In honour of his birthday: 31 October, 1961
Well, I may have had some reservations here and there in the man’s latest work. But isn’t that the purpose of a great director? His work fuels the mind to act, to give an opinion, to imagine and to experience.
I am forever indebted to Peter Jackson for influencing my early teens and shaping the following years into the man I am now. Were I not introduced to the world of Middle-earth I would not have become a keen admirer of filmmaking, a fantasy enthusiast, an ardent reader and, above all, a lover of words.
To this Kiwi I owe much for his tenacity and sheer force of will to craft these complicated films and still maintain that sense of love and family among cast and crew: so evident from the behind the scenes materials. No other director, and I have seen many making-ofs, manages to capture that sense of wonder of movie making and joyous sense of creating magic.
I’m no fan of horror, but I watched with awe as Peter Jackson brought gory violence and comedy into a perfect mix. Bad Taste, Braindead, Meet the Feebles, The Frighteners, that pure force of will as a young man, playing characters in front of the camera and behind it, coupled with that passion for moving pictures, has remained constant throughout his almost 30-year career.
Yet, here was a director who proved he could go beyond the genre he had established for himself. Heavenly Creatures, that visceral and powerful story within an indie film-making experience, demonstrated his tact in the world of cinema.
What an honour it has been to have experienced his best creations at the right time.
Older generations mention their first Star Wars experience at the cinema as something inexplicable. I was not around at that time, but I can perfectly understand their nostalgia, their sense of wonder and the first time they were transported to a believable world. Peter Jackson was the man who took me there, and I will always remember him for taking me on that journey through The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, The Lovely Bones and back to Middle-earth with The Hobbit.
I eagerly anticipate the day when his next project is announced. That day will be a good day for any Peter Jackson fan.
To you Sir, on your birthday. An idol, a cinematic companion, a human being.