BBC Article: Hobbits and Hippies

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BBC Article: Hobbits and Hippies

Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:19 am ... he-hippies

Interesting article but do you guys agree with the last paragraph?

"Tolkien himself would possibly be horrified by the multiplatform industry built upon his work. Today his saga is best known through Peter Jackson’s multi-billion-dollar-grossing movies. In these blockbuster films, Tolkien’s intricate narrative arc has been scaled beyond its original humanity and reduced to CGI eye-candy. The spirit of his work remains, in his original texts. Go there to the books, and rediscover Tolkien the mythmaker, the believer in the mysteries of faith and storytelling. And someone who was once so square he was cool."

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Re: BBC Article: Hobbits and Hippies

Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:12 am

One would be hard pressed to find a movie that has more depth than the book that it's based on, and Jackson's Middle-earth movies are no exception. With the LotR trilogy (and I won't go into the Hobbit here, they are quite a bit of a cgi-action mess, with the occasional solid scene), I feel he did a pretty great job at condensing the story and leaving realistic characters and many important bits in - although mistakes were certainly made in the process. Constrained even by 9 (roughly 11 for the extended versions) hours, some of the most evocative scenes - most notably the Scouring of the Shire, one of the best and most insightful chapters - have been left out. The industrialisation of Isengard gives us some information on Tolkien's views, but Scouring is much more than that: it shows us how society (and the most peaceful one imaginable at that) deals with conflict, how some try to ignore it, others make use if it to further their own interests and yet others rebel. It shows how the landscape is scarred by destruction, as well as construction of 'modern' engineering.
Of course, Tolkien is far from alone in those views; the beauty and peace of nature and a more simple life. It is very much at the heart of the Romantic movement of the late 18th and 19th centuries, with the not unimportant difference that he has been able to see not the start if the Industrial revolution, as artists in those days would have, but rather the results, including the mechanisation of war and the incredible costs that it was accompanied by.

Not having been around in the 60s, I was not aware of the full scope of his success in those days, but it is hardly a surprise - as the article nicely points out, it was easy to transfer the situation in the story to the real world at the time, and unlike many such enterprises, in this case it is very much justified and and line with the author's intention, I think.

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