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In the Wastes of Mordor - De File — LiveJournal
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In the Wastes of Mordor
I don't want to bore you to death by saying more or less what I've already written about seeing the extended edition of Lord of the Rings on the big screen, but we just got back from the third and final installment and was it ever spectacular.

I choose that word carefully, recognizing that a little Guy Debord-style critique is in order here, no matter how much I love J.R.R. Tolkien or the film adaptations. As I tried to articulate in a short piece for Souciant last week, part of what has made this round of one-time-only screenings powerful is that repeat viewers aren't there just for the story, but to see themselves seeing the films "as they were meant to be seen."

While that's true of all theatrical audiences to an extent and especially of the ones who go to blockbuster movies, there's a significant difference between the first-run experience and attending films years after their initial release. In the latter case, the distinctive qualities of cinema as a medium come to the fore with special intensity even if, as was the case for Lord of the Rings, they are digitally projected.

Having made the point, though, I still felt my passions surge at the appropriate junctures and grew even more teary-eyed than when I first saw the trilogy at those moments of maximum emotional impact. Despite the emphasis on the spectacular dimension to the experience, in other words, the mechanisms of cinematic identification still did their magic on me.

Of course, it didn't hurt that we've been without air conditioning since Thursday -- that's also why I've been scarce here, despite my vow to post more regularly -- during the hottest seven-day stretch since we moved to Tucson eleven years ago. When I walked in the door a little while ago, I declaimed, "Welcome back to Mordor!", because even low-impact activities like composing this entry take everything that I have to give. Like Frodo, I'm having a hard time remembering what it feels like to be comfortable!

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3 comments or Leave a comment
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: June 30th, 2011 02:07 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Oh wow. Life without AC at this time of year would be BRUTAL. My mom still tells stories of when their original swamp cooler went out about a month after I was born. They'd only just moved to Tucson and never had swamp cooling or experienced anything close to that kind of heat. First she thought she was having some kind of post-pregnancy meltdown, I think. And then she thought we were both going to die. Eventually we upgraded to AC. J still doesn't believe swamp cooling is a real thing.

Hope the repairs get done quickly!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 1st, 2011 01:02 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
We were without A/C from this past Thursday through yesterday. That was the hottest seven-day stretch in the decade-plus we've lived in Tucson. Good times!
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: July 1st, 2011 03:23 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Ugh. At least you had Lord of the Rings? I might have lived at the mall, actually. And I don't really like the mall. At all. Glad things are back in working order! And before the holiday weekend. Very good.
3 comments or Leave a comment