From Hobbits to Hollywood

Essays on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings

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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.
From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings 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.
Written by leading scholars in the study of cinema and culture From Hobbits to Hollywood gives Jackson’s trilogy the fullest scholarly interrogation to date. Ranging from interpretations of The Lord of the Rings’ ideological and philosophical implications, through discussions of its changing fandoms and its incorporation into the Hollywood industry of stars, technology, genre, and merchandising, to considerations of CGI effects, acting, architecture and style, the essays contained here open a new vista of criticism and light, for ardent fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, followers of Jackson, and all those who yearn for a deeper appreciation of cinema and its relation to culture.

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Biographical Note

Murray Pomerance is Professor in Sociology, Ryerson University (Canada).
Ernest Mathijs is Assistant Professor of Film and Theatre Studies, University of British Columbia (Canada)

Table of contents

List of Illustrations Dramatis Personae Acknowledgments Contributor Ernest MATHIJS and Murray POMERANCE: Introduction: There and Back Again: An Editors ’ Tale Douglas KELLNER: The Lord of the Rings as Allegory: A Multiperspectivist Reading Ernest MATHIJS: The Lord of the Rings and Family: A View on Text and Reception Sean CUBITT: The Fading of the Elves: Eco-Catastrophe, Technopoly, and Bio-Security Martin BARKER: On Being a 1960s Tolkien Reader Ken GELDER: Epic Fantasy and Global Terrorism Ian CONRICH: A Land of Make Believe: Merchandising and Consumption of The Lord of the Rings Jennifer BRAYTON: Fic Frodo Slash Frodo: Fandoms and The Lord of the Rings Sarah KOZLOFF: The Lord of the Rings as Melodrama Lianne MCLARTY: Masculinity,Whiteness, and Social Class in The Lord of the Rings Steven WOODWARD and Kostis KOURELIS: Urban Legend: Architecture in The Lord of the Rings Tom CONLEY: The Lord of the Rings and The Fellowship of the Map James BUHLER: Enchantments of The Lord of the Rings: Soundtrack, Myth, Language, and Modernity Cynthia FUCHS: “Wicked,tricksy, false”: Race,Myth, and Gollum Ruth GOLDBERG and Krin GABBARD: “What does the Eye Demand ”: Sexuality, Forbidden Vision and Embodiment in The Lord of the Rings Kirsten Moana THOMPSON: Scale, Spectacle and Movement: Massive Software and Digital Special Effects in The Lord of The Rings Jerry MOSHER: Morphing Sean Astin: “Playing Fat ” in the Age of Digital Animation Tom GUNNING: Gollum and Golem: Special Effects and the Technology of Artificial Bodies Murray POMERANCE: The Laddy Vanishes Works Cited and Consulted Index

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