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Tony Grist

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The BBC's Little Dorrit [Nov. 29th, 2008|10:04 am]
Tony Grist
I'm enjoying the BBC's Little Dorrit.  I like how Andrew Davis has tightened up the ramshackle plot, given Amy a little more fire and turned the underpowered Rigaud into a proper villain of melodrama (Andy Serkis- plus beard and moustache, minus eyebrows) but it's not Dickens. Dramatized Dickens never is.  Take away the authorial voice- with its poetry, rhetoric and fantastical drollery- and you've taken away three quarters of what makes him so extraordinary. Little Dorrit is a huge novel, a great three-decker warship of a book (I'm borrowing a image from Kipling here) - like Turner's Fighting Temeraire with the sunset behind her- and Davis has turned it into a streamlined racing yatch. I miss the weather too. Dickens' London is dark and and foggy and muddy and hallucinatory. The BBC's London is so clean and brisk you could enact Jane Austen on the streets.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2008-11-29 01:09 pm (UTC)
The BBC's London is so clean and brisk you could enact Jane Austen on the streets.

Heehee. :)

I don't remember London being clean and brisk. But colorful and wet, yes. And full of rooks. -_-


What I do like about this is how it reminded me of why I hated the Lord of the Rings movies. To me those books were part travelogue and part poetry book, and the movies stripped 90% of the poetry from them.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-11-29 01:57 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Another person who hated the LOTR films as much as I did and for exactly the same reasons!
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2008-11-29 02:28 pm (UTC)
What can I say? I want to live in a world where people recite poems to one another, sing around campfires, and where "Hey Diddle Diddle" is a two-page epic about the Man in the Moon getting drunk and having to be bundled back into his chariot by a concerned innkeeper.

I used to memorize those poems (the Elvish ones too!) and sing them to myself. Tolkien to me will always be an oral tradition. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-11-29 02:52 pm (UTC)
Tolkien created what is still probably the most convincing and detailed alternative universe. The beauty is in the details- especially the details of landscape.

Jackson missed the soul but kept the (very leaky) plot. He actually managed to exacerbate faults that the beauty of Tolkien's writing disguises.
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2008-11-29 11:58 pm (UTC)
Yes. I found the movies... soulless, that's the precious right word for it. And surrounded by people idolizing the actors and thinking, "This book was never intended as a celebrity show. It's not about each individual character, like some kind of prima donna. It's an ensemble, and the landscape is one of the most vivid characters, and no, re-fashioning all of the characters into tortured emo souls riddled with self-doubt and moral ambivalence was not an improvement."

Also, Frodo was not supposed to be a pretty fragile boy. Nor was Sam supposed to be his subtextual lover.

Eh. I will stick to the books, like the curmudgeon I am. :P
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-11-30 10:05 am (UTC)
LOTR is a very English book- and infused with a love of the English landscape- so the first mistake was filming it in New Zealand. But then Jackson has no feel for any landscape- not even his own. He does spectacle but not genius locii. There's no mystery, no real magic, no awe. Another mistake was over-reliance on CGI and- oh, I could go on and on- I really hate those movies!
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