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Monthly Archives: December 2005
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (Andrew Adamson, 2005)
Given the billions of dollars poured by appreciative audiences into the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series, it was inevitable that we would see an adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books, starting with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Lewis knew and exchanged ideas with Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe has much in common with Tolkien’s novel. For Disney, the studio behind the new film, the appeal would have been irresistible: Lord of the Rings for the Harry Potter demographic, with a series of seven novels to be adapted if the first did well.
Film has traditionally been the most inaccessible art form for budding artists. Writers can write with a pen and piece of paper; painters can paint with a canvas and paints; photographers need only a camera. It is skill, not equipment, that most limits budding artists in these media. Filmmakers, however, have faced daunting costs to access filmmaking equipment of any quality. When even such basics as cameras, film stock, lights, and editing equipment are so costly, low budget filmmakers operate within tightly constrained limits. Breakout low-budget hits (such as Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi, or Kevin Smith’s Clerks) are notable largely for their heroic overcoming of such constraints.