Studying the event film

The Lord of the Rings

Edited by Harriet Margolis, Sean Cubitt, Barry King and Thierry Jutel

Studying the event film


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7199-7
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: December 2012
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Film history, theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Film theory & criticism


Peter Jackson's epic trilogy, the biggest film event of the 21st century, turned the best-selling book of the 20th century into a popular, critical and financial success all over again. This comprehensive collection draws together twenty-five essays on the making, the meaning and the reception of The Lord of the Rings. There is a section on the business of the 'event film', critical chapters on techniques and meanings ranging from music to spirituality, essays on the multimedia products associated with the films, observations on the trilogy's global audience, and an informative dossier of reviews, interviews, production details and box-office returns. More closely integrated, and more attuned to the global marketplace than the older blockbusters, the event film, with its attention-grabbing pitch for the status of news, will be one of the most influential media forms of the coming years. These meticulous essays combine with Peter Jackson's remarkable trilogy to form a unique entry to the study of 21st century media.


Harriet Margolis is Senior Lecturer in Film at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Sean Cubitt is Professor of Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Barry King is Professor of Communications at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. Thierry Jutel is Programme Director and Lecturer in Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


Time line
Introduction: how to study an event film
I. A gathering of materials
II. Creative industries / National heroes
III. Stardom and the event film
IV. Making a film trilogy
V. Reading for meaning: The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth, and Aotearoa New Zealand
VI. There, back again, and beyond: production infrastructures and extended exploitation
VII. The Lord of the Rings: credits, awards, reviews
List of contributors

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