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Three Thoughts From Re-watching The Fellowship of the Ring on its 20th Anniversary

  1. The film provides one of the most positive representations of masculinity I have seen in cinema. The Lord of the Rings may mostly be a male story, since there are less than a handful of female characters in the entire trilogy, but the men in the film are as far from the toxic archetypes we are used to from most action and adventure movies as possible. The men of the Fellowship laugh and cry, they are tender, they touch each other, they hug tightly, they talk about their weaknesses and fears, they love. And they love in a way so honestly noble and wholesome, that it disarms you, it overwhelms you, it breaks you.

  2. Peter Jackson's camera is a warrior's camera. Akira Kurosawa once said that in order for a film to have a true cinematic expression, the camera must go through fire and water. This is exactly what Jackson's camera does. It penetrates fire and water, earth and wind. One one hand it takes your breath away with the unreal aerial shots of New Zealand's imposing landscapes, on the other it thoroughly explores the faces of the heroes, offering you some of the most generous closeups you've ever seen. I'm not going to talk about the towering achievement of managing such an enormous project, I would have to get into numbers and there’s no point in that. Jackson's real achievement is that he stayed true to the emotional core of the story, while making the magnificent cinema that only he knows how to make. I believe that his contribution to fantasy cinema is equal to that of Tolkien to fantasy literature.

  3. Fortunately, some things never change. When I was 16 and I was watching The Lord of the Rings entirely enchanted, I was worrying that at some point I will grow up and I’ll lose interest, since I'll be dealing with the things grown ups are dealing with. I was afraid that I will stop loving these movies. As it turns out, I never grew up.


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