Most of you probably don’t know this, but scattered among all the more heavily-anticipated Oscar hopefuls like Amour and Zero Dark Thirty, this December bears witness to the release of a fantasy movie from New Zealand, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. You can tell from the title that they’re probably going to make a sequel if the first one is successful.
I’d be lying if I said I was waiting for this particular movie with bated breath – any genuine excitement I had was pretty well squashed by the announcement that Peter Jackson had endeavored to cram in enough padding to extend a book shorter than any of the three parts of The Lord of the Rings into a trilogy all on its own – but there’s nothing quite like a December release of a great big popcorn movie to remind me of the real reason that we love the movies; the excitement, the spectacle, the shared experience with an enraptured crowd all packed in there in the dark. So despite myself, I kind of can’t wait for the stupid thing.
Between now and then, weekends here at Antagony & Ecstasy shall be devoted to exploring the previous cinematic (and non-cinematic) adaptations of British philologist J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasies set in his genre-defining Middle Earth. From frivolous little kids’ movies to one of the most lumbering, costly extravaganzas to ever win a Best Picture Oscar, the next three weekends will be full of magic rings, feats of heroism, exciting vistas, and simply stiff with goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs of the worst description.
To tide you over until the festivities begin, I present, without commentary, a musical interlude. Dedicated with affection to RS.