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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectlol.. you seriously expect them to make LOTR a discourse on racism?
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=33408&mesg_id=33443
33443, lol.. you seriously expect them to make LOTR a discourse on racism?
Posted by The Damaja, Sun Dec-18-05 08:22 PM
>We are in agreement here. Peter Jackson made a more or less
>faithful adaptation of the book. I do blame white supremacy on
>Tolkein. However, this does not let Jackson off the hook.
>Peter Jackson did absolutley nothing to challenge the racist
>undertones that we both agree exist in the book.

Firstly, there is no racist agenda in Tolkien's book. Most accusations about that are preposterous. Nor is the book a meditation on real life race relations. It's an attempt to create a mythical war story (with the tradition of mythology in mind), using the most apolitical ideas of the good guys and the bad guys available. The entertainment is watching the heroes prevail against the odds, and show a touching solidarity. To make a film of LOTR and shift the focus to arguments about racism would be ludicrious. I don't know what you have in mind - casting Morgan Freeman as Gandalf, or making Sauron and the Orcs into something like the Germans in WW1 (eg. the only difference being that they had made the first move), or inserting long dialogues questioning the supremecy of the authorities (even though the book already does that quite clearly)... whatever you expect, I think that it could only be a mutilation of Tolkien's (who imperatively denied any allegorical or political readings of his book) work, and therefore something even worse than plagiarism. I mean just think about it. LOTR is a strange target for this sort of thing since it has so many excuses for what it is: adapted from a novel, totally fictitious and fantastic, all about war between good and evil, set in something akin to Celtic/Arthurian/pre-Roman Britain...

In my
>opinion, the LOTR films are not the definitive triumphs of
>filmmaking that they are praised as. I see Jackson's work as
>an empty text. His own unique voice and style appear NOWHERE.
>In an age where Tarantino is criticized for plagarism, how
>does Jackson get a free pass? Jackson more or less plagarized
>another man's work

I don't think the films are particularly good. The first one was pretty good (they made Boromir really sympathetic), the second was terrible, the third was satisfactory. But it's not plagiarism - plagiarism is when you don't acknowledge your source/inspiration. It says 'JRR Tolkien' all over the posters and credits. And furthermore the Tolkien estate ASKED Jackson or the studio to make these films. Everyone waiting for this film wanted it be as close to the book as possible because (a) they could never be bothered reading them though they were curious or (b) they had read them and just wanted to see a visual realization of the text. The main problem I have with the films is that it feels like an extended trailer. I blame the editing and the camera work for that. On the other hand some of the art work in the set design, and the natural scenery, and the constume design, is stunning. Which brings me to my last point - Peter Jackson is just the director, MANY more artists had their say in this project. Tolkien, the screenwriters, the actors, the costume and set designers, the SFX teams - all of which may be more important in terms of 'artistic voice' than Jackson.