Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Narnia movies -- C.S Lewis in his own words.

(Read this quickly before someone tells them that 'owning a letter' and 'owning the right to publish that letter' aren't quite the same thing.

15 comments:

  1. ...although, as they point out on boingboing.net, a 'pantomime Aslan' would be a person in a lion suit. CGI has the potential to do better than that.

    (Mind you, I was never a big Narnia fan. I expect I'd be more worried if Disney was doing a live-action/CGI version of 'Uncle' or the Moomins.)

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  2. You know, I've read similar thoughts by Tolkien, which frankly seem to me suggest a profound misunderstanding of the magic of filmmaking - not surprising for someone of his and Lewis' generation. Great and magical films have utilized ghastly, often laughable effects (I'm thinking right now of the original King Kong, but we might also talk about the original Star Wars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and studios with millions of dollars to pour into photorealistic effects have succeeded in bleeding dry the most magical source material (the new Star Wars films, the Matrix sequels).

    Also, I wonder whether Lewis and Tolkien would have felt the same if they knew what could be done with special effects today. Their objections strike me, in both cases, as being practical and aesthetic, not fundamental.

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  3. RE: Pantomime Aslan.

    WHITE WITCH: "I am victorious, for Aslan, the great Lion, is dead"

    AUDIENCE "Oh no he isn't! rh

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  4. This is actually why I'm looking forward to seeing the film with far less trepidation that I had for the LotR films.

    They may be bad, they may butcher the book, the director may turn out to be a hack, I may feel guilty about supporting more Hollywood tripe...but I will finally be able to see a rival to that BBC animatronic Aslan.

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  5. The real problem with the LWW film is that moment in the script where Aslan looks deeply into Lucy's eyes, and, in a voice cracking with emotion, tells her "You can do anything if you will only believe in yourself, follow your heart and trust your dreams".

    I hate it when that happens.

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  6. I think he is very right in saying that animal characters often end up being not so believable in movies. As to animation, one excellent example comes to mind with the japanese masterpiece from Miyazaki, Mononoke Hime (aka Princess Mononoke) which depicts a number of important animal characters in a very subtle way.

    It's definitely worth a look.

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  7. Mike--

    Is that seriously in the script?

    I really hope that's satire, but with Hollywood it's hard to know what is and isn't.

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  8. [Is that seriously in the script?]

    We can only hope not.

    But I'm not putting my mortgage on it.

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  9. Mike and Chester,

    I heard a good interview with the script writer the other day, and at least he's giving lip-service to following the source material. Of course, so did Peter Jackson.

    On the other hand he did say that the first thing he did was write down all the bits he remembered from his childhood reading of it, and then go back and reread the book. He said that the movie is closer to his recolection than to the book.

    Susan does fight, but she shoots arrows from afar, the battle is on-screen not off-stage like in the book, and the speach fo the children has been updated a little bit. (But the script writer said he sees this as a type of period piece. So there is hope.)

    On another note, what would Lewis have seen in 50's and early 60's disney to make him think of it as vulgar? I'm really curious. I wonder if he meant vulgar as in profane, or vulgar as in crass? Any ideas?

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  10. Considering Lewis was friends with Tolkien, who viewed Walter Disney as having absolutely corrupted the beauty of fairy-tale with horrifically cutesy images, I would think that Lewis would mean "vulgar" as in "completely lacking in sophistication and subtlety."

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  11. On another note, what would Lewis have seen in 50's and early 60's disney to make him think of it as vulgar?

    Two words: cherub's arse.

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  12. On the other hand (re: Disney), wasn't Lewis a fan of Snow White and the seven dwarfs? I seem to recall so, anyway...

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  13. Never mind. I gotta start reading the whole thing (including newer posts) before responding... :-P

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  14. Hang on.

    Lewis says that he'd be fine with an animated Aslan, just not a live-action one.

    Isn't an animated Aslan exactly what we're getting in this new film?

    The BBC one was more like a live-action one, but as I understand it this one will be almost entirely animated.

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  15. The real problem with the LWW film is that moment in the script where Aslan looks deeply into Lucy's eyes, and, in a voice cracking with emotion, tells her "You can do anything if you will only believe in yourself, follow your heart and trust your dreams".

    You think you're joking...

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