, we're sort of left to guess who to believe.
Sounds like the Kurasawa film "Roshomon." a masterpiece, though I haven't seen it in many, many years. Could that be it?

Don't want to get sidetracked though, from the discussion at hand. Just wondering. . .
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:35 PM   #52
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It is Roshoman radagast, that's certainly is it. Great movie I too haven't seen it in a very long time. I can't remember the exact role or the actual ending of it (for it has nothing to do with the murder) but a lesson to the audience. But, basically the whole movie is the murder story.

Back on track I wanted to talk about something you said. I was going to edit my post, but since you have responded...
Quote:
I'm not so sure he loses his grip, so much as setting up the shifting of POV that we inevitably encounter in TT and RotK. He discusses POV in the commentary during the prologue (the POV is from the Ring's perspective), so he's not unaware, or, I think, out of control. I think the shifting is deliberate, at least in the EE.
That certainly appears to be the approach. I think while Tolkien the Ring is the "main plot" in the books, it's not his main theme or his focus. His focus is on friendship, and the maturity of the Hobbits from the beginning to the end. So, there's a story after the destruction of the Ring, and Tolkien doesn't focus his story on the Ring's POV, but those involved in the story of the Ring. (Hope that's not going in too many circles).

Where Jackson took the approach of narrowing it down to making the Ring the focus. So, after the Ring's destruction, the story concludes, and through the movies he makes the Ring the primary POV.
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Old 10-29-2005, 08:49 AM   #53
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Just a quick quip: To me, the problem with the single POV, whether it's the Ring, Frodo, Gandalf, whomever, is that one tends to the see the movie in a different light. It's like that "Blair Witch Project" film (didn't see all of it, though my wife did) where the different way of telling the story becomes the story. No one really cared how much sense the movie made (my wife, expecting a thriller, found it to be silly) because it was "different."

PJ may have wanted to not let that become the story - especially in terms of 'press' and 'word of mouth' - as that may have made the second and third movies more difficult ("Hey, we had a single limited POV in FotR...where's it at in TTT?"). Plus, the multiple POV allows him to introduce more characters in a leap frog-like fashion.

Plus all of that flitting around is perfect for all of us with 15 second attention spans...
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Old 10-29-2005, 02:07 PM   #54
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I don't mean to suggest that I think the movies would work better -- or that it would even be possible to tell the story -- from a very severely limited, single POV.

Clearly we need to be able to move around to follow the diverging storylines. I don't want to hijack this thread anymore than I already have -- maybe I can just sum up by saying that in any given scene or sequence the filmmakers must choose a point of view, and it's interesting to me that so far, the strongest POV character is Gandalf. I'll try to wait for future sequences to analyze how or if this choice significantly impacts the effect of the narrative.

EDIT: Just wanted to add a thought to illustrate the concept I'm trying to get across: Jackson limits his POV in at least one important way -- we never cut to scenes of Sauron in Barad-dûr, laying his plans for war or to get back the Ring or whatever. On the other hand, he opts for a less restricted POV than Tolkien does by having scenes of Saruman laying his plans, hatching orcs, giving speeches to his troops, etc., and in RotK by having scenes from the POV of Gothmog and his attacking Orc legions.

It'll be interesting later on to look at the effects of these choices. What is gained by these new scenes? What is lost? And so on.
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Old 10-29-2005, 03:19 PM   #55
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I never thought about the Point of View in these movies and I don't feel that the movies take on a particular point of view at all. I all seems to be in Third peron (forgot the term for all-knowing,blushes) to me. (That is if the movie was written down into a book, it would probably turn into third person)

I did like the shire and it didn't seem artificial to me. I haven't seen the teletubbies on t.v but from the pictures I have seen they don't remind me of the Shire at all.

I LOVE the fireworks because I am an absolute firework nut. The smoke rings are cool and I actually never saw Sam as a skinny Hobbit.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:43 PM   #56
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I think the major issue Jackson has to deal with in adapting the books is not the POV issue, but the NARRATION issue. A lot of detail (especially exposition) is dealt with by Tolkien using a narrator’s voice.

Jackons does not use this in his films (except at the Prologue) – I personally don’t think narration works in films, and only a few try it – for example, how bad was the original version of Bladerunner compared with the ‘director’s cut’? ie the cinematic release had Ford narrating over it, and the director’s cut (without the narration) is far superior in my opinion.

Anyway, to get to my point, how Jackson deals with not having a narrator (and some other issues I'll point to) can be summed up here.
Someone earlier pointed out that if Bilbo hadn’t seen Gandalf in years, then why did the children know it was Gandalf? I think we already have been given a decent enough answer for this (is I think it boils down to Gandalf being a ‘legend’ amongst hobbits, and maybe something they tell their children/grandchildren about). Anyway, the reason we have this issue is that in the book, it is not Bilbo who Gandalf says this to but Frodo.

Film:
Quote:
Good to see you. One hundred and eleven years old, who would believe it? You haven't aged a day
Now, we have the book:
Quote:
Time wore on, but it seemed to have little effect on Mr. Baggins. At ninety he was much the same as at fifty. At ninety-nine they began to call him well-preserved, but unchanged would have been nearer the mark
and
Quote:
'Ah well eh? You look the same as ever, Frodo!'
Gandalf meets back with Frodo after Bilbo had left Bag End. Notice Gandalf looks at Frodo, not Bilbo and sees that he hadn’t changed after coming back to the Shire after a period of 9 years of absence. Therefore Jackson uses this scene to have Gandalf explain to the audience how old Bilbo is and that he hasn’t aged. Tolkien describes this in FOTR.

This is an issue Jackson has throughout the films, and this is why I can forgive him the changes. (To add to this, Jackson couldn't have Frodo in this scene to show the 9 and 12 year gaps in seing Gandalf - how could he make the hobbits look 12 years younger in the party scenes? - another reason for a film to be different to a book)

Other examples (and also a strange turn around about Tea and wine!):
Quote:
(Bilbo): Tea? Or maybe something a little stronger. I've got a couple of bottles of the old winyard left. 1296. Very good year. Almost as old as I am. It was laid down by my father.
(taken from Tolkien’s description of what Rory Brandybuck receives as a parting gift from Bilbo)

Quote:
Gandalf: Just tea, thank you.
And THIS is the ‘turn around’ I mean – from The Hobbit, and Bilbo offers Gandalf tea, and get’s the reply:
Quote:
What’s that? Tea! No thank you! A little red wine, I think, for me
– So our Movie Gandalf doesn’t like alcohol? Thank God he kept his pipe!!!!

To surmise, the precise moment I DEFINITLEY knew we we’re in good hands for these films was when we see Gandalf pick up the old map from the Hobbit – that attention to detail was marvellous – but to add to this listen very carefully you’ll hear Bilbo in the background saying:
Quote:
You caught me a bit unprepared, I'm afraid. We’ve only got some chicken and a bit of pickle…There’s some cheese. Oh no, that won’t do. We’ve got raspberry jam, an apple tart. But not much for afters. Oh no, we’re all right. I’ve just found some sponge cake.
– paraphrased from the same scene I’ve mentioned in the Hobbit where Bilbo is besieged by Gandalf and the Dwarves
Quote:
What’s that? Tea! No thank you! A little red wine, I think, for me” (Gandalf) “And for me” “And raspberry jam and apple-tart” (Bifur) “and mince-pies and cheese” “And pork-pie and salad” (Bombur)“And more cakes - and ale - and coffee, if you don’t mind” (Dwarves) “Put on a few eggs, there’s a good fellow!”
It’s little details like this that show the love and dedication the movie makers have for this film.
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Old 10-30-2005, 02:37 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Essex
It’s little details like this that show the love and dedication the movie makers have for this film.
I'm not going to get into the debate of POV/narration, for me what was done worked.

I do like The Shire, and its inhabitants and how they were portrayed. A bit over-the-top but I think that is to establish very cleary that when the 4 hobbits find themselves later on this quest and doing what they came to do, that it is so out of nature and character for a hobbit to do those things. Out of the nine companions of the Fellowship, the 4 hobbits changed and grew the most.

Of this sequence, I like the theatre version better than the extended. It added unneccessarily to what was already established, hobbits are simple- carefree kind of people. Except I did like the scene where Bilbo can't find the ring. Now that "addict" moment really showed how strong the attachment to the ring is and makes more of an understanding why it was so hard for Bilbo to give it up.


There have been issues raised about the dumbing down of Pippin and in particular Merry, that I'd like to address. In terms of book to movie, in the book at the time of the party, Bilbo is 111, Frodo is 33, Pippin is 17, Merry is 18(I think) and Sam is a few years older (like early 20's) then the Frodo and company leave The Shire for Rivendell 17 years later making Frodo- 50, Pippin-32 and so forth.

Since P.J. decided not portray the 17 years difference and since there really is no age given the hobbits (that I can recall), the only thing we have to go on is that Sam is old enough to get married (in the end), Frodo is "grown" since he's left on his own, and Merry and Pippin are younger than Frod and Sam.

What's my point? I think Merry and Pippin weren't dumbed down, just shown how they probably did behave in their late teen years.
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:26 PM   #58
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I haven't read this through properly yet as I have to go to bed but I just wanted to pick up on one point before I forgot it. When Bilbo is talking about the Hobbit's of the Shire and gently insulting their ways and habits, it reminds me so much of the beginning of FotR when he is giving away special presents to people, and there are little notes with each that gently jibe in a similar way. That was a nice touch by PJ if he intended it, and good anyway even if he didn't.
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Old 11-03-2005, 02:29 AM   #59
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I'm greatly enjoying these discussions, reading every post and attempting to keep up and watch the sequences in order to contribute. Sometimes, as in this case, I may be a bit late; therefore my comments will be rather random, in hopes of not repeating too much which has already been said.

I like the beginning scene, with Bilbo in his study, beginning to write down the story. It's a nice link to Sam's later speech about living in a story. However, the title and the story he begins do not match! "There and Back Again" is The Hobbit; "Concerning Hobbits" is in LotR. I know, Jackson could hardly show him writing a story called "The Lord of the Rings", since he doesn't yet know what will happen. Still, it's a minor but interesting discrepancy for book readers to note.

Gandalf's remarks about a wizard arriving precisely when he means to are enjoyable - one of the instances where movie dialogue can hold up to book dialogue. I felt more than just the humor of the remark, though - it's a foreshadowing of his failure to arrive on time to meet the hobbits. Even a wizard cannot control all circumstances of his life.

We see an annoying number of "Ring in Frodo's hand" shots throughout the movie, so I found it refreshing that Jackson did not show the Ring in Bilbo's hand in the study, when he finds it. It is not openly shown until after the birthday party.
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Old 11-07-2005, 07:11 PM   #60
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We forgot to talk about one lovely line that Holm delivers so well along with gestures. "I like less then half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less then half of you half as well as you deserve." I love that line also because you can see that only Gandalf and Frodo understand what he means. Also the hand gestures are awesome since they illustrate the roundabout way of the quote as Holm turns his hand in a circle and finishes by pointing to the hobbits.
I really like the birthday speech because they kept it so close to the book. I also have to laugh at the smoke that passes behind Holm because that is the cake that caught on fire.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:55 AM   #61
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Pipe "Do not take me for some conjuror of cheap tricks!" he said, conjuring a cheap trick.

This thread hasn't been posted on for a year! Yet it hasn't aged a day...

Overall I really enjoyed the look of The Shire, although I had imagined in my own mind that the area around Bag End, at least, would be more built up, with more hobbit holes and less green pasture. I'm grateful that PJ chose to show us quite a few shots of The Shire. I believe it's important to establish this out of the way, idyllic, peaceful part of the countryside, to show what the forces of good were really fighting for. And also to show the rustic background which the hobbits sprang from, so that we can see how they grow in their worldliness and sophistication as the trilogy proceeds.

The interior of Bag End itself was simply marvellous. Every detail was lovingly crafted, from the round door (which they made entirely believable and acceptable, no mean feat IMHO) to Thorin's map.

I don't particularly like the meeting between Gandalf and Frodo. It seems a little forced, to me, especially the maniacal laughter at something which wasn't really all that funny. I can understand PJ wanting to include it to establish that the two had a relationship, but I think that the beginning of the movie would have been just as well without it. For me, the story really begins when we see an old man in a battered hat driving a cart up to Bag End. That would have been a more mysterious and moody opening. Remember that the wizard is one of the most dangerous people in Middle Earth. He loves the hobbits, but I think that Frodo giving him a big soppy hug was a little misplaced, and as for telling him he was late, well downright rude!

All of the scenes involving Bilbo and Gandalf together were absolute gold! McKellan and Holm are both brilliant actors, and put on great performances. "You haven't aged a day" was well done; a hint of something sinister to those familiar with the books (although Bilbo did look significantly older than the 50 year old who discovered the Ring in the prologue). "You want It for yourself!" was just great! Well acted out with the hand movements and all... Bilbo was really riled up!

PJ and co cannot be praised enough for pulling off the perspective shots near flawlessly. The respective sizes of Gandalf and the hobbits were well established and faithfully kept in order.

I enjoyed the party scenes, and thought that Bilbo's disappearance was handled well. It came off as a real surprise! Even to Gandalf, which was not going by the book, but this worked quite well.

I liked the way that the Ring was made into a living character, with Its very own close ups, and even speech?! Although I thought that seeing the Red Eye so early on in the movie was a bit much.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:03 AM   #62
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I recently had the privilege of visiting New Zealand and took advantage of the opportunity to go to Matamata to see the remnants of the Hobbiton movie location. Even with only the skeleton hobbit holes left for seeing, it was a remarkable sight! The whole sheep farm on which it is located is huge, and so far from any signs of civilization that it really does feel like being in another world. Most of all I was impressed by the Party Tree - it's wonderful, very large and beautiful.

Here's a picture of the hill as it looks now:



As you can guess, the question of legal rights was an obstacle that needed to be overcome for the owner of the farm; he is not allowed to restore any doors, windows, etc., but only to keep the current state of the leftover film location as it is. Should a Hobbit movie be made, I can imagine that it could easily be rebuilt.

Here's the Party Tree, taken from the window of Bag End:

And finally, here's your truly, stepping on the very stones upon which Gandalf stood when he knocked on the door!



It was a truly awesome experience for me and I encourage anyone who has the chance to go there!
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:50 AM   #63
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Wow, Esty, what an adventure! I'm as envious as a Sackville-Baggins of your "stay" in Bag-End. I'd never really thought about it before, but it's interesting to see that the Hobbiton exteriors are built to "little person" scale. I reckon they must have used little people as Shire extras in those wide shots. Thanks for sharing those pics.
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:40 PM   #64
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Leaf

Is that brilliant tree still standing? Ever since seeing it on the cover to Ringers: Lord of The Fans, I've wanted to go and see it. I love how the branches are so thick and well-grown they form a complete circle (rather like the Ring itself, actually).

Thanks for the pics.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:46 AM   #65
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Yes, the Party Tree is still standing, alive and well. Actually, the owners had wanted to cut it down before the site was chosen for filming - what luck that they didn't get around to it! It's magnificent and fascinating, well worth the entry fee all by itself.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:58 AM   #66
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Does my first viewing of Sam, the sidekick hero, have to be of him staring amazed at a potted flower?
Hasn't anyone else noticed that the flower Sam is planting here is in fact nicotiana, flowering tobacco (i.e. pipeweed?)
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:26 AM   #67
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I love the scene where it shows Sam looking at the plant. They have a passion for things that grow, and just because he has done it many times before means nothing to the obvious joy he gets from his work. It shows a very gentle Sam, which later in the movies has a foil as he fights Shelob.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:21 AM   #68
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Hasn't anyone else noticed that the flower Sam is planting here is in fact nicotiana, flowering tobacco (i.e. pipeweed?)
How do we know this? I thought that it was just some garden-variety geranium.
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Old 08-05-2007, 07:48 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post

Another small think I'd like to point out, several times Jackson uses Chapters from the book as lines in the movie. We hear one basically right off the bat when Gandalf arrives "A long expected Party." And shortly after Bilbo leaves there's "Riddles in the Dark" which I think is a chapter in The Hobbit...right? Anyway, I just thought that was neat.
And "A Shortcut To Mushrooms"
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:03 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man View Post
Aw! Whyd'ya have to go and take away all my arguments so early on ...

Seriously, I'm not planning on defending any of Jackson's decisions based solely on mass-appeal. I'm just saying that it's a factor in his decision-making. And I am keen to make sure that we keep in mind that these films were made for a wider audience than solely pre-existing fans of the books. [/I]*
Quite right, I had not read the books before I saw the movies, but after.
And it's not fair that pre movie Tolkien fanatics get to nag on ones (like me) who didn't know how wonderful LOTR was until Peter Jackson came out with the films.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:25 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar View Post
I recently had the privilege of visiting New Zealand and took advantage of the opportunity to go to Matamata to see the remnants of the Hobbiton movie location. Even with only the skeleton hobbit holes left for seeing, it was a remarkable sight! The whole sheep farm on which it is located is huge, and so far from any signs of civilization that it really does feel like being in another world. Most of all I was impressed by the Party Tree - it's wonderful, very large and beautiful.

It was a truly awesome experience for me and I encourage anyone who has the chance to go there!
Man I wish I could go there, I cant believe you saw in person, the Bag-End that the Sackville-Bagginses wanted to take for their own.(no wonder they wanted it, in person) yeah I have it on DVD but I cant go in it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #72
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Love Bag end it is so pretty! One place i would love to live at!
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