December 20, 2004
Earthsea on SciFi channel - What a Travesty
I thought I wrote something about this at the end of last week but I guess I forgot to post it. Well, now I've watched the thing and it is horrendously bad. This is one of my favorite series of books ever and the one from which I take my standard nickname, NPL nom, LiveJournal logo, etc... and they absolutely destroyed it. Other than some character names (which even that amazingly they totally fucked up, reversing Ged's True name and use name causing me to wince in pain every time they say his true name [Ged that is] in open conversion) and events, there is almost nothing in common with the story or spirit of the books. I think only one scene in the entire movie rang true for me, when Ogion (now not called "the Silent" and talking up a storm) tells Ged to turn and become the Hunter. Harping on individual scenes would be pointless since it would include 95% of the scenes in the movie - I'll spare us both that.
No Lookfar, no scene of Ged battling the brood of the Dragon of Pendor (god what a ridiculous creature they make their dragon to be), no beauty of Roke including the Courtyard and Patterner's Grove, no Otak - why couldn't they at least, as LotR did, give me beautiful visuals for the incredibly beautiful story elements Le Guin wrote?
Le Guin has written a piece railing against this horror. The race issue didn't matter that much to me (perhaps, as she says, because I am white) but the plot, total change of character of Ged to a petulant kid, and total destruction of Le Guin's themes did. Probably my favorite character in all of literature is turned into someone who for 80% of the movie was actively dislikable.
SciFi did a great job with both Dune movies, particularly the first one, but this is a travesty and a nightmare. Oddly enough, this one actually bothered me a lot less than Lord of the Rings did because it is so far from the text that I could largely just laugh it off and not be pained by mourning for what could have been. I also think this one will have much less of a negative impact on another, good version being made at some point.
Posted by aarondf at December 20, 2004 04:42 PM
I totally agree. SciFi demolished the plot. Extremely dissatisfying. And even if A Wizard of Earthsea weren't one of my most favorite books of all time (and it is), the acting in the SciFi production was astoundingly atrocious, embarassing even, and the graphics of the Earthsea world very low quality. But I'd overlook all these lesser failings if only they had stuck to the plot. I understand (but don't like) how they trim things out when they make movies of books, but this went so far afield it's insulting to fans to label it "Earthsea".
Posted by: Woody at January 13, 2005 09:14 PM
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