Escapist trifles: the religion of millenials

The world is in the grip of an epidemic of infantilism.

How else can anyone account for tour parties travelling around the world to gasp in awe at the Weta cave or the newly unveiled model of Smaug the dragon at Wellington Airport?

We’re told that The Hobbit pilgrims from overseas burst into tears on arriving at Hobbiton.

Perhaps someone should have gently explained that it wasn’t really where Bilbo Baggins lived.

It was a farm in the Waikato.

It reminded me of the time I was driving over Haywards Hill and noticed a group of people standing beside a tourist bus gazing in awe at the hillside quarry where the Helm’s Deep battle sequence was filmed for Sir Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I felt like shouting, “It’s a just a bloody quarry, for God’s sake”.

But I probably would have risked arrest.

Given the national reverence for Jackson and the contribution his fantasy epics have made to the country’s gross domestic product, there could well be laws prohibiting such heresy.

Thirty years ago I read The Hobbit for my children.

They were enthralled, but the story struck me as rather slight – certainly compared with The Lord of the Rings.

How Jackson could stretch it into three films, with a cumulative length of nearly eight hours, almost defies belief.

I can only assume each film in the trilogy is padded out by the same interminable battle scenes that, to me, made theLord of the Rings films indistinguishable from each other.

Interchangeable sequences seem to be a common feature of fantasy films.

I’ve tried to watch several of the Harry Potter movies on television, but after the first 30 minutes or so I can never tell which one it is.

They all ultimately morph into one long, generic Harry Potter film in which the plots and mumbo-jumbo dialogue (another feature in common with the Lord of the Rings movies) hardly seem to vary. Continue reading

Karl du Fresne is a freelance journalist living in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand.

Additional reading

News category: Analysis and Comment.

Tags: , , , , ,