The Return of the Geek

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

Jeremy and I went to see Return of the King for the third time yesterday. I’ve enjoyed it more and more each time I’ve seen it (and I’ve definitively established that my enjoyment of a movie is inversely proportional to the number of people sitting in the theater with me - oh, for the money to build my own private cinema…). There are certain moments in that film that are simply sublime - moments where the cinematography and music blend so perfectly that it takes my breath away, and I just want to give Peter Jackson and Howard Shore a huge hug and say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting it so right."

I also happen to be reading The Lord of the Rings right now, so I’m pretty thoroughly immersed in Tolkien-land - the upshot of which is that I’ve been seized by the burning desire to learn Old English, read Beowulf, go stare at the Sutton Hoo artifacts in the British Museum, and flounce around in long, flowing dresses. I am, truly, such a geek.

Anyway, after the film, Jeremy and I treated ourselves to dinner at Quod, an Italian restaurant we hadn’t yet tried (as a side note, someday I will get around to putting together some restaurant reviews - but not today). The food was okay, the wine (a plummy Barbera from Argentina) was outstanding, and the conversation - sparked by the movie we had just seen - covered everything from the nature of courage, sacrifice and just war to the fact that I like men in boots and cloaks. Somehow, Jeremy and I always manage to turn "grabbing a bite to eat" into a long, drawn-out, two-hour affair involving several courses of food and much refilling of wine glasses and philosophizing on topics both weighty and utterly trivial. I like that about us.

And you know you’ve found your soulmate when you can say stuff like, "If everyone today walked around in bodiced dresses and jerkins and breeches, it would feel totally normal to me", and your partner doesn’t look at you like you’ve completely lost your mind.



Well, immediately after posting this blog entry, I went out and bought Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf - something I’ve been meaning to read for a long time now. The nice, bookish man at the shop said that he had the tape of Heaney reading Beowulf out loud, and that it’s fantastic. It wasn’t until I left the shop that it occurred to me that hearing Beowulf read out loud would probably be the best, most authentic way of approaching the epic - preferably while sipping mead by a roaring fire. But I’ll make do with reading it on my own while sipping a nice cup of tea by the gas heater.

Posted by Jessica


And if you like all that I hope you like The Silmarillion which I reread recently, and Unfinished Tales.

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