Digory and the Bell

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Digory and the Bell

Postby Col Klink » Mar 09, 2019 8:31 pm

It's going to be important for the scene of Digory's temptation in Charn that it shouldn't be immediately obvious that he's turning evil. No figurative green mist announcing the temptation. The scene shouldn't start out being creepy. Actually, that's totally untrue. It should start out creepy because the location of Charn is creepy. The viewers should be nervous because they're waiting for something to jump out and attack Digory and Polly. The surprise is that the evil comes from within in the characters.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Mar 12, 2019 10:39 pm

Something about his eyes? Or more like his expression? Have you ever seen the crucial moment in Lord of the Rings when Frodo, having reached the Mountain of Doom, is tempted to keep the Ring for himself? What about those other moments when the Ring exerts its evil power? That can be done by CGI, anyway, or even photo shopping.

We were watching an episode of Orville, a spin-off from Star Trek where robots on some planet or other killed all the biological life then lived happily ever after together, demolishing any biological lifeforms dumb enough to cross their path ie humans. Most of the robots had red, orange or yellow eyes. The really evil head honchos had red eyes, & the sole (hero) robot, manufactured for spying & other infiltration duties, of course has blue eyes. Both premises are a bit hackneyed. Blue eyes doth not a hero make, nor doth red eyes make one a villain. Just someone with really bad hay fever & allergies, or something they should go to a doctor to sort out.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby aragorn2 » Mar 20, 2019 7:15 pm

I think it would be cool to portray the bell as something very beautiful amd desirable, rather than disturbing.
Get the audience inside the seduction going on in Digory's head.

That could be more interesting and creative than making it scary and having him do it in a trance. Make it look like something we would want to ring as well.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby fledge1 » Mar 22, 2019 9:14 am

I think it would be cool to see the back story first. I know that is taking liberties, but Jadis explains what Charn was like and how it became to destruction. It would be cool to include the back story first, and then jump to the time when Digory is there and yes, make it appealing, but also very old and mysterious. Almost like he has to ring it. Possibly then after rung and the fear starts to subside show the queen sitting there smiling with a triumphant look. Hard to explain but I think they could really make this an amazing scene.
I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun: not only because I see it, but by it I see everything else. -C.S. Lewis
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby Glumpuddle » Mar 24, 2019 6:53 pm

In a movie, it is the kind of thing that could make the audience lose all sympathy for Digory. I think I don't in the book because I am inside his head in a way that is hard to come close to in a movie.

My experience has been that readers are divided on this scene. Many are totally on Polly's side, shouting "no you idiot, obviously don't hit the bell!" But some understand Digory's curiosity and relate to his dilemma even if they can't condone his decision.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby fledge1 » Mar 25, 2019 7:18 am

Glumpuddle wrote:My experience has been that readers are divided on this scene. Many are totally on Polly's side, shouting "no you idiot, obviously don't hit the bell!" But some understand Digory's curiosity and relate to his dilemma even if they can't condone his decision.


I agree. I have been told curiosity is one of my biggest strengths and also weaknesses. I would totally have rang the bell
I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun: not only because I see it, but by it I see everything else. -C.S. Lewis
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby SirVincentofNarnia » Mar 25, 2019 7:28 am

I do agree that the temptation should be visualized in a movie or TV show, but using a green mist seems a bit cliched to me. I honestly have no idea how they would portray the temptation, maybe darkness or something? I do like the book in how Digory is tempted in his head, as we all are in fact.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby Col Klink » Mar 25, 2019 8:22 am

I do agree that the temptation should be visualized in a movie or TV show, but using a green mist seems a bit cliched to me.


If you reread what I wrote I said that the temptation shouldn't be portrayed visually and that they should especially not use green mist. ;)

It's going to be important for the scene of Digory's temptation in Charn that it shouldn't be immediately obvious that he's turning evil. No figurative green mist announcing the temptation.
For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby SirVincentofNarnia » Mar 25, 2019 8:55 am

I was recognizing that :) Because you must agree though that it is overused in that fact
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby Ryadian » Mar 25, 2019 12:52 pm

Granted, I can't think of a way to do this visually, but I'm not so much a visual person. But narratively, I'll put it this way: we, as an audience, know that the story would've been much different - and likely much less interesting - had Polly gotten her way. Her choice was unquestionably wiser, but it's also not what we as readers really wanted, deep down inside. We pretty well know, from the moment it's introduced, that that bell must be rung for the story to continue, even if it's a bad idea in-universe. Frankly, I think that if any of us were playing this as an adventure game (assuming we didn't know the story), we'd probably choose to ring the bell in the absence of any other options - especially since we're an audience and have the protection of the fourth wall.

I think that'll be the way to make Digory's choice seem more sympathetic: to make sure that the audience is just as curious as Digory is about what will happen when the bell rings. I do agree that the bell should not be obviously evil or anything like that, and fall nicely into that possibility space where it could be like rubbing Aladdin's lamp. (Actually, I think the scene in the Cave of Wonders where Aladdin takes the lamp is a good reference in some ways - that scene has a lot of foreboding to it, and even though that artifact was ultimately good for the hero, you could almost doubt it the way that scene was framed.)

There is still the problem with Polly. How to have Digory resist and even hurt her without him crossing the line into irredeemable in the eyes of the audience? Personally, I think the the book already does some of the heavy lifting: Polly is right, but she doesn't exactly express it in the best way. I don't at all think she's to blame for what happens, but her reasons for not wanting to continue could strike the audience as she's too scared, or she's not adventurous enough, or she's basically the obstacle in the way of letting the adventure continue - but she's a bit abrasive about it, so you don't have to sympathize with those reasons. Even if she's right, you kind of want her to be wrong so the story can continue.

Perhaps this is a long way of saying that I think the narrative can probably take the lead on this one, and the book has already laid out quite a bit of it. If the audience is just as convinced as Digory is that ringing the bell is the only way to get satisfying answers, they're more likely to be on board. At the same time, Polly is ultimately right, and Digory does cross the line in hurting Polly and forcing her to stay and watch - things he and the story ultimately recognize as wrong and apologize for (and not even that long, relatively speaking, after it happens).
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby JFG II » Mar 25, 2019 1:59 pm

I’m less concerned about the audience finding Digory unsympathetic (especially in light of what a cruel monster his uncle is). Personally, I’m really concerned that the audience will just be bored by the whole thing: “Why are these two kids slugging it out over a silly bell??” It’s the Lord of the Rings problem: “How do you make an inanimate object have thematic weight in the story?” Well, we all know how that worked for LotR: The ring itself wasn’t too compelling, but the way the characters reacted to it was. Casting & filmmaking saved it from being silly. Same thing goes for Magician’s Nephew: Casting & directing are what count for a scene like Digory & the Bell; execution-dependent. (As for Digory being irredeemable in the eyes of the audience, the audience should grow a pair. Kylo Ren killing his own father was irredeemable. Digory harming Polly is upsetting, but not above forgiveness if he’s sorry and faces consequences.[He & Polly are never quite the same afterwards].)
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Mar 25, 2019 3:35 pm

Ryadian wrote:We pretty well know, from the moment it's introduced, that that bell must be rung for the story to continue, even if it's a bad idea in-universe. Frankly, I think that if any of us were playing this as an adventure game (assuming we didn't know the story), we'd probably choose to ring the bell in the absence of any other options - especially since we're an audience and have the protection of the fourth wall.


Now that is a good point to make. No mistakes, no story. As the old saying goes, "Curiosity killed the cat & information brought it back".

“Why are these two kids slugging it out over a silly bell??”


The mere fact that the children are slugging it out at all, says heaps about the bell & how both children have been brought up or not. You can say a lot about girls being brought up more strictly in Victorian & Edwardian times, & to be more aware that whatever you do has consequences, in a world where New Zealand pioneered the vote for women, with Australia about to follow suit. But that viewpoint does also come across loud & clear in the children's interactions. It isn't about bravery or femininity or masculinity as such. Digory's world view so far in the story is one where men, not only boys, were encouraged to be more curious, & as his Uncle Andrew shows, not necessarily for good, either.

I think sound effects will play a clear role in this scene. Not only from the noise the bell makes as it rings, but also because at this point it doesn't stop ringing, & the noise increases in volume. Does anyone remember how Galadriel was played in Lord of the Rings, The Two towers? Something like that. The main surprise after all, is in their reaction to how Jadis comes to life. How Jadis is depicted should be frankly terrifying. Not just a tall woman but giantish. Like a pair of already extremely tall young women at the entrance to Harrods, dressed up in very high heels, done that way to overawe a somewhat short older woman, tired, dressed in jeans & sneakers, come to admire that famed business portal which sells everything from lion cubs to high fashion, but seems to lack a department for toiletries such as bandaids, toothpaste or cough lollies.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby Monty Jose » Mar 28, 2019 12:25 am

aragorn2 wrote:I think it would be cool to portray the bell as something very beautiful amd desirable, rather than disturbing.
Get the audience inside the seduction going on in Digory's head.

That could be more interesting and creative than making it scary and having him do it in a trance. Make it look like something we would want to ring as well.


I agree that the bell should look desirable, but I don’t agree with the ‘trance’ portion. Later, in Narnia, Digory confesses to Aslan that he was only pretending to be enchanted. If you make it look to much like magic (manipulating the eyes or what have you) than no one (audiences) will believe Digory when makes this confession.

I think his thought process should be unclear until that moment of confession. He gets taken in by his eye for beauty; evil can look desirable and we’ll fool ourselves to go after it. That’s a common theme throughout the novel. Even Jadis will loathe the apple of youth, Aslan says.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby Col Klink » Apr 05, 2019 10:32 am

What kind of music do you guys think this scene should have? Should it have music at all? Since Lewis stresses how silent Charn is my instinct is that there should be no background music when Digory and Polly arrive. That has the risk though that viewers who aren't fully engaged will find this boring rather than creepy.

I loved the music the Walden movie of LWW used in the Turkish Delight scene. It's sort of like this background hum that sounds eerie but not run-out-of-the-room-screaming scary. I think the music in the scene with the bell should start like that and grow gradually more dramatic and noticeable as Digory and Polly's argument escalates.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby JFG II » Apr 05, 2019 10:59 am

Agreed. There should be no music (at first) during any Narnia scenes where the book describes the scenes as quiet.
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Re: Digory and the Bell

Postby Cleander » Apr 06, 2019 11:19 am

*Lured into this thread by topic of music*
I wonder if the Narrowhaven scene and music in the Walden VDT was inspired by this scene in the Magician's Nephew. Think about it- a desolate town, a weird, almost inaudible creaking noise in the background, (not to mention the hall full of bells and images of kings in which the Narnians get captured by slave traders). Sound vaguely familiar?
As to the score for the actual bell scene, I was imagining silence at first, like JFGII just said, and then perhaps a slowly loudening bass choir singing a sustained, really deep note. A sound like that evokes a feeling of "ancient menace" very clearly.
And the bell note should really be deafening! As in they'll have to put a caption on the screen that says, HEADPHONE WARNING!!
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