Getting crazy deja vu from this poster.
It’s very easy to view The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films as a ‘complete story’ that is ‘told in a chronologically-sequential order’, but are you really getting the most out of the series? Sure, you can watch it the way that Peter Jackson, JRR Tolkien and basic linear causality intended, but where’s the fun in that? There are probably heaps of little secrets and easter eggs that reveal themselves if you mess with it.
For those unfamiliar with the books, I have developed a viewing order that will absolutely enhance your experience. Next time you’re having a Middle-earth movie marathon with friends, try this out:
- The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (again)
- Eastern Promises
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
It may seem weird at first, but it will totally make sense in context, and your friends will be impressed with your clever reimagining!
(NB – on the night, make sure you serve the refreshments in the following order: cheese, then gin, then After Dinner Mints, then vermouth, then the crackers for the cheese, then a whole roast chicken, then olives on toothpicks, then Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.)
It’s possible I took this list a bit too seriously this year.
I may balk at the constant ranking and award-giving that seems to occupy so much of the discussion that surrounds film, but it’s at this time of the year that I remember that the film lovers who don’t see practically every new release are likely overwhelmed by the increasing number of new titles that appear in multiplexes, arthouse palaces, film festivals, video stores (remember those?) and online. If a ‘best of the year’ film list has any use to anyone, it’s pointing them towards the gems worth seeking out.
Before we get started, I’m going to confess that my approach to release dates is somewhat inconsistent. Because you are reading this on the World Wide Web, this list is, where possible, made up of films that were originally, internationally released in 2012. This was not always possible; I was unable to view some 2012 films that are being released in Australia in 2013 (Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook, for instance), although I made a bigger dent in them than I ever have before. Some 2011 films made it into here by sheer necessity; others did not. Hugo, Shame and some others which were released in Australia in January made it onto my Best of 2011. It’s really best not to think too hard about it.