12.19.2003

Two days ago, Wednesday, I went to see the new Lord of the Rings movie: Return of the King. I didn't post anything about it immediately because I wanted to get some other things done first, and then I wanted to wait.

I wanted to see how long the movie's visceral impact on me remained. Turns out that it had some lasting power. I have a theory about Hollywood, that as a locus of film production, it more potential than any other spot in the world. When Hollywood decides to make a good movie, nobody else can even come close to making as good a movie.

There are plenty of examples, but instead of offering you personal dogma about powerful Hollywood films, I'd suggest that you think of a few examples on your own. It's not hard to do - there are plenty examples of iconic, pull-out-all-the-stops filmmaking that have become cultural tropes from the twentieth century. They alone have the money to create plush lighting and large, dramatic sets. They alone have the resources to convincingly pull off costume epics. They alone have the will to put a gloss on a movie that gives it an eerie, classic sheen - an aura of magnificence.

Return of the King is one of those movies, in my opinion. No expense was spared. Anybody who leaves that movie unmoved is lying about it or hates movies. Better movies may have been released this year, but I know I didn't seem them.

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