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The Life and Work of J.R.R. Tolkien

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Dear Friends of Lewis and Tolkien,
The Morgan Library in New York City is hosting an exhibition of the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien, the most thorough of its kind in decades. https://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/tolkien. I had the great privilege of seeing the Tolkien exhibit at Oxford University, while doing some research for our film series, “A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War.” The exhibit draws attention to Tolkien’s war experience, as well as his lifelong friendship with C.S. Lewis.
It is truly remarkable to get a glimpse into the development of Tolkien’s creative imagination, not only his published and unpublished manuscripts, but also his beautiful artwork. One of the great strengths of the exhibit is that it places Tolkien in the full context of his life: his role as son, soldier, scholar, tutor, author, husband, father, and friend. My review appears in National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/08/art-review-maker-of-middle-earth-showcases-tolkien-in-gorgeous-d…

Gift-giving in Narnia and Middle-earth

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In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Fellowship of the Ring, the spirit of Christmas manifests itself in the gifts that are given to the protagonists in these stories. Three of the four Pevensie children receive gifts from Father Christmas, whose presence symbolizes the weakening of Jadis’ power. Peter is given a sword, Susan a bow that will not miss and a horn that always summons aid. Lucy receives a small dagger and a vial containing a cordial, made from the fire-flowers of the mountains of the sun. A few drops of this cordial could heal any wound, no matter how fatal. In The Lord of the Rings, the members of the Fellowship who make it to the realm of Lothlorien are given gifts by the Lady Galadriel. Aragorn receives an enchanted sheath for his sword and the Elfstone (the Evenstar necklace, for those have only seen the movies) of the House of Elendil. Boromir, Merry, and Pippin receive sword belts. Gimli who was enchanted by their host’s beauty, receives three strands of …

In the land of Tolkien

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For the next couple of days, on the way back from Liverpool, we managed to pass by Sarehole near Birmingham.  This was the childhood location for Tolkien.  We were able to acquire access for filming at the old mill that Tolkien spoke about years later.  It represented a time prior to major development in the UK where man and nature had a beautiful relationship, especially in the eyes of a child.

Further south, in Chinnor and Oxford, we were able to create two additional reenactments of Tolkien with his girlfriend and wife, Edith.  A playful example of their courtship, and the harsh reality of saying goodbye when one goes off to war become great insight to the man known as J.R.R. Tolkien.

Jock Petersen
Director/Producer





Home of the Fab 4

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Liverpool has quite a rich history that the Beatles can only claim a small piece of.  For centuries it has remained one of the most important ports to the island of Great Britain.  The Albert Docks have been kept up and retain the look of long ago, so this provided a wonderful backdrop to have Joe Loconte discuss the importance of the ports in World War I.  Ports like Liverpool moved thousands of men on a daily basis to the shores of France, to then be transported by train to the front lines.  We were blessed to have been given access to these ports and other great spots throughout Liverpool. Advantages like this allow us to achieve such a high production value for such little expense.  While we are yet to be fully funded for this project, we have been able to do so much with what we have. We are so grateful.

Jock Petersen
Director/Producer



Day by day

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Our days have been filled with some fantastic reenactments, fabulous interviews, amazing host segments, and gorgeous scenery.  It appears we have travelled over 3000 miles and been in 3 different countries.  Following will be a presentation of each days achievements.

Leaving Hastings, having finished at the boarding school we shot at, we travelled North to meet up with one of the foremost authorities on Tolkien and his World War I experience.  John Garth provided some fabulous insight into Tolkien's life and how the war effected his life and his works.

Jock Petersen
Director/Producer



Truly amazing!

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We have had an amazing start to this 2nd chapter of our production. We hit the ground running from Panavision, London, thanks to their generous donations.  From there we secured an an abandoned boarding school in Hastings to create some amazing reenactments.  With today's early call in Liverpool, we shall get to work, but enjoy these shots from our reenactments.



The Journey Begins Again!

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Dear friends of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis,
I’d like to introduce myself and share with you some very exciting news about a new documentary film series, “A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War. As an author and historian at the King’s College in New York City, I am working with a very talented team to produce a film series exploring how the experience of two world wars shaped the lives and literary careers of two internationally famous authors and friends, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. The trailer for the film, now in the early stages of production, can be found here:www.hobbitwardrobe.com
Based on my New York Times bestselling book, the five-part film series examines how Tolkien’s combat experience during the First World War launched him on his literary quest. “A real taste for fairy-stories,” he said, was “quickened to full life by war.” The film also reveals how the war initially reinforced Lewis’s youthful atheism, but soon stirred his spiritual longings. As Lewis acknowledged…