1. Roger Spendlove says:

    The problem is that in movies and television shows (e.g., the VISUAL media), it is extremely difficult to portray inner struggles. It can be done, but is difficult to pull off effectively (e.g., voice-over narration, or key close-ups showing what the character sees (or showing memories), or of course a top-notch actor capable of portraying even the deepest emotions on his or her face). And because it is so hard, portraying inner thoughts can’t be done too often in the movie, or the audience will find it tedious to follow the storyline. And so, most every conflict needs to be an external one, so we the audience can ~see~ it.

    Only in books and stories (the VERBAL media) can an author discuss what’s going on inside a character’s mind, and do so as often as he or she wants. This is just endemic to the two media. But what is kinda sad, is when authors bend and shape their stories to fit the visual media’s limitations (because of course we all hope to get a film option and make beaucoup bucks some day 😉 instead of fully exploring the deeper capabilities of the verbal medium.

    • Jo Michelle says:

      But then, Tolkien only gives us inner monologues in Sam Gamgee, and only in a very limited way. Every other aspect of the story’s character development is external – through their actions and interactions with the other characters.

      This isn’t an issue of adaptation to a different medium, it’s an issue of lazy writing and simplistic characters. It’s a lack of trust in the audience’s intelligence and taste.

      Subtlety is an art in film as well as books. And it’s an art that Jackson seems pretty much devoid of.

  2. Jo Michelle says:

    This is exactly why I can’t enjoy these movies. The constant cheep peril and character conflict just annoys me too much. And it shows a deep lack of understanding of both Tolkien and his characters.

    I understand the process of adaptation. But it only works if you understand WHY a character did what he did in the book. Not just that he did it.

    And Jackson’s misunderstanding, or total lack of respect for his source material, sets my teeth on edge when I watch LOTR.

    That, and he had the gaul to turn Éowyn – shieldmaiden of Rohan – into a whiny “girl power” chick complaining about not getting to fight on the front lines,* and then says Tolkien didn’t write any female characters, so he can give Aragorn’s love interest more screen time. Because heaven forbid they give the woman who DOESN’T end up with our favorite male hero the limelight. ?

    *If you’re confused – in the book she’s chosen as the only one they can send to lead the civilians when they flee to the mountains. She can’t fight on the front lines because she’s supposed to be miles away from Helms Deep. She’s not being told to cower in the caves, she’s told to take on the mantel of queen, possibly permanently, should her uncle and brother die in battle, and protect her people. And she’s conflicted between her duty, her love for her people, and the cold dread inside that her life will never have mattered in the end. That she has no destiny, that she has no value. And when she sees Aragorn and understands his kingly destiny – the thing she so desperately craves for herself – she’s attracted to that in him, and interprets it as love. (This as a danger people fall into when choosing a romantic partner here in the real world.) He calls it out for what it is, and so, thinking that her one chance of destiny has been denied her, she rides to her intended death on the Pelennor. Her choice for Faramir in the end isn’t a consolation price. It’s an acceptance of herself, of living her own life and her own destiny.

    …. I was so not planning to write all that… gosh I’m such a nerd… ?

  3. notleia says:

    Ha, I’ve been casually rewatching most of the Star Trek series, and I am seriously baffled by what the designers of TNG thru Voyager thought would work as civilian clothing in the future. Ugly onesie, ugly onesie, ugly onesie. Are the Maquis required to wear mismatched brown potato sacking? What the heck is with that ugly crochet/macrame/yarn barf vest, Major Kira?

What do you think?