Middle-earth’s “master of light” Passes Away …

Andrew Lesnie

Andrew Lesnie (1956-2015)

What looked like the start of a positive and optimistic day, soon turned into a melancholic struggle.

Andrew Lesnie, the master cinematographer whose indispensable contribution brought Middle-earth to life, passed away earlier today.

To general audiences the names of actors and directors are perhaps at the forefront of a film-viewing experience.

To someone like me who loves the technical aspects of filmmaking, the work of every major crew member behind the camera is of deep interest.

As with many others, I was introduced to Andrew Lesnie and his work via The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Suffice to say, the impressive visuals captivated my young mind and made me believe in the wonders of Middle-earth.

Peter Jackson may have had the vision and direction, but Lesnie brought the artistry to the moving images. Continue reading “Middle-earth’s “master of light” Passes Away …”

TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters One and Two

Reading stick figure man

How’s the reading going?

Welcome to the second week of the TTRT!

There were some very interesting points raised during last week’s discussion and I urge you to keep sharing your ideas and comments, even of past chapters.

In this week’s post we’ll be going through the first two chapters that make up the Quenta Silmarillion (the History of the Silmarils).

If you’ve done your Foreword and Preface reading, you will have realised that together with the main text of the Quenta Silmarillion, ‘The Silmarillion’ as a whole book also constitutes of 4 shorter works – the Ainulindalë and Valaquenta (already discussed last week), the Akallabêth and Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (to be tackled later on).

Now, once more unto the breach! Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion – Chapters One and Two”

TTRT: The Silmarillion

Reading stick figure man

Ainulindalë and Valaquenta

So begins the first post from the TTRT series (Tolkien Trio Reading Tradition).

As stated last week, we’ll be going through Tolkien’s works, chapter-by-chapter, starting with The Silmarillion.

(Naturally, stick-figure drawings will help me illustrate the point) 

Today we’ll be looking at both Ainulindalë and Valaquenta. Note, these are not chapters but rather two shorter works that make up the collection known as ‘The Silmarillion’.

Newcomers to this book, and veteran readers who haven’t yet done so, are strongly urged to read through the Foreword, Preface and (most importantly) Tolkien’s letter to Milton Waldman – available in any second edition copy of The Silmarillion.

Said letter is a fantastic piece of writing that offers its readers a fragment of the author’s thoughts and aspirations behind his entire fantasy world.

It’s an honest account that provides a clear framework to the narratives from The Silmarillion, right through The Lord of the Rings.

Suffice to say there are some minor story spoilers but skip this letter at your own risk.

Now, onto the complex stuff … Continue reading “TTRT: The Silmarillion”

Announcing the Tolkien Trio Reading Tradition (or TTRT)!

Reading stick figure man

(Yes, it’s the return of the stick figures!)

Reading Tolkien’s Books Chapter by Chapter

Almost every blog does it at one point in its existence. It seems to be the inevitable fate which I’ve recently been set into doing. It’s time for me to begin my annual Tolkien Trio Reading Tradition: reading, in chronological order, through The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Long have been my discussions (with myself) about specific aspects of the stories; or the intricacies of a single chapter; or even just marvelling at the rich and complex world laid out before me.

So this year, I’ve decided to do a series of weekly posts discussing, one chapter after the other, each of these books. From the creation of Arda and Middle-earth to the Fall of Sauron and the Voyage into the West.

And you’re all invited to participate!

Every couple of days (depending on reading times and real life intrusions), I’ll be posting a brief summary of the current chapter read: including my thoughts on it and raising some questions for discussion.Books The primary aim of this read-along is to discuss with you, in depth, Tolkien’s major works; whilst at the same time, perhaps, help out anyone still struggling to open up that dusty copy of The Silmarillion for the very first time. And it’s precisely why I’ve decided to tackle the seemingly overwhelming tales of the First Age at the beginning. I encourage all of you Tolkien readers, beginners and veterans alike, to join in this reading experience. You may want to read at your own pace – which is absolutely fine; so long as we see you joining the discussions 🙂 The idea is to have fun and share our reading experience of J.R.R Tolkien’s books.

And yes, those dreaded stick figures of mine will be making an appearance in these posts: to help you visualise the books beyond what Tolkien or Peter Jackson are capable of doing … 😀

In the meantime, it just so happens that we welcome a new blogher who has also started doing a similar series of readings – but based on the equally-challenging The History of Middle-earth series. If that’s currently your cup of tea, head over to Lisa’s Tolkien Read Through for the opening first chapters. So get out your copies of The Silmarillion and start reading, as next week we’ll be talking about the Ainulindalë and the Valaquenta. Until next time 😉

Alassëa Hristomerendë!         Happy Easter!

Blog Header (Easter)

Yes, header to this blog has been changed for one day. Notice beautiful photoshop skills (-_-)

Happy Easter to all my friends!

Tomorrow we will be celebrating the finest example of J.R.R. Tolkien’s concept of “eucatastrophe”.

I’m posting this today as you’ll all probably be busy with social stuff tomorrow; so will I, as a matter of fact. Continue reading “Alassëa Hristomerendë!         Happy Easter!”

The Problematic Climax of         ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’

Bilbo (confused)

How Peter Jackson went places he proved he would never go

I have been a Peter Jackson apologist for a number of years: attempting to understand and explain to others certain decisions done by the filmmaker when adapting the Middle-earth stories tothe silver screen.Peter Jackson

Never being a narrow-minded “Jacksonphile”, I tried – as much as possible – to understand his reasonings; but not always found myself in full agreement with the outcome of specific choices. However, I always accepted Jackson’s own thoughts behind the alterations he employed.

However, after viewing The Battle of the Five Armies, I have come to the conclusion that Peter Jackson has probably done some shocking errors of judgement in its third act; something I will undoubtedly find extremely difficult to accept why he made the choices that eventually ended up on the screen.

I can most certainly understand why, but I don’t think I’ll be able to agree or sympathise with those decisions.

Continue reading “The Problematic Climax of         ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’”