Earthsea mini-series

ROSLYN rosgross at
Mon Dec 6 08:46:59 EST 2004

Looking at the trailer, I have to completely agree with you, and I'm now not 
surprised that UKL is very unhappy.


> |On Sunday, December 5, 2004, at 05:27 AM, ROSLYN wrote:
> |> Still, it isn't clear whether Ursula le Guin is critical of the actual
> |> film--or even if she's even actually seen it--or only the words that
> |> the director put into her mouth.

> I'm always suspicious of authors telling us what their books are about.
> When Anne Rice defended herself on Amazon, I laughed as hard as anyone.
> But this film?  Will *bite*.
> There are trailers online ( ).  Watch
> them if you want some pain.
> The film appears to be an amalgamation of some bastardization of WoE and
> ToA, in which there's a war between the kings of the Kargad lands and
> the good people of Earthsea, completely with epic battles in which Ged
> is involved in personal fights with the evil Kargad king Tygath.  Their
> description of the miniseries begins:
>  An angry, headstrong youth, whose magical power could rival that of
>  the greatest wizards....
>  A beautiful young priestess, introduced to evil....
>  A warrior king who wields words and weapons with equal force....
> Uh ... no?
>  As he journeys to manhood, he will combat dragons, fall in love, cross
>  death's threshold and ultimately wield the power to reunite a planet.
> Uh, hell no?
> In the tailer they brag that this is
>  the classic adventure fairytale story.
> Um, no!  It isn't the classic story; that's why it's so good.  And by
> turning it into stock fantasy you diminish everything that's so
> wonderful, so uniquely LeGuin.   (This actually plays into why I'm
> slightly worried about the Howl's movie.  I've read a few reviews that
> imply the viewers didn't see the biting irony of the story and only so a
> Miyizaki spin on a classic fairy tale romance; I don't whether that's
> because the viewers were stupid or because Miyizaki played it that way.)
> I don't know why they bothered to call this Earthsea.  Earthsea fans
> won't watch it because it's so bastardised, whereas if it had just been
> a random sword-n-sorcery miniseries (which I suspect it will be), or if
> they'd called it Shanarra, or something similarly apropos, we probably
> would have.
> (Also Kristin Kreuk is boring, but maybe that's just how she's directed
> in Smallville.  I don't see her having the darkness necessary to play
> Tenar, though.)
> (As a separate issue, Ged and most of the people of Earthsea are white.
>  Legend of Earthsea, the miniseries, was cast completely colorblind, as
>  any of my productions have been. We searched for the right actors for
>  the roles and brought in diversity to the cast as a result.
> Funny how film versions of stories with major dark-skinned characters
> are cast completely colorblind, but there aren't too many stories where
> they cast non-white actors in white roles.  What an amazing
> coincidence.  Also an amazing coincidence, since they apparantly cast
> based entirely on talent, that the actress playing Tenar is young,
> pretty, pale skinned, with yards of straight black hair...  Not to
> mention the general appropriateness of casting a story colorblind in a
> world where skin color matters, at least somewhat.)
> -deborah
> --
> I don't suppose that I have ever been so happy.  No; was it happiness?
> Something wider and darker, more like knowledge, more like the night: joy.
> - Ursula Le Guin, "The New Atlantis"
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