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Old 09-07-2022, 04:04 AM   #18
Michael Murry
Haunting Spirit
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 83
Michael Murry is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Viewing Film versus Reading Text

I truly appreciate Bęthberry's thread-opening post entitled How We Read Rings of Power although I think the word "View" would more accurately distinguish film-watching from book-reading: two very different mental and emotional -- if not sensory -- activities.

The post begins with two quoted observations.

(1) Originally Posted by Galadriel55: "I am very much in agreement with the general idea of both points. We very much do bring along baggage of expectations to any adaptation, and it can't not colour our opinion of it to some extent."

(2) Bęthberry's response: "It is far more than mere "baggage". It is one's philosophical predispositions, which can often operate seemingly unconsciously but not necessarily so, that predetermine how one reads a text."

Again, to stress the nature of reading, we have this famous observation:

“Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Then, with respect to watching or just looking, this from the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, generally considered the best Star Trek movie:

"All the traditional artistic venues -- literature, music, painting – they exercise a good deal of their impact by virtue of what they leave out. A painting does not move. Music has no image. In each case, it is the willing and unskilled participation of the imagination on the part of the viewing listener that completes the work of art. The painting moves when it meets your eye, and so forth. Only movies, the twentieth century art medium has the hideous capacity to do it all for you. And in doing so, it tends to render the audience passive [emphasis added]. The great commercial directors who make movies are taught to put everything in. And the result is that sometimes I find myself sitting at these movies which are visually stunning. Every image is perfect. There is no distinction in priority between what is an important image and what is an unimportant image. It's all perfect. Everything is in it [emphasis added]. And, as a director, I'm always looking to leave things out." ― Nicholas Meyer
Now, I have not read any text -- which I assume would mean the script -- of The Rings of Power television series, so I have nothing to work with there. Nor have I sat passively in front of a television display letting visual images and sound wash over me, manipulating my senses and emotions -- over which I would rather keep control if at all possible. But I do read the text written by those here who have voluntarily subjected themselves to viewing all the sounds and images, whether passively and uncritically -- as the studio and advertisers no doubt hope -- or more actively, maintaining an intellectual and emotional distance from the intended manipulation. My thanks to those who have viewed the television series so that I can read what they have to report about the experience.
"If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." -- Tweedledee
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