Thread: Qusetions: pre-FOTR and LOTR
Oh and as to Red Sonya, wahey, I loved that Movie, though not for the plot....
I've always been a movie fan though. Fantasy films that I liked were Willow, Warlock, the Conan films, Hawk the Slayer, Beastmaster, Dragonslayer, Dragonheart and Highlander. I also love films like Excalibur, Rob Roy, Braveheart and The Last of the Mohicans.
I think that I've said in another thread, though, that I had been waiting twenty years for someone to do a good version of LotR. I came out from seeing it feeling as though I had just achieved one of my ambitions in life.
I loved Willow too, and not just because of Val Kilmer . Labyrinth kind of freaked me out a bit. David Bowie gives me the creeps. Dark Crystal was cool - I like that one very much. I bet a lot of members watch Xena and Hurcules.
One of my all time favourite movies is Ladyhawke.
Anyone else seen Clash of the Titans, Red Sonya, Dragonslayer, The Neverending Story, The Black Cauldron, or Highlander (just to name a few)?
Lady Hawke has got to be one of my all time favorites. I also love Willow, Dark Crystal, Legend, Highlander (all of them), Dragonslayer, DragonHeart(love this one too), but didn't like the sequel much, Neverending Story was an all time favorite in our household. Had some great family and friends movie nights with Neverending Story!
I didn't particularly like Disney's The Black Caldron because it did not fit how I imagine Lloyd Alexander's creation.
As for books, I couldn't begin to list them all! Probably the first after Tolkien was Terry Brooks because it was so much like LOTR. Then I read Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles ( from which Disney did The Black Caldron). Which was followed by Eddings, Jordan, Norton, Zimmerman-Bradley, and numerous others I can't think of at the moment. One of my favorite series was Elizabeth Lynn's Watch Tower.
Tolkien Artists: Ted Naismith, Alan Lee, John Howe, Carol Emery Phenix. Tolkien was a very talented artist himself. I love his polar bear and penquin Christmas letters. His Numerorean rugs are stunning. I really recommend the book J R R Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator. You will be amazed.
After that, Star Wars 4, 5 & 6 were a big influence. I didn't read a lot as a kid but saw a lot of films. The Dark Crystal, Excalibur, Labyrinth, Legend, The Last Unicorn, The Flight of Dragons, The Princess Bride and Errol Flynn's Robin Hood all infulenced my youthful appeals. I recently developed a keen love of Babylon 5.
Oh, yeah... I did read one thing as a kid and still do... Mythology. I love it! All kinds. I started with Greek myth and the stories of King Arthur, went into Norse, then Egyptian, Celtic, Native American, Finnish and smatterings of others. Joseph Campell became a big influence. I think that's why LOTR appeals so to me. It has awesome and finely crafted mythic elements.
Later, I started to read a lot more and I found a Keen interest in Role Playing Games: D&D, Call of Cthulhu, ShadowRun (Which it great Sci-Fantasy). I didn't actually read LOTR til I was 21 or so. But I have made up for it since then. LOTR is my most favorite. Before that there was Zelazny's Chonicles of Amber (Awesome stuff in it, too), HP Lovecraft, Frank Herbert's Dune and stuff by Heinlein. Robert Jordan came after LOTR but it's pretty good... if it ever gets to the end. Some of the Star Wars books are good reads particularly by Zahn and Anderson. As are some the Shadowrun novels particularly by Stackpole, Koke, and Findley.
Its good to hear that some of you guys have broadened your horizons after reading LOTR and are now reading more of the fantasy genre... That reminds me - I have another question for those who can be bothered (just be selective about what you want to answer... I did put quite a few questions up)
Why do you like the fantasy genre:
I have always had an overactive imagination, and when I was younger I woulden't just pretend to be someone, I'd actually be them. I would get totally and completely immersed in this world in my head and just wonder around for hours around our house and, literally, be completely' out of it'. I was like this zombie walking around and living this world in my head. I made up a character and it would go from there... Seriously though - I would be another person. If something sad happened in the story I was creating then I would actually cry for that character because I practically felt what they would feel. *yeah... I was pretty freaky*
I have never been satisfied with the world we live in now, and I wished that it was like the world that I invented from my imagination. I guess I love fantasy so much because it lets me escape the real world, and I can go back to the world/s I lived in when I was little... Plus I excersise my imagination in other ways then walking aimlessly around the house... *Ahem. Yes... I know. Pretty scary*
Alfirin: As far as pre-FOTR fantasy movies go, everyone has already named my favorites, but they did leave out the Sinbad series of movies, such as "Sinbad and the Tiger's Eye".
Pre-Tolkien fantasy literature was basically limited to William Morris and Lord Dunsay as I remember, but we had many Sci-Fi writers churning out pulp space opera. Since Tolkien's arrival we have had a plethora of the good, the bad, and the excellent fantasy literature from which to choose.
I and probably most people, read fantasy for pure "escapism" to get away for a few minutes or hours from the humdrum and/or crises of our daily lives. Doing so we are often re-created (filled with hope) that we can face whatever fate next places on our table, knowing that within a day, we can usually withdraw to our friendly tome again for a well deserved recharge.
Movie-wise, I really liked Willow, Legend, Ladyhawke, The Princess Bride, The Dark Crystal, The Beastmaster, Red Sonja and the Conan movies, Dragonheart, Shrek. The Neverending Story was my favorite movie when I was a kid and I vaguely remember seeing a cartoon version of The Last Unicorn and liking it a lot.
A lot of films (and books for that matter) blurr the line between genres. The Star Wars movies, The Fifth Element, The Time Machine (the original), Brazil, Logan's Run, Planet of the Apes, A Boy and His Dog, The Illustrated Man, Dune, eXistenZ, The Matrix, Dark City, Heavy Metal, all of the Godzilla movies, and of course, Star Trek.
my fave LotR artist is John Howe! hes the bestest artist in the universe!
I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which "Escape" is now so often used. [...]. In what the misusers are fond of calling Real Life, Escape is evidently as a rule very practical, unless it fails; in criticism it would seem to be the worse the better it succeeds. Evidently we are faced by a misuse of words, and also by a confusion of thought. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? [...] In using Escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong world, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter [...]. In the same way these critics, to make the confusion worse, and so to bring into contempt their opponents, stick their label of scorn not only on to Desertion, but on to real Escape, and what are often its companions, Disgyst, Anger, Condemnation, and Revolt
Escape offered by Fantasy can be like a breath of cool clean air, helping us to regain strength and serenity. I will finish by one more quote, this time from FOTR:
For those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds, and against both the Seen and Unseen they have great power
I think fantasy is so intriguing mainly beacuse it is so 'un-real'. It allows us to explore our dreams and wishes; it lets us enter the world on the other side of the mirror.
In this place we are free of the restraints placed upon us in the 'real' world - I quite despise to call it that actually... To me, who has always been through that mirror, I find the notion of the 'real' and 'un-real', as applied to our world and fantasy to be a very thin thread indeed. Of course the need to distinguish between the two has always been an imperative part of our existence here, as we can live only wholly in one or the other but never in both. Fantasy is that tantaslising world we can never completely enter, but in the end can be far more real than that which we percieve to be 'real' right now. It lets us escape and be free in the place where we can do anything, and yet still refelcts our common hopes, fears and desires:
For in the end it is Middle-earth and its dwellers we love, not Tolkien's considerable gift in showing it to us. I said once that the world he charts was there long before him, and I still believe it. He is a great enough magician to tap our most common nightmares, daydreams, and twilight fancies, but he never invented them either: he found them a place to live, a green alternative to each day's madness here in a poisoned world. We are raised to honour all the wrong explorers and discoverers - thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses.
Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams.
- Peter S. Beagle
I have always been the romantic dreamer and I like to be. I could not stay sane without going ever so slightly insane. I could not live in this world without living in other worlds, and I could never be me without being someone else.
Books and stories are the gateways, and the worlds within them are your to explore and explore freely and fully.
The scientists, the analysts and the minds that rely on the real world cannot often comprehend the value of 'fantasy'. It is so 'unrealistic' of course... which is exactly why I love it! I pity those who can not or will not enter that place again.
As Einstein put it:
Knowledge is nothing. Imagination is everything.
This is quite extreme however and I do not entirely agree with this - though it certainly provides an interesting viewpoint.
*well* I did go on quite a bit didn't I?
Never mind - but I would like to leave you with this:
You can never read too many books!
PS. I am only 15 which is proof that you are never too young, too old or too influenced by modern society to enjoy and love fantasy if you want to: I would much rather be at home reading, writing or drawing then going out to parties, getting drunk, smoking, or even getting my driver's license!
[Edited on 18/11/2002 by Alfirin]
Plus that made me sound quite fanatical and creepy didn't it? I'm actually quite an ordanairy girl, and I'm not really all that scary so don't worry!
Well it was a good attempt if slighlty overloaded with cliches and the like...
*laughs and runs away with legolas to the Grey Havens*
When I was a kid, THE movie was Star Wars. We were spellbound by the story and dazzled by the special effects. Seems kind of silly now, doesn't it?
Nope, I was the same then, and I'm no different now.
As to fantasy literature, why has nobody mentioned Lewis Carroll's Genius "Alice in Wonderland"? That's about as fantasy as you can get. To be honest I don't really read fantasy( in the strictest sense of the word) except Tolkien. I tend to go for humour, Pratchett, Rankin and Holt and of course Mr. Adams himself (mayherestinpeace).
I think I got into this sort of thing by reading WAY too many comics as a kid (I stil do in fact) Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Silver Surfer etc. etc. oh and 2000AD.
What were the other questions again?
In XVII century the famous Polish king Jan III Sobieski and his beloved French wife Marysienka were fantasy fans, living largely in an imaginary world taken from French romances about brave shepherds'knights... they even used nicknames taken from these tales (he was Celadon, I forgot her nick...). It was Marysienka who introduced him to that world; at first he did not want to read these books, but quickly he became as hopelessly hooked as us modern fantasy fans!
By the way, the king Jan Sobieski is the same famous hero who at his old age saved Vienna when it was besieged by Turks, the battle which decided the fate of Europe and which bears much similarity to the siege of Gondor. Sobieski played the role of Theoden, coming from the North with his riders, the Polish army, but was not slain, finally he died from old age and some renal problems.
When I was in high school I did see piece of Conan and Red Sonya, but that was because my first real boyfriend looked a lot like Arnie in those movies. I never saw them all the way through until after Matthew and I got together.
Ooops I forgot about The Neverending Story. How could I forget about that? I did see that as a kid. I remember watching it with my sister. One of the few good times we had together as children. Wonderful, Wonderful story, and I still enjoy watching it with my son.
I guess that is about it.
Oh and as to Red Sonya, wahey, I loved that Movie, though not for the plot...
There was a plot in Red Sonya? I never noticed.