CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde
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CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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An interview with Christopher Tolkien has appeared in French language paper Le Monde (7th July); with a nice photograph of the old chap too. Pieter (& friends) have translated the article (see his Facebook page for discussion) & are awaiting authorisation from Le Monde and The Tolkien Estate to publish the translation online. I can't read French, but from comment I gather Christopher comments extensively on the adaptation of The Hobbit. Should be interesting...

BH
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Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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Hmm... he doesn't really say that much. Interesting read all the same.

Tolkien and Fantasy
(Douglas Anderson's blog; which has a link to a translation.)

BH
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By Jlong

Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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Thanks Khamul! I was waiting for an English translation to surface somewhere.


By Stu

Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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Reading the article, it does amuse me how upset the Estate gets about the Movies (beyond the Hollywood execs trying to stiff them, that is!). The existence of the movies (which I personally detested) doesn't change the content of the books at all (and besides, the Estate does seem happy to allow the publication of lucrative film tie-in editions that further cement the relationship between the books and the films. This seems like hypocrisy to me).

CT needs to have more faith in the books and their ability to stand the test of time, I think. Or perhaps he needs to have more faith in the readers. Either way. The books haven't changed, they haven't become something else because JRRT *sold* the rights to have them turned into all manner of crap including the movies.

Really, the Estate do need to get some perspective. Tolkien wasn't an Albert Einstein or Leonardo Da-Vinci. He was a man who was skilled with languages and wrote a relatively small number of (publisher-friendly) stories that have divided opinion since they were published and will continue to do so.

Philosophical Impact? Maybe the Estate should just be happy with how many books they have sold and how many people have *enjoyed them*. Personally, I can't imagine there will ever be a book that I enjoy more than the LoTR. But I certainly don't think it is "important" or philosophically relevant (and the movies haven't influenced my thinking on that). No disrespect to CT, but I think he has been so entrenched in his father's work that he has lost perspective of what matters.


Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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In terms of the movie tie-in covers, I think The Tolkien Estate probably doesn't have a great deal of leverage here. I would think it's HarperCollins who have (historically & presently) pushed the movie covers. Are the Estate really going to start arguing with their publisher?; probably not recommended. Plus, it looks from papers in the public domain that both GA&U and Tolkien had certain "rights" to future movie adaptations i.e. cuts of profits (--although never artistic interference.) HarperCollins presumably can exercise these rights independent of the Estate i.e. arrange movie covers. Interestingly, the article quotes "£100,000" (or perhaps it said $, I haven't re-read it) as the 1960's figure Tolkien sold for. I've never heard it quoted as this high before.

I think CT is quite entitled to suggest that the "message" (whether you're talking about philosophical, or otherwise) is in danger of being lost, in the public's general understanding of Tolkien. However, those who have not read the books, never understood this anyway. Although, clearly, they may now be under the misapprehension that they do "understand" Tolkien; when in fact they merely understand Jackson's vision of Tolkien.

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Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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I do have to agree with something said/implied by Christopher, and echoed on the Mythopoeic Society discussion groups and elsewhere:

The mental landscape (the inner vision, imaginations, whatever) of readers of the books, has forever been altered by the movies. Fan art post-PJ is almost all movie derived imagery, for example. For myself, I have to fight my inner voice when reading, even when it is saying innocuous things like "this is written so much better than what the movie showed for this scene." Shut up, voice! Of course it is, now stop distracting me from the story.

I do believe that there will be LOTR (and Hobbit) readers into the next century, whose imaginative vistas will be unspoiled by PJ imagery as those moves age, the effects become dated, and the tastes of film-goers evolve.

At that point, the movie remakes will come out.
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By Peeta

Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

Jul 12, 2012 - in Books and other printed materials (edited)
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I have to agree with Uruloke, things inevitably change with time. We have to remember that PJ is not the first to make a movie out of The Hobbit or LOtR, and in my opinion his movies are a far cry from the adaptations made in the 70s. I believe that the main reason the new movies are causing anyone to get upset is because they actually are good, visually and story wise, but it is a pain to not be able to think of Frodo without imagining Elijah Wood. But at the end of the day the movies cannot hold a candle to the books and that will never change, whether rights are sold for 100,000GBP or multi-millions, the ink on paper will always remain invaluable.

I will say that I'm glad that there will never (more than likely) be adaptations of The Silmarillion. It's possible we'll be seeing some actor as Turin in the future, but I think Beren and Luthien are safe as well as the Valar. My personal take is that LOtR and The Hobbt were meant to be mass audience entertainment, so I'm glad I'll probably never see a producer try and put the Battle of The Powers or Thingol and Melian entranced for years or the Trees of Valinor and so on onto the big screen. It's true, there are images and voices that will be in the back of our minds when reading LOtR but take heart that some things will remain sacred!


By Stu

Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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Urulókë wrote:
I do have to agree with something said/implied by Christopher, and echoed on the Mythopoeic Society discussion groups and elsewhere:

The mental landscape (the inner vision, imaginations, whatever) of readers of the books, has forever been altered by the movies. Fan art post-PJ is almost all movie derived imagery, for example. For myself, I have to fight my inner voice when reading, even when it is saying innocuous things like "this is written so much better than what the movie showed for this scene." Shut up, voice! Of course it is, now stop distracting me from the story.


That is, of course, the danger with any adaptation. The answer is just to not see the movies, really. I haven't seem them since the RoTK DVD set came out, and have no plans on ever seeing them again. Nor will I go and see the Hobbit movies. I am actually very fortunate to have been "inoculated" at an early age with the BBC Radio Dramatisation of LoTR*, and those are largely the voices in my head when I read the books. Sir Michael Hordern IS Gandalf.


I do believe that there will be LOTR (and Hobbit) readers into the next century, whose imaginative vistas will be unspoiled by PJ imagery as those moves age, the effects become dated, and the tastes of film-goers evolve.

At that point, the movie remakes will come out.


It isn't really PJ imagery, it is Lee/Howe + NZ imagery , so I blame them (except for NZ - it seems a bit harsh to blame an entire country)! The movies look pretty, but my imagination is stronger than their art, which I find a bit tedious (due to overexposure), to be honest.

* WARNING:: Don't accidentally inoculate yourself with the BBC Dramatisation of the Hobbit or you will have to kill yourself. Gandaaaalf, Indeed.


Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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Khamul wrote:

In terms of the movie tie-in covers, I think The Tolkien Estate probably doesn't have a great deal of leverage here. I would think it's HarperCollins who have (historically & presently) pushed the movie covers. Are the Estate really going to start arguing with their publisher?; probably not recommended. Plus, it looks from papers in the public domain that both GA&U and Tolkien had certain "rights" to future movie adaptations i.e. cuts of profits (--although never artistic interference.) HarperCollins presumably can exercise these rights independent of the Estate i.e. arrange movie covers.

We have every reason to believe that the Estate has indeed exercised influence on HarperCollins to minimize the effect that Stu refers to, of 'cementing a relationship between the books and the films'. Naturally, the publishers of Tolkien's works want to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the Jackson films; and although members of the Estate may dislike the film adaptations, like Tolkien himself in his day, they recognize that his publishers have a stake in his works too. But a publisher needs to keep in the good graces of a copyright holder who is also the source, from time to time, of other material to publish; so although HarperCollins, at least for their own editions, have issued film tie-in editions of Tolkien's works, the covers always have been subdued, with no images of the principal actors except in silhouette -- instead, Black Riders, towers, a wide shot of an indistinct army, the Ring. Less control is evidently possible, however, for foreign, sub-licensed editions -- in America, those from Ballantine Books especially tend to be plastered with close-ups of Elijah Wood et al. -- or for "making of"-type books about the films.

Wayne & Christina


By Turbo

Re: CT 2012 French Language Article/Interview in Le Monde

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We should be careful not to put our own interpretations of the words as fact. What he says as I understand it is not that the movies will harm the books or make them dissapear, but that he doesn't consider the movies to be very accurate representations of the books. Either way the comments is about the movies.



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