Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hobbit Documentary, by Lindsay Ellis & Angelina M.

Lindsay Ellis, 2018

In 2001, 2002, and 2003, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies were released, and instantly became one of the most loved movie trilogies of our time. Lindsay Ellis was captivated, inspired, motivated. She went on to become a popular YouTube essayist and media critic.

In 2012, 2013, and 2014, Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movies came out. It took Lindsay a while to work through her disappointment and frustration, and get to work producing this in-depth, thoughtful, and frankly entertaining, analysis of what went wrong, and why.

She did not just sit down and apply herself to the easily accessible research tools of our time, either the ones that live on the web, or the ones at the public library accessible through the web, though I'm sure she made excellent use of them where appropriate. No, Lindsay booked a trip to New Zealand, toured the preserved and open for visitors movie set, and interviewed everyone she could on the subject.

Ms. Ellis analyses, in insightful and enlightening depth, the changes to the story, both good and bad, to make the movie; the reasons The Hobbit really doesn't work as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings and why The Silmarillion would have been a better choice content-wise and thematically, but would not have been an easy sell to the studios funding the movies; and why the decision to turn what was planned as two movies into three was an artistic disaster. From there, she moves on to why those changes were made, both to make the story a better fit as a prequel, and due to the demands of the studios. (Yes, studios. Five in all. She covers this, too.) Finally, she looks at the effect these movies and the making of them had on New Zealand, its film industry, and New Zealand labor law.

Trust me; it's fascinating, and enjoyable. It's very much worthy of its status as a 2019 Hugo Finalist for Best Related Work, and it's available on YouTube. Go watch it!

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