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Baaa, and LotR bitch - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Baaa, and LotR bitch
Sheepage gakked from mamadeb.

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Dear TNT,

The advertisement that the Jackson FotR is "The movie that started it all" is quite annoying to those of us who were in the fandom long before there was such a thing. It did not "start it all." It was all started by an Oxford professor several decades prior to the making of those movies.

Oh, and while I'm complaining, can we please not actually watch movie!Arwen stealing canon!Frodo's thunder at the Ford in the previews? I can easily skip the movie, but that's the moment that annoyed me most, and I can't avoid it when it's a random advertisement.


Soundtrack: Buffy on TNT

17 comments or Leave a comment
prettyveela From: prettyveela Date: December 9th, 2004 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)

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I'm ashamed of my attention whore-ness. :(
maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: December 9th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
One could argue that the movies started a phenomenon that's entirely removed from the books. I mean, where would Orlando Bloom be without Peter Jackson?


I'm just teasing you, incidentally. I completely agree with you. I really, really dislike the swarms of movie fans who either never read the books, never heard of the books, or simply refuse to acknowledge the books. I will grant that a great many movie fans are also, and perhaps were first, book fans, but still. Grr. Argh.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2004 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)
One could argue that the movies started a phenomenon that's entirely removed from the books.

True, that. I just wish they wouldn't refer to it as a Lord of the Rings phenomenon. Or act as though this was some great, inaccessible thing before Orlando Bloom made it all pretty and stuff. This was a big, vibrant fandom, with its own traditions and bizarre habits (fights over balrog wings, anyone?). While the movies were still just rumors--when I was still excited about the prospect, aka, before I heard they'd cast a name actress in a non-speaking (in FotR) role--I was involved in a long discussion over Frodo's journey west. Was it the Voice of Saruman acting on him in the last? Gandalf did warn him that Saruman still possessed that voice, and Frodo behaved exactly as Saruman said he would. Or was Saruman just voicing his observations, which were inevitable and happened to please him? Now, apparently Saruman doesn't come to the Shire and ransack it, and therefore doesn't tell Frodo that he'll never be happy again (or whatever it was he said, exactly; I'm too lazy to go searching), so how could the argument even happen? Or the question of whether Eowyn or Merry killed the Witch King--now that Merry didn't get his sword from the Barrow Downs from the stash of weapons designed to fight said Witch King in life, there goes the basis of that good argument. (I was always in favor of Eowyn's being the killing blow, but still, it was a good canon discussion.)

maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: December 9th, 2004 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I know. It kills me, I mean really, really kills me. The movies have changed the way people talk about the books. I sat in an English class last year having to explain homosocial relationships (being a CS Lewis fan as well as Tolkien), all because someone said that of *course* Sam and Frodo were gay, didn't I see the way they touched each other? I about had a fit when the girl confirmed she had read the books but thought that the film interpretation counted as canon law. (the Arwen stuff STILL bugs me, and don't ever get me started on Faramir or Haldir)

You know, I never noticed the Merry/Eowyn thing, and now I have to go back and read that again. Some good things can still happen! :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2004 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Guh... guh...

Well, given that people interpret any same-sex relationship as slashy, I guess there's no avoiding it. They were certainly slashed in fanfic even before the movie. But that she uses the movie to back it up...

I'll just repeat...

maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: December 9th, 2004 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. Just, yeah.

I could take an independent slash interpretation, but the use of the film as justification simply pissed me off. I hate when people do that when we're discussing books, period. I've had a few English profs who will nip that in the bud, and luckily the prof for that class was one of them. But I had another English class this semester, where we discussed Frankenstein, and my *prof* used the films as his interpretive basis on at least one occasion in class. It'd be fine if that were the purpose of the class, but a general fiction course? No. No no no.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2004 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
:is puzzled:

Which Frankenstein film is meant to be canon?!

One thing I suppose I could see would be taking a scene from a book that's actually made it into several adaptations and comparing the way different filmmakers have done it, and then asking the class how they would do it--what's important in the scene, what's the author using it to get across, etc--and then discussing whether or not the films got it right and why. That's a weird-ish way of talking about a book, but it is talking about the book, since it's a question of what the function of a scene is.
maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: December 9th, 2004 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Branagh's version, the one with Robert de Niro as the monster.

I could see doing such a comparison, but I'd still want to have it happen in a class where I'm expecting the film versions to be discussed at all, as opposed to a straight literature course. It seems just wrong to me for there to be film interlaced with literature, like when high schoolers watch Lord of the Flies or Romeo and Juliet instead of reading the works in the first place.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2004 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)
True--though a faithful production of R&J would actually be closer to the original author intent (plays, after all, aren't written in order to be read, but to be seen, and I have some issues with reading Shakespeare but never seeing Shakespeare... I mean, how funny is A Midsummer Night's Dream without the action?). It was just the only legitimate use I could think of for a movie in a lit class.
sophonax From: sophonax Date: December 9th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I disagree with you about the movies (love 'em, though I wish they'd kept in the Scouring), but you're totally right that the movie fandom seems to have almost entirely superseded the book fandom--the books will always be there, of course, better than the movies and never ceasing to be some of my favorite reads of all time, but I don't think I've been involved in a good argument about balrog wings since high school. (No wings!)

Even setting aside the interesting canon arguments that the movies gloss over, it just seems that the movie fandom is so much less discussion-oriented than the book fandom: debate seems to have been replaced by gushing. And that's not even considering all the scary scary scary RPS about the actors.

I love the movies, but I hate their fandom. I miss the canon fandom. I'm sure it's not dead--it'll have to resurface soon--but I don't blame it for being in hiding.
natgel From: natgel Date: December 9th, 2004 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Word. Just... Word, man.

(and happy Hanukkah, by the way!)
From: arclevel Date: December 9th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I suppose it depends what "all" they're talking about. The movies did start something new, and the vast majority of the world completely fails to acknowledge fandoms even when they *are* vast. The movies certainly expanded the fandom. As for the commercial, I understand your pain, but can't say I feel it myself. I'm a canon purist in HP, but little to none in LotR, not having done more than flirting with that actual fandom. I'd made several attempts to read the books before the movies came out, but got about halfway through on my first serious attempt, then stalled out much earlier every other time I tried. After the second movie came out, I finally managed to read the entire trilogy.

Of course, I love the HP movies, but they still drive me crazy. And I'm always so frustrated when people use them as canon, and bewildered when I'm talking to people who saw and liked the movies but don't want or haven't bothered to read the books.
equustel From: equustel Date: December 9th, 2004 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I hear ya. And you know what's really a shame: I keep imagining what a wonderful canon!Frodo Elijah Wood could have played if the part were just written correctly. Sigh.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2004 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually adore the casting of the movies, to tell the truth. Elijah Wood was an inspired choice. Orli, despite the fangirls, is a cool Legolas. Heck, even Liv Tyler was a good choice for Arwen, looks-wise. Huge A+ for casting this one. (I actually recall arguing that the casting of Elijah Wood was a good thing when someone on a board argued that Frodo was meant to be middle-aged--after all, he doesn't change after his 33rd birthday, which is the hobbit equivalent of 18. But if I recall correctly, the movie just skipped some of that passage of time. Weren't movie!Merry, movie!Pippin, and movie!Sam all more or less adult hobbits at the Party? They'd have been little kids! But that's neither here nor there. Elijah Wood was a terrific Frodo, given the fact that he was working from a bad script. I've been a fan of his since this fey-looking, delicate little kid convinced me in no uncertain terms that he was Huck Finn.)

The problem isn't the cast, or the costuming, or the effects, or the settings. All of that was lovely. The problem was the script.
equustel From: equustel Date: December 9th, 2004 11:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm thoroughly with you on that. Pretty much the only reason I kept watching the movies after Fellowship came out was because I so loved both Elijah as Frodo and Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn - both are my favorite characters in canon, and I was somewhat relieved to find that the actors managed to save a lot of really bad, out-of-character moments in the script pretty commendably. I knew it was only going to get worse in Two Towers and ROTK, but I still really enjoyed watching them eke out a respectable character arc, even if the structure of the films was falling apart around them.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: December 9th, 2004 08:38 am (UTC) (Link)

I must disagree.

You have a huge audience for your fic, SW and HP, in particular here on LJ for Shifts.

I have no comment about LotR, as I've neither read nor watched the movies.

But if you've got a good lead on some Shakespeare DVD's, I'd love to hear them. I can't stand reading Shakespeare and would pay to see The Merry Wives of Windsor
volandum From: volandum Date: December 9th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC) (Link)
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