I remember seeing the first of this epic trilogy the first time in the 7th grade. We were sitting in a classroom after school had been cancelled for the day, I believe due to some storm, and the teachers had brought out the television, we packed into the science room, the largest room in the school other than the gym, and huddled around the TV set sitting on stools, chairs, and tables to watch the beginning of this grand epic. I saw it a year after it had come out, almost if not at least one year, having been told it was alright and something I should see if I wanted to see a good movie. I sat down, barely being able to hear what was going on on the small television set used primarily for showing old science experiments my teacher was not allowed to preform in class or poor film adaptations of books we would read in English class.
Not being able to hear, and barely being able to see, continually interrupted by my teacher announcing the next series of students who were getting picked up by their parents or older siblings, I gave up trying to pay attention.
I next had the chance of seeing the film on television, CBC in lieu of hockey games had unexpectedly chosen to screen this film, breaking it down into bite size components to allow for commercials, and interrupting it for their nightly news updates (which they kept to a lean 10 minutes knowing there were rapid film viewers wanting to get back to their fix). This too wasn’t the best possible viewing, but I did get to hear the film, and watch it in its entirety, for which I was glad. It was quite the story.
What I did not enjoy (or failed to understand) was that the film had no clear ending. Looking back I believe this was one of the first movies I saw that did not have a clear distinct ending. I was dissatisfied with what it offered because I wanted to see more. Much later, I understood that it was a series of films, three in fact, and the film was a longer tale than could or should be told in a single film.
Realizing this, I began to appreciate film as story-telling, I understood what it meant to be an epic, and I had my first glimpse of magic on film. The Fellowship of the Ring is a single but not simple component of an epic and magical tale, which alongside The Two Towers and The Return of the King, tell he story of two of the most glorious character arches told through film, that of Frodo and that of Aragorn.
I will leave my first post about the Lord of the Rings here, as an introductory post, but as I go through these films, I will leave more. Having just finished the first of the trilogy again, I will soon be posting about it, but in the meantime, here are my initial words as they pour out whilst remembering.