Film Nerd’s Choice: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
It may seem a bit of a cheat choosing an entire trilogy on the very first day of this challenge, yet I feel extremely justified in my choice. Divisions in the LOTR saga can be considered purely arbitrary, and this assertion is documented as being shared by Tolkien himself. It was his publishers that determined his six book saga would be released in three volumes. For Peter Jackson also, the trilogy was filmed in the one extended shoot, giving the trilogy a cohesiveness that may not have otherwise been afforded to it. As for me, the end credits of each chapter is little more for me than a convenient bathroom break.
Choosing a favourite film for me is a difficult task. Being a self-taught student of cinema, I love movies in every shape, genre, and theme. To choose a film for me would be like having to choose a favourite child. I pondered how to respond to Day One’s question with great difficulty, even trying to define exactly what the word favourite means in this context. The definition I came up with was which film has had the greatest and most lasting impression of me out of all I have seen. This immediately cut me down to the franchises that have for a long time at least partially defined my personality; Star Trek, James Bond and LOTR. The former two both had high points that were contenders (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Casino Royale). However no world has as fully absorbed my attention as Middle Earth has. In December 1999, a valued high school teacher and friend raved to me that reading LOTR for the first time was like seeing Star Wars for the first time. In December 2000, I got around to reading the novels. I was so enthralled that as soon as I finished The Two Towers I continued on to and finished The Return of the King in one sitting. Then December 2001, 2002, and 2003, Jackson had the vision and imagination to translate the images from my mind onto the screen perfectly.
Since then, I have become a student of not just cinema, but Tolkien also. I have read The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin. I have read The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkein and Tolkein biographies. I have read Christopher Tolkien’s 12 part History of Middle Earth, where he has published all of his father’s early drafts of anything even remotely related to this world of Elves, Hobbits and Dwarfs (that is not a mistaken spelling on the plural, it was Tolkien’s preferred way to write the plural!!). Followers of this blog will also be aware I convinced my Bride that New Zealand, Middle Earth on Earth, was the perfect honeymoon destination!!
So clearly, Jackson’s 11 hour epic had to be my top choice. As I write this, I have also finally found an Australian release date for the Extended LOTR trilogy on Blu-Ray; 29th of June, 2011!! I will be there, cash in hand, and setting aside 11 hours straight to marathon what is for me the finest offering cinema has ever provided.
For my reviews of the individual films, see below;