The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 9
'Towers' makes journey from text to screen
By Andy TaylorFabe
Daily Arts Writer
With the opening of Peter Jackson's
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Tow-
ers" just a week away, many are start-
ing to wonder how the film will differ
from J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy classic.
Last year's "The Fellowship of the
Ring" was met with mostly positive
criticism regarding its adaptation, a sur-
prising reaction considering the almost
biblical status of the books in the realm
of fantasy literature.
Despite some omissions for length,
"Fellowship" the film was faithful to
the book. "Towers" does an equally
fine job of bringing the magic of the
book to the screen, despite the added
challenge of having to overcome
some decidedly un-cinematic aspects
of the novel.
"The Two Towers" picks up exactly
where "The Fellowship of the Ring" left
'off. Frodo, the ring bearer, and his
trusty companion Sam continue their
quest into Mordor to destroy the ring of
power; Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are
in hot pursuit of a band of Orcs and
Uruk-hai who captured Merry and Pip-
pin during the final battle
in "Fellowship." The trai-
torous wizard Saruman
continues his plot to THE L
destroy the world of men THE]
and join forces with the THE
dark lord Sauron. AllT
over Middle Earth, the o
battle between good and Opens
evil rages on. New Lir
Like the book, the
film begins with direct
continuation of the action from the
first part of the story, doing its best to
make viewers forget the long, anticipa-
tion-filled year between "Fellowship"
The biggest difference between
Tolkien's novel and Jackson's film is
the narrative structure. This sounds like
a minor detail, but it profoundly affects
the action and the pace of the story.
When Tolkien wrote "The Lord of
the Rings," he wrote it as one would
write a historical account of real
events, with chapters listed by topic
instead of strict chronology. The
adventures of Frodo and Sam are dealt
with separately from the Battle of
Helm's Deep, just as they would be in
a history textbook. This structure actu-
ally makes sense, since Tolkien was a
scholar at Oxford before he wrote the
three-part fantasy story.
"The Two Towers" is divided into
two parts: Since the Fellowship has
been broken and its company scattered
across Middle Earth, it becomes
increasingly difficult to keep track of
the various characters, who do not
encounter each other often.
Book III follows, among other
things, Aragorn, Merry,
Pippin, Treebeard the
Ent, the fate of the King-
RD OF dom of Rohan and most
NGS: importantly, the return of
EWO Gandalf. (If you have
never read the book or
ERS have been in a cave and
ec. 18 therefore haven't seen a
Cinema preview for "The Two
Towers," sorry. He
comes back.) This sec-
ing film. Their solution was to splice
the storylines together, moving back
and forth from Rohan to Mordor with
ease and smooth transitions.
As in the first film, characters are
expanded, and some are diminished
completely. In a further attempt to
create more romantic tension (and
add some female characters to a
movie full of guys), Arwen is given
more screen time in scenes that did
not appear in the book.
The most important change that
Jackson et al made, however, is the
ending. Without giving anything away,
they chose to end "The Two Towers"
much in the same way they ended "Fel-
lowship," with subdued but cautious
hopefulness instead of cliff-hanging
suspense and uncertainty, leaving the
true ending of "Towers" for "The
Return of the King," due in Dec. 2003.
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tion makes no mention of the ring bear-
Book IV, however, takes us back to
the same point at which Book III start-
ed and takes us through Frodo and
Sam's journey past the Black Gate of
Mordor, the taming of Gollum and the
lair of Shelob.
The two storylines are completely
separated in the book, and since there is
no overlap between the two groups in
their adventures, they are basically two
different stories. However, this format
would not work in a movie. After all,
no one wants to see the harrowing cli-
max of the battle of Helm's Deep fol-
lowed by the quiet and slow-paced
beginning of Frodo's and Sam's interac-
tions with Gollum.
Peter Jackson and his team of
screenwriters had to adapt the rigidly
structured book to a cohesive and flow-
Altan group rings in the holiday season
By Sarah Peterson
Daily Arts Writer
With a tranquil beginning, the band
lulls you into a relaxed, peaceful state.
Then, just when you least expected it,
they crank up the tempo with hard-hit-
ting traditional jigs and reels. The com-
bined talents of Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh,
Ciarin Tourish, Ciaran
Curran, Daithi Sproule
and Dermot Byrne make
up this Celtic band ALTAN ]
known as Allan. On Sat- CELEBI
urday at 8pm, the band is
coming to Ann Arbor. At The b
The performance they Th
will give at the Michigan Saturday at
Theater is quite different $
from normal Altan
shows. In order to cele- University Mv
brate the holiday season,
the group has brought in such friends as
harpist Laoise Kelly, accordion and
harpist Seamus Begley, guitarist Jim
Murray, harpist Ann Heymann, and step
dancers from Kerry. According to
Mair6ad Ni Mhaonaigh, the concert will
feature a collage of traditional folk
dances and Gaelic carols, as well as
Altan began with the pairing of
Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and the late
Frankie Kennedy in a duo. In the mid-
1980s, after slow, gradual growth, the
duo became the band that is now loved
around the world. The band took their
name of Altan from the mysterious Lake
Altan,.which is located in Donegal, in
the shadow of the Errigal Mountain. In
1996, Altan was signed to Virgin
Records, making them the first Irish
band to be signed by a major label.
Since this time, they have toured all over
the world to countries including Japan,
Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the
Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh plays the fid-
dle and has been with the group since the
beginning. Her two fiddle teachers as she
was growing up were her father, Proin-
sias, and Dinny McLaughlin. Mhaonaigh
can be heard on many recordings as well
as five albums with Altan.
Mhaonaigh said this performance is a
"celebration of the turning of the year."
She explained that it is a combination
celebration of both the winter and Christ-
mas seasons with a Gaelic feel.
As well as folk songs, folk dancing,
and Gaelic carols, the concert also
includes a segment where a poem is read.
The poem is about the Christmas memo-
ries of a child while he looks out over the
Irish countryside. Mhaon-
aigh described it as being
very "poignant and
[OLIDAY earth,' as well as being
ATION her favorite part of the
[ichigan "People enjoy the
ter whole mixture," said
p.m. $16- Mhaonaigh when asked
4 what the audience will
most like, "and the mum-
sical Society mers rhyme always caus-
es a reaction."
Mhaonaigh explained that the show is
very different and that "people won't
know what to expect," but that in its
uniqueness lies its virtue. In the words
of Mhaonaigh, "If you like to enjoy the
Christmas season, it is a must."
$10 Rush Tickets on sale 10 am-5
pm the day of the performance or
the Friday before a weekend event
at the UMS Ticket Office, located in
the Michigan League.
50% Rush Tickets on sale
beginning 90 minutes before
the event at the performance
hall Box Office.
Emerson String Withsix Grarnmy awards, in'-
Quartet Album, the Emersons "give
1213 8playing of exceptional tech-
Fri pm nical accomplishment and
Rackham Auditorium an unusually wide expressive
AltaxnWith their exquisitely
The Year's Turning recordings, ranging from the
ATraditional Gaelic Seasonal most sensitive and touching
Celebration old Irish song to hard-hitting
reels and jigs, Altan is com-
Sat 1214 8pm mitted to bringing the beauty
Michigan Theater of traditional Irish music to
A valid student ID is required. Limit two tickets per
student, per event. Rush tickets are not offered if an
event is sold out Seating is subject to availability and
box office discretion.
Courtesy of UMS
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