Thread: Movies or Book?
Then again, the FOTR does not contain Éowyn, nor Faramir. So make that The Two Towers for the books.
Then again, The Two Towers does not contain that wonderfully written chapter The Houses of Healing, which brings a tear to my eyes everytime I read it, not to mention Homeward Bound...
I have always maintained -- since I saw the first of PJ's films -- that a real effort was put into them by some very talented people who did actually read the book, and that the spirit of Tolkien's middle-earth was not wholly lost in the translation -- some few bits were even better than my limited imagination was able to get from the book.
I am a musician by trade. I love to hear great interpretations of the music of those no longer with us. Although translating a book to film is not exactly analogous to interpreting an old manuscript of music (for one, the musician is expected to perform the written music, while Tolkien probably never expected his words to be 'performed' on film), there are some similarities. E.g., as a trained musician, I can take a score for, say, a Brahms symphony, and enjoy it even without physically hearing it. But I know most people cannot do this. I rejoice over good interpretations -- not only that I may physically hear them, but that those who can't read a score very well can also enjoy them. Even when the good interpretation is lacking in some areas.... as it always is with a genius like Brahms. But the good interpretation often shows me things I never would have seen the the score on my own.
I rejoice over the movies for the same reason -- not because they are an exact, perfect interpretation of the books -- but because they are a good one -- as good as can be got at the moment -- and they not only allow me to physically see and hear a good interpretation of the story, they allow those who can't or won't enjoy a long storybook to enjoy the story.
Besides, if you watch even a fraction of the 'making of the film' extras on those DVDs (yes, I own them all), you soon come to an appreciation of how much sincere effort went into making each culture, each place, each costume, each accent, each character, each special effect, each bit of music, etc.... Despite what you'd think from reading most of the posts lamenting the fact that the movies missed this or added that or were inaccurate here or changed the whole spirit of a character there -- I believe a large number of the writers, editors, actors, and others involved in the films did consult the book -- extensively.
Now don't get me wrong -- I still abhor the movie Faramir's character change, among other things! -- and if I had PJ's resources and the inclination, my movie version would be different --
So the books are essential.
You are perfectly right : we must concentrate on the good only, instead of fret about what we think is bad and respect all the efforts PJ & Co put into those three hellish years of attempting to bring LOTR to the screen.
In my case, this means I'd only watch the first movie and the depiction of Rohan in TTT, but this does not matter. It saves money, after all... heh heh. No, really, even ROTK has its moments... I just need an electron-microscope to spot them, is all.
(well, that vision of Arwen where she saw her future son, was a touch of genius... I found that extremely touching)
So when I sit down to view the movies I try to let the books go,(though it is dreadful hard when they make out that Rohan and those in the glorious white city are not deep friends, that Gondor let t hem down, grrrr) but I try and then just love the movies for what the DO bring out that is rather magical and almost immortal for me. Then when I read the books I shut out the movies, else I will only see the characters as they physically and emotionally appeared to me in the cinema, and I honestly don't want that either.
i prefer the book.... specially TTT and ROTK
I read the books first so I already had pictures in my mind's eye that were different from those PJ presented to us. Thus, I like the books better; though the movies are still good entertainment.