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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 51 - 7/23/2001
What Did You Think of 'The Mists of Avalon"?
What did you think of the TNT mini-series, 'The Mists of Avalon'? How well did it compare with the book? Were you happy or disappointed with the interpretation? Even if you have not read the book nor seen the movie, what do you think about the Arthurian Legends? Why are they so enduring? Which Arthurian Legend character most speaks to you and why? Do you think that there is a real-life historical basis for the Legends?
| Reponses: There are 44 responses posted to this question.
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| I Thought The Movie Was Great. I Have Read The Book Several... ||Jul 24th. at 9:25:17 am EDT|
|Jeff Kincaid (Forest, Virginia US) ||Age: 38 - Email |
I thought the movie was great. I have read the book several times over the years and was looking forward to the movie with great anticipation. I was a little sad at the omissions from the book, given that this was a "mini-series" I felt that more could have been included. I was also thrilled to see Paganism presented in a positive light as a religion, not as a way for teenage girls to change their hair color and cast love spells on the high school quarterback (ala "The Craft"). I would hope that this would open the way to more realistic portrayals of our path
| I Am Just Glad That Tnt Didn't Portray Morgan As An Evil... ||Jul 24th. at 12:08:33 pm EDT|
|Artos Blackwolf (Vernon, Alabama US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I am just glad that TNT didn't portray Morgan as an evil troublemaker like every other movie or TV show does
| The Mists Of Something -- But Not Avalon I Have Wondered Since I... ||Jul 24th. at 12:40:35 pm EDT|
|Heather Lynn Fairfield (Canton, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
The Mists of Something -- but not Avalon
I have wondered since I first read ÒThe Mists of AvalonÓ how this story would translate if and when it was eventually made into a movie. I confess that when I heard that TNT had finally decided to go ahead with the endeavor, I awaited the results with mingled excitement and trepidation. I was excited because Hollywood was finally planning to make a movie out of the novel, but fearful that it would not come close to doing the story justice. It seems that I was justified in feeling both ways.
First of all, let me state that the made-for-TV movie was not a bad movie at all ... IF youÕve never read the book. If you, like me, are a die-hard fan of the novel, however, then steel yourselves for a major disappointment. About the only things that I found that were consistent with the plotline were the names of the characters, and the basic relationships between them. (And when I say basic relationships, I mean BASIC, as in who is related to whom. Not much more than that was accurate.) Whoever wrote the screenplay for this did not care one whit about the interpersonal relationships between people as shown in the book, with the result that the plotline was skewed, and actions and reactions on the part of major characters were either wildly distorted or never explained at all. IÕm honestly not sure which was worse, in this case. As hard as I try, it is impossible to ignore that certain key characters often acted in ways completely alien to how their personalities were described in the book. Knowing that the story had to be told in such a short amount of time, however, I can understand why the writers felt compelled to NOT go too into detail on this level.
I find it much harder to forgive the fact that at least 1/2 of the TV movie is completely made up by whoever wrote the screenplay. By this, I mean that almost half of the scenes and/or character relationships NEVER took place in the book, or took place so differently that the movie version may as well have been made up completely. To be fair, I do understand how ambitious a project it is for anyone to try and make such an involved book into a movie. I honestly think that TNTÕs main problem was a lack of sufficient funding to present this story the way they should have. If that was the case, they should not, in my opinion, have attempted it at all. The costumes and sets were brilliant, the casting was good, and the acting was decent -- given what they had to work with as a script. I have no real complaint with any of these things. However, a story this complex should, by rights, have been presented as a 5-part miniseries, not a one-night, 2 hour hodgepodge of whatever the writers could stitch together to make a semi-coherent plotline. Again, they came out with a decent product (I guess), but one that was based on the book in such a loose fashion that it could arguably be a completely different story with the same name. Most fans of any book made into a movie -- and this one is no exception -- would expect that at the very least, the basic plotline would be followed ... not largely made up from scratch.
As a pretty nice 2-hour made-for-TV movie about King Arthur, with a few basic similarities to a great book I once read, I give this movie a B.
As an actual adaptation of the book ÒThe Mists of AvalonÓ by Marion Zimmer Bradley, I do not hesitate one nanosecond in giving this movie a D.
I will continue to keep my fingers crossed that eventually someone with enough skill and a good budget will give a screen-adaptation of this novel the consistency and plot quality that it deserves. This could have been a really spectacular movie/miniseries if it had been handled the right way. It saddens and frustrates me that it wasnÕt, because fans have been looking forward to it for so long.
-- Heather Lynn Fairfield
| I Had Only Read Part Of The Prequel, "lady Of Avalon" When... ||Jul 24th. at 3:21:20 pm EDT|
|Disa Airefaye (New Washington, Indiana US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I had only read part of the prequel, "Lady of Avalon" when I saw the movie. I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially the portrayal of the service of the Goddess. The plot, although I understand it is far more involved in the book, was good and seemed solid to one who has never read the book. Now that I am finishing up "Lady of Avalon" (which is a beautiful book that I recommend highly) I plan on picking up "Mists of Avalon".
I think that there were rulers and chieftains in the past to whom some of the events in Arthurian legend may have occured. Storytellers probably took theses events and centered them around one king, with the characters we have now become familiar with, some fictional, some not. Arthurian legend speaks to us of our religion, our ethics, and our humanity.
| The Screenwriters Who Wrote The Made For Tv Movie Had Quite A... ||Jul 24th. at 5:30:39 pm EDT|
|Jennifer Blossom (Kansas City, Kansas US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
The screenwriters who wrote the made for TV movie had quite a job to perform. They were asked (or took it upon themselves) to take a 900 page book, and tell the heart of the story in 3 hours of film time. Now, granted, a picture tells a thousand words (or so they say), but much of the storyline was necessarily lost in the paring down process. On top of that, I would venture to guess that the screenwriters weren't Pagan (even MZB wasn't Pagan, she was Episcopalian), and didn't have a concept of what magick really is all about.
So, with those things in perspective, I feel that they did a fabulous job. Could it have been better? Sure, easily. But, as it was presented, I am pleased that they kept to the core issue of the struggle between the old ways and the new, and that they presented the old ways in the positive light that was intended in the novel.
However, I feel that this squabbling over details is causing us to miss the larger picture here. It wasn't that many years ago that film makers were turning out The Ten Commandments and such stories as high entertainment. The culture at that time supported these efforts. What do you think would happen during this day and age if someone were to produce such a film? It would most likely flop. But, when they produce a film (even though it was a TV mini-series, not the big screen)that represents Paganism in a positive light and Christianity in a rather negative light, this represents a landmark for us Heathens. Not only that, but for the nations imagination to be caught by a myth of the Mother Goddess Religion, is an extremely important detail not to be missed. Remember that change always begins with the heart, not the head, and the quickest route to the heart is through our hopes, fantasies, and imagination. It is events like this that will help fulfill the hope of the Old Ones, that the old ways and the new ways should exist peacefully side by side. So mote it be.
| Sadly I Can Not Comment On The Movie Itself, I Couldn't Get... ||Jul 24th. at 7:00:32 pm EDT|
|El-Sharra WhiteRaven (Brantford, Ontario CA) ||Age: 23 - Email |
sadly i can not comment on the movie Itself, I couldn't get it up here in Canada. But I did want to make a statement about wether or not the Legends were based in fact. I belive that there were historical figures that were merged through time with mythological archtypes to create the legends we know now. I also belive that it dosn't matter wether or not a man named Arthur ever walked the earth, the belife that humanity has and has had in him for hundreds of years makes him real and makes him powerfull. To paraphrase Patricia Kennealy-Morrision (author of the Keltiad series- spectacular) he has written his name on the walls of legend in letters of fire and there is nothing that can ever erase that
| Review From A Pagan's Coworker: "it Was Boring; Where Was All The... ||Jul 24th. at 8:11:40 pm EDT|
|Lynne-Renee (rural STL, Missouri US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Review from a pagan's coworker: "It was boring; where was all the hocus pocus? I mean, the Lady of the Lake is supposed to be an underwater goddess. (Snort) She was just a *Priestess*! That's not the real story! And hey, everybody was goody-goody. It just wasn't realistic."
In a great fit of exasperation I'm afraid I said, "That's the point, dumbass." Not very nice of me, but it's a filial kind of relationship. I explained that in fact, it showed more of how people did worhip, learn and live their lives following the Old Ways than say, "The Witches of Eastwick." "Jim, did ya think the Pope *really* was the great-great...grandson of St. Peter?"
I can't believe pagans came off as well as we did on t.v. Cheers
| I Was Thrilled To See A Well Written, Well Acted, Well Produced... ||Jul 25th. at 1:55:26 am EDT|
|Tara Miller (Cape Girardeau, Missouri US) ||Age: 25 |
I was thrilled to see a well written, well acted, well produced epic that had main characters who were Pagan. Let's hope it isn't the last!
| What I Saw Of It,i Loved It. I Just Wished It... ||Jul 25th. at 3:45:08 am EDT|
|Brandy (Fort Myers/Lehigh Acres, Florida US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
What I saw of it, I loved it. I just wished It was longer. I knew about the book for some time but never read it. I will be purchasing it very soon.
| Now Don't Think Me Daft, But I Actually Cried During Morgaines Initiation... ||Jul 25th. at 4:35:54 am EDT|
|Pentalpha. (Brooklyn, New York US) ||Age: 50 |
Now don't think me daft, but I actually cried during Morgaines initiation scenes. I couldn't believe that the Goddess and magick were being portrayed in such a positive light. Witches hats off to Uli Edel and the entire cast for an entertaining and positive portrayal of Paganism.
| Well, Let Us Start At The Top. I Really Liked The Mini-series... ||Jul 25th. at 12:06:43 pm EDT|
|Serena Kara (Savannah, Georgia US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
Well, let us start at the top. I really liked the mini-series, they answered some questions that I had, and also made some really good points. I think that towards the end, they started to get pushed for time, and skimped some. But they had to take quite a book and skinny it down for 3 hours. So all in all they didn't do that bad. I haven't read the book yet, but with the movie out now I diffently want to. And probably will here shortly.
The King Arthur legends are a small piece of ourselves. We see some small glimmer of what we are looking for in each person. They, the characters, are all people that we can relate to. Besides that it has all the things that a good story is looking for. It has love, betrayal, war, wicked sisters, and a hero. It is not a story that is going to be hidden any time soon. But as to whether or not they actually stem from a real person? Humm, I think that some of the things told might be real. Then there are some things that have been made up, or elaborated on. You have to figure the things that we call myths now have been passed down through word of mouth. Some things are libal to stay the same and some things are going to be different.
I think that Morgan La Faye is the one that says the most to me. With the different story's telling that she was a priestess and then a some what wicked woman. She goes through a total closet of costumes, through the myths.
| I Enjoyed The Movie Immensely. As Many, I Have Not Yet Read... ||Jul 25th. at 7:04:03 pm EDT|
|Kaicielia BlueDragon (Madison, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I enjoyed the movie immensely. As many, I have not yet read the book. I find that that is a boon when watching a movie based on a book, nothing to be disappointed about.
I once took a class on medieval literature, and there was one point of difference in this story from the other, many, Arthurian legends that I found refreshing. Historically, Arthurian women are either perfect, pure, and virgins; or scheming, evil, out-to-get-what-they-can bitches. There were no middle levels. Here, every woman had bad points to them, they all did their share of "sinning." In fact, there were only two really bad guys, Morguose and Mordred. I liked that the women, for the most part, were realistic, multidimentional beings.
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