Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Movieverse Essays Challenge

Hey guys, This is an idea that's been brewing for a week or so now in the back of my head. As it will not leave me alone, I thought I might share it with you guys, and see if anyone is interested. I first joined HASA during the first movieverse challenge, and it was probably the first challenge whose stories I read *because* they were part of that challenge. I mean, I just read right down the list of stories entered, and it was a lot of fun. The idea was to take an aspect of the movies you didn't like and write a story -- set firmly in movieverse -- that offered a plausible explanation for that aspect. My idea is related to that concept. Take a place where the books and the movies differ, and write an essay comparing and contrasting the book with the movie. The idea isn't to say one medium is "better" than the other, but to educate others that there is a difference. If you can show how the difference affected the movie as a whole, all the better. You might choose a certain scene that is in the movies but not in the books. For instance, in the movies at first the Ents decide not to attack Isengard. How does this reluctance on their part (and the later "hasty" decision to attack, once Treebeard sees the destruction of the trees) affect the Ents' characters in the movies? Or the Elves in Helm's Deep -- maybe you would like to write an essay about what the Elves were really up to, and why they were not fighting side-by-side with Men at this point in their history. Perhaps you would like to touch on something that is present in the books but not in the movies. Denethor's use of the palantir, the Scouring of the Shire, the Grey Company, Beregond -- how does their absence affect the movies, and what is so important about their role in the books? Does one line bug you? ("Dwarves are natural sprinters", anyone?) Take this line and show how it is conflicts with what Tolkien says in the books. Or maybe it's something more subtle that bothers you. Is your favourite character characterized throughout the movies in a way that irks you? Maybe there are physical traits that Tolkien clearly described, but Jackson chose not to design his characters that way. Personally, it has always bothered me that every elf east of the Misty Mountains seems to have blonde hair, when in Tolkien lighter hair colours like gold and silver are relatively rare and usually significant. We all know he had to make some changes to the book, but those changes did, well, change the storyline. I'd be interested in seeing some essays written comparing the books and the movies. I think for this challenge it's important that we not have too much duplication. No use in repeating work! So I'm going to keep a list of what people have expressed an interest in doing. That means, if you're interested in participating in this challenge, please say what you think you might write about. You can always change your mind later. I'll start that list in the next message, with the essay I've written and plan to enter in this challenge. Marta

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Essays People Are Interested in Writing The Fellowship of the Ring * Nightsky: I'd be interested in examining the Strength of Men. In the movies, Men are portrayed as weak, failing, the reason the ring survives. Aragorn is reluctant to take up a leadership role. It seems to me that in the books, Men have much more innate strength. The Two Towers The Return of the King * Berzerker Prime: The layout of Minas Tirith. * Marta: Does Isildur's heir have any right to rule in Gondor? * Marta: Does Tolkien really wish Faramir had died at Amon Hen? (the council scenes in "The Siege of Gondor") Other * Agape4Rivendell: something about Denethor - movie versus book * elanor: The lack of the JRRT's mythic element in Jacksons movies, with special emphasis on Faramir's brutalization of Gollum, and Boromir's and Faramir's missing Imladris dream * Jenny/Lariren: The difference in Book Faramir and Movie Faramir, apperence, personality, ect. * Nightsky: I'd be interested in examining the Strength of Men. In the movies, Men are portrayed as weak, failing, the reason the ring survives. Aragorn is reluctant to take up a leadership role. It seems to me that in the books, Men have much more innate strength.

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Ack! Two weeks and I graduate away from this kind of writing, and now I've got one that I want to write for fun? What's wrong with me!?! I guess academia is in my blood, no matter how much I hate the administration behind it... Well, anyway... One book-to-film issue that's bugged me for some time is the way Jackson established space and layout in Minas Tirith. A great many things seem compressed from what Tolkien describes in the books. The Pelennor, for instance, comes across as quite a bit smaller. The extended edition has its own quirks, too; take Denethor's procession down Rath Dínen to his pyre and subsequent leap off the stone keel, for instance. Very confusing. So, it would be interesting to study what these changes do to the story. What does a larger Pelennor do for Tolkien and why didn't it work for Jackson? Why a falling Steward rather than a falling House and what are the logistical problems with the change? In what ways do Tolkien and Jackson establish space and how do these changes affect the story? I could easily go in on this one, as long as the due date isn't some time within the next three weeks. Real academia needs to control my life, first, so they'll let me get my degree... Bado na sídh. Berz.

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Hi Berzerker, Ack! Two weeks and I graduate away from this kind of writing, and now I've got one that I want to write for fun? One book-to-film issue that's bugged me for some time is the way Jackson established space and layout in Minas Tirith. Oh, interesting! I know this is something that Tanaqui and I have discussed at some length. Even if you can't address the question of how the change affected the movies' larger narrative, I think just simply taking what the movie portrayed, and showing how it differs from what Tolkien gave us, would be an interesting article. Two other things I personally would like to see included are how the Rath Dinen seems to open straight into the Citadel, whereas I think in the books it appears to open from the Sixth Circle, I think. Also, the distance from Gondor to Osgiliath. I could easily go in on this one, as long as the due date isn't some time within the next three weeks. Real academia needs to control my life, first, so they'll let me get my degree... Oh, definitely. I'm imagining at least a six-month deadline -- maybe through the end of the year? Essays often take a while to work up to. Me personally, I've been snared with another idea: what right Isildur's line had to rule in Gondor in the books, vs. in the movies. Basically I want to examine how in the books Denethor had political precedent he was drawing on (Pelendur), and his personal experience with Thorongil, whereas in the movies Denethor was just power-hungry. And like I said, I already have a completed essay I intend to submit. I'll enter your name in the list above. Any other takers? So far that's three essays based on RotK. And while it certainly had its *cough cough* discrepancies, the other two movies have opportunities as well. I'd really like to see someone take on Elrond's and/or Aragorn's "men are weak" attitudes in the movies. Marta

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Hi Marta, I would be very much interested to write about brutalized red-blond Ring-stalking movie!Faramir allowing the beating of Gollum, moreover strangling him himself, versus ravenhaired look-into-the minds leave-the-ring-on-the highway gentle LoTR-Faramir. I know it is a very much written subject but it is the one which angers me the most. And within this belongs that PJ 'forgot' to include Faramir's mythical vision 'Seek for the sword that was broken' which brought Boromir as a lone wanderer to Rivendell. In summary, I think PJ obmitted many of the mythical parts that I love so well in LoTR. So my essay would be rather rambling and ranging over all parts of LoTR. It would touch the "men are weak" attitudes in the movies. In principle it would contradict it via Faramir. New summary, maybe I would write two essays "Myth in Book versus Action in Movie" and one especially about Faramir for which there is already much material in fandom to cite via URLs. I prefer to write the second with touches of the first sprinkled in, but it might grow into two essays. If I look at what you have already * Berzerker Prime: The layout of Minas Tirith. * Marta: Does Isildur's heir have any right to rule in Gondor? * Marta: Does Tolkien really wish Faramir had died at Amon Hen? (the council scenes in "The Siege of Gondor") I see that these are rather specialized essays. I would not like to write such a specialized essay ;-) So write if my musings would fit into your challenge. I would need at least to the end of year, I think. My 'timeline essay' is still in beta. ;-) Best wishes Elanor

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Hi Elanor, New summary, maybe I would write two essays "Myth in Book versus Action in Movie" and one especially about Faramir for which there is already much material in fandom to cite via URLs. I prefer to write the second with touches of the first sprinkled in, but it might grow into two essays. Whatever you want to do would be interested. I'll put down something like "The lack of the JRRT's mythic element in Jacksons movies, with special emphasis on Faramir's brutalization of Gollum, and Boromir's and Faramir's missing Imladris dream" I see that these are rather specialized essays. I would not like to write such a specialized essay ;-) I understand, and unspecialized is fine. I have one rambling WIP essay (my "Hobbits" one), and until I finish that I'm unlikely to take on another essay where I can't finish the first draft in a night or two of writing. I would need at least to the end of year, I think. My 'timeline essay' is still in beta. ;-) December 31 it is, then, unless anyone requests a later date. Marta

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Jenny/Lairien volunteered at HA to write the following challenge: The difference in Book Faramir and Movie Faramir, apperence, personality, ect. I'm going to add her to the list. That's four people; one more and we're good to go. Marta

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Agape4Rivendell posted to HA, saying she would be interested in doing something about Denethor - movie versus book Marta

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

Nightsky, posted to HA, saying: I'd be interested in examining the Strength of Men. In the movies, Men are portrayed as weak, failing, the reason the ring survives. Aragorn is reluctant to take up a leadership role. It seems to me that in the books, Men have much more innate strength. Marta

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

That's five! Or six, rather. Watch this space. Allie edit: Challenge and discussion.

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

I'd like to write an essay on how Isildur wasn't the last king of Gondor. Grr. - Kate Edit: Marta, I've just realised that it may overlap slightly with your essay. I hope you don't mind.

 

 

Re: Movieverse Essays Challenge

This subject interests me a lot and I've put much thought into many of the same questions. Movie Faramir made me sick to my stomach. I think the very first comment I made to anyone about the movie was, "I was so upset by what he did to Faramir that it was really hard to enjoy the movie." Also, the "men are weak" thing. That was just a plot ploy to allow some cheap dramatic tension. Another line in the movie that made me just want to curl up under the seat and moan was "Arwen is dying." Oh, please! So Aragorn decides to go after the crown just to save her life, but he never wanted it before. This is SO not right. And I hated what he did to Denethor, too. Denethor is actually a very interesting and complex character, not the incompetent maniac you see in the movie. On the other hand, Jackson did a few things better than Tolkien: e.g. Aragorn carrying around only a broken sword in the Fellowship pre-Rivendell. That is just ridiculous. And he made me appreciate some of the other characters more--for example, Sean Bean was just so terrific as Boromir that I saw him in a whole new way. Ditto for Frodo, actually. The craven servant Sam vs. boss Frodo thing that Tolkien does just sticks in my craw. Jackson is better. In fact, a lot of the characters come more to life in the movie, because Tolkien is not at his best at characterization. At least, that's not why I read him--for that I look elsewhere (Trollope, for example). So I think I would like to write a more general essay that does pros and cons for the story and the medium of book and film. Gandalfs apprentice

 

 

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