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starofdunedain
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on: May 05, 2019 05:06
Has anyone seen the Tolkien biography movie yet and if so what did you think of it? My first impression was that it's not something I really want to see because I dislike biopics themselves (there's something icky to me about a person's life being made for entertainment view)
But I've heard from other people that they liked it.
Gandolorin
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on: May 05, 2019 05:29
No, I haven’t seen it, and I'm also leery of doing so as I have read so much about JRRT by Carpenter, Shippey et. al. But as I haven’t been to the cinema since RoTK came out (we went in Jan 2004), I wouldn't have noticed if it had been screened in cinemas. Was that so, or was it on TV on elsewhere (streaming or whatever)?
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starofdunedain
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on: May 05, 2019 09:29
It's in the cinemas, it just came out this month. There have been magazines around here advertising it and I read about it on other websites like Tumblr. I guess I can understand being fascinated how a person managed to create such an extensive and detailed story like the Middle-earth universe, not just Lord of the Rings, but the entire history of the First and Second Age with Valinor and Gondolin.
But for me the interest doesn't extend to wanting to know about the creator's personal life.
Gandolorin
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on: May 05, 2019 12:45
That was one thing that JRRT was also very skeptical about, the craze about an author's personal life (with the emphasis on personal, as in private) and how some reviewers etc. have become so preoccupied with such stuff to almost lose sight of the author's work, even in his time. And that emphasis on the personal is what I expect the biopic to focus on (Hollywood tries to squash everything into its trite "human interest" cookie cutter). What the authors I mentioned have focused more on are the sources from which JRRT derived the "fodder" for his amazing imagination, very much so also from his professional life as a philologist (a profession he chose due to his intense interest in languages) at Oxford. And in that context for example that group of people called "The Inklings" (Humphrey Carpenter wrote a sort of "group biography" on them), but also other "influences". But that probably doesn't fit into the cookie cutter too well ...
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Gandolorin
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on: May 06, 2019 06:40
Just checked out Wikipedia and found articles on the biopic in both the German and the English Wikis. It was released in the UK last Friday, 03 May, and will be released in the US next Friday, 10 May. Release in Germany is still a bit off, 20 June. Short description:

“As a child, J. R. R. Tolkien becomes friends with a group of fellow artists and writers at his school, with whom he finds inspiration and courage. Their bond of fellowship grows with the years, as they experience life together. Meanwhile, Tolkien meets Edith Bratt, with whom he falls in love. But when World War I breaks out, Tolkien's relationships with his friends are tested, an act which threatens to tear their "fellowship" apart.”

So this is the school years, then University and WW I.

As a side note, the description in the German Wiki article seems to have had a “baloney slices” attack, as the fellowship (the TCBS including Geoffrey Bache Smith, Robert Q. Gilson and Christopher Wiseman) is described as a “group of outcasts”! Eh wot?!? And there is no mention of Edith ...
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Dolwen
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on: May 09, 2019 04:45
It comes out here in the US tomorrow and I am planning to go see it on Sunday afternoon. I was on the fence about it when I first heard because I was worried what they would do with it as Hollywood is known for putting spins on stuff like this that isn't accurate. But I've read a couple of opinion pieces etc. on theonering.net's facebook page and decided that I would like to see it after all. I haven't read Shipley yet, though I own the book I couldn't get into it the first time I tried, but have read Carpenter's book twice so I'm curious to see what the movie has done and it it is in good taste like others are saying. Personally, I don't see any problem watching or reading about your favorite author's life as long as it is in good taste, isn't invasive and is authorized by the author or the estate. I kind of goes with the territory of being a celebrity and always has which the celebrities are well aware of when they step in that direction.

[Edited on 05/09/2019 by Dolwen]
Gandolorin
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on: May 09, 2019 08:24
Erm, well, as for being "authorized by the author or the estate", the English Wiki article also states "On April 23, 2019, the Tolkien Estate issued a statement making it clear that the family and estate do not endorse the film or its content, despite having not yet seen it". So we're definitely not in Humphrey Carpenter territory here ...

As to Tom Shippey, both his 2003 3rd edition (I also have the 1992 2nd edition, and believe I once even had the 1982 1st edition - wherever that may have disappeared to) of “The Road to Middle-earth” and his 2000 “Author of the Century” are eminently readable (though the first one is heavy on the philological side, Shippey having many biographical overlaps with JRRT, including King Edward’s School in Birmingham, and Oxford and Leeds as a member of the faculty).

[Edited on 05/09/2019 by Gandolorin]
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Dolwen
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on: May 10, 2019 12:28
I didn't mean that the movie was authorized, I know it wasn't. I was actually referring to Carpenter's book with that statement. I read an article about that too and it seems that the "not endorsed by the family" is the standard issue statement when a movie gets made and didn't mean much. http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2019/04/30/106334-tolkien-estates-measured-response/
The Shippey book I own is Author of the Century but as I said, I haven't read it yet. I tried but i couldn't get into it. It certainly didn't have the appeal that Carpenter's book had to me but perhaps I just wansn't in the mood when I tried.
And I am back on the fence about the movie again. lol. I read another review this morning that said that while the movie was beautifully made and charming, great actors etc. that the film changed things that were clearly spelled out in Carpenter's biography so they saw no need for the changes. If I do decide to go see it, I will post what I thought.
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