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Old 02-24-2008, 09:25 AM   #93
Sauron the White
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 903
Sauron the White has just left Hobbiton.

I do think your latest post was written from the heart and contains a great deal of truth. Your point about the lasting qualities of these tales rings very true and it certainly is obvious that millions of readers love the LOTR far more than the average book which comes and goes from bookstore and library shelves with little notice.

I especially find your words to be very poignant when you state

Tolkien's work, for whatever reason, inspires a deep & abiding love in the hearts of many of those who read it. It changes their lives & makes them different people.
You have to keep in mind that LotR is not simply another book as far as many readers are concerned, & lovers of the book feel a deep attachment to it. LotR is a pretty unique case among works of fiction - how many novels from the mid fifties are still so popular that they are still published, & sell massively, in hardback?
But having said that, I think this statement

And we need to put aside this 'the movies are not the books' thing once & for all.
is simply an attempt to find a way around one of the most convincing and obvious points in this continuing discussion. To put away this idea that the movies are not the books once and for all would be akin to all agreeing that what is reality is simply not. It is simply not true and to accept your idea would be a betrayal of reason and fact. Yes, I realize that my saying this angers many here and they would rather not hear about it again. Several have pointed out to me that they tire of hearing it, reading it, and responding to it. I imagine they would be happier in an environment where those nasty realities are never mentioned.

A book is one thing and a movie is another thing. The characteristics, elements, qualities, features, assets and liabilities of one are not the same as the other. To deny that is to deny real world reality.

The fact that the extended editions were packaged to look like books does not change the reality that a book and a movie are two different things. The nice wrapper does not change the characteristics of the real object. Book illustrators were used because they are talented and have knowledge about the world they were asked to illustrate. The fact that they worked on the books does not alter the reality that they produced work for something different - a movie.

Put simply - no-one is more 'guilty' of attempting to tie the movies directly into the books than Jackson himself. If he then finds himself criticised for not being faithful to the books I don't think he's really got grounds for complaint. If he hadn't wanted his movies to be judged by the books he could have done a great deal more to distance the two. Try listening to the commentary tracks & counting how many times Jackson, et al, talk about 'being faithful to the book'.
Advertising and marketting and shiny packaging does not change the reality of the essence of an object or thing. You are too easily confused by the games of Madison Avenue. Jackson did not write a book about LOTR. He made a movie adapting the book. That is distance indeed. That is distance enough because the two are not the same. When Jackson talks about being faithful to the book he does so in the context of making a film that works as a film. That was his goal and his obligation. He made it faithful enough so that it was still LOTR. He changed it enough to make it work as the film LOTR. An please remember that the one who knew the book the best - JRR Tolkien himself, felt that his book was unfilmable as written. To be faithful to be book would have produced something that could not be filmed. That is not my opinion but a reasonable inference from the authors own statements.
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