August 4, 2000
Lord of the Rings
Peter Jackson's three-picture take on J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy trilogy begins in Christmas 2001 with Fellowship of the Ring. Filming continues in New Zealand, much too far away for any motion picture executives to fly in and pull the plug.
The late Professor Tolkien reportedly created his fantasies in support of imaginary languages he created for his enjoyment, which is sort of like starting a band because you bought a bunch of empty CD containers. Still, making up your own languages is the loneliest activity imaginable, so we forgive him. Tolkien rejected one popular reading of his mid-century bestseller, that of the Cold War struggle between competing empires, for reasons known only to those who've read all eighty-three of his son's respectful and necessary hardback books on the subject matter. Clearly, however, Tolkien was a fan of really short people walking in the woods, so we suggest Jackson play up Tolkien's "quest" as a combination of the Eco-challenge and a search for proper facilities.