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Minas Tirith Forums » The Ivy Bush » The Movie's Influence on MT (Page 8)
Author Topic: The Movie's Influence on MT
Madomir
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quote:
When I say "purist" I mean "to-the-letter"
So does Merriam-Webster...

Purist : a person who adheres strictly and often excessively to a tradition; especially : one preoccupied with the purity of a language and its protection from the use of foreign or altered forms

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Tuor
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quote:
One can be a purist without devoting ones life to the study of all things Tolkien
I have certainly not devoted my life to the study of all things Tolkien.

I've read 5 or 6 books beyond the typcial TH, LotR and Silmarillion. Heck my wife goes through 5 or 6 books in a month.

quote:
When I say "purist" I mean "to-the-letter" or, if you prefer, "Jackson-isn't-good-enough". It's not an insult.

To-the-letter? That's absolutely laughable.
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Earendilyon
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quote:
When I say "purist" I mean "to-the-letter"
That'd be a literalist, wouldn't it? []

~ Ear.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
"For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me."

John 3:16-21

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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Purist as used here at MT, means one thing to the purists and another to the movie-philes.

I think purists view themselves as lovers (I know I do). Lovers of Tolkien and the world, characters, and stories he created. Movie-philes seem to view purists as haters. Haters of Jackson and the world, characters, and stories he created.

The truth is probably somewhat of both.

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Ulairë Gordis
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quote:
When I say "purist" I mean "to-the-letter"
That is a bad definition. There is not a single person among all the movie haters here who has ever argued that Jackson had to render all the LOTR to the letter. Even Tolkien himself didn't ask that of Zimmermann. So - was Tolkien not a "purist"?
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Madomir
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quote:
quote: One can be a purist without devoting ones life to the study of all things Tolkien
~~~~~~~~
I have certainly not devoted my life to the study of all things Tolkien.

I certainly wasn't referring to you in particular with that comment. Tuor, you tend to be big on criticism but short on answers, so answer me this, how would you define a purist as it applies to MT?
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Ulairë Gordis
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Waiting for Tuor’s reply, I can offer my own “purist” credo – as applicable to the movies.

1 You are allowed to cut out scenes and characters.
2. You are not allowed to add scenes or characters that are neither in the LOTR books, nor even in the Appendices, nor in other Tolkien works.
3. You are not allowed to reassign words or actions of one character to another.
4. You are not allowed to change characters as written by the author, giving them another personality (Denethor, Gimli etc.) or other motivations (Saruman).

That would be it, I think.

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Eluchil
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The problem is that we have here several kinds of purists, if you (E: Madomir) and Tuor allow me to answer.

I consider myself as a purist, meaning certainly not "to-the-letter", but "to-the-spirit" (another problem being that Tolkien was a philologist [] ).

For instance, I do not dislike the movies because Tom Bombadil was not in them and didn't sing his song, etc. but because he is a necessary element of the book, externally as much as internally (and here, certainly "to-the-spirit").

I don't care about "Gandalf"'s ramblings on a paradise because this is not in the book, but because it is a misunderstanding of the mortality / immortality dialectic, so important for Tolkien.

And there are a lot of other examples ...

[ 02-18-2008, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: Eluchil ]

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Tuor
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quote:
Tuor, you tend to be big on criticism but short on answers, so answer me this, how would you define a purist as it applies to MT?
I think the term 'purist' is faulty. I wouldn't use the term at all. I know the terms 'purists' and 'revisionists' have been used at multiple sites.

Generally, purists are defined as those who believe the story on the screen should be the same story as found in the books. I don't think this makes a person a purist, but that is what I take it to mean.

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Madomir
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Good answers all. [] I think I'm aligned personally in Elu's "to-the-spirit" camp. Also I think Ulairë's bullet points are all consistent with that point of view.
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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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If we're using to-the-spirit, then Peter Jackson and me are purists. Because it all comes down to personal opinion [] Imho the films are definitely to-the-spirit [] In others' opinions, they aren't. I'll never convince you one way, you'll never convince me of the other. Now let's all pass around ice cream and be friends?
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Roll of Honor Adulithien
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Neytari, that is laughable. Is it a matter of opinion, then, that one of Tolkien's main themes was that of the coming of the Age of Men and the waning of the Age of Elves? It is one of the major themes of the work. Even in the sense of literary analysis, it's hard to argue that this is not true.

I'm with Eluchil. I'd have been happy even to have the major themes left intact in the films.

For instance, the Battle of Helm's Deep. Writers don't write things for the hell of it. Good ones, at least, write a well-crafted tale in which things have meaning and form a coherent work. So saying, Helm's Deep wasn't written by Tolkien simply to be an exciting battle scene. It is momentous as a foreshadowing / manifestation of the coming of the Age of Men -- because men defended it through the night alone. They did not need the help of Elves, and the presence of Elves (whether or not they were needed) undermines the theme of Men waxing while Elves wane.

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate the movies or Jackson, though my disappointment grew with each installment. They just weren't what I hoped they would be. Like I said, I would have been happy if Tolkien's major themes had been treated a sovereign. That's part of what a good adaptation should do. Embrace the theme of the original work. Not just parts of it. Not just a modified interpretation of it. And if the film should be viewed as a separate work, it should not be touted as an adaptation.

(Anyhow, why would you want to adapt it if you don't like the themes or think you can write a better screenplay? I mean, we can talk all we want about creative license, but the fact is that PJ called his movie "J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings" on the title plate.)

So even though I consider myself far from any form of purism, I guess my credo would go like this:

1. Do whatever the hell you want, but for goodness' sake, do not presume that you can or should rework major themes.
2. If you don't want to listen to #1, don't ride out the fame of the original author and work by calling yours an adaptation.

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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There is also the issue of exactly who is the authority regarding the meaning of a text.

Some believe the reader is the ultimate authority and creates his or her own meaning based partly on the text and partly on personal experience and beliefs.

Some believe the author is the ultimate authority and whatever he says both in the text and elsewhere (such as Letters and interviews) should hold sway.

Some believe the text alone holds the ultimate meaning. It says what it says and words have meanings. Not even the author can deny the text as published unless he publishes a revision.

How much of a "purist" one is, depends in part on which of these views of literature one leans toward more strongly.

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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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When I say "Spirit" I mean that the films feel to me the same way the books feel to me. They both invoke the same unique senses of wonder, pleasure, and Joy. There is a continuity between them. They compliment each other and yet work alone as their own wholes. It is intangeable and personal. But millions of people around the globe know exactly what I mean.

I don't think that Tolkien's themes (or percieved themes, but that's not an issue here because I agree that In The Books the rise of Men and the passing of Elves is a theme) have to be represented in order for the Spirit (as I define it) to be maintained.

And I agree with the Dread Pirate's point.

[ 02-19-2008, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: Neytari Took-Baggins ]

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Roll of Honor Adulithien
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quote:
They compliment each other and yet work alone as their own wholes.
And that's fine. Please see #2 under my last post. []

Also, you keep telling everyone that millions of people agree with you. Well, millions of people across the globe believe that Catholicism is the way to go, but it's hardly a good argument for converting... assuming it's an argument at all.

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Ulairë Gordis
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quote:
Madomir: I think I'm aligned personally in Elu's "to-the-spirit" camp. Also I think Ulairë's bullet points are all consistent with that point of view.
They are - in MY understanding of the "spirit".

That is the MAIN problem with the "stay true to the spirit" and "preserve major themes" views. Everyone interprets the former and the latter as they please.

In contrast, my "bullet points" are stable and easily controllable, not subject to interpretation.

You want to insert a new scene, Mr. Jackson? Gandalf's speech about a "fair green country"?- Please show us Tolkien's work where it can be found. Eh? You have made it up? Then sorry, Gandalf will have to tell the hobbit another tale, about dying and leaving the Circles of the World - or nothing at all.

You want to introduce Elves to Helm's Deep? Page number and chapter title, please. HOME maybe? No? then forget about it, buddy. And if you can't live without Elves there, you are free to cut away ALL the Helm's Deep episode. Let all Saruman's army be destroyed by Huorns right at the doors of Isengard and let us concentrate on the Parley and the ride to the Pelennor.

You want more of Aragorn and Arwen? Fine, feel free to insert a scene from Appendix A - Aragorn dreaming of their first meeting or of the second (Lorien) meeting. You think that mistaking a horse for Arwen will be much cuter? Well, you can't do that, sorry. No way.

You see how my "purist credo" works. []

[ 02-20-2008, 05:58 PM: Message edited by: Ulairë Gordis ]

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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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I'm not trying to convert. I just said it isn't possible anyway. I just want to remind the quiet movie-lovers that they aren't alone, even though it feels that way on MT.

#2 is your opinion []

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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I like Ulairë Gordis' "purist credo."
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Eluchil
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Ney, when I say "to-the-spirit", it means to the spirit of what Tolkien wrote. Having in mind what he said about allegory and applicability, that doesn't leave a lot of space ...

Anyway, this issue is not very important for me, I just wanted to bring my two cents []

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Snöwdog
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The quiet movie lovers? []

So I think we all can agree that The Movie's Influence on MT was to bring Citizen #4899 here on October 25, 2004?

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Thingol of Doriath
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Oh... he was here earlier than that. A few months at any rate.
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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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Did someone pratfall behind me, Snowy? What for " [] "? I get PMs from people who love the films but don't want to speak up because they fear being insulted or getting dragged into a fight. Hence "Quiet Movie Lovers".

[ 03-19-2008, 03:49 AM: Message edited by: Neytari Took-Baggins ]

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Snöwdog
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Ah, the Quiet movie lovers are the ones who cower from their fears. []

Thingol, I didn't know that #4539 was #4899. []

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Thingol of Doriath
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It's abundantly clear Snöwdog- if you read this page.

[]

Amazing that someone who once told the Steward to go fork himself is still around... []

[ 03-20-2008, 10:50 AM: Message edited by: Thingol of Doriath ]

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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2004! []

I almost forgot how long this has been going on. []

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