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17 October 2018 @ 09:28 pm
Freshers' Flu arrived on schedule, having the consideration to first manifest as a little tiredness on my journey home from a family weekend in North Berwick (pouring rain on Saturday meant the Museum of Flight rather than the beach, but it was fun and we got to go on a Concorde*), and then full blast at bedtime on Sunday. I have spent the past three days off work. Today I discovered sufficient concentration to rewatch The Fellowship of the Ring** for the first time in years.***

It really is very good indeed.

I was massively disappointed with The Hobbit, a bloated theme park ride rather than a film, even though I enjoyed the additional material from Unfinished Tales, the Hunt for the Ring always being a favourite of mine. But part of that disappointment stems from how well Jackson had started off. Fellowship is tremendous. The landscape of Middle Earth is utterly convincing, the acting good, the pace strong, it works to bring to the screen a book that might have seemed to defy filming. I found myself thinking over and again that I wanted to see it on a big screen again, to marvel at the mines of Moria towering above me. I love the sense of scale it brings to Middle Earth as a place vast in both space and time. It is also a long since I heard the radio play (which must also be remedied), allowing me to hear the film dialogue without it constantly running over it in my head****. Quibbles I have (let's not 'hunt some orc') but I can live with them.

I was struck on this viewing how much Ian McKellen brings weight to it in the first third, when it is otherwise Hobbits and backstory. It's a really terrific performance of Gandalf as character(person) as well as wizard and noble mentor. We take him seriously, and thus we take the rest of it seriously. And on reflection, Viggo Mortensen is fine, but I wish that Sean Bean had been Aragorn! Mostly for Sean Bean, though I can't deny the memes would have been good, too.

I see the pervy Hobbit fancier Very Secret Diaries are still on LJ. I may need to re-read.

*There is something sad about the demise of Concorde. They're the ultimate symbol of excess, and I felt that the exhibition missed a trick when talking about their end by not mentioning the rise of the internet and increased options for not-in-person meetings if you were both rich and lacking time.

**Extended edition. That's quite a lot of concentration even when you know the plot backwards in high heels.

*** Gosh, VHS is really terrible, isn't it? Possibly the resolution of the video was designed for a smaller TV screen, but mine isn't huge. I'm going to have to watch something else to see if it is as bad.

****An annoying side-effect of a good memory, really quite distracting in my recent Pride and Prejudice re-read.

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