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Christopher Tolkien speaks out after 40 years...

aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member

in response to recent convo's that have been bouncing around lately concerning the legitimate interpretation of LotR and the Hobbit i offer this translated article, an interview with Christopher Tolkien:

 

http://www.worldcrunch.com/culture-society/my-father-039-s-quot-eviscerated-quot-work-son-of-hobbit-scribe-j.r.r.-tolkien-finally-speaks-out/hobbit-silmarillion-lord-of-rings/c3s10299/#.UN57kG-AA7V

 

specifically, in response to my critique concerning The Hobbit as a terrific action adventure movie, but not the actual tale of The Hobbit i offer this quote:

 

"Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25," Christopher says regretfully. "And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film."

"There are at least two kinds of games.
One could be called finite, the other infinite.
A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

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Comments

  • rounnerrounner CanberraPosts: 602Member Uncommon
    Brought to the massess radically boosted book sales, made heaps of money. Being precious to the point of offensive.
  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member

    did you read the article? if you had you would have understood the limitations of what you are suggesting.

    [mod edit] it's an easy out in the world to just blast everything and everyone rather than to try to understand them.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • BanquettoBanquetto CityPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon

    Well J.R.R. Tolkien's great-grandson Royd Tolkien loved the movies.

    "I was beyond excited just to go on set and see behind the scenes. To watch how such a colossal film is so intricately crafted and pieced together was inspirational and planted a seed in me that has since grown into a love of film production and a desire to reach the heights scaled by Peter Jackson. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had."

    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/why-i-love-new-zealand-tolkiens-great-grandson-20121217-2bisg.html

    Is his opinion less valid than Christopher Tolkien's?

  • cpthowdycpthowdy frederick, MDPosts: 113Member
    i read all that crap of an article, have to get near the end to find out why all the bitterness. they own the works but really have no say in how they are presented and they dont make much money from the films and merchandise. they fear the actual works are being overshadowed by the liberal interpretations taken by the movies. something any author has to worry about when converting their work to another medium. JRR was shortsighted when he sold the rights to his works. they were hugely popular during his time, did he think that would lessen over the years? i think that if the family didnt have to sue to get some money from the films then they wouldnt be as negative today. in the end it all comes down to money, whats new?
  • grafhgrafh chicago, ILPosts: 310Member Uncommon

    Money isnt everything to some people. I think i would not support any director who would change my story from what it was, to an action flick.

    The Hobbit is my favorite book, and i dont want to see the movie cause i know it will dissapoint me if i compare it to the book.

    Then again thats just my personal opinion. 

  • killion81killion81 A City, MIPosts: 985Member Uncommon

    I'm sure he's just outraged at the destruction of his father's intellectual property.  He could care less about the mountains of money handed to him without ever having to do anything of his own.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Tolkien

    In 2008 Christopher Tolkien commenced legal proceedings against New Line Cinema, which he claimed owed his family £80 million in unpaid royalties.[7] In September 2009, he and New Line reached an undisclosed settlement, and he has withdrawn his legal objection to the The Hobbit films.[8]

  • WorstluckWorstluck the valley, CAPosts: 1,269Member
    Originally posted by chelan

    did you read the article? if you had you would have understood the limitations of what you are suggesting.

    [mod edit] it's an easy out in the world to just blast everything and everyone rather than to try to understand them.

     

    The person you have responded to I believe is from Aus, not sure why you took a jab at America.

     

    I think it's widely accepted, well at least to anyone who has the read the books, that the movies are not representative of the books themselves.  I do not blame the Tolkiens for feeling that way.  It's pretty rare that an author is happy with what Hollywood does to their work.  I even read an interview with the author of the novels that inspired the Witcher games, and he really didn't care for the games much, even though the games imo are pretty complimemtary to the books.

    image

  • travamarstravamars Dallas, TXPosts: 417Member Common

    Hollywood always has to screw up a good story when they make a movie.

    Just look what they did to "I am legend"

  • Laughing-manLaughing-man Dublin, OHPosts: 3,415Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by killion81

    I'm sure he's just outraged at the destruction of his father's intellectual property.  He could care less about the mountains of money handed to him without ever having to do anything of his own.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Tolkien

    In 2008 Christopher Tolkien commenced legal proceedings against New Line Cinema, which he claimed owed his family £80 million in unpaid royalties.[7] In September 2009, he and New Line reached an undisclosed settlement, and he has withdrawn his legal objection to the The Hobbit films.[8]

    Yeah, if he was so upset he should have denied them the rights, purchased back the rights, or tied them up in court the rest of his life.

    Instead he comes off as a rich spoiled brat who wants his cake and to eat it too.

    Poor baby.

  • ValentinaValentina Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,675Member Uncommon
    Errmm...i think they stayed pretty true to the story, and none of them are action movies rofl, there's actually relatively little "action" in them. Sounds like an oldn boring, pretentious person to me. Just look at the words used...Haha...
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXPosts: 3,479Member Uncommon
    Far as I'm concerned, Peter Jackson is a brilliant director and while his movies may be more action oriented then the books portrayed, you can't tell me the movies didn't do the books justice. The amount of detail Peter went to with environment, costumes and story flow is probably as good as your going to get. Christopher is a pompous brat and I hope he chokes on his wad of money.

    image

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Edmonds, WAPosts: 2,356Member Uncommon
    The movies had plenty of story involved in them, they had a majority of the action scenes of the books because of the fact that if they made the movie exactly how the book was page for page, it would have been 15 hours long for one book if even that short. So they take the parts of the books, explain the story in a faster manner, and have the major action scenes. I don't see the issue. It wasn't marketed as an action film. I think the hobbit had maybe 4 or 5 actual action scenes that lasted more than 30 seconds. They always have been very slow, and that turns quite a few people I know off of the films. The environments in the films, and the way all of the characters look and act are exactly how I expected them to be in movie form. 
  • CorehavenCorehaven Colorado Springs, COPosts: 1,538Member

    He didn't write the books and he didn't create jack diddly squat. 

     

    Personally I don't particularly like the Hobbit only because its full of artificial filler in order to split it into three movies.  But I thought the Lord of the Rings was at least fairly accurate to the books.  How the hell else were they supposed to be filmed?  I'm not really sure what the guy was expecting. 

     

    How would he have improved them?  He probably wouldn't have. 

     

    Yea he's a lucky guy for being a Tolkien fortune heir.  We should all be so lucky.  However if I was, I probably wouldn't run my mouth and gripe about movies that most would say, honored the Lord of the Ring books fairly well if nothing else. 

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon
    I always though of the Jackson's films to be action flicks with some predictible epic/romantic scenes now and then. Expensive looking but cheap intellectually. In other words, solid 2 hours of mindless "fun" and nothing more. Lord of the Rings was exactly like that. 

    REALITY CHECK

  • ComanComan Hattem, AKPosts: 2,026Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Laughing-man
    Yeah, if he was so upset he should have denied them the rights, purchased back the rights, or tied them up in court the rest of his life.

    Instead he comes off as a rich spoiled brat who wants his cake and to eat it too.

    Poor baby.

    and to top that off there father sold the rights. It was not stolen or simply taken from him. He sold it for a big sum of money (between the 1 million and 2,5 million dollars worth now depending how you calculate it) and they made a lot of money out of it not only from extra book sales, but also from the movies. His father seemed like a smart and wise man and I am sure he was fully aware of what he signed when he signed the contract. 

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,714Member Uncommon

    I'm with OP... I like Jackson's work since Braindead and Feebles, the LotR movies are great (I have all of them :) ) but they're not even close to the books in quality.

    C.T.'s sadness is not about money, it's about the devaluation of his father's work. Probably OP should've inserted this from the end of the interview as well:

    "Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away."

    And to the poster who wrote "He didn't write the books and he didn't create jack diddly squat." -  lol.  (inbetween a <sarcasm></sarcasm> tag, just to make sure)

  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,532Member Uncommon

    Well the Hobbit is a childrens book, ofc they would have to op the ante a bit. And the general public seems to like it so i guess they ddi the right choice from a financial point of view.

     

    Personally i feel it is a bit disjointed and it would have been much better of as two movies instead of three as it would have had less padding

     

    And seriously... Radagast the brown... That was the best they could come up with... .. . *shakes head*

     

    But i also feel that they will be better once you have all three movies out and can see them fairly back to back.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    I'm with OP... I like Jackson's work since Braindead and Feebles, the LotR movies are great (I have all of them :) ) but they're not even close to the books in quality.

    C.T.'s sadness is not about money, it's about the devaluation of his father's work. Probably OP should've inserted this from the end of the interview as well:

    "Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away."

    And to the poster who wrote "He didn't write the books and he didn't create jack diddly squat." -  lol.  (inbetween a tag, just to make sure)

    thanks. good point about the quote to use.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    I prefer the films to the books to be honest, less twee, with more well rounded female characters.
  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by chelan
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    I'm with OP... I like Jackson's work since Braindead and Feebles, the LotR movies are great (I have all of them :) ) but they're not even close to the books in quality.

    C.T.'s sadness is not about money, it's about the devaluation of his father's work. Probably OP should've inserted this from the end of the interview as well:

    "Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away."

    And to the poster who wrote "He didn't write the books and he didn't create jack diddly squat." -  lol.  (inbetween a tag, just to make sure)

    thanks. good point about the quote to use.

    Honestly, it's nothing new under the sun: Entertainment taking the most basically appealing aspects to commercialise maximally.

    The books were about:

    1. Reinvigorating the myths and legends of W. Europe for eg a Western readership, particularly the British Isles who had lost more of their mythic heritage with Christianity (compare to the Nordic sagas).

    2. Mythopoea & Philology of language - the descriptive writing is very impressive: The world is a character, even Anet quoted that for GW2 recently (Dociu the art lead)!

    3. LOTRs contains ALL the major types of plots, which again is an unusual exercise and why it was for a long time considered "unfilmable".

    -

    The movies were great fun in many respects eg NZ was awesome for Middle Earth setting. But it was usual Hollywood action with very nice visuals but not much depth and acting of characters who always played it as "genre aware". But that is popular and sells well and in some ways suits a movie trilogy. But it's stripped of the above and is left mostly with the setting (still awesome).

  • sk8chalifsk8chalif Montreal, QCPosts: 599Member Uncommon
    the 3 movie are not just based on the hobbit book. we got the lord of the ring appendices in that,

    image
    ~The only opinion that matters is your own.Everything else is just advice,~

  • NobadeeftwNobadeeftw Houston, TXPosts: 128Member

    What's next, is one of Lucas' kids going going to cry about whatever Disney does to Star Wars.  ha ha  It's one thing to dictate the legacy of an IP that you created yourself; but, when it's passed into the hands of others, it's an automatic free for all.  Look what happened to Star Trek, it's the epitome of how to quickly turn your IP into a farcical circus.  I can't tell you what's worse, a holocaust denier or an apologist trekkie.

     

    Point is, once the creator dies or passes on their IP, it's going to evolve into something different.

  • Dimsum1337Dimsum1337 MoscowPosts: 60Member

    If the interview was with J.R.R. himself it would have merit. Otherwise I do not see how it is relevant. (Unlike Frank Herbert's son (whats his name cause I never read anything he wrote but at least he tried))

     

     

  • KalstarkKalstark fishkill, NYPosts: 63Member
    never read the books but seen all the movies 100's of times i was just actaully watching the bonus stuff from return of the king dvd. lotr is one of my favorite movies and i actaully had a birthday party at a theatre when i was little haha, idk but even if the movies didnt do the book justice ill never forget these characters and story so for this guy to be upset is pretty rediculous. 

    image
  • kishekishe aitooPosts: 1,978Member Uncommon
    Only thing "more" Peter Jackson could of done is include the songs from the books but there's so many of them that the movies would've became musicals!
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