Minas Tirith Forums Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic
profile | register |
search | faq | avatars | citizens
donate | about | library
  This topic is comprised of pages:  1  2 
Minas Tirith Forums » New Line Cinema's Hobbit » The Hobbit Will Stay in New Zealand (Page 1)
Author Topic: The Hobbit Will Stay in New Zealand
Roll of Honor Éomer
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2824

posted      Profile for Éomer   Email Éomer   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Hot off the presses. It looks like after pretty much begging and pleading with Warners and offering them a pretty sweet tax rebate, New Zealand will remain as the cinematic Middle-earth.

Personally, I'm glad they were able to work this out. I'd like to see The Hobbit maintain a sense of visual continuity with LOTR, and they've already done so much work and put so much money into getting sets and locations ready down there.

From: Serenity | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tigranes
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 9076
posted      Profile for Tigranes   Email Tigranes   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
So there needs to be a new version after all. Same as with LotR.
From: anywhere | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 490

posted      Profile for Neytari Took-Baggins   Author's Homepage   Email Neytari Took-Baggins   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I am so unbelieveably happy about this.
From: California ainrofilaC | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

posted      Profile for Varnafindë   Author's Homepage   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I liked the LOTR movie enough to be pleased that the Hobbit will have some of the same atmosphere, including the same landscapes. Will they rebuild the Rivendell sets?

Saying that, I would also like to see a different version of LOTR, if someone would make a more quiet one, not quite as focussed on battles, especially in Part 3. Perhaps it would work better as a TV series than at the cinema.

But I'm looking forward to the Hobbit movie! []

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor pi
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5374

posted      Profile for pi   Author's Homepage   Email pi   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
They probably held onto the Bag End and Rivendell sets in anticipation of the making of The Hobbit.
From: Virgo Supercluster, 40º N 75º W | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Archer
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3857

posted      Profile for Archer   Email Archer   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
The problem with this notion that The Hobbit (or The Lord of the Rings for that matter) films are somehow ideally served in New Zealand (the popular view being that New Zealand is somehow the "best" or "ideal" Middle Earth backdrop) is that it completely undermines the professor's original intent of envisioning Middle Earth as a new mythology for England.

Just saying. . .

Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
"Competely?" That's a strong word, if it looks close enough that you can't tell the difference on film; then, the difference is academic at worst.
Does it look significantly different? I've heard critics say that it looks close enough-- but maybe they said the same things about "westerns" shot in the quaint vinyards and rolling hills of Italy. []

Maybe "best" is a practical term regarding production.

[ 12-14-2010, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tigranes
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 9076
posted      Profile for Tigranes   Email Tigranes   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
if it looks close enough that you can't tell the difference on film
Well, I can tell the difference on film. In every bloody scene. And I'm not a psychic mind-reading genius either, I just know my stuff. Unlike some "critics" and film-makers, who're remarkably careless when it comes to these questions.
From: anywhere | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
That's what I figured; I found it impossible to believe that two entire continents could be practically identical on film; it's like like seeing Clint Eastwood in a cowboy-hat and claiming it's the American west... with a leaning tower in the background.

Have any other Europeans noticed a stark difference?

But perhaps Jackson made it look different on purpose, just like he claimed he was being true to the story, when he clearly wasn't; rather, perhaps he did it to fit in with the "Shrek-Narnia" angle of the film, i.e. shrinking it from larger-than-life, to smaller-than-life (or "real life" as he sees it, being a self-hating Dwarf who therefore took it out on Gimli)-- while mocking the film's values of heroism and valor, because he's jealous and cynical; and so he made the story anti-hero like Shrek, and shrunk Middle-Earth into the Narnia-like snow-globe of NZ (no wonder his Galadriel reminded me so much of the Ice Queen, in addition to her acting like one).

[ 12-14-2010, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tigranes
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 9076
posted      Profile for Tigranes   Email Tigranes   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Have any other Europeans noticed a stark difference?
Not that I know. Apparently, most of them are dumb or simply don't care about these things.
Thing is, there have been films set in the West that were filmed on location in Spain, and nobody complained about strange wildlife or the occasional castle in the background. But this is due to two factors:
1) Those films were actually really good, and
2) the Spanish environment is still much closer to the American one than NZ is to Britain.
It's like comparing a javelina to a wild hog. They are different species, but related to each other and fill the same ecological niche. Whereas bringing NZ into the equation adds a cassowary - which still fills the same ecological niche, but is visibly not related to the other two.

Well I've been called names when trying to point out these things on another board, and that by people from Europe itself. I can only conclude that knowledge of our natural environment among the general populace has reached an all-time low in history, and this goes as far as British people not even noticing the difference between their own turf and Oceania. And Brits aren't even the worst offenders.

[ 12-14-2010, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: Tigranes ]

From: anywhere | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
LOTR wasn't even set in Britain for most of it, but went more through central Europe. It sure didn't look very European in the film.
As a result, there was absolutely no connection to the real world-- another commonality with Narnia; all we see is a couple of map-shots which don't really show any bearings to Europe.

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor pi
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5374

posted      Profile for pi   Author's Homepage   Email pi   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Clint Eastwood in a cowboy-hat and claiming it's the American west... with a leaning tower in the background.
More like Clint Eastwood, et al, filming spaghetti westerns in Italy... which was done.
quote:
I can only conclude that knowledge of our natural environment among the general populace has reached an all-time low in history,
At least for Americans, I believe you can add the political divisions as well to that remark. and history. and science.

[ 12-14-2010, 09:21 PM: Message edited by: pi ]

From: Virgo Supercluster, 40º N 75º W | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
Well that ties into the whole with Jackson's perversions, really, i.e. the way that he scoffs at Tolkien's values from a modern-day reverse-snob perspective, despite that he presumes the veracity of his own. As such, Jackson glorifies war as Faramir condemned it, just as he shows Faramir trying to take the Ring while in the book he didn't; i.e. he's simply projecting his own failings onto Tolkien's literature, and chalking them up to Tolkien.
That's why he thinks New Zealand is Middle Earth, when it's way off at the ass-end of the world: i.e. he's just a plain extremist who can't tell his head from his hinder.

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Madomir
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3084

posted      Profile for Madomir   Email Madomir   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
As in all other things, I wish PJ had stayed with Tolkien's intent and vision rather than his own. It's easy for me to empathize with the folks who are bothered by the setting. However for me personally the location itself isn't that big a deal because I never really viewed these books as taking place in Europe anyway.

When I first read LotR in my teens Tolkien's overall vision meant nothing to me. These were just books, it was just a story, best story I ever read mind you, but still just a story. It wasn't til much later when I began reading his other stuff that I became aware of the designed connection to Europe. But by then I had read the trilogy several times so the picture in my mind was pretty clear. The Shire had a decidedly British feel to it but the rest, at least for me, was just mythical. I didn't associate it with with any real life locale in particular.

It would've been preferable for PJ to film this where Tolkien would have wanted it. But given that Tolkien's desires meant nothing to PJ, I can live with NZ as a 2nd choice.

From: northern hemisphere-ish | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tigranes
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 9076
posted      Profile for Tigranes   Email Tigranes   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Thing is, New Zealand isn't the second logical choice - it's the second last one. There's a dozen other regions that would be far better.
Like:

Western Europe (mainly Britain of course)
+ closest to lore
+ exact types of landscape, light, flora and fauna
+ the natives are fully compatible as extras
- expensive

Eastern Europe and Russian Federation
+ fairly adequate flora and fauna
+ relatively cheap
+ many fitting potential extras

Iran and Central Asia
+ fairly adequate flora and fauna
+ all required landscapes in one (they have, unlike NZ, real deserts, real mountains, real rivers, and forests of all sorts from tropical to alpine)
+ probably cheap
- Nazi government in most countries, corrupt ones in the rest

Caucasus and Pontic region
+- see the one above

China and other places in East Asia
+ environment is still palearctic, if a bit different
- well, the locals and their culture can't really be used as backdrop, although Hobbits and Chinese have many things in common

North America
+ all required landscape types in one (big) country
+ different but not offensively so
+ again, lots of potential extras to be found in the country
- probably expensive


Well yeah, of all temperate climates NZ, along with Chile/Argentina is probably the last logical choice.

[ 12-16-2010, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Tigranes ]

From: anywhere | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
Call me crazy or nostalgic, but I also think there's something special about the "land of legends" which inspired all these stories to begin with. Consider Aragorn's rebuttal of Eothain:

quote:
‘Halflings!’ laughed the Rider that stood beside Éomer. ‘Halflings! But they are only a little people in old songs and children’s tales out of the North. Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?’
‘A man may do both,’ said Aragorn. ‘For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!’

This phrase was addressed in a class on LotR to address its meaning; and I think that pertains to why it should be filmed where the story is set.

As for "expense," I think it would pay for itself among a European fan-base, since Europeans are avidly proud of their country and history and lore, and so would have a high customer-quality regarding a famous story set in Europe. (EDIT: as well as the European chambers of commerce regarding tourism inspired by the film).
In contrast, there wouldn't be much of a market in New Zealand for a story set in Europe, in which "Easterlings" were the enemy!

Even at a guess, the marketing-numbers just don't add up anywhere near to justify NZ; so the answer must be Jackson's ego and pocketbook, not New Line's stockholders or the bottom line. I'd actually be tempted to organize a presentation to a New Line stockholder's meeting and present the argument; and if anyone could swing it then I'd be willing to help with the market-research to prove that Europe is a better choice than NZ.

Madomir:
quote:
As in all other things, I wish PJ had stayed with Tolkien's intent and vision rather than his own. It's easy for me to empathize with the folks who are bothered by the setting. However for me personally the location itself isn't that big a deal because I never really viewed these books as taking place in Europe anyway.

When I first read LotR in my teens Tolkien's overall vision meant nothing to me. These were just books, it was just a story, best story I ever read mind you, but still just a story. It wasn't til much later when I began reading his other stuff that I became aware of the designed connection to Europe. But by then I had read the trilogy several times so the picture in my mind was pretty clear. The Shire had a decidedly British feel to it but the rest, at least for me, was just mythical. I didn't associate it with with any real life locale in particular.

It would've been preferable for PJ to film this where Tolkien would have wanted it. But given that Tolkien's desires meant nothing to PJ, I can live with NZ as a 2nd choice.

But can you accept the fact that Tolkien's intentions meant nothing to PJ? I can't. The purpose of a movie should be to show the story the way that the author intended it-- not the producer or director; if the latter want to tell their own story, they should write their own.
Of course you can't see the scenery when you read the book, since a picture is worth a thousand words-- in which case each movie would be worth about ten million; and that's why it's all the more vital to the story, to remain in the same place as the author intended, particularly since LotR was so tied to the earth and landscapes.
In the movie LotR, everything just looked wrong; nothing looked like Europe as seen in other films, and too much of it was done in miniatures and SFX ("Mordor" particulary was a joke, with the ever-erupting Mt. Doom 2 feet from the border, and the red lighting etc, it reminded me of Bill& Ted going to Hell and saying "we got totally lied to by our album-covers," since it looked like that's what inspired it, not just an acid-rained-out wasteland.
In fact, PJ's "Rohan" reminded me more of an actual Mordor than anything else; correct me if I'm wrong, but did anyone see any grasslands in the movie, in "Rohan" or elsewhere? The American praries would have done 100 times better... but I'm sure PJ's never heard of it, just like he never heard of Tolkien's theory of "Eucatastrophe" wherein war is only good when it ends, not something that's cool to play in an RPG game (which is the closest that he ever got to it in real life, which was why the film looked so silly and unrealistic IMHO).

[ 12-16-2010, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Madomir
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3084

posted      Profile for Madomir   Email Madomir   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
But can you accept the fact that Tolkien's intentions meant nothing to PJ? I can't.
No, of course not. The only point I was alluding to was that due to the picture in my mind's eye, (which I admitted was not what Tolkien had envisioned) I wasn't nearly as worked up over the setting of the story as I was the bastardization of the story itself and the characters there in. Had PJ gotten the story right, other imperfections become much easier to tolerate.

Overall I wish PJ had made the movie JRRT would have had Tolkien ever been so inclined (which apparently he wasn't). But on the long list of complaint worthy movie related things, I just wouldn't put New Zealand near the top.

From: northern hemisphere-ish | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
More like you wouldn't put them in the foreground, that would be the actors and what they did. However the location was in the background, i.e. everywhere: the land, the mountains, the rivers, seas, the skies etc. Everywhere it was just all wrong, and it looked like northern Canada from the elevation of it.

As for China, I disagree that they couldn't use local extras, since Tolkien said that orcs looked like very ugly Mongolians; and so you could just give them some really ugly make-up, and save millions in those hideous-creature costumes and prosthetics which just made everything ridiculous. Likewise you'd need lots of Easterlings; meanwhile Kamul was also Asian, and I think it was a mistake not to show the Nazgul's faces. (Also note in the intro-scene, all of the Nine Kings were caucausian IIRC, while this wouldn't make much sense if Sauron wanted to rule all nations of men on earth: the Haradrim were black, the Easterlings (Kamul) were Asian, and the Southrons would be Middle-Eastern.)
I know what you're thinking already: liberal objections to making white people the good guys, and non-whites the enemy. In the movie we only see two non-white enemies: the guy who falls of the Oliphaunt, and the leader of the Oliphaunt-army. The rest all wear masks because they obviously hyperventilate and need to restrict their breathing, and they want to disguise their identity as the enemy while they charge with spears.
However I don't think that it would be a big deal as they think, if you followed the book and just made it clear that they were being tricked into it by a demon-- as well as showing Aragorn making peace and friendship with those nations afterward.
Likewise, you could show that Numenor was tricked by Sauron first, and what happened as a result (ala "ka-BLUB!") as well as how this was Aragorn's entire purpose, since it was entirely personal between him and Sauron in representing all of humanity; Gandalf's interest were purely humanitarian, he had no personal grief with him.

But did we see any of this? I didn't, and I watched the whole thing including the EE.
Could it be because such concepts flew entirely over PJ's head? That's not an easy mistake to avoid,, literally as well as figuratively.

[ 12-16-2010, 09:36 PM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tigranes
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 9076
posted      Profile for Tigranes   Email Tigranes   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Likewise you'd need lots of Easterlings
Yeah but these would be of a more Turko-Eurasian type (like modern Central Asians and "Turks").
The way I understand it, Khamul and his Easterlings would be some kind of Central Asian or Turkic (note that in Antiquity, Central Asians looked more or less like Europeans. This has changed due to massive Turko-Mongol incursions and migrations, and some merry genocide). Certainly Khamul wouldn't be white, and probably not "Caucasian" either.
IMO, only Khandians would be distinctly Mongolian or Chinese-like.


quote:
I know what you're thinking already: liberal objections to making white people the good guys, and non-whites the enemy.
Those movies generally had too many white people in them, and too many blonde people (Faramir, Elves) as well. An example of both bad casting and limited resources.
Now seeing as Tolkien has already been mistaken for a "rasist!!1" in the past, it was highly unlikely that they'd actually have the guts to show the Haradrim as the culture they were, a very Middle-Eastern or Berber-type one. Instead they opted for funky desert Aztecs, so as to be politically more correct. It would have been almost utopian to wish for a correct depiction of everything, especially as producers and many other people in the film business apparently can only think one step ahead at a time; thus they arrived at the conclusion "the bad guys are non white - OMG dats racist!" instead of looking at the in-universe background of the story.

From: anywhere | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
Nevermind too many white humans, what about all white hobbits? I thought the story was supposed to be about them anyway, but you'd never know it from the movie (except for the arse-ends of it), and every single hobbit was caucasian-- while the book was quite different:

quote:
The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller, and shorter, and they were beardless and bootless; their hands and feet were neat and nimble; and they preferred highlands and hillsides. The Stoors were broader, heavier in build; their feet and hands were larger, and they preferred flat lands and riversides. The Fallohides were fairer of skin and also of hair, and they were taller and slimmer than the others; they were lovers of trees and of woodlands.
IIRC, most hobbits of the Shire were Harfoots, while the Fallohides were their gentry; and so Merry, Pippin, and the Bagginses were all Fallohides (being wealthy land-owners and rulers); but in the movie, they're all light-skined caucasian, while nothing is said of feudal land-ownership. Likewise Merry and Pippin are bums, while Sam appears more like a landscape-architect than a feudal servant.
This is especially confusing at the end, when Frodo says "everything I have, I give to you Sam;" but in the end he goes to his little place on bagshot Row and says "I'm back" (meaning that PJ also ignored the fact that Sam and Rosie moved into Bag End and became Frodo's live-in servants, since that would look to "class-conscious"). WTF?

As for Easterlings being middle-easterlings in our modern reckonhing, would the Southrons then be more Egyptians and moors? This would make sense geographically, since Asia was too far away.

[ 12-16-2010, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tigranes
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 9076
posted      Profile for Tigranes   Email Tigranes   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
As for Easterlings being middle-easterlings in our modern reckonhing, would the Southrons then be more Egyptians and moors? This would make sense geographically, since Asia was too far away.
Well Easterlings aren't really Middle Eastern (as in Syrian, Arab, or Kurdish), unless you count the steppe tribes of Central Asia as such.
But Southrons/Haradrim are meant to resemble either peninsular Arabs, Egyptians, Berbers (Moors), or even Persians or Indians, or a mix of some of the above. I'm not entirely sure since the Professor wasn't really specific.

Also, "Caucasian" is a bit of a fuzzy term nowadays. Do you use it as a synonym for "white", like I know some Americans do, or in its original sense (i.e. referring to facial features)?

[ 12-29-2010, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: Tigranes ]

From: anywhere | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
"White" and "caucasian" mean the same thing, but of course it also refers to facial features, since it'a a racial term. I've never heard of them meaning something different; even if someone is from the cast of "Jersey Shore" then they're still considered "white."
From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mithrennaith
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5239
posted      Profile for Mithrennaith   Author's Homepage   Email Mithrennaith   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
“White” and “Caucasian” only mean the same thing to Americans (and ‘race’ and ‘facial features’ also are not exactly the same thing either); in the recent Moscow riots “Caucasian” only and strictly applies to people originating from the Caucasus Mountains (just to mention a third sense).
From: Amsterdam, Netherlands | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The White Hand
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 11334
posted      Profile for The White Hand   Email The White Hand   Edit/Delete Post 
We're talking about the Caucasian race.
In America they're called "white--" even the Snookie-monster.

[ 12-26-2010, 05:03 AM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

From: Memphis | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tigranes
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 9076
posted      Profile for Tigranes   Email Tigranes   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
We're talking about the Caucasian race.
There is no such thing.
From: anywhere | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » New Line Cinema's Hobbit » The Hobbit Will Stay in New Zealand (Page 1)
This topic is comprised of pages:  1  2 
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic       The Red Arrow!       Admin Options: Make Topic Sticky   Close Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic

About  ~ • ~  Contact  ~ • ~  Minas Tirith  ~ • ~  F. A. Q.  ~ • ~  Help

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.6.1