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Ringers:Lord Of The Fans

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Tolkien Gets Ringing Endorsement

The film traces the history of Tolkien mania, which took off with the original publication of The Lord of the Rings in 1954. The book was quickly adopted by sci-fi fans and by some literati, including W.H. Auden and C.S. Lewis, and by the late 1960s, it had become countercultural gospel (hobbits, elves and Gandalfs were plentiful at Woodstock). Beginning in the 1970s, rock 'n' rollers such as Led Zeppelin and Rush immersed themselves in the Middle Earth mythology, and in 1977, publication of Tolkien's Silmarillion set off a new round of Tolkienism.

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Actually, come to think of it, there is a moment in here that echoes our 'McKellen: No Source of Morality in Hobbiton?' thread, where Ian McKellen states that there is no God (or god) dictating what is right and wrong in Tolkien's world. There is another moment where Viggo Mortensen says Nazis mis-used Norse myth the same way that pro-war types today mis-use Tolkien's story. I don't recall anyone, anywhere, in this documentary offering the alternative points of view (as I'm sure we discussed in one of our other threads, the filmmakers could have easily turned to John Rhys-Davies for an opinion that would be more or less the opposite of Mortensen's -- and he IS interviewed in this film, just not on that topic). That hints, perhaps, at theological and political biases on the parts of the filmmakers. But whatever.

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