Concerning Hobbits…and My 14 Year old Self

As a current grad student, I spend much of my time reading and writing for assignments, which obviously means I have a great “Study” playlist on my iTunes. No seriously, I do. One of my favorite pastimes is creating playlists. It’s an incredible waste of time, but I take pleasure from organizing this aspect of my life into categories. But I digress. Currently I’ve been on an LOTR kick (Lord of the Rings, for all of you who are cooler than me) and listening to the soundtracks on repeat. And with The Hobbit trailer now out (OMG!), I’ve suddenly been transported back in time. I read the entire series when the films were announced, and finished them before their release. I saw The Fellowship of the Ring five times in the theatre. The Two Towers three. And The Return of the King four. My mom was embarrassed to call me her daughter, I’m sure. Yet she drove me to the cinema anyway, and supported my obsession by allowing me to attend the midnight showings (still the most fun midnight showings I’ve been too!) and even, to her and my sister’s dismay, bought me one of those lifesize cardboard cut-outs of the four hobbits. Not even kidding. Although life size in this case means they were about four feet tall. Anyway, my point in all of this, while I’m listening to the soundtrack, I’m replaying the accompanying scenes from the film in my head. And I can remember them vividly, almost to the point that I find myself tearing up at the same point I would watching the films. It is remarkable that eleven years later (wow really?!) and sadly not having rewatched any of the films in their entirety in the past few years (after all, it’s a huge time commitment to watch the extended DVD versions), that these moments still resonate with me in exactly the same way as the first time I heard the music and saw the films. This is why I love media and why I am studying it, and why I want to have a career involved in it, in whatever capacity. The power of film can be paralyzing, and when I think of myself eleven, ten, nine years ago when seeing LOTR in the theatres and how much love I had for them, I’m so happy that love hasn’t faded one bit. I’m realizing more and more as I get older how important it is that film has this quality to transport you to your past self, remind you how you felt the first time. Remind you how you felt as a teenager and how sometimes it’s not too different from the present. I suppose it’s our best form of time travel really. And I will happily travel back in time, whether it’s visiting my six year old self watching Star Wars and having my true obsession with film begin, rediscovering a sense of adventure with my nine year old self and The Goonies, or remembering all the raunchy laughs with my fellow 18 year old friends and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, because they are all cherished moments that I will continue to remember, thanks to film.

Here is a clip of my favorite moment in Fellowship, maybe even the series. The sound mixing here is incredible and the whole moment, particularly when the music fades and Merry and Pippin start to fight back, is so beautifully done and gives me chills every time. And a bit of Aragorn kicking some ass never hurt anybody. Well, besides all those Orcs…

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