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So, Sci Fi has aired their (to me, dreaded) Earthsea mini-series. Lara set the DVR to record it. I didn't think I would watch it, and tuning in for about 5 minutes of the first night's instalment cemented that dicission for me. On Wednesday, I would be driving to Berryville and back, and I wouldn't be home until evening, so I told Lara, "If you're going to watch Earthsea, feel free to do it when I'm not home."

"So you don't plan to watch it?"

"Not unless you watch it and like it enough to watch it again," I replied.

When I got home, Lara told me that she started to watch the mini-series. "But you didn't finish it?"

"I have erased it from the DVR," she said with a disgusted tone. I wondered what Ursula K. LeGuin thought of the adaptation of her work. The quoted paragraph below about sums up her reaction.

Having looked over the script, I realised they had no understanding of what the two books are about, and no interest in finding out. All they intended was to use the name Earthsea, and some of the scenes from the books, in a generic MacMagic movie with a meaningless plot based on sex and violence.

Link: http://trashotron.com/agony/columns/2004/12-15-04.htm


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC)

I enjoyed the two episodes.

In this case, I'm glad I didn't read the book.

Dec. 17th, 2004 07:34 am (UTC)
OK; second person on FL to say they not only couldn't stomach it, they erased it from the tape/disk it was on.

Must be *that* bad.

I am somewhat glad, then, that we don't have cable right now. I'm reading a book by Asimov that talks about the unreasonableness of comparing film and word, though, and I'm more zen about this sort of thing, now. They don't really make movies for the people who read the books, even though, ironically, those are usually the ones who want to watch them.
Dec. 17th, 2004 11:58 am (UTC)
Watched about the first hour
I've never read the books in their entirety and have nearly forgotten them, so I did enjoy it for a little while. However, I could tell the pessimistic critics were right, overall the first part was "Let's compete with Harry Potter" IMHO.

Overall, it seems to be generic low budget fantasy now able to do more than Lucas could in his first Star Wars movies the first go round thanks to computers. And this generic crowd pleasing fantasy bought the rights to this or that famous novel to get more viewers.

Aren't there plenty of generic sex and magic and swordplay stories out there that would be enhanced, not diminished by this treatment? I mean, older movies like "The Sword and the Sorceror" were just plain FUN if you didn't take them seriously.

Lin Carter is a good start. Yes, I like his stuff. He's seen as a hack, chiefly because he rescued a lot of phenomenal greats from obscurity. (Robert E. Howard, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith) He's a hack compared to them, but most of his stuff is just plain fun written for the sake of it, with a strong visual style that would do well for visual adaptation.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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