The Tolkien Professor Weighs in on Fan Reactions to Hobbit Film
December 30, 2012 – Dover, DE. It should come as no surprise that, at least among devoted fans, the recent release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (one-third of Peter Jackson’s film version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book) is making waves. The movie has triggered strong reactions, with book fans ranged on both “pro” and “con” sides when it comes to opinions about Jackson’s work.
Corey Olsen, also known as The Tolkien Professor, is something of a lightning rod for Hobbit film controversy. With a robust global fan base of Tolkien aficionados who have listened to Olsen’s lectures through podcasts or formal classes, he is being bombarded with anguished criticisms and heated questions pertaining to Jackson’s movie.
“Though there are some specific elements I don’t like about the movie,” said Olsen, “on the whole I think it is very well done. Far better, in fact, than I was expecting. I would like to talk about the reactions I have received, both positive and negative, and offer a way of looking at the film that will enhance fans’ understanding of Tolkien rather than create divisiveness over Jackson’s treatment of Tolkien’s work.”
A professor of medieval literature and founder of Mythgard Institute, Olsen has made his deep knowledge of Tolkien’s works available to a much wider audience than pure academics. He offers easily accessible and thought provoking analysis of Tolkien’s works through the podcasts he has produced as well as in his book, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, published earlier this year. Olsen also spent 2012 hosting his own “Riddles in the Dark” podcast, which examined key aspects of Tolkien’s written work and speculated about how Jackson would (or would not) bring them to the screen. Listeners and other Tolkien analysts participated along with him in a “riddle game” that posed multiple choice and yes/no questions about different story topics.
“The ‘Riddles in the Dark’ podcast was a great preparation for the release of Jackson’s movie,” Olsen said. “I ended up looking at story elements much more closely and with more of a film maker’s eye than I would have otherwise. I think that has increased my appreciation of the decisions Jackson has had to make, even if a few of them still have me wondering.”
The session will stream live and attendees will be able to submit questions in real time for Olsen’s consideration.
“I look forward to this session,” Olsen said. “I hope that anyone who wants to get deeper insights into the movie, the book, or both, will make time to attend.”
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