From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings

From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings

From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings

From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings

Synopsis

Peter Jackson's film version of The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) is the grandest achievement of 21st century cinema so far. But it is also linked to topical and social concerns including war, terrorism, and cultural imperialism. Its style, symbols, narrative, and structure seem always already linked to politics, cultural definition, problems of cinematic style, and the elemenal mythologies that most profoundly capture our imaginations.This volume treats Jackson's trilogy as having two conditions of existence: an aesthetic and a political. Like other cultural artefacts, it leads a double life as objet d'art and public statement about the world, so that nothing in it is ever just cinematically beautiful or tasteful, and nothing is ever just a message or an opinion.

Excerpt

Ernest Mathijs and Murray Pomerance

Here is a book about a trio of films made from a trio of books! At the very least, a transformation of transformations! Can there be anything left to say, to think, or to dream about Gandalf and Frodo, Samwise Gamgee, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, Gollum, Gimli, Boromir and Faramir, Theoden, Eowyn, Arwen, Elrond, and their many advisors, friends, foes, and family who come almost to breathe through the pages of J.R.R. Tolkien's and Peter Jackson's trilogies? Or, to put this more sharply: given the plethora of carping and alternately adulatory lay criticism, the bubbling worldwide fan discourse, and the widespread conviction not only that Jackson has accomplished something magnificent and important with his films but also that we already know what that is, have already understood and digested it, is there really anything of substance that can further be said, written, conceived about The Lord of the Rings that is worth reading? Our conviction in making this book, shared with our collaborators in many disciplines and countries, is that from the point of view of critical and scholarly analysis, the "Ring" of these films has not yet come out of the streambed of popular culture. For ardent fans of Tolkien, for ardent followers of Jackson, even for those whose fixation lies upon Elijah Wood or Liv Tyler or Orlando Bloom or Ian McKellen . . .

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