I was brought up in a house full of books and thought I’d share my list of the top six I was brought up with. Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? 1. J. R. R. Tolkien – The Lord Of The Rings (1950s). Hobbit and his batman carry magic … More My top six classic British novels
I posted the other week on my visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set – and promised a second part. I took, of course, far too many photos. But then, how often can you visit Hobbiton? For real. OK, it’s the movie set, not the real thing. But heeeeey. The set is laid out in a valley … More A visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set – Part 2
It’s early morning and light rain is falling as we depart our motel for a tour we’ve been planning for years but never got around to. Until now. Hobbiton. When The Lord Of The Rings was being made, my wife and I were living under the shadow of the hills that hosted the Minas Tirith and … More Tolkien made real – a visit to the Hobbiton movie set. Part 1.
As the end credits rolled up on The Hobbit: Battle Of Five Armies, I said ‘well, that’s 144 minutes of my life I won’t get back.’ That followed the 169 minutes I lost with the first one (my wife said ‘it felt like out-takes from The Lord of The Rings’) and the 161 minutes I … More Why I felt let down by The Hobbit movies
When you were a kid, did you ever find a book that, to this day, hasn’t gone away – that you could maybe read, years and years later, and still enjoy? Here’s my list, all books I read up to the age of about 11-12. I’m not limiting it to a ‘top 10’ – in fact, … More Kids books that have totally stuck with you
It occurred to me the other day that one of my favourite authors – J R R Tolkien – has probably had more written about him than he actually wrote himself. Certainly that’s true if you consider the books Tolkien published in his lifetime. There were, after all, only two Middle Earth books plus a … More Inspiring culture – the meta-literature of Tolkien
Monday was the provincial anniversary holiday in Wellington, New Zealand. Kind of cool – the provinces were abolished in 1876, but we still get the holiday. Around 4 pm the house began shaking – slowly at first and then quite violently. We get a lot of small quakes. This wasn’t one of them. In fact, … More Ever get that feeling of quake deja vu?
I finally caught up with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Part two of the trilogy – and don’t we know it. The film ended – splat – in the middle of what was structurally the build-up to the dramatic finale. It also confirmed what I pretty much understood from watching the first instalment, The … More If you think of Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ as a fan-fic video game it makes more sense
I flew out of Wellington late last week and – as the aircraft climbed into a flawless sky – caught a glimpse of Peter Jackson’s studios, with outdoor green screen, then of The Hobbit set perched atop Mount Crawford. Shooting was wrapping up that day on the last pick-ups for the third movie. Ending, for … More A glimpse of The Hobbit on its last day
Warner Brothers released the first clips of Smaug the Dragon this week, six months ahead of The Hobbit, Part 2: Desolation of Smaug. The creature is the whole rationale of The Hobbit and, I suppose, focus of the next two movies in the nine-hour epic adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s modest childrens’ tale. We … More Not so smug about Smaug