What They Said: J.R.R. Tolkien's 1938 Nazi Smackdown, Morgan Spurlock on Directing a Non-Documentary and More

What They Said: J.R.R. Tolkien's 1938 Nazi Smackdown, Morgan Spurlock on Directing a Non-Documentary and More

Aug 18, 2011

J.R.R. Tolkien's Nazi Smackdown

In 1938 J.R.R. Tolkien was preparing to release The Hobbit in Germany. Seeing as this was one year before the start of World War II during Adolt Hitler's regime, German publishers wanted to know whether Tolkien was Jewish before they published his book. So they asked him if he was of Aryan descent and this was his reply:

"...if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject—which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride."

Leave it to Toklien to write a reply that was wordy as hell, however we still believe this was still the 1938 equivalent of a verbal smackdown. [Reddit]

Will Morgan Spurlock Eventually Direct a Film That Isn't a Documentary?

Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: While talking to USA Today about his upcoming Comic-Con documentary Comic-Con: Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, Morgan Spurlock admitted that he's currently attached to direct a film that's not a documentary, though it's been a tough road for him in that regard because all anyone wants him to direct is some stupid, mindless comedy.

"There's a couple movies that I'm attached to right now. It took a long time to find something that I liked. There's a film I'm attached to at Leonardo DiCaprio's company right now that's very Erin Brockovich-ish, which is great. I wanted to find something that was smart, that I thought had a little teeth to it. Wasn't just some kind of fluffy ... Like, after Super Size Me came out, I got sent so many amazingly terrible scripts. They were like, "Super Size Me is hilarious! We should send him some comedies!" So I got sent some really bad comedies. I got sent a Revenge of the Nerds remake. ... I got, like, a Deuce Bigelow movie.

... And I said, if I'm going to make a comedy, then I want it to be something that's smart. I want it to be a comedy that has some sort of ... a driving narrative beyond laughs. Then Thank You for Smoking came out, and I was like, "Thank You for Smoking is a great example. This is the movie I want to make." But those scripts are hard to find."


Elizabeth Olsen on the Limited Roles for Young Women in Hollywood

Elizabeth Olsen was one of a few "next big things" that came out of this year's Sundance Film Festival, and now as her festival hit Martha Marcy May Marlene gets ready to drop into awards season, the Olsen sister's star status is on the rise. She's already booked a role opposite Dakota Fanning in Very Good Girls, about two teenagers the summer after their high school graduation. Unfortunately the film itself is still up in the air regarding financing because there aren't any "vampires or something weird that can animorph," according to Olsen.

The actress continued to bemoan the current crop of available roles for women of her age, telling 24 Frames,

"A lot of times with female relationships and young women [in the movies], it's either 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' or catty b--. I just have a problem with that. They're supposed to be either as perfect as how they're portrayed on Disney or as mean as they're portrayed in high school movies. And in real life it's neither of those."

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