The Silver Chair... PG-13?

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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Reepicheep775 » Mar 02, 2014 5:46 am

Skilletdude wrote:
Aslan Fan wrote:No one wants the movies to have language fans would NOT be pleased. I wouldn't be please either.

Well, if we're going to be honest, Jill has a bit of a 'colorful' mouth on her in the book, though it's not objectionable enough to earn the film a PG-13, if they decide to use that language in the film at all.

Ha, that's true! I had forgotten about that. :p
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby King_Erlian » Mar 03, 2014 10:04 am

If a filmmaker comes up with a version of The Silver Chair that is a good adaptation of the book and a good film in its own right and that happens to require a PG-13 (or 12A in Britain) rating, I don't have a problem with that. However I really don't think it's likely. Many films contain "dark" content and rate only as a PG or even less - there's death even in "Bambi", for goodness' sake.

What I understood the original question to be is, should a filmmaker deliberately aim for a PG-13/12A rating by making a point of putting in content that is unsuitable for younger children? My answer is, decidedly no. For one thing, I don't think that a higher rating will attract people who wouldn't go to see the film otherwise. I think it would just confuse people, as they would think that Narnia stories are supposed to be for children and wonder why this film version is apparently for at least teenagers. To take it to the extreme, would making a Narnia film with an 18 rating (by including the most extreme language, violence, nudity and so on) inspire vast numbers of adults to see it who wouldn't see a PG version? I don't think so somehow. I for one would be totally put off.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Eustace et Peccator » Mar 08, 2014 1:40 pm

A lot of people don't realize that American movie ratings have gotten much stricter over the years. Ben-Hur (1959) had live-action death and dismemberment and was rated G; by today's standards it would be PG-13. Logan's Run (1976) had full frontal nudity and was rated PG; today it would be R. By today's standards PG-13 is certainly not an outlandish rating for a story like The Silver Chair, but I don't think it's necessary.

As I understand it, the Stone Table scene in LWW pushed the envelope. I think certain choices such as making the incubi so cartoonish in their demeanor helped keep it from crossing the line, as a fully literal adaptation would have done.

The Silver Chair has nothing that even approaches the tone and content of the Stone Table scene.

But there is one story that I think *cannot* be properly told without a PG-13 rating, and that's The Last Battle. It could easily go R, but they won't take it that far for many reasons.

Also, Jill's language is PG language, not PG-13. You pretty much have to either drop an F-bomb or be using milder swear words in every sentence, to get PG-13. In the 1970s Jill's language might have even slid by with a G rating, but not today.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby King_Erlian » Mar 10, 2014 2:58 am

This is interesting. In Britain, cinema ratings seem to have been getting more relaxed over the past few decades. Language that would have necessitated a AA/15 or even a X/18 certificate in the '70s would easily get into a 12A or even a PG now; a certain four-letter word to do with wind would be allowed in a U (= G in the States) without raising an eyebrow. Might we have a situation where the certificates in Britain and in the States for a film of Silver Chair could be significantly different?
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Anhun » Mar 10, 2014 3:42 am

There are really two questions under discussion here:

1. Would a PG-13 rating help market SC to a wider fan base?

2. Would freedom from PG constraints allow a more faithful adaptation?

In response to the first, absolutely not. To most people who don't follow the series with bated breath, like we do, the word "Narnia" connotes family-friendly magic. The sort of movie-goer who would avoid a film because of a PG rating, would not even consider a Narnia film long enough to look at its rating. The Narnia series will not win over this demographic, no matter what they do, so it would be foolish to try by deliberately aiming for a PG-13 rating.

The second is a much more complicated question.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Reepicheep775 » Mar 10, 2014 12:22 pm

Anhun wrote:In response to the first, absolutely not. To most people who don't follow the series with bated breath, like we do, the word "Narnia" connotes family-friendly magic. The sort of movie-goer who would avoid a film because of a PG rating, would not even consider a Narnia film long enough to look at its rating. The Narnia series will not win over this demographic, no matter what they do, so it would be foolish to try by deliberately aiming for a PG-13 rating.

Kind of like what happened with Prince Caspian...
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby jewel » Mar 10, 2014 8:42 pm

I don't think it should be PG-13, just as it surely shouldn't be G. PG is a good medium. Keep the Narnia franchise light hearted feeling, yet make the story inspiring and good, and is able to actually fall down from being slain in battle. I've liked the previous films. :ymapplause
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Eustace et Peccator » Mar 15, 2014 3:58 pm

King_Erlian wrote:Might we have a situation where the certificates in Britain and in the States for a film of Silver Chair could be significantly different?


I doubt it. I think it will be PG in both. Some movies get PG-13 here and PG there, such as Fellowship of the Ring, but I just can't imagine anything in The Silver Chair that would require PG-13.

The Last Battle, on the other hand, is another matter entirely.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Aslan Fan » Mar 21, 2014 4:30 pm

Skilletdude wrote:
Aslan Fan wrote:No one wants the movies to have language fans would NOT be pleased. I wouldn't be please either.

Well, if we're going to be honest, Jill has a bit of a 'colorful' mouth on her in the book, though it's not objectionable enough to earn the film a PG-13, if they decide to use that language in the film at all.

In my view, this movie does not need a higher rating. I can't see it being more violent than PC. That being said, just like PC, I expect it to have a strong PG. The material in the book definitely calls for that.


Yeah, I agree. I meant added language. ;)
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby PhelanVelvel » Apr 13, 2014 3:51 pm

I think the book's content is PG, but I'm so afraid that they won't make the really dark and intense scenes of The Silver Chair dark or intense enough because they're afraid of scaring kids. For me, when I read The Silver Chair, there are so many creepy elements throughout, then you get to the scene with Rilian bound to the chair, writhing and begging and pleading to be set free, and the trio of friends actually saying goodbye to one another because they don't know whether they're about to free a lunatic who might kill them all where they stand.

If that's okay for a PG film, go for it. If not, make it PG-13. I'm really not willing to see the beauty of the story dumbed down so that it can be deemed "appropriate".
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Apr 14, 2014 4:50 pm

Skilletdude wrote:
Aslan Fan wrote:No one wants the movies to have language fans would NOT be pleased. I wouldn't be please either.

Well, if we're going to be honest, Jill has a bit of a 'colorful' mouth on her in the book, though it's not objectionable enough to earn the film a PG-13, if they decide to use that language in the film at all.

In my view, this movie does not need a higher rating. I can't see it being more violent than PC. That being said, just like PC, I expect it to have a strong PG. The material in the book definitely calls for that.


No Jill doesn't have a "colourful" mouth at all. Like the Pevensies, she and Eustace do use old fashioned RAF slang, which could be irritating to viewers. But nothing like the modern day ubiquitous "F" word, overuse of which should definitely ensure a PG-13 or M rating. In fact it seems that particular word, or its lack, often defines what seems to be "adult", or "cool", and what seems to be for small children.

I consider such modern-day usage to be plain unimaginative, boring, dumb, and should be confined to "X" rated material. Regardless of whether the movie is PG or PG-13, what is considered modern day "strong language", need not be used at all. It would ruin the film. "Bother!" seems to be the most savage swearword of choice in the Narnia series. Though in VDT Eustace described the Dawn Treader as a "blasted boat", blasted or bloody, being the most terrible word to use post WW2.

PhelanVelvel wrote:I think the book's content is PG, but I'm so afraid that they won't make the really dark and intense scenes of The Silver Chair dark or intense enough because they're afraid of scaring kids. For me, when I read The Silver Chair, there are so many creepy elements throughout, then you get to the scene with Rilian bound to the chair, writhing and begging and pleading to be set free, and the trio of friends actually saying goodbye to one another because they don't know whether they're about to free a lunatic who might kill them all where they stand.


According to my copy, the BBC version of Silver Chair was rated G. But the scene where Prince Rilian had dinner with Jill Pole, Eustace and Puddleglum was not only intense, but ramped up further to make Rilian not only enchanted but somewhat violent, bad tempered and a bit sword (trigger) happy. Just like in Prince Caspian, which had Peter and Caspian drawing their swords on a couple of occasions during dialogue, the BBC SC had Rilian about to kill Jill, I think it was, and threatening Puddleglum who intercedes for Jill and Eustace.

Some of the dialogue in that dinner scene wasn't in the book, but it certainly made that scene somewhat more intense and violent than in the radio tapes. What about the intensity of the following scene, with Prince Rilian bound in the silver chair? Do you find that particular scene changed too abruptly in the BBC movie? What is your opinion of the BBC actor who played Prince Rilian? Which audio or TV version had the most convincing handling of that scene in audiotapes such as the BBC or Family Radio versions? And how would you like those two scenes handled?
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby PhelanVelvel » Apr 14, 2014 10:42 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:According to my copy, the BBC version of Silver Chair was rated G. But the scene where Prince Rilian had dinner with Jill Pole, Eustace and Puddleglum was not only intense, but ramped up further to make Rilian not only enchanted but somewhat violent, bad tempered and a bit sword (trigger) happy. Just like in Prince Caspian, which had Peter and Caspian drawing their swords on a couple of occasions during dialogue, the BBC SC had Rilian about to kill Jill, I think it was, and threatening Puddleglum who intercedes for Jill and Eustace.

Some of the dialogue in that dinner scene wasn't in the book, but it certainly made that scene somewhat more intense and violent than in the radio tapes. What about the intensity of the following scene, with Prince Rilian bound in the silver chair? Do you find that particular scene changed too abruptly in the BBC movie? What is your opinion of the BBC actor who played Prince Rilian? Which audio or TV version had the most convincing handling of that scene in audiotapes such as the BBC or Family Radio versions? And how would you like those two scenes handled?


Well, I literally typed this whole gigantic post, went to submit it, got told I was no longer logged in, and lost it. Sigh. You'd think I'd know by now to copy my posts.

Long story short, I guess, is that the BBC Rilian was too hot-headed/short-tempered and I think Rilian should be more eerie than threatening, as he was in the book. I don't think Jill/Eustace/Puddleglum are really afraid of him in the book as much as they're thinking "this guy has a couple of screws loose". He's dressed in all black, living in a weird underground castle, enamoured with a woman who wants to slaughter innocents so she can expand her domain, yet he laughs and jests like all is right with the world. It is that juxtaposition that I believe makes him creepy. Sort of like how a lot of people get creeped out by images of a dark house or woods with the sound of children laughing in the background.

As for when Rilian is bound in the Silver Chair, I did think certain aspects of it were close to the book, and his pleading was good, but since he already had such a temper before, it's not as powerful, I think, as if you had the "silly" Rilian and then you get the screaming/writhing/desperate pleading of a genuine person. The bindings in the BBC version were too "secure" for me. I don't know if I'd rather they be ropes or chains or what, but they need to create a sensation of restlessness, like he's really straining against them and you could believe that one night, out of his sheer desire to reclaim his life, he broke free.

There is so much depth to Rilian's character, especially before the enchantment is broken, despite the short amount of time we see him in that capacity. I would love to see a masterful depiction of Rilian as he appears in the book. You go from this "not quite right", eerie sort of person who makes you feel uncomfortable rather than endangered, to a genuine person with sincere emotions, whom you have been lead to believe will kill you. The reversal holds so much power. Do you stick with the "safe" Rilian, or do you take a chance on the "real" Rilian?
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby ForPeterAndAslan » Apr 18, 2014 3:00 pm

I skipped a few posts, so I don't know if anyone else posted this.
The real question is...will a pg13 rating take away Christian faith related issues,dialog, and character actions? That would affect a huge Narnia fan base. Narnia films are the #2,3, and 4 best selling christian movies according to IMDB.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby Reepicheep775 » Apr 18, 2014 3:40 pm

I see no contradiction in an R-rated Christian film personally.

Were the Narnia books "Christian books" though? They had Christian ideas, sure, and Jesus is essentially a character in the book, but I think a better way of putting it is that the Narnia books are fairy tales written by a Christian.

In the words of C. S. Lewis, "What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects — with their Christianity latent."

It may seem like a hair-splitting distinction to some, but I think it's important.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby ForPeterAndAslan » Apr 18, 2014 7:22 pm

All I was trying to imply was simply if the SC was to be made PG-13, I believe it won't do as well in theaters. As for the quote my interpretation is this: instead of books telling you how to be a better Christian, tell a story with fascinating characters who symbolize Christian symbols.
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Re: The Silver Chair... PG-13?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Apr 18, 2014 9:39 pm

ForPeterAndAslan wrote:All I was trying to imply was simply if the SC was to be made PG-13, I believe it won't do as well in theaters. As for the quote my interpretation is this: instead of books telling you how to be a better Christian, tell a story with fascinating characters who symbolize Christian symbols.


Or better still, fascinating characters who learn the wisdom of "following the signs, remembering the signs and believing only the signs." Who learn why giving into temptation can get you turned into a dragon, or slain by a fearsome witch. Or else can get you invited to a dinner where you might be part of the menu.

Oh yes, that would be the Silver Chair, wouldn't it? :))
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