Adapting Lord of the Rings

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:31 pm

er beg to differ. Bakshi Galadriel looks like Sharon Stone after too much botox.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by bungobaggins on Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:33 pm

Even worse, Bakshi's Galadriel looks like generic cartoon woman.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:31 pm

I think she has striking features and a regal timeless beauty myself-





How anyone can look at those stills and claim either -'one brown slodge of something leans over and speaks to that other reddish-gray blur about Frodo's Doomy footsteps' or as 'Sharon Stone after too much botox' or 'Bakshi's Galadriel looks like generic cartoon woman' is beyond me.

It seems oddly spiteful towards the Bakshi version for no other reason than defending the poorer written inferior PJ version of this scene, which apart for the electric arse bit borrows rather heavily from Bakshi's direction and lighting throughout, as PJ does frequently in Fellowship of the Ring.


And the dialogue is Tolkiens, it makes sense, has the tragedy of the elves lose/lose scenario and explains the elf rings properly, none of which PJ's version does.

And no one sticks an electric current up Bakshis Galadriels bum and ruins her big speech, for no other reason that PJ cant stand more than a few minutes of cinema to go by without some visual spectacle having to occur.
I mean seriously, this is what you are defending, an incompetent script and this pish-



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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:34 pm

Seeing those screenshots reminded me of Galadriel's sparkle-ring in Bakshi's film. It was less intrusively obnoxious than her turning radioactive but it sort of belies the notion of Bakshi sticking to Tolkien here. It's still pointless "flashy" magic.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by bungobaggins on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:40 pm

Hey, I'm not saying PJ's Galadriel is good. Just Bakshi's visual character design is a little bland.

In fact, I'd say that most of the character designs in Bakshi's version are pretty plain.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:41 pm

Seeing those screenshots reminded me of Galadriel's sparkle-ring in Bakshi's film. It was less intrusively obnoxious than her turning radioactive but it sort of belies the notion of Bakshi sticking to Tolkien here. It's still pointless "flashy" magic.- Eldo


I think its a legitimate way to portray the text, it not only highlights the ring but the light that issues from it is as you say sparkly, more than that, lok closer, its stars, this si the bit of text they are adapting and interpreting visually for the screen-

'She lifted up her white arms, and spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial. Eärendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone clear above. So bright was it that the figure of the Elven-lady cast a dim shadow on the ground. Its rays glanced upon a ring about her finger; it glittered like polished gold overlaid with silver light, and a white stone in it twinkled as if the Even-star had come down to rest upon her hand. Frodo gazed at the ring with awe; for suddenly it seemed to him that he understood.'

I think it is fair adaptation myself that tries to convey visually the connection made in the prose between starlight, elves and Ring, far more so than any justification for PJ extrapolating glowy possessed Galadriel from this bit of text-

'She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark.'

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by bungobaggins on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:42 pm

At least she didn't use it as a nuclear weapon.  Rolling Eyes
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by bungobaggins on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:47 pm

Lest we forget, Boromir the Viking.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:52 pm

Well animated though Pj stole several of his fighting shots straight from Bakshi, shot for shot especially at Moria- if you check my bakshi v Pj thread you'll see the screen shots. Also excellently voiced by Michael Graeme Cox who had already done a superb take on the character in the BBC adaptation, so was able to bring a lot to it that was beyond the time of the script.
Whilst I am not a fan of viking Boromir I dont think anything in the Bakshi films is done without reference to the original in the sense that Bakshi does not mind changing the visual description of something or someone, if he feels the new visual conveys a meaning that is relevant and from the text.
In the case of Gondorians equal vikings its an attempt to portray without explanation that they are primarily a great seafaring nation, its what they were built on and they were founded by the greatest see going nation of all Numenor.

Another good example of this is making the ringwraiths in their Black Rider form crippled and deformed, conveying the literal meaning of the word wraith- a twisted thing.
Bakshi chooses to use the visual medium to convey meaning in this way throughout, the meaning always outweighs for him fidelity to the sources physical descriptions. I much prefer that as a technique for adaptation than PJ's version -'Ill just make shit up as I go along.'

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:35 pm

But if discussing visual interpretations only, PJ tried very hard to match the book (LotR only) and largely succeeded. Give him credit where due, even if he did piddle on other things.

Everything in the Hobbit must be passed over in silence of course.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:43 pm

"In the case of Gondorians equal vikings its an attempt to portray without explanation that they are primarily a great seafaring nation, its what they were built on and they were founded by the greatest see going nation of all Numenor"

firstly, Vikings didn't wear comedy-cow horned hats and short skirts, and secondly, Sean Bean. nuff said.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:49 pm

But if discussing visual interpretations only, PJ tried very hard to match the book (LotR only) and largely succeeded. Give him credit where due- Halfwise

If by that you mean PJ's costuming and attention to set detail was immaculate I'd agree- but thats not the same thing as using the visual medium to convey meaning that is only found in prose, and which in Bakshis the constraints on time do not allow expression of in any other means- in the time frame he has he has to convey a lot of meaning about people very quickly.
Aragorn is a ranger and a superb tracker so Bakshi gives him a Native American appearance- its totally not Tolkien, but again it conforms to his use of visuals to convey genuine information about the character or people from the book in a manner which cost no screen time.
I prefer the realistic look of PJ and the fidelity to the source visual descriptions, but not when the script is as poor as it is in the mirror scene say and utterly fails to convey the important information from the same scene in the text- - at that the Bakshi version does much better- both in its script, and its visual interpretation of elves with stars verus PJ's nonsensical version and nuclear Galadriel.
With Pj's it doesn't matter a jot to me how good it looks, how detailed her dress is, how beautifully the Mirror is carved, how well the visual effects are done- the script is rubbish and that kills everything else.

"firstly, Vikings didn't wear comedy-cow horned hats and short skirts, and secondly, Sean Bean. nuff said."- Figg

No they didn't, but see someone in that hat and you still think viking and thats the important thing. And Sean Bean was excellent as Bormoir but didnt have as a good a script for him, and nothing like as good a script as the same voice actor got to do for the BBc version.
I like Sean Bean, I like his Bormoir, I dont like some of the writing of him, and a lot is missing from his character that I feel should have been in there. And I dont like how Pj uses time with him to just further the reluctant Aragorn plot line nonsense- its a waste of Boromir.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by bungobaggins on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:03 am

Maybe I'm just a bad movie watcher that needs everything spoon fed to him, but I never inferred from their character designs that Aragorn was a tracker, and Boromir was from a sea faring culture. Granted I saw the Bakshi cartoon after I read the books, but it didn't stick out to me and make me go, "oh yeah that makes sense to do." I thought it looked silly and still looks silly.

Plus, Vikings and native Americans are things from our world. Very specific cultures that have no place in Middle-earth. They're out of place, an anachronism.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:14 am

I am not saying Boromir dressed as a viking doesn't look silly. It does. I am saying Bakshi was using the quick form of visual art to represent things from the script that the time constraints of his film could otherwise never convey.
Now whilst, as I said above, I prefer fidelity to source descriptions I appreciate that Bakshi was at least attempting at every turn to use his medium to convey genuine adapted material.
My problem with PJ is that whilst he gets visual fidelity near spot on most of the time, he gets adaptation woefully wrong with much of it not even attempting to convey some textual based meaning or symbolism.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt- for me Boromir it doesn't, but the Black Riders do, it conveys for me far better the terror of their presence, the uncomfortably otherworldliness of them far, far better than PJ's version, even though PJ's Black Rider conforms more in appearance to the book, but they dont convey the feeling of them nearly as well as literally interpreting 'wraith' as a 'twisted thing'. Which also strikes me as particularity fair adaptation of an author who choose his words very carefully indeed for the unconsciousness submeanings they contain.



(cant find an english version- which is rather useful at it allows all the meaning to be conveyed in the visuals)








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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:39 am

I just realized, Bakshi also cast Frodo far younger than what Tolkien would have approved.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:46 am

Actually I've always thought both Bakshi and Pj got the age about right- according to the book because of the Ring Frodo remains looking very much like a Hobbit not long out his tweens.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:00 am

Book!Frodo was 33 when he got the Ring and thus continued to look that age.  Elijah Wood was 18 when they started filming.  Some people argue that because Hobbits are considered to come of age at 33, that means 33 year old Hobbits are physically equivalent to 18 year old humans, but this ignores the fact that "coming of age" is purely a social designation.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I think its a legitimate way to portray the text, it not only highlights the ring but the light that issues from it is as you say sparkly, more than that, lok closer, its stars, this si the bit of text they are adapting and interpreting visually for the screen-

Yeah, no. There's a world of difference between the Ring glittering or twinkling in reflected starlight and the Disney-esque shit Bakshi gave us.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:24 am

You are unlikely to make much of a point with just trying to have it sparkle a bit- the text compares to the star descending into the Ring, thats not going to b easy to portray the essence of on screen. Bakshi at least tries to base it in the original imagery of the text, PJ doesn't even bother his arse trying or caring.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:33 am

Some people argue that because Hobbits are considered to come of age at 33, that means 33 year old Hobbits are physically equivalent to 18 year old humans, but this ignores the fact that "coming of age" is purely a social designation.- Eldo

I dont, I base it slowly on lifespans- generally in nature things that live longer age slower and things that live shorter age faster. Hobbits live on average about 20-30 years longer than humans, supposing that a hobbit just out of their tweens looks roughly comparable to a human just out their teens does not seem a stretch to me, and indeed it seems suggested by Tolkiens playing with words, tweens similarity to teens, and a coming of age traditionally 21 in English society.

"As time went on, people began to notice that Frodo also showed signs of good ‘preservation’: outwardly he retained the appearance of a robust and energetic hobbit just out of his tweens. ‘Some folk have all the luck,’ they said; but it was not until Frodo approached the usually more sober age of fifty that they began to think it queer."

The impression is also backed up by Pippin's encounter with Bergrond's son and his friends, who taking Pippin on appearance assume him to be about their own age, when in fact he is about ten years older.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:47 am

I don't think that "tweens" was intended to be a parallel to the idea of the teen years, because the word "teenager" and associated phrases associated with that period of life did not become common until the 1950s. And even if you factor in the longer lifespan, 33 is still later than the mathematical equivalent to 18 would be. I've always interpreted that as an indication that because Hobbits have such a peaceful, sedate society, they don't need to rush people into adulthood. It's not like most human twenty-somethings are fully mature either; simple observation can you tell that and modern neuroscience (which Tolkien wouldn't have been aware of) has proven it.

One can make the case that Hobbits age slightly slower than normal humans, but 33 = 18 is not born out by the text or by deduction (IMO of course).
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:52 am

Well Pippin is 28 and Bergil is 10.
If Pippin looked like the age of a human 28 year old its very unlikely Bergil would have mistaken him for a boy not much older than himself.

'though you may have taken me for a soft stranger-lad and easy prey, let me warn you'

Also Bergil seems quite shocked and astonished when Pippin does tell him his age strongly indicating to th eboys eyes Pippin does not look so old-

'Twenty-nine!' said the lad and whistled. 'Why, you are quite old! As old as my uncle Iorlas.'

The first recorded use of the word 'teens' was in 1818.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:38 am

I said common, not "first recorded use".  Look at some of the graphs of usage over time on Google if you don't believe me.

And using Bergil as an example is really disingenuous since the entire basis for his comment about Pippin is height.

ROTK, V, 'Minas Tirith' wrote:'Oh come!' said the lad. 'Then we are all men here. But how old are you, and what is your name? I am ten years already, and shall soon be five feet. I am taller than you. But then my father is a Guard, one of the tallest. What is your father?"

And even after the single line that you quote, Bergil continues with the height/strength comparison (he's clearly rather taken with his own development at such a young age), talking about how he thinks he could best Pippin in a fight.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:02 am

He would have seen short humans, human dwarves and possibly even actual dwarves- Gimli and Legolas get more attention for their unusual friendship in the city than they do for being dwarf and elf, especially compared to the way news of hobbits is a bit of a instant fad.
The difference in physical ageing between someone approaching their  thirties, and someone in their teenage years is usually quite marked.
If Pippin had the face of a 29 year old its unlikely Bergil would have continued in his assumption, Pippins height is certainly a factor but cannot be the only one sensibly, if Pippin had an older face Bergil would see that.


I find it odd and not a little ludicrous anyone could read those passages and not conclude that Bergil at first mistakes Pippin for a young lad not much older than himself, based on Pippins physical appearance- height and features. After all Bergil can see both.
No 29 year old human, not even a very short one, would expect to get mistaken for someone in their midteens, not beyond a first glance at any rate. And Bergil gets a lot more than a glance at Pippin.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:21 am

Also looking at Tolkiens description of the tweens-

'"tweens as Hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and the coming of age at thirty-three'

In human terms those 'irresponsible' years would be between 12 and 21. It seems clear to me Tolkien by calling hobbit twenties 'irresponsible' as we might of teenagers, is associating the two as a parallel. A Hobbit in their twenties is roughly like a human in their teenage years, irresponsible, and if so in actions then probably in looks too given the longer life span.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:26 am

I dunno about you man but I know a lot of irresponsible twenty-somethings. There's an entire genre of self-help books aimed at people in roughly the age range of 21-33 trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. A lot of people are still going through a "coming of age" process there, and Hobbit society doesn't have many (if any) pressures to make people grow up faster. That's been the basis for my line of thinking on this, anyway.

That said, the bit about childhood in that quote is hard to argue with so I'm gonna throw in the towel here.
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